My sister threw a soft ball at my face when I was three and broke my nose. OK, maybe she didn’t break it but sometimes when I stare at my face in the mirror I swear that my nose is crooked and I blame her.
It was a bright day in Minnesota and my sister (13 at the time) was outside throwing the ball around, practicing for a game she had later that week. My dad was off at work and my mom was busy cleaning up around the house so my sister was forced to bring out the pitch back net.
I was fascinated by this thing. She would throw the ball at the net, the springs would catch it and send it flying back to her. But I didn’t really know how it worked. I just saw her throwing the ball and having it come back to her like it was a work of magic. You know, because I was three.
So because I am a scientist, I decided that the proper way to watch this feat of wizardry was from inside the pitch back net. I waited until my sister took a break and climbed in between the posts, inside the upside down V.
When she came back she told me to get out from under there, but I didn’t because I was determined to see my experiment out.
“Just throw it, Brandi. It’s not gonna hit me,” I egged her on.
“Yes it is, Chase. Now move.”
Obviously she didn’t understand how glorious this magical piece of technology was.
“Nuh uh! Throw it!”
“I swear, I’m gonna hit you if you don’t move.”
“Throw it. It’s gonna be cool.”
And then she threw it. Really. She did. Like wound up and pelted me in the face like she was Cat freakin’ Osterman or something.
The pitch back net was not magic in the end. It was cheap nylon rope tied to springy hooks. The ball came back and smacked me in the nose. Blood gushed and I cried and my mom yelled and my simply just stood there shocked that she was actually getting punished. “He told me to throw it!”
We joke about it now. Every time we hang out, it has to get brought up at least once and we always devolve into the same argument. She insists that she told me to move. And I always say that I didn’t know how it worked, that I thought magic would save my face. Disclaimer: magic never saves your face.
But in the end, I got the last laugh because I got to go and watch Power Rangers while my sister was grounded for god knows how long.