All I Want for Christmas

**This is a personal narrative that I wrote up for a writing class. The assignment involved writing a personal experience story that could be evolved into an audio recording. Essentially, the project was turn a crazy story about yourself into a cheesy radio podcast. As the Zero to Hero blog challenged me to introduce other mediums to my blog, I thought the results of this project might be interesting to share. I have attached both the youtube version of the audio recording (which just shows a static image as you listen to the “podcast”) and the types verison of the story. Feel free to read or listen and commment away!**

When you put twenty-five crazy Irish O’Kellys into one tiny cottage, what do you get? INJURY! I grew up the second youngest cousin in a large Irish family. Every summer we would all live together in a small cottage on Tasso Lake, just north of Huntsville, in Muskoka. My older cousins have watched me grown up through my all my phases, from valley girl to tom boy. I don’t think they ever expected me to grow past the age of ten because the first time I brought a boyfriend up to the cottage, it was mayhem.

I was eighteen years old before I dared to bring my long term boyfriend, Michael, up to meet my insane extended family but I thought he could handle it. We hadn’t been there ten minutes before my oldest cousin Sean, the grizzly protector of the family, had Michael pinned against a wall, their faces only inches apart as Sean interrogated him.

“Have you had sex with my little cousin? HAVE YOU!?”

Michael, stunned, could get out nothing but, “UHHHHHHHHHH…”

I jumped in as soon as I could, rubbing Sean’s back and reassuring him, “No, no, Sean! I’m waiting for marriage, you know that.” I don’t know if he believed me, but he let it go for the time.

On Michael’s second day at the O’Kelly Cottage, it was absolutely gorgeous. The lake was still and the sun was shining. A great day for tubing.

As soon as we all get down on the dock, ready to go in our bathing suits, Sean slaps Mike on the back and says, “Hop in, big man! I’m driving.”

Terror instantly spreads across Mike’s face. I stroke Mike’s cheek and tell him it’ll all be alright. “I’ll get in with you, he wont kill us both.”

It’s a three-seat tube so I urge my little sister to join us as well. There’s no way Sean would want to hurt his two baby cousins, even if he did want Mike to die… Right?

The three of us get in the tube, Mike on one side, me in the middle and Colleen on the other side. At first, Sean takes us on a little joy ride; a couple of light waves here and there. We’re having a blast. Then, all of a sudden, Sean changes gears. He starts ripping us over the biggest waves he can make with his high-speed engine and we are flying.

It happens in slow motion. A wall of water comes barreling toward us. Our tube catapults over it. We hang on, but as the tube gets air and comes back down to hit the water… a fatal bounce. Colleen manages to roll rather gently out the side but Mike, unable to control is long gangly limbs bounces back up, his feet fling over his head and WACK! He accidentally kicks me directly in the face and falls into the water.

I pass out on the back of the tube. The boat drags me a couple more feet before they realize I’m hurt and stop the boat. When I come to, moments later, I expect to pop up in the water next to Mike and Colleen but I find myself a couple of feet away from them and my head feels light.

“You’re bleeding” Mike says, chuckling a little. “Are you okay?

I tell him I’m fine but I think I passed out for a second. I stumble back onto the boat, a little bit dizzy but A OK. My cousin Sean panics, checking all my vitals. The only visible sign of injury is my bleeding forehead and my swollen chin.

“You did this to her!” Sean yells at Michael, forcing the blame on him.

Michael and I head home from the cottage the next day. I think it’s gone well enough. Nothing entirely out of the ordinary for the O’Kellys… Michael broke up with me as soon as we got back.

Funny thing is, not only did he take with him my heart, at the time, but also my two front teeth.

When he kicked me in the face he shattered the root bone of my front teeth, they became infected and needed to be removed.

I wear an invisaline retainer with the filled in missing teeth every day so that maybe I still have a chance of finding someone who could, one day, survive me and my crazy family.

Sean says I look like a “pretty hillbilly” without the retainer and that I’m still beautiful enough on the inside that I could find love even if I didn’t wear it. I’m not sure if I believe him. I think maybe he just says that because he feels guilty. And so he should! I tease him and try to make him feel guilty every chance I get. Now, whenever Sean asks me what I want for Christmas? All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.


One comment

  1. What a story, I liked how you narrated this, very creative. So sorry about what happened.
    Best wishes, Kathy

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Dr. Megan Boucher, ND

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