I may have embellished my story a teency bit on the retelling, but all in all, I think it captures the moment nicely. - A (sorta)true one-shot.

"With a Heave and a 'Ho"

One day, not so very long ago, my older brother, Jon and I were home alone while our parents were out buying lumber for the remodeling of our house. We lived in a regular one-story home at that time, but the ground sloped from the front to the back of the house so our basement opened into the backyard, making the back of the house two stories tall. Our house even came fully equipped with a creaky, rotted wrap around balcony which my Dad hoped to tear out in a day or two. He had been running into some legal trouble due to building permits and whatnot so it was taking longer than expected and Dad was getting rather frustrated with the City.

Anyway, none of this was on my mind that day. In fact, the only thing I can clearly remember about that warm spring day is the fact that Jon and I were being more horrible to each other than normal. He had woken me up by playing videogames in my room, making fun of anything he could find about the way I slept, my appearance, or anything else that would suitably offend me. In reciprocation, I ate the last of the cereal, spent an hour in the bathroom fiddling with anything I could find to occupy me and then raided Jon's closet for his hidden stash of sweets. By noon, the battle had become physical. It began with a fight for the remote, then a fight for the best spot on the couch (a spot that was really nonexistent unless one or the other happened to be sitting comfortably), and finally ended when I bit him. I was perfectly justified, believe me.

Now, back in those days, I was much smaller and weaker than my brothers. That particular day there was only Jon, but instead of that being a good thing it just meant that there was no one to restrain Jon from locking me in a closet, stuffing me in the washing machine and sitting on the lid, or even wrapping me in a blanket and dragging me down the stairs so I got rug burn. So when Jon jumped off of me after I bit him, instead of waiting around to see if he'd grind me bones to dust, I ran. Now, at this point it was all in good fun. It's not like I had never bitten my brother before. At that stage in my physical growth and with my nail-biting habit, teeth became my only defense. So, yes, I admit, I bit and ran.

But as I said the fight was still a means of distraction and not yet full-blown war. I ran into the kitchen, skidded to a halt and yanked open the fridge door, hoping I could either play the innocent act and get a light punishment or distract him by offering food. I just hadn't planned on slamming the fridge door into his face.

There was a moment of silence when I tried to figure out what had happened. It felt like I'd broken the fridge, but it seemed to be okay. The door swung closed on its own weight and behind it, there stood Jon, holding his nose, his face bright red with screams that wouldn't come out.

Now, I was fairly certain I'd killed my brother. My first instinct was to run. I'm proud to say I acted on it. I ran as fast as I could to the safest place I could find. I ran into my bathroom, slammed the door, locked it and opened the drawer in front of the door.

I knew full well that Jon could pick the lock on my bathroom; he had done it dozens of times when I went there to hide. I could already hear him shaking the knob and pounding on the door. He was pissed, no doubt about it. And I wasn't about to wait around and find out what was going to happen to me. So I, in my genius, figured a way out. All I had to do was climb onto the toilet seat, jiggle open the window, squeeze out onto the balcony, run down the stairs and hide in the empty lot by our house until our parents came home. It was foolproof.

So just as I heard Jon stomping back down the hallway with lock-picker in hand, I jiggled open the window, keeping my eye on the doorknob as much as I could. I had one knee on the window sill when I heard the lock click. I had one leg through and one still inside when I saw his arm reach around to slam the drawer shut, I could see him glaring at me in the mirror. I had most of my body out when he shoved open the door. By that time, my foot should have been on the balcony. Instead it just kept going.

When he saw my hands start to wave frantically as I tried to scrabble back to the window, Jon stood shocked wondering what in the world I was doing. He didn't catch me. Now that I think about it, it was a move reminiscent of the Matrix. Me, bending over backwards with one leg still inside the house, my arms waving to all sides, grabbing for anything to save me. I saw his head poke out the window and watch me fall all the way down out of a second story window. As far as I remember, I didn't even have time to scream.

When I hit, I blacked out for a split second and for a long time after I couldn't breathe and couldn't hear for the buzzing in my ears and I was pretty sure I was dying. I could see Jon blinking down at me in shock, but then he was gone from the window and I just lay there not sure what to do. I clearly remember thinking, What do you do when someone's dying, especially when it's you that's dying? They just don't teach you that kind of stuff in second grade.

After a while I could breathe again and I could hear myself whimpering because in all honesty, I was scared as hell. It's not every day I fall out of two story windows. But I just lay there on top of a brush pile and whimpered, trying not to freak out and holding perfectly still (I had heard on TV that you're not supposed to move people with broken backs and I was taking all precautions). My brother raced into the backyard, telling me to shush, and that I was okay, I was all right, and most of all, I didn't need to tell Mom or Dad.

He brought me inside, sat me on the couch, gave me the remote, got me a blanket and bribed me with goods from his candy stash. To this day, my parents are completely unaware that their only daughter took a nose dive out of their bathroom window. The very same bathroom window that was supposed to have a balcony underneath!