The summer before my senior year of high school, I went on daily walks with my sister. We would walk down to Crown Beach and back while playing this childish game we made up called “The Biting Game” where whoever bites the other person the most before we return home is the winner for the day.
On June 29, 2010, Angela and I were almost home; we had one more block left. I had this elaborate plan that would ensure me the last bite just as we would make it home. When we were about 30 steps from the house, I leaned over, bit Angela on the shoulder, and sprinted away. I was congratulating myself for being so smart as Angela wailed in protest behind me.
And then…karma hit.
Here’s what I remember of that moment:
I was cutting through some plants in front of the driveway when I felt my right foot get caught on something solid. The next thing I knew, I was airborne. I specifically remember thinking, “So this is what flying feels like.” My flight must have lasted a quarter of a second but it honestly felt like I was in the air for an eternity. Then I landed on my face. Hard. I can clearly recall the feeling as my cheek dragged across concrete. When I finally skidded to a stop with my face functioning as brakes, I heard Angela’s hysterical laughter coming up beside me. I sat up, feeling dazed, but found myself cracking up at the stupidity of this whole thing.
“Are you okay?” Angela managed to get out in between fits of laughter.
“Yeah, but my hand hurts, and I’m too scared to look at it,” I replied.
“Who cares about your hand? Look at your face! It looks like you got beat up.”
“Can you just look at my hand and tell me what happened to it?”
Angela took one look at my left hand as I held it up to her, and her amused expression swiftly changed into one of horror and disgust.
“Is it bad?” I asked, terrified. The back of my hand felt like it had been dipped into lava.
“It’s not too bad,” Angela said. “Look for yourself.”
I fearfully turned my hand around…and frowned. “It hurts a lot more than it looks,” I said.
We went into the house where I immediately put some antibiotic cream on it. Then, Angela and I figured that I must have landed on not only my face but also the back of my left hand.
About a month later, the injury had healed completely save for the faint scar on my knuckle. But that’s when I realized I couldn’t straighten out my pinky all the way. Once, I tried forcing it straight but it was impossible and caused a lot of discomfort. So I went to the doctor.
The doctor examined my finger, asking me where it hurt the most and how I managed to do this to it. After a quick x-ray, she told me that I had fractured my pinky and the bone had healed the wrong way. The two halves of the bone had molded back together in the wrong spot which was why I couldn’t straighten out my finger completely.
“Is there any way to fix it?” I asked.
“Well, we can break it again and align the bone correctly,” the doctor said, jokingly I hoped.
I gave her a weird look.
“There’s nothing we can really do about it. Not at this point,” she explained. “It’s too late.” So she sent me home with less money and a still-crooked finger.
To this day, I can’t straighten out my left pinky. My sister likes to make fun of me by imitating the way it looks with her own pinky. So I bite her. (Just kidding.) Just a few days ago, Angela said to me, “If you hadn’t bitten me that one day, you’d have a normal pinky.” This is true. Karma bit me in the pinky, hard.
The moral of the whole experience is this: Don’t bite your sibling unless you want to fracture your finger. I learned this the hard way.
Note: Since that fateful day, Angela and I have stopped playing “The Biting Game.” I advise you never to even start.