Wednesday, June 23, 2010
He Broke My Nose, I Broke His Heart
When I was a child, a young boy gave me a ride on the back of a powerful black horse. I remember reaching around his waist to grab the horse’s mane, laughing and trying not to slide off as we thundered bareback across the lawn.
I was the new kid in the neighborhood and Ben and I quickly became friends. We spent long summer days riding horses though the orchard, eating warm, sweet apples off the trees and racing each other though the bean fields. He was funny and sensitive and sweet, the very best of friends.
One day, when I was about 11, we were messing around with a ball and a bat and a lazy swing from Ben sent the ball my way. I neatly caught it with my nose. I think the amount of blood surprised us both. My black eyes faded over time, but the little crook to my nose remained. I think it was harder on Ben than it was on me.
The Summer of my sixth-grade year Ben handed me a note: Will you go with me? Yes or no? I checked the “no” box. I didn’t want things to change between me and my friend.
Eventually Ben moved out of the neighborhood but he was still there on the sidelines as I navigated though those awkward early teen experiences - my first dance, my first boyfriend, loosing a friend to a car accident, gradually growing up.
Ben went on to do some modeling and, today, he owns his own business and is still riding horses (lucky guy).
I guess I'm the one who's lucky. Even though I have a less-than-perfect nose, I have wonderful memories of growing up with a good friend.