Execution Hedgehog, the Diplomat

Hey, Internet. The hedgehog is still alive, even if she’s been hiding under a rock for the past month. Between dealing with immigration bureaucracy, a breakup, and looking for work, the writing department of my brain ist schon wieder kaputt. Don’t worry; there will be plenty of wacky foreigner stories once life stops exploding in my face.

Until then, here’s an old one I wrote a few years ago. It’s about something that happened during my freshman year of high school. I hope you enjoy it!

***

I used to run track in high school.  I ran all three relays and did both the high jump and the triple jump.  On one memorable track meet, it started raining right before I was supposed to run.  They usually call off track meets if they see lightning, but the rain had only just started. Like responsible adults, the people in charge decided to ignore it and hoped it would go away. There had been no lightning so far.  What was the worst that could happen?

The rain didn’t stop.  I was dressed in my track uniform, which mostly consisted of purple spandex, and I (and all of the other runners) had been standing on the track in the bitter cold while they were deciding whether or not to cancel the event.  Finally, they decided that making teenage girls dressed only in spandex run on a slippery track in the middle of a downpour is a really good idea. I was so cold that my fingers were numb.  The pistol went off and I ran, doing my best to ignore the freezing drops of water that were hitting me in the face.  All was fine until I hit the curve of the track.  As I hit the curve, my feet slipped out from under me and BAM!  I fell and skidded on my side across the next three lanes.  I ended up with a bloody elbow and an area about the size of a tennis ball just below my hip where the skin had been scraped off.  Since I had crossed out of my team’s designated lane, we were disqualified from the race.  I was sent to the trainer’s office so they could bandage me up.

I was fine with this.  Sure, I was irritated that we had lost the event and I was cold, bloody, and wet, but I had no problem with the trainers at my high school.  They were good people who cared about the students, and we were lucky to have them.

The problem was that there were other students also being treated in the training room when I went in.

The training room was basically an extra space in the football team’s locker room that had been crammed with an ice machine, four benches, two stationary bikes, several cabinets full of medical supplies, and a desk.  This was their workspace, and I often felt bad for the trainers who had to spend all day in there.  It was cramped, and there wasn’t much room for privacy.

I became acutely aware of this very soon.  The scrape on my hip had to be cleaned and bandaged, which meant I had to lower my shorts so the trainer could do his work.

In full view of the other students.

The trainer was nice; he took me to the corner and tried his best to hide me from view, but some of the students saw what was happening.  One of them was a boy who also ran track.  As the trainer was cleaning the gravel out of my hip, I happened to look up and see this boy grinning at me as if I were his half-naked birthday present.  It felt like a bright, lecherous spotlight were shining on me the entire time.

I practically sprinted from the training room as soon as the trainer was finished bandaging my leg.  My injuries still stung, but at that point I would have ripped off my bandages and rubbed a fistful of gravel back into the wound if it meant getting away from that guy and his hormones.  Fortunately, the rest of the track meet went smoothly; the rain eventually stopped and all of the other events went without a hiccup.  I even got a medal for the high jump.  All was well.

Until the following Monday at track practice.

I was warming up on the track field with one of my friends when I noticed the guy from the training room walking toward me.  No, not walking.  Strutting.  I could see the self-satisfied smirk on his face from halfway across the field.

Great.

Ok, here he comes, I thought.  Just stay calm and defuse the situation. Don’t do anything weird and it’ll be fine.  I did my very best to appear aloof as he swaggered toward me.  When he finally arrived, he slowly looked me up and down, as if I were a piece of meat for him to enjoy. The feeling of his eyes on me made my skin crawl.

“Hey,” he said. “You’re hot.”

“Your MOM!”

He visibly recoiled, looking extremely confused. I can’t say whether it was because of the screeching of my voice, or the fact that I aggressively complimented his mother. Either way, he turned around and walked away without another word while my friend was doubled over on the grass, laughing at me.

Situation defused.

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