I don’t know how it happened. All I remember was how it felt. As my foot touched down on the ground, my ankle suddenly bent inward like a drink straw. Seized with pain, I lost my footing and rolled down the stairs in a heap.
“I’m fine, I’m fine… AAAAAAGH!”
I tried getting on my feet, but my right ankle refused to hold any weight. I felt back on the ground, panting.
“Fuck, I think I need some help.”
Bill and Alex grabbed my arms and helped me limp out of the building. The fire alarm clanged in my head like demonic church bells.
Outside the doors, college kids milled about in boredom and frustration. This building had fake fire alarms every other week, usually the result of some dumbass trying to tape plastic bags over his room’s alarm so he could smoke pot on the sly. Bill and Alex deposited me beside the stone railing outside the door, where I tried to regain my footing. My right ankle still wouldn’t hold any weight, so I clung to the railing while hobbling on my left foot.
“Wow, you really fucked your ankle up,” Bill said.
“I… can’t… put… any… weight on it,” I panted. My foot felt like it was going to fall off.
“You think it’s broken?”
“Nah, I’ll… be… fine,” I grunted out while wincing. “I’ve had this… happen before.”
It was a half-lie. I was used to twisting my ankle at unexpected times, leaving me limping for a couple of days. But I’d never been unable to walk period.
After five minutes of trying to hoist myself onto the railing to lie down, I convinced Bill and Alex to help drag me back to my place. Not like they had anything better to do with the fire alarm still ringing. Crawling onto my bed, I yanked my sneakers and socks off and nearly recoiled in horror. My ankle was swollen to the size of a grapefruit and mottled black-and-blue, like a rotting plum. Every time I moved it so much as a millimeter, spikes of pain shot upwards into my leg.
I lay on the bed for what seemed like an eternity when my phone rang.
“Oh, hi Annie,” I grumbled. She was the last person on Earth I wanted to talk to. “How was class?”
“Oh, it was pretty boring. The professor droned on about Lolita for an hour-and-a-half.” Her chipper attitude was grating on my nerves. “How was your day?”
“Ugh… Bill’s dorm had another fucking fake fire alarm. Twisted my ankle on the way out.”
“Omigod, are you alright?”
“I’ll be fi— AAAAAAGH!” More spikes shooting up my leg. “I can’t walk, but I’ll be fine in the morning.”
“You can’t walk?! I’ll get over there right away!”
“Oh for Chrissake honey.” Annie didn’t have a car, and our places were about a half-hour apart by bus. It was also late at night, when there were exactly two buses running that route, meaning she’d have to all but commit manslaughter in order to get a seat. “I said I’ll be fine.”
“You could have broken your ankle! Do you want me to call 911?” It was part concern, part threat.
“My ankle is not broken, It’s just swollen!” She wasn’t going to give in. “Alright fine, you can come over.”
“I’ll be there in a little bit,” Annie reassured me. “Do you need me to get anything?”
“An icepack, maybe?”
“Got it! See you soon, Matt!”
I got a knock on the door forty minutes later, half-rolling and hobbling over to let Annie in. She was carrying a Rite Aid bag in one hand and her gym bag in the other. Upon seeing me hopping along on one foot, her jaw dropped.
“Omigod Matt! Sit down, I’ve got something for you!”
She immediately dropped her bags and pulled out an icepack. I lay back down on the bed so she could wrap it around the oozing tumor that used to be my foot.
“Ah, ah, ah!”
“How did you even get home with that thing?” Annie clucked in disapproval.
“Fuck, Alex and Bill helped me home.”
“And they just left you here?”
“I told them I’d be fine!”
“Do you have a death wish or something, Matt? You can’t even walk!”
“I can take care of myself.”
“Not like this you can’t.” Annie put her hands on her hips, like she was a mother talking to her three-year old son. “I’m staying the night to make sure nothing happens.”
“Don’t you have class at like 8:30?”
“This is more important.” She fished into the Rite Aid bag. “Here, I’ve got some aspirin for the pain.”
“Nah, nah, it’s fine. Get some Vicodin out of my stash.” I motioned to the top drawer of my dresser.
“You have Vicodin and you haven’t taken any yet? What is wrong with you?” She rummaged through my socks, pulling out a Ziploc bag full of white pills.
“I said I was fine.”
“How many do you need?”
“Eh, two for me, two for you.”
Annie waltzed over and handed me the pills. I popped them into my mouth without thinking. As I drifted off into opioid-induced slumber, I suddenly noticed she was wearing heels and a skirt.
“Ugh…” I blacked out.
I didn’t come to until morning, feeling like I’d gotten a deep tissue massage from an angel. The clock read 10:18. Annie had draped herself over me like John Lennon clinging to Yoko Ono. I stirred around a bit to wake her up.
“Mmmm… how’s your ankle, honey?” She propped herself up on my chest.
I wiggled my ankle around. It still ached with a dull pain, but the agony of last night was over. Annie rolled herself off me so I could get up.
“Hurts less than it did last night.” I gingerly placed my feet on the ground. “I think I’ll be— AH, AH!”
I could support a little bit of my weight on the foot now, but not enough to stand on. I fell back onto the bed. Fortunately, the swelling was reduced; my ankle was now the size of an orange.
“I think you should stay in today,” Annie lectured.
“I’ll be fine, damnit,” I snapped. “I’ve got class in an hour.”
“You can’t even stand on that foot! How do you think you’re going to be able to walk all the way to class?”
“Will you stop smothering me?” I was getting sick of her clinginess.
“You can’t go anywhere today. I’ll get your assignments for you, if that’s what you’re worried about.”
“Alright, fine.” I crawled back onto the bed, defeated, and stared at the ceiling while Annie went into the bathroom to clean herself up.
“You need anything else while I’m out?” she said as she grabbed her things.
“I dunno, maybe get me some soup from the dining hall?”
“Gotcha. Love you, Matt.”
She pecked me on the lips and walked out the door.
Years ago, I was listening to Michael Savage and he was talking about a Norwegian (?) movie he had watched, about an academic who was slowly going senile to the point where he was losing control of his bodily functions. (At least that’s what I think it was about; this was a decade ago and I can’t remember the name of the movie.) As Savage said it, there was one scene where the protagonist’s wife was cleaning up his colostomy bag or something and he asked her what she was doing. Her reply (as Savage put it) stuck with me:
I’m cleaning up your shit, and I hate doing it, but I’m doing it because I love you!
Feminists accuse men like us of just wanting girls to be “servants” and “sex toys” with comments like “Go make your own damn sandwich!” Per usual, they’re missing the point entirely. I can take care of myself just fine, but I still want a girl to do nice things for me because unconditional self-sacrifice is one of the foundational principles of a relationship.
If you truly love someone, you should be prepared to do things for them that you wouldn’t do for anyone else, even at great personal expense to yourself. That’s the very essence of love; wanting to please your boyfriend/husband just because. And you can’t please a man by bragging about your bogus job accomplishments, wearing him down with pointless arguments about politics, or withholding sex because you’re “not in the mood.”
You do it by serving him, not because he can’t take care of himself, but because submission is what makes a girl into a woman.
There was no reason for Annie to upend her entire schedule to watch over me. As I mentioned already, our places were forty minutes apart, and I wasn’t in any particular danger. I’d dealt with twisted ankles before, so I really didn’t need her help. She ended up missing two classes the next day because she was taking care of me. She did it because she loved me.
And it is that feminine, nurturing nature that brings out the masculinity in every man.
Take note, ladies: do you want a good man, a strong man? Stop asking what he can do for you and start asking what you can do for him. When you’ve started putting his desires ahead of your own, you are one step closer to happiness.
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