September 26, 2013
By , Plainfield, CT
I walked into the big, half finished room, the smell of sawdust and drywall hung in the air like a chandelier. It was nice. I stared at the wall frames and started thinking. Maybe I could put a safe in there, and hold my things. My journal, my sketchbook, my CD's, and my money. Yeah. That's what I'll do. I started to mentally furnish the room. A corner couch to the left, a wall specifically for my work, awards and whatever else I'm proud of, a bookshelf next to the couch, my bed across the room. I found myself pointing and mumbling under my breath my many plans. I heard the sound of tension on rotted wood, faintly, but it was still there. I ignored it. Probably a rat I could get rid of. I went back to mentally remaking my room.
"Max? Max sweetie where are you?" The voice was deep and much too familiar.
"I'm in the master!" I called over my shoulder. My dad came into the room.
"Max, what are you doing?"
"This is my new room, right?"
"Well, yeah, but you shouldn't be in here. It’s still in construction." I rolled my eyes.
"Dad, I'll be fine. What do you think of me putting a mirror right across from the doorway?” Now it was his turn for some eye rolling. He sighed at my carelessness. I looked across the room at the unfinished wall. I could just see my tall mirror staring back at me, showing me who I supposedly am.
I turned around and started to walk out of the corner. I could see the shape best from there. My dad was waiting in the door, cautiously watching the ceiling and floor, trying to make sure I would make it to him. I was about halfway there when his eyes widened. I stopped in my tracks, because when that happens, I better have my cell ready.
-Little background. My father has a very vivid history with hospitals. Several surgeries, a few 'more than' checkups, a broken arm, a ripped hamstring, and one seizure later, and he's still going strong. Last time his eyes widened like that, he collapsed on the floor.-
I watched him carefully, as he stared at the ceiling. Then everything happened so quickly it was nuts. I had my hand on my jeans, hovering over my android cell, and the next thing I knew, I was on the floor, my foot being crushed by heavy wood beams. I remember feeling a push to my side, and watching my dad speed toward me. I looked at the pile of splinters and construction, piled high on my ankle, my foot was completely hidden. Then it kicked in. I screamed in pain as my powdered bones sat somewhere in my body, my face was beaded with sweat and my dad was frantic. He was clearing the rubble off me while at the same time asking me question after question. His face was red and panicked, his icy eyes wide and worried. I pulled my foot out from under the rubble from my knee, and grazed my fingers against my skin. It wasn't just damaged. It was obliterated, shattered, destroyed, I need more words. My skin was broken, and I could see the red take over, the smell of sawdust mixed with the smell of an ER. My heart sped and mind raced. I didn’t know what to do.
"Dad. Please take me to a hospital. Dad it hurts." I moaned through my tight jaw.
"It's okay. You'll be okay." He was screaming on the inside so loud I could hear it.
"No dad it really hurts." I forced through clenched teeth. I tried to remember to breathe. The pain was unbearable. It didn’t just settle in my ankle, it shot through my entire leg like electricity through water. Id didn’t want to move. I’ve learned that aches go away when they’re left alone and still, but this wasn’t an ache, this was a full blown annihilated bone that hurts like hell.
He offered me his hand and pulled me up, careful not to break me any further. I hopped into the living room with his support and out the door, onto the patio. We both knew it'd be faster to drive than to wait for an ambulance. He got me into the front, and without even bothering to check any safety measures or buckle himself in, we were speeding down the road. I felt a light pressure on my chest as my back became more and more pressed against the leather or his Ford Explorer.
We had to stop for a train. My new shoes went from black and white to black white and splatter painted red. The car carpet things were about to be majorly stained and we were waiting for a freakin train!
We waited and waited, I kept breathing slowly and steadily as my leg bled out. I am that girl that could have her heart speeding faster than light and terrified of every dust particle in sight, but I won’t admit that I’m afraid. My dad was worried enough without me looking at him with big blue eyes and saying, ‘daddy I’m scared’. Then he did something kinda odd. He reached behind the drivers’ seat and pulled his old duffel out of the back. It hasn't been unzipped in years. Not since I was a really little girl, and mom was still there to hold my hand. Where was he going with this? As the train inched by, and some skinny worker got out to waste more of my time, he pulled something out of the main compartment.
My heart dropped when I saw it.
It was Makenzi. Her plastic arms and legs were dirty, her hair tangled, unmanageable and messy, her dress torn and her left cheek looked like the back of a plastic kitchen spoon. Not fully melted but it looks like it froze as the bubbles started forming. Her once green eyes were now brown, her once perfect physique unrecognizable. I was speechless.
"Dad, why do you have Makenzi?" I managed after maybe a minute of him just staring at me, waiting and unsure.
"When you were little, you got hurt all the time. You were so clumsy." he took in a long, sad breath. "I thought you would miss your booboo friend." Makenzi would always have her tiny plastic hand in mine whenever I skinned my knee or flew out of the tire swing. She got hurt when I got hurt. She’s been my best friend from 3 weeks old to 5th grade. Then I left her in the duffel bag when we went camping. That was the day my mom died in an accident. I cried for weeks on end, I didn’t leave my room, I didn’t speak or even look at anyone. That was the day I started collecting bricks. That was the day I stopped telling anyone what was truly on my mind. That was the day I closed my world out from the rest of the planet.
"Dad, I'm too old for dolls." I said flatly, not making eye contact.
"Just take her." I hesitated. She reminded me too much of everything I lost and everything I missed out on. I reached both my hands out slowly, and took the doll from his single, tight hand. Carefully holding it in both of mine, I looked her in her rugged face and tried to remember the last time I needed my 'booboo friend'. I failed. I watched as her now brown eyes stared at me. They asked me questions. I could have sworn I heard her sing ‘one, two, buckle my shoe’, in a whispery, childish voice that echoed in my mind.
I didn't realize the train had passed until I felt pressure on my chest and my back was glued to the seat again. It took only three more minutes to actually make it to the hospital. It was crazy being back here, since I'm almost never here for me.
The process was long and painful, but the details were boring. I hadn't realized I was still holding Makenzi until I woke up in a stiff bed and she was gone. The doctors took her and gave her to my dad. I was too tired to care, and too busy thinking about how I would fix that hole in my ceiling.

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