I’ve kept a secret from my parents for 10 years: I ran over my brother with the family car. But don’t worry, Mommy, he survived.
One summer, when I was home from college, I was out running errands with my two younger brothers Robert and Kevin. Being the eldest child, I took over the driver’s seat for the entire summer. As with most days, we were going to be hanging out with Kevin’s best friend Danny, but he needed to be picked up. Robert requested that he be dropped off at home first, so that he could do whatever it was he needed to do before we all went out for the night.
Robert was sitting in the back seat behind me, and as we turned down our street, one of us came up with the brilliant idea of me bringing the car to a slow roll, and Robert jumping out of the moving vehicle a la Indiana Jones style. I think, in our heads, we all imagined this perfect tuck and roll while Kevin and I continued driving off. Of course, we were all on board with this plan, so as I approached the house, I brought our little maroon ’88 Toyota Corolla to a snail paced roll. As Robert opened the car door and watched the ground moving beneath him, he must have had second thoughts, ‘cause as he exited the vehicle and Kevin and I began to laugh and cheer, I suddenly realized that he was still holding on to the door. I gently pressed the brakes a little more firmly and urged him to let go! He quickly released his grip from the car, took a few running steps up and onto the curb, and Kevin and I gleefully cheered as we prepared to drive away. Success!
Except, instead of going into the house, Robert seemed to be walking around, disoriented, and then he took a seat onto our front lawn, legs sprawled out in front of him. I think he smiled and gave us some sign of reassurance, like a victorious fist pump, but the dude was sitting on the grass, and I knew something wasn’t right, so I quickly pulled into our driveway. As I parked, Robert went from sitting, to laying out spread eagle on the lawn. Kevin and I jumped out of the car, and hovered over our brother, whose eyes were rolling into the back of his head while his eyelids fluttered. I don’t know that I’ve ever been so scared in my life! We kept calling his name and gently poking him until he became conscious. When he came to (which was probably less than 30 seconds, but felt like 30 minutes) he informed us that his foot had been run over. We were shocked to discover this as we felt no bump in the car, but sure enough, there were asphalt and tire tracks on his shoe.
Together, Kevin and I helped him hobble into the house where we laid him on the family room couch. We got him some ibuprofen and an ice pack, and then debated what to do next. His toes had just been crushed by the Toyota’s rear tire, and we had just witnessed him pass out in our front yard, so needless to say, I was freaked, and wanted nothing more than to take him to the doctor, but Robert kept reassuring us that he was fine. Stubbornness is a strong trait among us Schatz kids, and Robert held strong, convincing us that he was okay. When I saw that he could wiggle his toes and no bruising or swelling had occurred, I reluctantly backed off. Robert insisted that it was just the shock of being run over that knocked him out, and that we should leave him to go pick up Danny.
I was worried to leave him alone, fearful that he’d pass out again with no one home to wake him back up. Kevin and I were seriously terrified that we’d come back home to a dead brother! Or, an equally worse scenario (to my adolescent mind): I knew that our mom would be home from work soon, and I worried that she’d come home to find Robert passed out on the couch, and then I’d be in deep donkey doo-doo.
So Kevin and I stayed home long enough with Robert to feel confident that he’d remain conscious and be up and walking within a few minutes. We unanimously agreed that this little adventure of ours must be kept secret no matter what. Well, as long as Robert remained healthy. If his toes started swelling or he passed out again, then we’d fess up, but why risk getting yelled at and getting our car privileges taken away if Robert was A-Okay?
And he was. A-Okay, I mean. Kevin and I got Danny and we continued on with our night as if nothing ever happened. None of us ever tried jumping out of the car again, and we never told our parents…until now.
I hope I don’t get grounded.