He was loading wood into the fireplace. With thoughts of pizza dancing through my 7-year-old mind, I whisked across the spongy carpet, skipped twice, and came to a halt directly behind him. He still didn’t seem to notice me, so I tapped his back to get his attention.
The next minutes, or seconds, or hours were like a swift cyclone striking without warning, suddenly tearing a tree out of the ground and shredding it limb from limb, soggy leaves and branches dispersed chaotically for miles. Time does not exist when you have found yourself unexpectedly hurled across a room. I had felt a tight grasp around my waist that would later leave bruises. I soared through the air, flailing my arms and legs every which way, and landed with a horrible thump on the other side of the room. When I opened my eyes, my loving four-legged, Vanecia, hovered above me, panting helplessly. I felt like a jellyfish. My sister must have found me soon thereafter because, although my mind went blurry, I heard her on the phone with our mother, arguing that, no, I was not just pretending in order to get attention.
Once we got to the hospital and were waiting in line for X-rays, my mother’s words echoed in my ears: “Now, it’s not that bad, little girl. Stop your whining right now.”
No one was ever held accountable for breaking my collarbone, no one was ever punished, no one was ever told to apologize. Nothing was ever spoken of it, other than, “Keep it quiet” … which I did.
I’m still not sure which pain hurt more – my broken collarbone, or everyone’s indifference towards it.
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