Tip of the Day: Megg's books are on sale for only .99 cents each!
The grass wasn't that long. Maybe only two or three inches. But it was the foot high weeds that got Mom yelling for the third time that morning, "Deena, will you please start on the lawn?"
I rolled out of bed where I'd comfortably been lounging under the ceiling fan while reading John Green's latest. "Fine," I called while throwing on socks and sneakers. The last time I'd mowed in my sandals and was stung on the toe by a bee. TJ, the college guy down the street, had caught me swearing and hopping around the yard while I clutched my foot like an idiot. I wasn't going to embarass myself like that again.
I grabbed the push-mower from the shed and headed for the front yard. It was sunny and hot, but not too hot. It was the perfect weather to have my friends over later tonight to play Kan Jam out back.
I pulled the power cord on the mower once. Twice. Third time was a charm. The mower roared to life and I plowed through the first strips of lawn with ease.
On my second pass toward the driveway, I caught sight of him. TJ. Shooting baskets in the hoop mounted over his garage. He was the guy who was two years older than me but hadn't acted like it until this past year when he basically stopped talking to me even in a neighborly way. But I couldn't stop looking at him or fantasizing that he'd come over and profess his love for me.
I shook my sweaty head at my ridiculous thoughts and turned the mower around. That was when things got messy. The trees that Dad continuously reminded the rest of the fam "provided much needed shade and oxygen" were hard to mow around with their long, knotty roots and low, thick branches. It took forever to run the square mower around the circular tree trunks without sending root chips into my eye or breaking Mom's expensive new mower. If I didn't do the job well enough, Mom wouldn't hesitate to send me back out to do it all again.
While I pulled the mower back and forth, TJ dribbled and shot his basketball. Then all at once two things happened: 1) TJ missed his shot and the basketball came bouncing down the street in my direction, and 2) I yanked the mower backwards and slammed the back of my head into a tree branch the size of a turkey leg. My vision went dark before speckling into focus again like a bad movie fade-in.
"Shit!" TJ and I yelled at the same time. Except as he came running for his ball, looking cool just the same, I was clutching the back of my head and hoping when I removed my hand there wouldn't be blood.
When TJ reached his ball just on the edge of my lawn, he stopped, said, "Hey," and dribbled back to his property.
There was no blood spouting from my head, but if there had been, it probably wouldn't have hurt as much as my pride.
I finished mowing the lawn with my head pounding, and after complaining about it for over an hour Mom called the doctor who informed her I was probably "mildly concussed," to keep an eye on me, and call back/come into the office if the headache didn't disipate in a week.
Some girls could've turned that story into something to flirt with, but for me, it was just more proof that I was incapable of simple tasks like mowing the lawn.
Perhaps I should switch to basketball.
Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing