fifteen years old with my nose in a book as I walked the Sussex Downs, and nearly stepped on him. I was a particularly clumsy adolescent. That was the year I also broke my foot while playing dodge ball. By adding the dodge ball bit it makes it sound less pathetic then it truly was. It happened in PE and at the time of the break class had been dismissed to change clothes. However that didn’t stop me and my friend. We still had a little bit of fight left in us and were messing around. I was retreating and going to head to the locker room as he hunted me down.
I would like to say the backward duck that turned into a backwards trip that landed me on my butt by the bleachers was planned. It wasn’t and it hurt. Not my backside though, oh no, some how my foot twisted and I was in utter agony. He and I official stopped playing then. Being the clutz I was I didn’t think it was anything major, I’d rolled my ankle before and all I could really tell was that my foot area hurt. When it hurt so bad I didn’t want to put my shoe back on that should have been a bigger clue. I carried it down the hall with me as I limped off to English. My teacher was not overly impressed, but after having me for the entire year she’d learned that ‘random’ is my modus operandi.
I cringed down the pain for the last two periods before heading to the office to ask my dad to drive me home. He came out of the office, took one look at my pained expression and said, “You didn’t have to wait until school was out, I would have taken you home earlier.”
Although I really appreciate the sentiment of that statement it was not welcomed at the time. My foot hurt and I’d just sat through a couple hours of lecture. I was not amused and just hobbled my way out to the car. Now here is the thing you should know about me. I choose the most random times to get stubborn. I believe that day was one of them. My father offered to go get the car and pull it around to the circle drive so I didn’t have to walk to the lot. Very kind, and I should have taken him up on it. However my dad was always the first one to the building, save for the janitor who did beat him in. This meant he always had a phenomenal parking spot and the lot and drive were right next to each other. Rather than wait for the car I dug in my heals and hobbled over the grass to the car myself. Never underestimate the power of stupidity.
After icing it for a few hours that night and the swelling not going down, my parents too thought it was an ankle issue, we finally made a doctor’s appointment the next day. That’s when we learned that I broke the smallest bone in the foot, which also has the added benefit of taking the longest to heal. How that works, I’m not sure, but that was super fun.
That was the summer I broke my right foot. That was also the summer I turned 16. Lucky for me I had a boot cast so I was able to take it off while I took the driving test. Walking to the DMV without it (only about two weeks in on the healing process) was a longer walk then I remembered when I had gone in for my permit. However in the end I did get my license, my foot did heal (although to this day it occasionally twinges), and I was officially cleared of having to wear my boot the day before I had to get on a plane and leave for a national convention. Timing is everything.
Thanks DP for the interesting starter! The opening line was from my favorite book The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, by Laurie R King. That book has been a constant friend of mine (my copy has several tickets tucked into it from where I’d brought it along to keep me from getting bored during intermission or during the game etc), although as previously posted I met Sherlock long before the tender age of fifteen. However I had only had glimpses of retired Sherlock (which is his age in the series by King. After I read the prompt I nearly panicked when I went to my book case (just to make sure I quoted it correctly) and it was missing! Then I found the vertical stack of ten more books and was assured it was on the top of that stack. Crisis averted.
In regards to the quote itself it’s quite fitting for me. ‘…years old with my nose in a book as I walked…and nearly stepped on him…’ later on the paragraph continues ‘…probably would not have noticed the sea until I stepped off one of the chalk cliffs into it.” Books do that to me as well. Which is probably why I like the books so much, I can identify with Russel. My boss still makes fun of me for the time it was practically a monsoon when a couple of us were going out for happy hour. They were going to pick me up and my phone was still on silent from work. This forced my boss to get out of her car and head up to my apartment. She was not amused when I answered the door, finger still holding the place in the book I was reading (A Study in Scarlet as coincidence would have it). However she was/is much more amused whenever she retells the story. It’s now looked on as a ‘Classic Jamie’.