Trauma on the playground
Ricky Floyd recounts a tramautic time involving a slide, an inhaler, and the girl of his dreams.
March 31, 2017
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It was a hot and sunny day. I was in preschool and, as obnoxious as I was, I was not prepared for what was going to happen that day nor did I know that all the clout I had built up was going to be diminished in .2 seconds.
I had two best friends—Zach, my best guy friend and Mercedes, who was my best girl friend. We did everything together; we were inseparable. Anyway it was sort of like a free day. We were just ending the movie “Aladdin” and it was time for us to go outside and exert our built-up energy. The doors opened and a flood of little children ran outside, but with me being a little chunky, of course, I prefered to walk behind.
“Over here Ricky!” said a girl named Olivia, who I had a crush on. She was way more popular than I was at the time and there was a cool group of kids and then there was just the rest of preschool. The cool kids would always hang out by the steel slide— it was the biggest slide on the playground and you didn’t go over there unless you were in that particular friend group.
Mesmerized by her looks I instantly trotted over to her in a clumsy manner. “Play ‘clog the slide’ with me,” she said.
“Clog the slide…what’s that?” I said, staring into her soul.
“Well it’s easy. All you do is..” and after about three minutes of her explaining what it was I zoned out of the conversation, making sure my friends saw that I was finally talking to her, smiling and waving. As she finished what seemed to feel like a 15 minute spiel about nothing, I quickly regained consciousness and she took my hand and led me up the hole-ridged stairs where all the commotion stood.
One by one, my classmates started pouring into the slide, just diving in the slide like they were diving into a pool. One thing that caught my eye was no one was coming out of the other side of the slide. I thought about it for twenty seconds. Because I have the attention span of a squirrel, I started thinking about other stuff like what if I was going to go watch “Cars” with my friend Chad, or if we had milk and Oreos at home and my Hot Wheels track I had arranged to go all around my room. “This is taking too long. Let’s budge everyone to be in the middle of the slide,” said Olivia. I said “okay” but my asthma said “no,” but, my lungs are inside my body so I wasn’t able to hear them.
It was finally our turn. Right before I climbed in I remember feeling a wave of heat come over me as I stepped in still staring at the beauty of Olivia. It was fun at first—everyone was laughing, screaming, and having fun. Olivia was too and that was all I was worried about.
All of the sudden, a hand came out of nowhere and touched me on the shoulder. I looked to my right and there was a pile of people jumping in the slide all at once. It started to get hot and I felt a squeeze in my stomach and chest. I looked back at Olivia and she’s laughing so hard and I am slowly but surely about to faint. I quickly thought to myself, “If I don’t get out I am going to die and if I die I won’t be able to test my Hot Wheels track.”
More people started to push their way in. By this time I was suffocating. All the noise was making me freak out and I came to the realization that I, Ricky Thomas Floyd, could not move.
I couldn’t reach my safety inhaler in my pocket—I started to hyperventilate louder and louder. Soon Olivia saw me and immediately started to yell “get out, everyone out!” but no one listened. It kept getting louder and louder. There were so many people in the slide at once that you couldn’t even see daylight anymore and all was still. Olivia looked at me, I looked at her. I opened my eyes…and noticed little chunks everywhere. I had realized I had just thrown up in the worst place possible—all over her clothes and all over everyone down the slide.
“Ewwww,” screamed everyone in the slide. Down came pouring out little children crying, running back inside. I finally slid out of the slide head first while smiling contently knowing I was going to have another day of life to watch Dinosaur King and find toys in cereal boxes.