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A fun backyard play session with friends takes a turn when Eloïse falls off the monkey bars

This story is dedicated to my Nana for helping me throughout this. 

“Go! Go! Go!” my friend Addie and I shouted. Olivia, my neighbor, was showing us how fast she could run, zipping around my backyard, sprinting past the flowerbeds and back like a cheetah, her brown hair swaying as she picked up speed, moving in a blur.

“Your turn!” Olivia gasped in between two heavy breaths when she finished.

What could I do? A somersault? No! Maybe a cartwheel. Oh! Just then an idea popped into my head: I should do the monkey bars as fast as I could.

I climbed up the ladder then paused, positioning myself as if I were a famous actor making an entrance on stage, and grabbed the first bar as fast as I could, focusing on speed.

Quicker! Quicker! my mind screamed. My eyes homed in on the treehouse door. “Almost there!” I mumbled through my gritted teeth.

I was on the second-to-last bar when my hand reached out, brushed the last metal bar, and—slip, crash, boom! I sailed through the air as fear took root in my head. I landed on a mound of bark chips with a soft thump. For a split second, my friends just stared at me and I stared at them. Then, burning pain erupted from my arm, blurring my mind, making me barely hear their rapid talking. I couldn’t think. All I could do was cry. Warm tears damped my cheeks. I stayed there paralyzed for a minute or two.

“Eloïse, are you okay? Here, I think you should go see your grandma,” Olivia said with a hint of worry in her voice. I reached out for her to help me up, but that just sent another jolt of pain down my arm. Addie managed to help me up the porch stairs to the back door. My grandmother, Nana, was there in three seconds with an ice pack.

“Honey, what happened?” she cried while escorting me to the kitchen. Since I didn’t answer, she poured me a glass of water. It tasted cool going down my throat but didn’t help the continuous pain up my arm. After my friends finished explaining what happened, my Nana asked me to bend my arm. I tried, but it was too much.

“Ow!” I cried.

“Maybe you should go take a nap, sweetie,” my Nana said, not sure what to do. So, I went downstairs and went to bed.

The Eye in the Dark

I woke up sweating. My arm still hurt. I must have slept a long time because my mom was back from work and was waiting for me on the couch. “You look pale. Can I see your arm?” she asked in a soothing voice. Since I couldn’t stretch my arm, I sat next to her and took a deep breath, slowly, steadily bending my elbow and gritting my teeth, making my eyes burn. After reflecting a minute, my mom helped me up and told me that we were going to the hospital.

In the car, I could tell my mom was worried from the way she was frowning. “Mom, what’s going to happen?” I asked, imagining my arm falling off.

“Well, you’ll probably get an X-ray to know if your arm is actually fractured.

Then, if it is, you will get a cast and wear it for a few weeks.”

My mind raced. WHAT! I won’t be able to do anything fun! Not a cast! I thought to myself. After taking three deep breaths to clear my head, I said, “Okay” and pretended everything was fine.

Once we got to the hospital, which did not look as intimidating as I thought it would, I relaxed a little. A kind man led us to a room that looked nice and cheery. What if a cast wasn’t that bad of an idea after all? Besides, it was only going to be for a month.

Finally, just then, the word that I said to my mom in the car became true: “okay”—this was going to be okay. Something inside of me clicked. I don’t know what did it, but I wasn’t scared anymore because I knew this was the right thing for my arm.