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Friendship Funny Teens & Young Adult

The clouds parted to reveal a vast snow covered landscape. Eddie squinted as the sun shone on the brilliant snow clad plains. He had mixed feelings about snow. ‘Beautiful to look at, but it might kill you.’

The jet began its descent.

‘I’m almost there,’ he thought. It had been decades.

He wondered if he would surprise his sister, Michelle.

The plane landed without incident. Eddie retrieved his luggage and caught a cab to Michelle’s house.

She opened the door before he knocked. “Eddie!” He caught her as she threw herself into his embrace. They held each other for almost a minute. It had been forever.

She pulled away and smiled through tears at him. “Come in! We’re letting all the heat out.”

“Or the cold in…”

She nodded at his correction. “Of course. You are right.”

Eddie dragged his luggage into the front room. “I wanted to surprise you. Should I get a hotel?”

“Of course not, you old fudd. I have room. Did you bring the reindeer?” He didn’t get it. “You know, for that contraption you sent?”

“Oh, it came?”

“That Amazon… I understand you can get a desert island delivered if you have Prime.”

“I ordered a toboggan.” They laughed. “It runs on gravity. Reindeer would slow us down.”

“Maybe they know something we don’t.” He laughed. She embraced him again. “I’m so happy you came! What are your plans?”

“I meant it to be a surprise. But the toboggan beat me here.”

She held her look and it dawned on her. “Really?” He nodded. “No. Not really. I thought it should go over the fireplace. Pretty and unthreatening…” He smiled. She took his hand. “Come in. Have a drink. You hungry?”

“No salted almonds, please.”

“Damn! And I just ran out.”

He sat by the blazing fireplace. Michelle brought a couple of beers and some pound cake.

“Man, I can’t remember the last time I warmed myself before a fire.”

“One of life’s great joys. Almost makes winter worth the trouble.”

“I used to spend hours tending it at the folks.”

“Yeah, you were a regular pyro.”

“You never saw me burning trash out back. You never knew when those aerosol cans would explode.”

“You had all the fun. Sorry I missed it.”

“Well you won’t miss this.”

“What?”

“We’re going tobogganing! Tomorrow!”

Michelle stopped drinking, mid-swig.

“I don’t know, Eddie…”

“What could stop us?”

“For one thing, I don’t want to die. Let’s see. Anything else?” She put her hand to her chin and thought. “No. That covers it. So, what are your plans? What brings you here?”

“This is something we need to do, Mich… We can do it. We must do it.”

“I actually scratched that item off my bucket list, oh, twenty-some years ago?”

“Yeah. Exactly. We cannot let that hill defeat us. We’re smarter now.”

“Right. We’re so smart, we can do something that won’t send us to the hospital. How about that, Einstein?”

Eddie set his beer down a little too hard. “Fine, sis. You don’t have to go. But can I borrow your truck? That way I don’t have to drag that thing all the way to the park.”

“Tell you what, Eddie. I’ll drive you. You aren’t used to driving icy roads. No point in killing yourself before you get to Suicide Hill.”

“You’d drive me?” She nodded. “Fair enough. But I did hope you’d ride along. I could use the ballast.”

“You’re a dear. I’ll admit I’m at least as worried about my beautiful pick-up as I am about you.”

“Thanks for confirming what I already suspected.”

“No prob, bro.” She lifted her beer in a toast. They clinked bottles and drank.

“Let’s leave early, if you don’t mind.”

“Of course. Then we can get you to the ER before the rush.” Eddie nodded grimly. “I’m not sure I’m up to carrying your broken body to the truck, though. Any suggestions?”

Eddie shook his head. “You needn’t worry about that, Mich. I will maintain my ability to walk.”

“This time?”

“Unlike the last time, yes.”

“Be honest with me, bro. You wouldn’t be planning any radical final solutions on ‘Ye Olde Suicide Hill’, would you?”

“Give me a break, sis. If that were my intent, I could have stayed home and taken a nice warm bath. No need to involve you in some dramatic icy swan dive into a boulder masquerading as a snow drift.”

“Sure?”

“Positive.” They nodded in agreement. Eddie tapped his head. “I’ve gotten fond of this mortal coil over the years. I’m in no hurry to slough it off.”

“Good to hear.”

“Happy to say it.”

Michelle kept the beers flowing and they talked long into the night.

Next morning, she dragged Eddie from bed at sunrise and already had the coffee ready for him. He loaded the toboggan into the truck bed and she bungeed it so it wouldn’t fly out en route to the park.

They drove through a fresh layer of powder before the snow plows could clear and salt the pavement. It was beautiful in the dawn.

They parked at the lodge in the shadow of the ski jump that towered over them. People milled about in the early light.

While they unloaded the toboggan, Eddie took in the scene. “I haven’t been back here since our famous header two decades ago.”

“It hasn’t changed.”

“To be honest, I wasn’t paying much attention then.”

“That is one major symptom of being unconscious.” She grabbed his arm. “You’re sure you want to do this?”

“Duh!”

“Duh, yourself! No shame in retiring to the lodge for a hot toddy…”

Eddie took the rope. “You can wait here if you want. I’ll be back in a bit.” She slapped him on the back and they headed out dragging the toboggan behind them. Even though fresh snow had fallen, the path remained well marked. Soon the effort had them breathing heavily.

Eddie looked at his sister. “I guess I’m not twelve anymore.”

She laughed, “Nor me. Nor in good shape.” She started singing, ‘Climb Any Mountain’. He joined in until their attempts at harmony reduced them to laughter.

“It’s funny, though. We never talked about that day. Did something happen? I mean, besides the obvious?”

“No. I don’t know how much you remember. You went airborne, landed on your face and slid for about ten yards.”

“Yikes!”

“You were out for the count. They rolled you onto the toboggan and dragged you back to the lodge where you laid until the ambulance came.”

“Last thing I remember, on the way down I yelled, ‘Isn’t this fun?’”

“Famous last words… I landed on my tailbone. Hurt like hell. But at least I didn’t splash my brains all over the place.”

“They were scrambled, I admit. But none were spilled.”

“It took weeks to get a full sentence out of you.”

“Yeah, Mom made you guys play cards with me.”

“You were so bad. I wished we were betting. I’d be rich now.”

They trudged on.

“It’s funny now. Sort of. But I was so sick… Too sick to be scared.”

“Weren’t you blind?”

“Yeah, I woke up blind. The paramedics were asking me questions. Testing my reflexes…”

“It took forever for them to find Mom and Dad. No cell phones back then.”

“Then we were in the ER. I was just sitting there. All I could do. And this intern walks by, looks at me and does a double take.”

“You were a mess.”

“Yeah, get this. He reaches up to my face and snaps my nose back into place. Then he steps back for a look and says, ‘Broken. That looks better’. I never saw him again.”

“Wow! Really?”

“I looked like a Picasso painting.”

“No one ever wanted to tell you, but you do have a distinctive profile, Ed.”

“Glad we are able to be real with each other.” He stopped and bent down to form a snow ball.

Michelle ran away. “Don’t you dare! Bad form to alienate your rescuer.”

He threw it at a tree. “Touché. It’s up there.”

They came out from the trees to see a small valley open before them. They stepped to the lip of the hill to assess the run. The hill sloped gradually at first. It then dropped precipitously for twenty yards before a dip formed by an abrupt hump.

Michelle looked at her brother. “There it is…”

“It’s amazing. The drop appears almost vertical.”

“Exactly as I remember it. My tailbone tingles at the sight.” Eddie stayed silent. His breathing calmed. Little clouds of vapor formed and disappeared at each exhale. She pointed. “That whoop-di-do is where you went airborne. You did your face plant there. I landed on my bum just past the hump.”

Eddie nodded.

“You have a strategy this time? Anything is better than last time.”

“Since I’m going solo, I won’t be yelling how much fun it is…”

“Please don’t.”

“With less weight I won’t have so much control…So…”

She stamped her feet. “It’s cold, Eddie. If you’re doing this…”

He looked at her. “Michelle, you said something about hot toddies?” She smiled. “When does the bar open?”

“If they’re not open yet, we’ll find one that is.”

“Between you and me…” She smiled. “Let’s think about this. I don’t see any rush to do this. Maybe next trip.”

“Yippee!” Michelle yelled and began dancing around. She lost her balance and almost toppled over. Eddie grabbed her before she rolled down the hill. They embraced.

She said, “Wow! That would have been stupid.”

“Runs in the family. Remember, always take the sled.” He gave the hill one last look. He pointed at the toboggan. “You want a ride? Hop on.”

She giggled and plopped onto the toboggan. “Mush! Mush! Get a move on you little doggie!”

Eddie laughed and began the trek back to the lodge.

January 22, 2021 03:24

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4 comments

22:22 Jan 27, 2021

Love it! Literally laughed out loud.

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John K Adams
16:55 Jan 29, 2021

Humor = pain + time. Thanks for the comment.

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Salma Jarir
19:56 Jan 24, 2021

Great job 👏👏

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John K Adams
16:51 Jan 29, 2021

Thanks!

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