My brother and I were riding down the street on our bikes, right after our parents had told us not to. There was old woman who lived on our street that acted as a one-woman neighborhood watch. As we rode down the street she shuffled out of her house and onto her porch. Just as we passed her house she yelled, “Ride on the curb, you’re going to get hit by a car!” Disregarding her tip, we raced up the street to meet some of our friends. Although I couldn’t see her face I knew she was giving me one of those respect-your-elder glares that could drive the devil straight back to hell. After rounding the corner we found ourselves riding down a hill so tall that we could see the clouds beneath us. I ran down the street while my brother stuck to curb. As we reached the bottom I saw my brother suddenly become airborne after hitting a white mailbox. Although it went down in a matter of seconds, everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. My brother flew through the air, slowly tilted forward, and landed face first onto the concrete. He lay motionless for a few seconds. I ran to his side and flipped him over. His face was bruised and battered. After acquiring his bearings, he limped back home with tears rolling down his face. I grabbed both of bikes and slowly walked back home. For those five minutes I was just a lamb to the slaughter, trying to imagine their disappointed faces, and the resent in their eyes, knowing that I deserved it.
Leaving the Yard
I’ve never been good at following instructions. My parents frequently do group therapy sessions at our church. Before leaving my dad yelled, “No one better not leave the yard!” in his Mississippi slur. As they backed out of the driveway I ran to my room to play on my purple GameCube. After playing Super Mario Sunshine for a full hour I staggered out of the room, my legs feeling like spaghetti after not having been used. I ran down the stairs to find my sister glued to the couch. I asked her in my high childish voice, “Will you take me to the church?” Her head slowly rotated and gave me one of those aint-nobody-got-time-for-that faces before her head slowly swiveled back around as she melted back into the couch cushion. The church wasn’t very far away, so I decided that it wouldn’t be too long a walk. I stared out of the window trying to conjure up a mental map to the church. I rushed out of the door, tightened my Velcro...