Back in the third grade, I had a thing with spies. For some odd reason, I enjoyed pretending I was in a movie, knocking people out with my super ninja skills. Not only did I love acting as if I were one, I passed it on to lots of friends in my class. Someone in particular though, Gracelyn, played along with my antics, despite how dumb I looked rolling down hills and shouting to her "I call this the spy cartwheel!"
Our parents found out they'd gone to the same high school in the beginning of third grade when we were walking on a field trip and her father absentmindedly took off his hat. My mother noticed who he was and they talked for a while, discussing playdate plans because of course, she was my first real friend.
The playdate took place on a warm-ish afternoon, there was a whiteboard in her new house which was coincidently right down the street from mine. I took markers and drew a map, explaining to her our secret mission to spy on her little brother. Gracelyn liked the idea, and after our failed attempts to sneak up on him, she brought me into his room. It was dimly lit, tidy too. There were only a bed and a toy chest. She opened it and grabbed some binoculars, explaining how her grandfather had used them in World War II. She took them and opened the window, revealing her backyard, a fairly large tree with a ladder on it sat at the end of the grassy garden of endless possibilities, and as we made our way out there, of course, she held the binoculars tight in her hand.
Dashing outside, we'd claimed the treehouse, followed by her brother who we'd been spying on earlier. He was tiny and very, very annoying. He kept shooting us with NERF gun darts and I was quickly getting fed up. Of course, he wanted the binoculars, too, as if the gun wasn't enough. So the little boy, standing at the top of the tree, started pushing his sister off. I stood below, yelling at them to knock it off. Then, she fell, and for a moment my heart stopped, my stomach knotted up and I was feeling fear for this girl I'd just met. She caught the next branch with both hands, letting the binoculars drop to the ground below her.
But instead of the ground, guess what was below that tree? Me, in my bright pink shirt and my jean capris. The incredibly heavy thing pierced my head before falling to the ground, as did I. I didn't faint, I blacked out, for only a moment. Then I was awake, Gracelyn so pale I swear she was the one rapidly losing blood. She helped me up quickly, the whole trek back up the hill to her house was blurry, I just remember her mother's reaction. Paper towels seemed to fix it for a few seconds, then I was being rushed to the car and down the street to my own house.
Gracelyn's mom called mine, I looked at my friend who was crying now. There was hurt in her eyes, and she just kept whispering "I'm so sorry!"
It wasn't her fault, really. Nobody could have known those binoculars were going to land on my tiny little head.
My mother raced out and followed us down the street to the fire station. I was extremely pale and in too much pain to think, so I was pretty unaware of what was happening. I just knew that beside me, was my friend, who was so deeply worried about me. We got inside, and they patched me up, and everything from then is a blur, too.
My best friend brought me flowers and ice cream, not even an hour after I returned home. She made me a card, saying get well and feel better. Our connection grew so much that day, and if I hadn't gotten hurt, we might have never hung out ever again. Because of my injury, though, I understood how much she loved me and how much I loved her!
Now, we're almost freshmen in high school; my sister, my shoulder to cry on, and my best friend Gracelyn, is still here by my side. I joke with her all the time about trying to kill me, and how scared she'd been, but inside we both know how close we became that day, and I can imagine growing old together and having our children grow up side-by-side. I just need to make sure when that does happen, we don't have any binoculars or trees for them to use during their playdates.