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It was the 9th month of the year 2001; I was just a playful child indulging in all the beauties and mysteries of the world. Still exploring not yet familiarized or seasoned to most of the wonders of this life. I had just won my class election and I was to be inaugurated in one week. Happiness was the only Emotion I could express. Even though my teacher was giving me a hard time, she was unable to affect the outcome. Little did I know my amazing week was about to escalate to such a phenomenal tragedy it would be remembered for the rest of my years. This happening was so unexpected so critical so serious so dangerous so defined so strategically placed that one would wonder if the great architect himself had sat down and drew it line by line.
The 6th grade is an unforgettable time in my childhood it had both positive and negative impacts on my life. The electoral officer who was also my class teacher was very far from being a friend of mine and this made me a bit skeptical about running for 6th grade president. After doing some research about this position I found out that the president would travel the island and have meetings at some of the most beautiful resorts Jamaica had to offer, so I decided to run. Winning this election was easy all you had to do was familiarize yourself with the entire 6th grade population which was just about 200 kids. I played soccer, ran track and I was friends with all the nerds and all the bullies, persuading them to vote for me would be a piece of cake. Leading up to the elections I was early for class every morning, helpful to all and was always willing to stay back and help out with extra lessons, I even swept the class room a couple times. On the morning of September 15th the votes were counted and I was victorious, my teacher was not very happy as I could see the unpleasant look on her face. She snarled at me and said “The general assembly will be in one week you better be early”, I smiled at her and replied “yes mam, I sure will”.
The 16th of September, this was my cousins birthday he is 4 years my junior and his birthday is just seven days before mine approximately one week apart. Those seven days were the worst days of my life. I thought, isn’t t seven supposed to be a lucky number? Wonder who came up with that idea. that evening my mother sent him to go get some stuff from the store so she could make him a cake, on every other Sunday at this time of the day I’d be on the Soccer field kicking the ball around with my older friends, but instead this Sunday found me walking to the shop with my cousin, This is strange I never go anywhere with my cousin, not even on his birthday. On the way to the store my cousin spotted an Almond at the edge of branch, it was as large as an apple and as red as a new crayon fresh from the box. The rule was who spotted it owned it, even if u climbed the tree to go get it, it still did not belong to you. I decided to go get this beautiful, scrumptious looking fruit for my cousin, seeing that it was his birthday. I started to map out my course of action as to how I was going to get this fruit. I could have pelted it with rocks until it fell, but no, it was too beautiful to be bruised by the blunt force of a stone being hurled at it. I proceeded to climb on to a fence which was directly paralleled to the almond tree. At the top of the fence I paused a while to take a look around, “Wow cool view from 12 feet off the ground,” I could see all the way to the soccer pitch where the older boys were playing. My cousin laughed and told me to hurry up and get it so we could go home. My next stunt was to jump from the fence and catch the tree limb, the climb to victory, come on I’ve done this tons of times, and I didn’t even hesitate. As I leaped from the fence and grabbed the branch, me and that luscious almond met eye to eye ,but before I could grab it we were both in total free fall, hurling towards the ground which was gritted with rocks. I fell on a large rock and the entire branch came down on top of me, I had fallen on my left side and was a bit bruised up, well at least the almond was safe. I quickly recovered, brushed myself off and hurried my cousin to be on our way. He enquired if I was ok but I assure him, I’ve gotten harder tackles on the football field and it was nothing he should worry about.
The beautiful Jamaican sunset had just made its appearance and was ready to take its leave to set the stage for the night sky, As we entered the house I swiftly dodged my mother and made my way to the bathroom as I was covered in dirt and I did not want her to know that we had ventured away from the destination we had set out for. I entered the shower and my skin immediately felt like it was on fire, Average Jamaican plumbing only consisted of one temperature so I knew I did not turn the hot water on by mistake, I thought it was a bruise on my side so I tried to wash it off but it started to burn even more, at this point I am still reluctant to the fact that I am injured. I decided to relieve myself in the shower as all young boys do, to my surprise my urine was red and it was then I repeatedly shouted for my mother at the top of my voice. My mother made her way to me as quickly as she could and at the top of her voice she shouted “wah do yuh”? (Jamaican patois which translate to “what is wrong with you”) I showed her my urine and she rushed me to the Hospital.
After being X-rayed and examined by some nurses with my anxious mother by my bedside, a doctor soon entered the room, “Is he going to be ok”? My mother asked .The doctor told her what was happening to me and asked what had caused this .It really didn’t make sense to play tough anymore, for now this tackle had proven to be harder than that of any I had ever received from a soccer game. And I was now laying on a hospital bed and not the soccer pitch. After explaining the day’s events to the doctor and my furious, confused mother, the doctor took a quick look at my chart and said “well humpty, You seem to have had a Great fall, thankfully we will be able to put you back together again” We all had a laugh, then the doctor went on to explain my condition to my mother.
I would go on to spend the next seven days in that hospital bed, I was never present for my inauguration as 6th grade president and with no one from school knowing my where-about and my teacher not being very fond of me, my position was passed on to the runner up, surrounded by screaming babies staring at a ceiling, I read every chart in that room at least twenty times, I thought about all the greats things that I was now going to missing out on, all the important people that I would not get to meet, all the exotic places I would not get to see . In that one week I hated the world and hated all the things that had happened to me. I blamed everyone I could find to blame. But on the seventh day I developed a new understanding and realized that the chain of events that had happened was all my doing, You might not be responsible for most things that happen to you in this life but like that boy who climbed that almond tree and damaged one of his kidneys and almost died, you too have a say in every hand you play in this life, so it’s your call your raise or your fold.
I guess I should have folded that time.
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