More Than a Feeling
By Audrey W.
John Gage happily whistled the tune ‘Whistle While You Work’ as he trotted down the outside wooden steps of the apartment complex where he lived, a full yellow plastic laundry basket grasped securely with both hands. His low-on-contents box of detergent rested on top of the heap of clothes.
He hoped to be fortunate and find a couple of the washers and dryers in the first floor laundry room available, thus he’d be able to get his procrastinated chore done.
Just past midway down, the hapless off-duty paramedic unexpectedly felt his left foot catch in something as soon as he went to move it to the next step. His whistling was replaced with a “whoooaaa” as he struggled to defy gravity and catch his balance that was quickly deteriorating.
The laundry basket went flying as John clumsily stumbled down the first three steps in his path, his delayed efforts to grab for the railing futile.
It was a feeling he knew all too well from his risky profession as a rescue man. That unmistakable moment when a person knows there’s no recovery and can only hope it ends well. How he’d ‘stick’ the landing was completely up to chance. He just hoped it wouldn’t involve his head.
As expected, the final three steps were a tumble. Next thing John knew, he was laying on his stomach in a pile of clothes. . .his clothes. . .on the sidewalk with his right leg propped partially across the lower two steps. The round basket was nearby on its side, just a few items still within it.
He was relieved his clothes had gotten there before him, thus he’d had minimal padding at and near the bottom. The box of detergent had hit farther up and was dented in from the impact, but didn’t have enough contents to bust open.
John winced as he pushed himself up among the dirty clothes. He’d be sore later for sure; hell, he hurt enough now here and there as it was! But at least he didn't have any serious injuries.
He eased himself to a seated position on the bottom step, then looked over his left shoulder for the cause of his ‘trip’ down the stairs.
A pink chiffon rose print blouse was strewn across a couple of steps below where he’d last been upright and stable. He surmised someone else doing their laundry had likely unknowingly lost it.
Well, it wasn’t the first time he’d fallen ‘head over heels’ where it concerned a female. But at least when it involved the heart it was just a bad feeling. This one was going to leave bruises.
This was inspired when I fell off a pallet at work and found myself wiped out on the floor after what felt like forever trying to regain my balance. :o)
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