Updated: Jul 20
It was the middle of January. The black top had been plowed creating a perimeter of snow towers that loomed over the six year old version of me. The sky was streaked with the little white lines airplanes leave as they pass overhead. They all criss crossed each other except one which was off in the distance, going in its own direction. I liked to sit and stare at the white lines, deciding where they were all going. Maybe they were going to California or maybe to Europe.
A child’s high-pitched laughter caught my attention. I quickly turned my head to see two boys throwing snow at each other and giggling as they constructed a very disproportionate snowman. A little behind them in the distance was a boy in a blue jacket sitting under a tree isolated from everyone else like the white airplane line. He had a darker
blue hat on underneath his hood and his jacket pulled over his mouth so that all you could see were his green eyes and red nose. He was a little bit older than me. He looked bored or lonely. I wondered why he wasn’t playing with the other boys who were making the snowman.
I placed my hands on the ground in front of me to help myself up from the blacktop. My mom dressed me in so many layers that sometimes it was difficult to move. I waddled over to the tree where the boy in the blue jacket sat. His gaze was fixed on me as I slowly made my way over to him but he didn’t take the jacket away from his mouth. He didn’t say a word.
When I arrived I was out of breath. I carefully lowered myself down to the ground to sit next to him. His gaze stayed fixed straight ahead to where I had been standing just seconds before.
“Why aren’t you playing with those boys?” I asked him, still trying to catch my breath.
He shrugged his shoulders. He didn’t look at me. He didn’t take the jacket away from his mouth.
We were silent for a few moments until two other boys about the same age as the boy in blue came over and started playing near us. One of them had brown curly hair and bright blue eyes. The other was shorter and wore a hat that almost covered his eyes.
I looked at the boy in blue and then I looked at the other boys playing in the snow. I wanted to play. I wanted to ask the boy in blue if he wanted to play too but he still hadn’t unfixed his gaze from straight ahead. I opened my mouth and then closed it, deciding not to say anything.
I placed my hands on the ground in front of me for the second time and pushed myself up to join the boys who were playing in the snow. After a few minutes, I felt my many layers of pants tighten. My stomach was full and telling me to find a bathroom. I looked to the back door of the school. It was so far away and then once inside the building the bathroom was past the cafeteria, down the fifth grade hall and to the right. I thought about how many layers I was wearing and how long it took me to get from my snow tower to the tree where the boy in blue was. The route to the bathroom was double in length. There’s no way I’d make it in time with my penguin-waddle-pace.
I started to panic. I didn’t know what to do and the longer I stayed in that spot thinking about it the more I had to pee and the more time I was wasting. I was too embarrassed to go ask a teacher for help even though Mr. Brown was standing over by the swings shivering, clearly unhappy he got stuck supervising the after school program.
It was too late. I ran out of time. My layered pants felt warm and my stomach was deflating. I looked down to see the snow underneath me turning yellow. I gasped and the boys snapped their heads around.
“EW! Yellow snow! She’s peeing!” The curly haired boy shouted.
A group of kids behind us looked up from their snow angels and I heard a mixture of “ew”s and “that’s gross” comments.
I suddenly felt really hot.
I knew my face was probably as red as Rudolph’s nose. I wanted to take my jacket off, turn around and run and never come back to school, ever.
I’m so stupid. I’m so stupid. I’m so stupid. I kept repeating in my head but my mouth stayed shut. I couldn’t say anything. I didn’t know what to say.
“It’s blood. Her tooth is bleeding.” A voice said from the tree.
The curly haired boy and the shorter one turned their attention to the tree. It was the boy in the blue jacket. He was standing and he was now staring directly at us.
The boy in blue had defended me. Although we all know that blood is red and not yellow, his effort to save me from a mortifying situation was admirable. I wondered if anyone would believe what he said but at the same time I didn’t really care because I knew I had someone who would always look out for me.
The boy in the blue jacket was Andrew.
Andrew was my older brother.