The Day I Broke My Ankle

by Stone
In the eleventh grade, a new student transferred to our class. His name was Johnny, a dowdy, raunchy guy with huge glasses on his ugly face. Nobody in the class liked him. We all avoided him because he acted as if he were against everybody in the class, wearing slippers to school, clipping his toenails at his seat, picking his nose in the class and sleeping while the teacher was lecturing. At that time, I promised myself that I would never make friends with him.

One day after school, all of my buddies had gone to play basketball. There were only Johnny and I in the classroom. I stayed a little late because I hadn't finished my homework and had been punished with the task of sweeping the floor and emptying the garbage. After finishing the involuntary work, I picked up my ball and rushed to the door. I was extremely happy and excited because it had been two weeks since we had stopped playing basketball due to the wet playground.

As I ran down to the playground, I simulated Michael Jordan and tried to jump down the stairs. However, I crashed and fell down the stairs. All of a sudden, I felt the pain. I have forgotten how painful it was. I almost lost my consciousness. My left ankle was seriously twisted. I tried to stand up on my right foot but I fell.

"What am I going to do? Am I going to be crippled? Will I not be able to play basketball again?" I asked myself all these questions. I was totally despairing and frightened.

At that moment, I saw someone coming down the stairs. It was Johnny. "Are you OK?" he asked.

"Yeah...Yeah," I said, "What's wrong with you?" I tried to stand up quickly so that he would not see my embarrassment. But again, I failed and fell down.

"Hey, you idiot, don't move. You want to destroy your feet?" he yelled. It was the first time that I had heard him talk so seriously. He came over, grabbed my arm, lifted me on his back, and carried me to the school clinic. We had a hard time getting to the clinic because Johnny walked like a skinny tree swaying in the wind and I almost fell down from his back once or twice.

Finally, through his great effort, we got to the clinic. The doctor had a look at my ankle and started rubbing it with some medicinal liquid. He rubbed it as hard as if he were trying to break it. I could see the muscles around the ankle were all black and blue. Johnny laughed at me. "See how weak you are! You are really weak!" he said. I laughed too. Our eyes met for a second. I could see his simile was sincere, intimate and so familiar.

That was the last time I saw Johnny's smile. I had to rest for a week due to the broken ankle. When I went back to school, I was told that Johnny had transferred to another school. Nobody knew or knows where he went and where he is. But I will always remember him because he taught me how wrong we can be when we judge people and don't give them a chance.