How to Ruin a Summer in One Day

It was going to be a beautiful day. School had been out for less than a week or so, my mom was away on a trip and summer school had just started. My older sister, Ashley, was going to go fishing with her boyfriend, Scott who my mom HATED, and decided to take my little sister, Averi, and me. But to do this we had to go get my little sister out of summer school. Everything was going great; we were in Scott’s little black truck driving along having fun. Then we got to that lake and everything that happened changed the rest of my summer and my leg for the rest of my life.

When we got to Cameron we realized that we were absolutely unprepared to go fishing. We raced to see which team of two could get all the items on their half of the list fist. I was on Scott’s team and we were in-charge of getting two more fishing poles for Averi and me, two containers of Night Crawlers and weights. The race ended up being a tie, but we were still having fun; racing to the truck. When we all reached the truck we decided that my sisters and I needed the inside of the truck to ourselves to stretch out. So we put Scott in the tail-bed telling him the whole time that it was his idea, and it was a great chance for him to get a tan. Finally getting everything and everyone situated we finally left Wal-Mart and headed out to Pony Express Lake.

As we were driving down a dirt road our favorite song of the month came on, If I Die Young, we then opened the little in the back of the truck so Scott could hear all of us sing the same song in different tone and pitches at completely different times. When he started to laugh hysterically at us we decided that if he was such a better singer than us then he could just go ahead and do it himself. Accepting the challenge after a couple of minutes of taunting and name calling on our part, he opened his mouth wide and at the top of his lungs started to “sing”, “And I'll be wearing white, when I come into your kingdom. I'm as green as the ring on my little cold finger; I've never known the lovin' of a man. But it sure felt nice when he was holdin'’ -”

“STOP!!” We all screamed in unison.

“Remind me never to ask or let him do that ever again.” Ashley said with a serious face that barely concealed her smile.

We all burst out laughing except Scott when asked, “Was I really that bad?”

Trying to keep a straight face, which was proving harder by the second as I tenderly said, “No! We just want you to save you beautiful singing voice for when you go on American Idol. I’m sure Simon will just LOVE it!” With that last sentence I couldn’t help it anymore and started to laugh.

Just then we arrived at the lake. We all jumped out; excited to get out on the water Scott and Ashley paid for the boat and got it all ready, while Averi and I unloaded the truck. Once the little paddle boat was loaded we all pushed it out a little ways into the water; when it was far enough out to float and close enough we wouldn’t really have to get our feet wet, we all got in and assigned Scott the job of rowing us out to the deeper more secluded end of the lake. We got to a spot Scott deemed perfect for us, there were almost sunk trees all around us that just looked like little logs floating around, we tied our boat to one of the trees, and started to fish in peace cracking jokes every now and then.

That lasted for a little over an hour or so. When Ashley got the bright idea to start messing around and throwing things into the lake. She started out with small things, bobbers, worms, and soda caps. Then we all got into it and that’s when I had the bright idea to throw Scott’s Mountain Dew bottle into the lake, and lets just say it wasn’t a sissy throw either. The bottle arched high into the air and landed a little over a yard from us. When it bobbed to the surface everyone went silent, I felt so bad.

Engulfed in guilt I decided I would swim out to get it. Averi and I had ventured into the lake earlier in the day on another retrieval mission and fail miserably, we didn’t realize how deep it would be and not knowing what was beneath you can be scary. Now this is the interesting part of the story, if you ask Ashley what happened I was trying to ‘walk off the boat onto the water like Jesus’ but what really happened was I just didn’t know the best way off the boat, so I ended up straddling the side of the boat thinking I would just slide off the side and be fine.

But NO Ashley, still trying to be funny, told someone to push me off the boat into the water effectively scaring the crap out of me. It would have been really funny if it had worked that way, but off course my weird position on the side of the boat, gravity and Scotts horrible timing resulted in a disaster that wasn’t nearly as funny as Ashley thought it would be.

What happened next scared me for the rest of my life and ruined my entire summer. As I moved into a better position to go over the side, I unintentionally positioned myself directly over one of the giant ‘railroad’ nails that kept the oar holder attached to the boat. So when Scott pushed me into the water I got caught on the nail, it doesn’t sound that bad but when you are caught on a giant nail in you leg after being pushed a few things happen; first the rest of you body follows the movement of being pushed over, meaning you go over the side of the boat. Secondly, because your caught on the boat you don’t go over all the way, and you can’t come up, you are stuck where you are until someone pulls you off the nail. And thirdly, any movement causes the nail to dig further into you limb, tearing it apart. All of these things happened, because of a silly prank. You might think that you would panic and start trying to jerk yourself of the nail, but no you mind goes blank and you don’t really register what is happening. My siblings and Scott finally got me off the nail, but I couldn’t even feel the pain. Everyone was panicking, Ashley was yelling at Scott to paddle faster, Averi was dry heaving in the back of the boat at the sight of the nail almost going all the was through my leg and all the blood, Scott just repeating how sorry he was, and I was just sitting there rocking back and forth, shuddering from the sudden cold that over came me, repeating quietly, “I want to go home. I want to home. All I want to do is go home.”

“Hush Alyssa, its ok don’t panic we’ll take you to the hospital, it’ll all be ok.” My sister told me while simultaneously trying to console me and tie one of our t-shirts around my leg to stop the bleeding.

It was touching but I was just so cold and tired, all I wanted to do was go home, change into the warmest PJs I had, crawl into bed and sleep for a week. While that’s all I was thinking about Ashley had other ideas. The whole ride back to Liberty Hospital she kept talking to me and making me sing to stay awake.

“You CAN’T go to sleep, Alyssa. You have to stay awake.” She would say before telling me to sing a song on the radio.

“I don't have a concussion, Ashley. I had a nail in my leg, I’m ok to sleep.” I would say in between songs and random conversations.

As we finally pulled up in front of the hospital, relatives were called with the same message and version of what happened. We all got the same story down of how I had slipped and fell of the boat and got hurt so that no one knew that Scott was there. Then a nurse came out with a wheelchair and I limped over to it and sat down. As I was wheeled into the ER exam room I was asked a series of questions that all seemed the same just phrased differently each time. My family finally showed up, all except for my mom who wasn't answering her phone.

Everyone was worried that my leg was going to fall off or have to be cut off. Fortunately I didn't end up having my leg cut off, I just got some stitches and pain pills for the pain yet to come since I was told that I was still in shock and that’s why I couldn't feel any pain. In the end I got nine stitches, an ugly little scar on my leg and a note saying that I was to stay out of ANY form of water except for the shower. Which in all reality it wasn't that bad, except someone decided it was going to be the hottest summer ever and my mother decided it was a good year to get a Worlds & Oceans of Fun Gold pass. I honestly believe she planned this; I mean who gets a season pass to a GIANT pool, when their child can't cool off in it?

There was one upside; my sister feeling seriously guilty was under my control for the whole summer. One thing she thought-up towards the end of the summer, when I was SO fed up with not being able to swim, was waterproof Band-Aids for my stitches. I had to change them every half-hour but they worked! All & all maybe it wasn't such a bad thing to “fall off a boat”.

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