By Meadow Murphy
( That Night )
I fell asleep in front of the television and wake up to the six o’clock news and my mother bursting through the door. She flies past me on her way to the kitchen to start dinner for dad who will be home any minute.
“We’ll talk about what happened to you today when your father gets home so you don’t have to repeat everything. Are you hungry? Where’s that boy that took you to the hospital?”
“No, and I thought you were waiting for dad before we talk.” I half expect mom to come back with a sarcastic remark but she doesn’t.
I pick up my cell phone and start texting Tara while I wait for dinner.
Dalia: U there?
Tara: Ya, R U ok?
Dalia: So far, I don’t have a fracture, but I still need an M.R.I 2 look 4 injury.
Tara: Does that mean U can’t skate?
Dalia: Ya, I might have torn or dislocated something.
Tara: So U can’t compete next month?
Dalia: No.Tara: Sucks ass! Is Adam still with U?
Dalia: No he went home about an hour ago, We almost kissed.
Tara: Get the fXXX out! What happened? Tell me everything!
Dalia: He stayed with me @ the hospital & then he drove me home. We ate. He asked me if I had a boyfriend. I said no. He asked me if I was ever kissed. I said no. Then he looked like he was going 2 kiss me but like the stupid ass that I am I asked him if he had a girlfriend. He confessed saying, ‘yes’. So I told him he better leave. His girlfriend might B wondering where he is.
Tara: Oh Dalia, I’m so sorry.
Dalia: Not as sorry as I am. Part of me wishes I hadn’t asked him.
Tara: Better 2 know, than find out later.
Dalia: I guess. He was seriously impressed when I told him I was working on my triple axel. He said, ‘That’s so hot!’
Tara: O.M.G! Dead Romantic! You’re skating is amazing! Do U want me 2 come over 2Night?
Dalia: Sure, if U don’t mind listening 2 my parents bitch @ the dinner table!
Tara: Great, I’m on my way.
I called out to mom, “Tara’s coming over!”
“Sure,” mom called back. “It always fine.”
Tara has her own spot at our dinner table, she is over that often. It’s the only time I’m able to spend with her outside of school hours, that my parents don’t give me a hard time about.
Tara is a complete dick magnet at school. Guys are falling all over themselves trying to get dates and bootie calls with her. It would sicken me if she wasn’t my best friend. We laugh about how guys make idiots of themselves for her. What matters to me is that no matter how much attention she receives from them, she doesn’t have the EGO that goes along with being a dick magnet. Tara is very modest and sincere.
My parents like her too for the most part. When she isn’t here, they are always criticizing her interest in boys rather than doing something substantial with her life (with the exception of school).
She is my lunar opposite, and I love her for that. I live vicariously through her adventures with boys that I’m not allowed to have. With Tara, you are better off asking, who hasn’t she dated or kissed, because the list is shorter than asking her who she has.
I‘m still lying on the couch when dad comes home letting Tara in. He tosses a paper bag full of pain medication on my lap before pecking my forehead and making his way over to the dinner table. Tara has the decency my father doesn’t to hand me my crutches before passing me, pulling out my chair for me, before taking her own. She never ceases to surprise me, that’s why she’s my best friend.
Normally I help mom setting the dinner table, but I’m temporarily released from those duties. I’m starting to find out that there are some perks to being injured. Later that same evening when I took my new pain medicine, I started to see little green aliens that look like Kazoo from the Flintstones all over my house. Tara told me not to mention the aliens to mom or she’ll make me stop taking them, and they do dull the pain.
Mom serves us before beginning the conversation, “Okay, tell us what happened.”
“You already know,” I snip.
“Details,” dad insists.
I roll my eyes and start playing with the food on my dish. The McDonald’s spoiled my appetite, “It was the end of the session so I was tired. I shouldn’t have tried the triple axel but I did anyway. I threw my leg forward and felt a sharp pain on take-off. It hurt so bad I lost my breath. I used the boards to get off the ice and even managed to get to school. In homeroom my leg became harder to move. Adam, a guy who sits next to me caught me just before it gave out from under me. He insisted on taking me to the hospital.”
“I know the nurse practitioner spoke to me, but tell your dad, what happened at the hospital,” Mom says.
“They took x-rays to determine if I have fracture. I’m cleared, but not of torn ligaments or dislocations. The nurse practitioner said I’ll need an M.R.I to clear me from any bone or joint problems. She says if I skate before the M.R.I, I risk the chance of worsening my injury and permanently ending my skating career.
”Mom gives dad a look, “You should tell Dalia what we decided.”
“What YOU’VE decided,” he corrects. “Why do you always leave me with the dirty work?”
Mom continues where dad didn’t want to go. She places her elbows on the dinner table which in my household is a big no no and says, “Dalia, I’m sorry to be so harsh but you’re not getting any younger and you should already HAVE your triple axel. The girls in Europe are landing them at the ripe age of 14.”
“Your mother is right,” dad agrees. “Even if you didn’t injure yourself today, you can’t hold a candle to those other girls. Skating as a single skater in your case is a waste of time,” dad finishes. Wow there is no sparing feelings in this household, and it looks rehearsed.
Mom continues where he left off, “So we’ve decided, that you’re only hope of winning an Olympic gold medal is if you go into pairs skating.”
I’m dumbfounded and angry at their cruelty. I haven’t even begun to accept the harsh reality that I’m losing an entire skating season, and they have the audacity to tell me I’m not good enough to continue as a single skater injured or not, well that was just fucking great!
I slam my fork down on the table and look to Tara for support. She gives me an ‘I’ve got this wink,’ and says to my parents, “Dalia needs a partner if she’s going to skate in pairs. That can’t be an easy find.” That was the best she could come up with?
Mom grins, “As a matter of fact, that’s been taken care of.”
“How so?” I ask.
“I heard from one of the other mothers at the arena that Ryan Kennedy is looking for a partner for months now, so I called his mother.”
“What happened to his last partner?” Tara injects.
Mom shoots her an irritated look, “Rumour has it that she got a concussion after hitting her head against the ice during a death spiral or something. All I really know is the last partner he had quit. I’m not sure how much truth is in that story. You know how the mothers like to sit and gossip. They’ve got absolutely nothing better to do.”
Mom turns to me,”I’m not going to risk offending Mrs. Kennedy by asking her what really happened, it could ruin your chances of ever finding a partner.”
“Do I get to make any decisions regarding my own future?”
“Not when your mother and I are paying,” dad threatens.
Frustrated more than feeling sad or angry, I imagine knocking all the dishes off the table and throwing a tantrum, but like always, I restrain myself. My parents never once mentioned the idea of pair skating in the past, which leads me to believe they are serious about it now.
Tara says, “Mr. Middleton, since Dalia isn’t going to be skating for several weeks, I assume it’s okay for her to come to the Halloween dance with me?”
Her question is followed by a tense silence. Tara successfully puts dad on the spot when he answers, “Sure she can, Tara.”
I stand from the table and Tara follows suit. Mom eyes me cautiously, “You better rest that leg of yours. We are going to introduce you to Ryan later next week. I’ll call his mother and push it back. She’s not going to be too impressed when she finds out you’re injured. This is going to set your practices back by weeks!”
“You planned all of this BEFORE I was hurt didn’t you?” I accuse.
“Well, obviously,” mom answers. “This took a lot of planning. The only things we haven’t decided yet, are who’s going to coach you guys and which arena you’ll train at.”
“You’ve already hit your plateau as a single skater Dalia, this is you’re only chance of winning the Olympics,” dad encourages.
“Are you sure it’s not ‘your dream?’”I question.
I start hobbling away with Tara following closely behind. We escape to the sanctuary of my room, throwing ourselves onto my bed. I reach for my iPod and put on Mirrors by Justin Timberlake, so my parents can’t hear our conversation over the smooth rhythm Justin always makes. It isn’t cool to like him, he is tres passé, so we keep him our dirty little secret.
“A pair skater?” I say dramatically.
“A pair skater,” Tara mimics.
“I don’t think I want to be a pair skater,” I think out loud.
“How come? Does it scare you?” she asks.
“I just never considered it before,” I reason.
“It’s not like you have a choice in the matter. You might as well take a shot at it, unless you choose to quit. Are you at the point of wanting to quit?”
“I’m contemplating it,” I confess.
“What’s stopping you?”
“Nothing, I don’t know. I was considering it after the fall but I attributed it to frustration.”
“Your parents might be right,” Tara says cautiously. “It will take you months to get back to where you are now. This injury is going to make you miss a years worth of competitions and you’re going to be a year older before you can even compete again.”
“If you go into pairs,” she continues, “people’s expectations for you will lessen in the first year. You will get to skate with a GUY, which means you might actually be able to lay your virginal hands on some hot blooded male.”
“Who might be gay,” I add.
“Or who might not,” she argues.
“I don’t want to think about it, let me tell you about Adam,” I change the subject. “When I went to the hospital, I wasn’t thinking about my future, I was enjoying just being with Adam, until I found out he had a girlfriend that is. You have no idea how disappointed I was to find out he was taken. It’s the first time a seriously cute guy ever showed any interest in me.”
“It won’t be the last,” Tara Reassures. “You’re never around guys for them to have a chance to show interest in you. Now that you can’t skate, maybe you WILL meet someone, the halloween dance is just around the corner! Your parents have no excuse to keep you from going.”
“Do you think Adam will be there?”
“Everyone who is anyone will be there. It’s the first dance of the year! The big question is, will Harper be with him?”
“Who’s Harper? Sounds like an instrument.”
“No, it’s Adam’s snobby girlfriend. I’ve seen them snogging together in the hallways on more than one occasion. Just the other day, I overheard her talking to Sierra in the bathroom. She was complaining to her about how he never makes time for her anymore. He’s always too busy with his basketball practice or schoolwork. I give it two weeks and they’ll be broken up. I’ve seen the way she drools over Carter.”
“He’s Adam’s best friend.”
“Is he cute?”I ask.
“I’d suck his cock cute.”So Rude!
“Oh then he has to be cute,” I say sarcastically.
“Adam almost kissed me,” I reminisce.“I shouldn’t have asked if he had a girlfriend,” I comment bitterly.
“No, its good that you did,” argues Tara. “You don’t need your first kiss to be with a two timing asshole. It’s nice that he was honest with you. It says something for his character.”
WatchOut for Kiss and Cry – Part 1 (Chapter 5)….. COMING SOON……