From the moment I popped out of my mother’s cozy womb, the doctor took one look at me and declared I looked like a scrawny bird. “Listen to her, she even tweets like a bird,” he said after I drew my first breath. “Her red hair sticks up like a bird’s comb.” My father laughed. Of course, I don’t remember this scene, but the story has been told many times and lives on in the annals of family lore.
Birdie stuck from the day I was born or hatched as it may be, and the lovely name my mother gave me, Elizabeth Cecelia, flew out the window. Of course, scrawny at birth does not always transfer into adulthood. Five feet ten, busty, and perpetually trying to lose fifteen pounds. Okay, okay twenty, but keep in mind I am big boned.
I grabbed a jacket and gloves as I headed out the door to meet my friend, Chris, for a walk in the park, across the street from my home. The sun cast a glorious pink glow across the early morning sky. We had dustings of snow off and on the last several days. Winter’s last huffs and puffs before the splendor of spring rolls in. Crocuses poked their delicate, but valiant, heads through the snow that lingered by my back door and slender shoots of daffodils sprouted along the side of the house. The first of April might be a lamb after March, but I believe it’s a lamb with real attitude.
I jerked back when I heard a scream pierce the morning air followed by a thud. I couldn’t wrap my mind around what my eyes were seeing. A body flew through the air and landed in a tree. A black truck with tinted windows skidded and spun around. The tires hurled chunks of grass and mud in its wake as it tried to gain traction on the slippery grass in the park. The truck found purchase and shot across the sidewalk and curb, then careened down the street and out of sight. I heard more screams. Then realized they were my own.