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The Student News Site of Frederick High School

Frederick Lantern

The Student News Site of Frederick High School

Frederick Lantern

The First Break

He remembers the impact, the cold asphalt, and the broken bones.

Nick Harding , Special Contributor


I watched as they rolled the cast over my forearm for the last time. I tried to lift my arms up, but the casts were heavy and awkward. I did really like the colors, though. That was the only relieving thing about getting casts. I could pick the color.

“How do they feel?” I wasn’t sure if I should answer truthfully or just be nice about it.

“They feel good.” I mean, they did feel all right. They were just the heaviest things ever, and made my arms look gigantic.

“So, how did you break your arms?”

Oh no, the story of how I broke my arms.

                                              *                          *                            *

It was a Tuesday afternoon with spring colors in full bloom around Centennial Elementary. I needed a break from my house. I had a long day at school, and what better way to do that than speed down the school blacktop.

The blacktop circled the school, and it’s the best place to ride my scooter. A gigantic track all to myself; no way I would pass that up! I kicked the ground harder, and harder, and harder. I sped up super fast. I made it to the back door when I drifted into a hard stop.

“Whoo, that was fun!” I talk to myself way too much.

My dad said to be home around five o’clock. Dinner time was near and I could feel hunger sinking in.

Kicking this metal hunk, while I’m riding it, gets tiring after a while. The sun set around the exquisite sight of the Rocky Mountains. I walked my scooter down the path, but my tire hit something. I looked to see that the culprit was a little rainbow bracelet made out of those tiny rubber band things; I actually thought it looked kinda cool. I don’t know why I took it with me, but I did, and then I began journey back home. Some older kids were at the basketball court, so I wanted to get outta there. I liked the privacy of being by myself.

“See ya tomorrow, school.” Nick Harding was going to eat a good dinner and have a good sleep. At that moment, I had this urge to look at that little bracelet. I scooted down a little farther until- WHAM! I fell forward, and all I saw next was a face full of concrete.

I tried to stop myself from falling with my hands, but what a mistake that was.

                                                 *                              *                               *

I returned home from the urgent care building. I walked in, tired from the excessive amount of doctor appointments I had this week. Well, I only had two, but that’s a lot for one week. I took the last three days off from school—my brother didn’t get that liberty. He didn’t have to spend three whole days not being able to eat or go to the bathroom by myself. At least I could move my elbow now. The splints I had, as a sort of proto-cast, went above my elbows.

Well, you don’t know how good you have it until it’s gone. I put my arms down on the countertop, but I must have put them down too hard.

“Be careful with those, Nick.”

Jeez, I couldn’t even put my arms down carefully anymore. Mom has helped me out the most these past few days. She works from home, so she has helped me when I need it.

I grabbed a cup from the cabinet for some water. I had a bit of trouble holding it. My palm couldn’t move. Why couldn’t they let my palm move? It was the forearm that was broken. I put some ice water in the cup and sat on the couch; that beautiful, fluffy couch.

“Hey Nick, I was gonna post something on Facebook about your arms. Do you remember who helped you home? Did you recognize them?” Wait, did I?

                                                     *                              *                            *

I laid there, kinda helplessly. My arms throbbed and yelled in pain, but the more prominent pain was my face.

I hit the ground hard. My lip bled, and the metallic taste filled my mouth. Gross. I couldn’t get myself up—why couldn’t I?

Wait, there were kids over there, right? Maybe they can hear me.

“Help!” I screamed, but there was no response; they either didn’t hear me or didn’t care.

I continued to lay there, unsure of what exactly I was waiting for. Out of the bottom of my view, a woman in running attire ran down the sidewalk.

“Do you need help?”

“Yeah, I don’t think I can get up.”

She helped me up and she picked up my scooter for me.

“Is anything broken?”

“I don’t think so.” I had never broken a bone before. I don’t think I broke my arms; did I?

She walked home with me, and she put my scooter next to the tree in our yard.

“You need help getting inside your house? Are your parents home?”

“Yeah, my dad is home. Thank you for helping me home.”

“You’re welcome. I hope you feel better.” I walked through the garage, up the steps, and the door opened with my dad waiting inside.

                                                *                                *                              *

I had these things for a month. A whole month. It’s like having a weight tied to you and stays with you wherever you go. I couldn’t hold a cup right, like, at all. When I wanted to play video games, my hand was too big to hold the controller. I wore my jacket over the casts and I looked like I had elephant trunks for arms.

But today was the day. The final day. I only had to wear these till three o’clock, and then I didn’t have to wear them anymore! My body knew this as well, and wanted to make my arms under the cast itch as much as possible.

“Nick, are you ready?” My mom couldn’t have asked that at a better time.


I was thinking about the long month I had with these things. Everybody at school felt like it was their moral responsibility to ask what happened, which was fine if they didn’t do it all the time. Though it was fun when they all signed the casts; I liked having more attention at school, but the benefits don’t last long.

We made it to the same urgent care building that had put the casts on. We walked in, and of course, getting checked in was like waiting in line at the dreaded DMV. When it was finally my turn, they took me to a room where there was a big saw-looking thing. The nurse walked in, and picked up the end of the saw; lighted caught on the end of the saw where a shiny, little blade sat.

“Don’t worry, this can’t cut you; it just cuts through the cast,” the nurse reassured me.

Despite that reassurance, I still responded like it could. My muscles tensed at the sound of the machine coming to life; it was so loud; louder than screaming into a megaphone right next to your ear.

The cast material was easily cut a away in a matter of second, and shards were slipping off. After one or two more minutes, they both were off. The heavy burden lifted off my arms—my arms were free from those shackles! They felt so light. They were free.

I was free.

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The First Break

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