Amazing Kids! Magazine

The Fall That Made Me

By Charlotte Coates, 8th grade, Ohio


I had finally awakened, yet I was never asleep. The brightness in the room only depended upon the beaming overhead lights shining down on me. The compilation of questions building in my aching head was incredible. My mom’s eyes filled with delight as the words, “What happened?” released themselves from my mind.

Hours passed in that box-like, shrinking room. I learned from those hours that running up a ladder to help discover my cousin’s missing Lego piece was not the smartest option; along with the fact that even though it was close, the fall wasn’t enough to lead to a brain bleed, just a concussion. On that note, I was plopped into a tired wheelchair and rolled out of the room. The heat held within my face intensified as people looked at me with a bump the size of a baseball on my head, the waterfall of black and purple set around my eyes, and the brace hugging my neck.

After what seemed like hours, we made it to the car and more than just embarrassment built up within me. Why couldn’t my cousin just go get it? Why was I in a rush? What were we doing at the time? What happened earlier that day before I fell? How was I awake but don’t remember any of it up until the hospital? I wasn’t sure if the excruciating pain in my head was due to the confusion or if it was a result of the fall. As we continued driving, we were stopping every few minutes so I could get checked on and to pick up medicines. I figured out that we weren’t even in Luna anymore, but we were hours away in Athens, New Mexico and that the rest of the drive wasn’t going to be much different than what it had been so far. Stop and go makes the drive feel never ending, but the exciting thought of being back at the ranch at the end of it made it all worth it.

“Why are we turning?” I asked, knowing that to get to the ranch we would have to continue down the highway.

“The noise and bumpy dirt road up to the Double J will be too much for your head. We are just going to stay here for the rest of the trip.”

From this response I could have gotten angry, but for some reason I didn’t even care. I guess maybe because I knew the rest of my summer fun was already over and I would be stuck faced with disappointing situations like this often. I quickly learned that my assumption was correct, and slowly I figured out that my assumption and what I thought I learned was wrong.

My last few days in Luna were quiet, dark, and attention-filled. Family members came what seemed like hundreds of times each day to check in on me. Every time they were to find me either sleeping, awake for my pills I had to take every 4 hours, watching TV, or looking out the window at the horse pasture across the street filled with kids that were filled with happiness. That was something I was not at this point. I just thought there was one more day until I went home, until all of the people I know get to see me in the most embarrassing condition, and one more day until I have to turn down all invitations so I could sit home in the dark. I couldn’t stand it anymore; I just lay down in bed waiting to be woken up to take another pill, to fall asleep again, to wake up, and go.

“Watch out! Princess coming through!” repeatedly echoed through the airport as Chicago, the nicest and most optimistic airport assistant, pushed me around in my wheelchair. The biggest surprise hit me here, when I learned that having a severe concussion while in a huge airport isn’t too bad. I didn’t have to walk, or carry any bags! The hallways teeming with people gave me time to practice not caring about the condition I was in. The loud noises came to a muffling silence as the plane door closed. Looking out the window, the distance between the ground and the plane rapidly increased and before I knew it, I landed in Ohio.

I finally woke up at home the next day. I no longer had angst about not running around with the happy little kids across the street, I just wanted a friend to come and watch movies with me all day long. My hope was immediately vetoed as my first doctor’s appointment was the first day I got back. Instead of my limitations loosening, they tightened. I was no longer able to play sports for at least 6 months, watch TV, listen to music, or read. At this point I kept on waiting to wake up and have had it all been a dream, or more like a nightmare. Nobody will do anything with me now. It’s all that I could think.

Things changed not much later that day. Knock, knock! I could hear it all the way from the basement. When I came up, two of my friends were standing in the foyer with a plate from which brown squares were releasing the most amazing aroma and a refreshing looking jar of homemade lemonade. My friends didn’t care what I couldn’t do or what I could do, they just wanted to try to make me happy.

What I thought would be a one time thing became a daily thing. They continuously came over spending their summer time in a dim basement only filled with quiet voices. Most of my other friends just left me. Since I couldn’t do most things, they weren’t going to hang out with me, and I understand that, it was just hard for me at the time. I began to not care about what those people did as much and more about those two that did care about my true happiness. I would have never guessed that I could be as happy as those little kids from across the street, but I learned my guess was wrong.

The school year rapidly approached and as it did I was taught many different things. It didn’t matter that I had a huge bump on my head or that I couldn’t eat in the cafeteria or even that I had to leave when we watched videos because those were all just silly things to get worked up about. I became closer with my family, friends, and even my teachers.

Everything was going pretty smoothly for me, and then slowly, but surely, the sports season came around. Everyone joined their desired team. Everyone, that is, except me of course. What I thought would turn into months of missing soccer and tennis and ice-skating turned into months where I was happy I wasn’t doing those things. The activities I truly missed were the ones that to this day I still love and can’t wait to do whenever I get the chance. Even more doctor’s appointments were scheduled and then attended. The amount of TV I could watch maximized, along with a loosening of sport limitations. Each appointment things started looking better for me and soon enough my health was the best it would get. Those sports I missed are the ones I still miss when the season isn’t going, and the friends that cared for me, are the ones I most care about still. This was the time when I learned that I was wrong about thinking the limitations would be disappointing, for without them I don’t know what I would be doing now. Hitting my head is something I can’t remember, but my recovery is something I will never forget.