ON THE RAILS
The boys sat along the edge of the dock watching me. I wanted to impress them but was also really scared I was going to fall and hurt myself. I pushed the fear away. The pads my parents had brought me were tucked into my backpack. Pads were either for sissies or the pros who worked big vert ramps.
I pushed the board along, stretching my right leg high and pushing down hard to get as much speed as I could. The rail ran along the side of the ramp leading up to the dock. If all went well, I’d ollie onto the rail, grind up it and off onto the dock itself.
I pushed one more time, going for maximum speed. The boys on the dock all craned their necks to look around each other. I checked my feet and set my right foot for the ollie. The rail was coming up quick and I crouched slightly.
The ollie was perfect and I hit the rail right in the centre of my board. I slid up it and onto the flat part at the top. All the boys were cheering and whistling. I couldn’t help myself and gave them my thumbs up, then everything went black.
I woke up in hospital, the worried face of my mother hovering over me. The pain I felt was nothing to the pain I know I’d caused both her and my father. But all the boys were there too, grinning and skylarking to her back. I smiled at them and knew I’d been accepted, even if it was only because of a great bail. It didn’t matter. I was now one of them.