Remember how excited I was when I found ice skates on the street? I was really excited! I went on and on about how you can find the most amazing cast-offs in New York and call them your own! They were on the small size (4), but fit the way ice skates usually do–tightly! The ice skating season was quickly coming to a close here in the Northeast and I still hadn’t been ice skating. I had never been skating with Ian at all! He told me he wasn’t good and wasn’t particularly interested in going. But, it’s ice skating I proclaimed! It’s fun! We can hold hands! It’ll be great! I told him about Wollman Rink in Prospect Park, a mere 30-minute walk from our apartment. It’s outside, very no-frills, and I had such good memories from when I took the two girls I nannied for. And I have skates! I can save $6 on rentals! Well, now in hindsight, saving $6 doesn’t feel like such an accomplishment.

We walked through the park on a 55-degree day, past the zoo and the beautiful Audubon Center. The ice was not in perfect condition because of the warmish weather, but it was skate-able. We laced up our skates, Ian looking terrified, me feeling exhilarated. A little girl befriended me immediately, taking my hand and skating halfway around with me. Ian and I got snacks from the snack bar–nachos with “cheese” sauce and a hot pretzel–and then debated on going back out again. There were only 20 minutes left to skate! He shrugged; I said come on! So, we did!

Ian usually skated at least 6-8 feet behind me, because he’s more timid and a wee bit worse as a skater than I. ( I say “wee bit” because I am really not that good either!) I often looked back to see if he was doing okay, because the one time I didn’t in the beginning, he fell and was sad I didn’t come back for him. So, lo and behold, Ian falls and here begins one of those moments that seems to happen in slow motion. I go to turn around by skating in a half-circle before I start coming towards him, but my feet buckle, or I trip, or I’m not even really sure what happened! He said I had a little smile when I first made eye contact, but it quickly turned to terror when I knew I was falling. My feet went up and to the side. I fell first on my hip, and then the side of my head and face smacked against the ice, bouncing upwards, I see a flash of light, and I felt the worst head pain I’ve ever had.

I was in shock for a second, then cried, and the Wollman Rink skaters helped me off and into First Aid. Icing…head blaring…body aching…I see the little girl who befriended me, she asks if I’m ok, and I say “yeah” through my tears…ambulance…vitals…thank God I have insurance…ER…waiting…waiting…this hospital is crappy…waiting…panicking out of boredom…Ian goes home…panicking more…my phone dies…time ticking away…finally I see the doctor! Oh, have I mentioned that probably the worst ice skating movie EVER was on in the ER waiting area? The Cutting Edge 3. Priceless.

Worst-case scenario, I thought, “concussion.” He looked at the lump coming out from my temple and said, “We have to do a CAT scan, make sure there isn’t a fracture.” OHMYGOD. I’m pretty sure there isn’t, as I’m guessing I’d be in a lot more pain. My sister comes to keep me company, and I sit next to a man who has appendicitis and kidney problems as his girlfriend reads from the Bible. That was the most peaceful 5 minutes of the entire time. No fracture. I’m discharged!

Diagnosis? “Contusion of face, scalp, and neck except eyes.” Translation? The side of my face is a little jacked up and I have a headache. But, it sounds way worse than it looks. Luckily, my cheeks are always red, and if I tape my hair over half my face, you can’t even see it. (Kidding! Isn’t it funny how the ice broke me, but then applying ice lessens the pain and swelling?) And thus ends a sad story about a girl, who found a pair of skates and wanted to take her boyfriend to her most favorite rink, in her most favorite park, in the whole entire world, who subsequently was wronged by water in its solid state and by her deep concern for a boy named Ian.