It started with a scooter.
We were too poor for those fancy Razor scooters that all the cool kids had. My brother and I had some cheap, bulky version of the Razor that was made of sharp metal and failure. Mine was red. I think my brother's was green. This is irrelevant.
Our old neighborhood had a rather simple design. We lived on a hill, there were streets coming off my street, and there was a huge field and playground at the bottom of my hill. It was a great neighborhood. There was always something do do, or somewhere to go. It was a great neighborhood for biking and such.
Here is the setup of my old neighborhood, for better mental imagery:
I wooshed down my street on my red, clunky, bulky death machine, turned right onto Plain street, and rode down towards this weird building that was at the end of the road that had a steep driveway that turned into a parking lot for the playground. I went shooming (that's a verb) down the steep driveway and ERRRRRRRT slipped and fell.
I don't even know how it happened.
I scraped my left leg up so bad there was no more skin on the better part of my shin. It was all blood and bone and muscle. I was bleeding everywhere. Of course I was wearing flimsy shoes and my blood got everywhere. I looked like a murder victim. I looked like someone tried to amputate my leg and missed. I looked like a small, stupid child who had fallen off her scooter.
And it hurt.
The walk back up to my house was, of course, entirely uphill. That's a long, hot, bleedy walk for a nine year old who thinks her leg is falling off.
On the way back to my house, my friend came out of her house (which, as you can see above, was on the way to my house) and started to freak out at the amount of red stuff I was leaking. I told her I just needed to get to my house and I would be okay. I wasn't going to die as long as I got to my house. At least, I think that's what I told her. I was sobbing so hard, it may have come out as "blubhb ubhluhbjb bublhjhsdfd awelksjdslte" for all I know. But I got my point across, and she went back into her humble abode.
I arrive home after what feels like ten million hours. I am dizzy from blood loss. I feel as though my stupid, giant, clunky scooter weighs eight thousand pounds. I'm embarrassed. I walk in my house and scream for my grandmother, the only person home at the time.
The crazy woman grabs the entire bottle of rubbing alcohol (or whatever it is) and dumps it all on my leg. It burns. No, it sears. I want to die. It hurts. It hurts so bad I want to die. "It'll prevent infections! You fell in the dirt, you're going to get infected!" Okay, crazy lady. You're currently trying to burn my skin off, but I'll believe what you say. Because I'm nine and my leg just almost fell off.
She bandages me up and I heal quickly. Almost ten years later, I still have the huge scar on my shin.
And that was the day I nearly lost my leg.