He sprained my ankle during a gym class I wasn’t even in.
Back in junior year of high school, I had third period free, which basically meant that I could go do work in the library or… hang out in the gym. At that time, Frank was sitting on the sidelines because he was recovering from a lacrosse injury. Toward the end of the period, a few friends started a pick-up volleyball game and you know we both jumped right in. Our competitiveness runs deep. Real deep. We both wanted to claim the winning point. We wanted to spike it. Even if you haven’t met Frank or I before, basic physics can tell you that if we both go up for the same spike, I’m gonna get knocked down. Hard.
Rolled ankle, slight queasiness and a trip to the nurse’s office later and I wasn’t sure I was ever going to talk to this kid again. I had just met him a few weeks before and this kid tore ligaments!
But what happened next is something I’ll always remember.
Through guilt and mostly humiliation, I’m sure, Frank took me to the nurse’s office. Now let me back up by saying, I’ve played soccer throughout my life and sprained ankles had been somewhat of a regular occurrence back then. Regardless, Frank was convinced that he should stick with me – even after I had asked numerous times if he was missing class. “No, no, I have a free period now, seriously.” he kept saying.
I’m pretty sure the nurse was rolling her eyes at us. He kept making me laugh while I rested an ice pack on my ankle. After a few minutes, I decided to head back to class. The nurse wrote me a hall pass. Having overheard that Frank obviously had a free period, the nurse did not feel inclined to write him a pass as well. So, Frank stood by me as I walked/hobbled to class, apologizing profusely the whole way.
Before I headed into class, I turned to him and took out a pen. I crossed out my name on the hall pass and replaced it with his. He was stunned and tried, once more, to remind me that he had a free period.
“You’re a terrible liar,” I told him. “Now get to class before you get caught.”
Photos by: Abigail Renee Photography