Crash! The waves hit against the steep drop of the ravine. I fell onto my back. My arm was jutted at an odd angle, clearly broken. I didn’t scream for help. I laid on the ground staring at the stars, my eyes beginning to glaze over. I heard rustling behind me. I tilted my head slightly to the left and saw two pairs of eyes staring at me, one pair green and one pair brown. My mom and the family dog, Axel. My mom came to me up to me but didn’t move me. She just stared at my broken arm.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
She told me we needed to get to a hospital because my arm was broken. I knew that, but I just managed a nod. She started walking, hauling me with her, but Axel wouldn’t move. He started barking at what appeared to be thin air.
“Come on, you mutt!” Mom screamed. I winced.
Mom turned back around and froze. I craned my neck to see what she was looking at. Then I wished I hadn’t. A big, black and bulky bear with twigs sticking out of its fur. And there was more. A cub. It wasn’t just any old black bear; it was a mama bear.
I started screaming and punching the air with my good arm.
“What in the world are you doing? You’re going to get us killed!” My mom screeched.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw the two bears turn to go back to the woods. My mom noticed and immediately called the ambulance to pick us up.
A moment later, the mama bear was back, followed by two other giant bears. Axel lunged for them, buying my mom and me the time we needed so we could run. I held on with my good arm as tight as I could.
I only looked back once and wished I hadn’t. My beautiful Axel lay numb, legs sprawled out at abnormal angles around him. I knew he was dead, but I didn’t say anything. I turned my head to look forward; this might have been the worst mistake of my life. A branch poked me right in the eye. I felt blood dripping down my face. I started to scream, but my mom just kept running. I believe she thought I just caught on to my dog’s death. She finally looked at me, her eyes growing wide, then dropped me. I landed with a thud. When I needed her most, she had fainted.
I needed to make it to the ambulance by myself. If only I knew where the ambulance was! I could barely see and had no phone to call for help. Sure enough, my mom did. I took the phone out of her coat pocket and sent my dad the phone’s location. Just a few minutes later I saw my dad and the paramedics with a big stretcher.
The paramedics picked me up swiftly, set me on the stretcher, and started to run in the direction of the ambulance. When we finally got in and started driving away, the paramedics hooked me up to machines and inspected my eye. One paramedic explained to my father that I had a broken arm and had gone blind in one eye.
My heart stopped.
“Are you positive she is blind?” my father asked them. The paramedics explained to him my injury but I couldn’t hear. My mind was flooding with memories from that night. I jerked up.
“What about Mom?” I started to scream, looking around and not seeing her through my blurred vision. The paramedics calmed me down and explained that she hit her head on a rock when she fainted. They had to send another ambulance for her.
That was the day that my life changed forever. I now have a service dog named Axel that guides me through my blindness. My mom is doing just fine.
And I’ve never gone back to that cliff.