Who Needs Rules Anyways
Rule number one: don't ever, and I mean EVER, tell me what to do. I don't care what you think is "good for me." I don't care who you are or what you do. I don't even care if you're the Queen of England. I'm a seven-year-old bundle of attitude. If you wanna get along with me, you follow my rules. No ands or buts or whatevers. As an extremely admirable man once said, "The world's merely a stage; if you want the leading role, you don't take no heck from the other players." Shakespeare was a smart guy. Not that it matters to me.
Just the other day I was helping my mom carry groceries to our car on this beautiful Saturday afternoon. You know, the kind of afternoons that you thought only existed in fairy tales; the forget-me-not blue sky, the birds squawking as if they had anything important to say, and the sun washing the clouds with a golden glow. The freshness of earth lingered in the air, wrapping its cool arms around me. I was wearing the scent like a sweater for hours. As we were about to get in the car, a crotchety old man with a toothless smile walked by and said,
"Have a nice day!"
"DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!" I screamed, my mouth twisted in a snarl. He jumped back four feet as if I had sprout fangs and ran away faster than I thought was possible. Satisfied, I threw the groceries in the back seat, humming to myself. I do not think I need to mention at this point that I am a rockstar.
"Edan!" My mom shrilled, obviously traumatized by my outburst. Her hands clutched the steering wheel like it was a life reserve. "Why were you so cruel to that poor old man? He was only wishing us a nice day!"
"Mom, he was trying to tell us what to do," I spoke evenly. "My number one rule is to listen to no one but myself. That man did not follow the rules. If I wasn't feeling so nice today, I would've had every right to disable him. Lucky for him however-"
"You will not yell at complete strangers!" My mom screamed, so agitated that she ran over some kid on a red bike. "That rule of yours is completely ridiculous! Advice from others can be for your own good!"
Oh here we go again. Adults ALWAYS play that "oh sweetie-pie, it's for your own good" card. Why is the world run by amateurs?
"Mom, you're such a drama queen."
"I'M THE DRAMA QUEEN? You're the one that screamed at him! If I were you, I'd-" I tuned her out for most of the ride home. I've heard this speech a zillion times; it was engraved in the back of my mind.
Back at home I scrambled into my room to watch TV before my parents could object. Flipping through the channels, I settled on watching Superman. As far as I could tell, there's nothing super about this guy. The only thing that amazes me is how he manages to fit such a fat body into such tight spandex. Anyway.
What truly got me was his flying cape. How many people do you know have flying capes? Not many. How cool would it be if you could fly like Superman? My guess is pretty cool. Suddenly, as if someone switched on a light bulb in my head, I had the most brilliant idea! If Superman could fly, why couldn't I?
Excitement poured through my veins like hot lava. Its grip clutched at my stomach as my heart pulsed. I was a balloon, every inch of me swelling up with anticipation and ready to burst. Racing across the living room, I spotted my parents talking in the kitchen. Bad timing; I knew they were talking about me. Stopping dead in my tracks, I tried to sneak by. Tiptoeing wasn't my forte so I ended crashing face first on the tiled floor. My parents sighed.
"Where are you going?" My mom's voice was skeptical. I rubbed my numb face. At this point, with no more dignity left in me to lie, I resolved to tell the truth.
"I'm going to fly," I announced, drawing myself up. As I explained my theory (with many dramatic pauses and appropriate exclamations, I might add), their faces went from doubtful to horrified. I might as well have said I was moving to Mars and beginning my career as a drug dealer.
"You certainly may not, young lady!" My parents said firmly. "Flying capes do not exist and you'll just get hurt. What a crazy idea! It's like you bumped your head when you were born." Oh no they didn't! Nobody tells me what to do AND disses my head.
"We will see," I said, my words chipped and hard. Each letter weighed down my tongue, their rough edges slicing through the air. I was going to fly whether they like it or not. Without a backward glance, I hurried into my parents' bedroom, grabbing their sheet and tied it around my shoulders. Wasting no time, I climbed on the window edge and embraced the moment.
Outside, clouds were gathering, looming high above in the heavens. Masses of dark gray clouds towered overhead like giant cathedrals, smothering out any sunlight. Wind howled like a banshee, tossing chunks of my hair in my face. Its cold fingers poked down my back. A crow sat on a leafless branch, a silent black silhouette. Somewhere in the distance, lightning streaked across the sky. It was seconds before a storm and everything was still. History was about to be made.
Breathing in, I leapt from the window, my makeshift cape fluttering furiously behind me, like a bird flying for the first time. I smiled, thinking of only how brilliant I was and that nothing, NOTHING, would ruin this moment.
That's when I hit the ground.
You wanna know how painful it was when I landed? You wanna know how it honestly felt when my ankle crumpled underneath me? You wanna know if I bawled my eyes out like a big baby? None of your business.
Rain came down in billowing sheets, symbolizing defeat. Grinding my teeth, I held my ankle as my parents ran towards me. Their faces were a cross between concern, fear, and amusement. The amusement was the worst. Well, I reasoned, when you lose, you might as well do it right.
"Maybe I should rethink my number one rule," I managed.
Then, I fainted.
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