I was falling into pain.
There was in so much pain I couldn’t draw a single breath. The liquid crimson of 5 year old me pooled out of my foot, and on to the bathroom floor, at too rapid of a pace to be a meager scratch. My parents heard the crash of shattering glass, and tiny limbs before they sprinted in. Only to find me in a wine red puddle that smelled like old coins. The scent filled my nostrils and burned my nose, my eyes watered but I couldn’t do anything.
My father scooped me up and put me in the bathtub. I was in my bathing suit because I was about to go swimming, and I was trying to reach a towel (which were on the top shelf) by standing on toilet paper rolls before they gave out under my weight and sent me plunging into glass. My father turned the water of the bathtub on and rinsed off my foot, it helped a little. Finally, I pulled in my first gasp of breath, it was immediately forced back out as a scream took over my lungs and tears took my face. My throat was raw and my chest burned like it was on fire, yet, I still screamed. My mom gave me a popsicle to keep me quiet while my dad made a temporary bandage for my foot.
My father was drenched in deep, deep, red liquid and water splotches while he scooped me up to carry me to the old KIA van. Crying into his shoulder while he carried me bridal style. His shirt tasted of copper and watery cotton. My tears tasted of drops of the ocean licked off of my lips, salty. His arms strained beneath my tiny frame, not because of the shudders that happen every three seconds or so, because he? nervous, anxious, afraid. My mom climbs in the back of the van first, my dad then places me ever so gently, into my car seat, as if this small child was so fragile it might break, the thing was , I was already broken. I wanted the pain to stop as my mother buckles my seatbelt, as my father pulls out of the driveway, as we get on the highway, as we get off the exit to the local hospital.
We go into the waiting room. Still crying but silently because we are supposed to be quiet in this area. I wanted to scream and yell and sob, I wanted to rip off my foot, I wanted to go to sleep and make the pain stop, I wanted... another popsicle, but I ate the only three we had with us in the car, desperate to use the cold to numb the pain. Eating them that fast only got me a brainfreeze which caused more pain. We were finally called into a small room the size of janitorial closet. My parents wrapped me in a scratchy, blue blanket that smelled faintly of rubbing alcohol. The odor of it burned my nostrils. The nurse gave me a shot that was supposed to help with the pain. It helped for about 2 hours. But by the time it wore off, my bandage had leaked through and I was leaving a trail around the hospital, so there was now a path of small red drops following me everywhere.
When we went into the ER, they had made us wait for way too long, the drug had worn off and the pain returned. The doctor removed my bandage which caused me to wince. She then dug into the wound causing a spill of red and another mess. Satisfied she reached for the needle. Every stitch was agony, a blistering pain that never seemed to stop, here, I did scream. There was a woman next to her husband crying in the open room next door, she kept looking back at me and giving dirty looks, like the pain was my fault, like the too long wait was my fault. But I didn't care about the woman sobbing next to the man in the bed. I didn't care about my parents hushes. I didn't care if the whole gosh darned hospital heard my screams of pain and agony. I just cared that someone was stabbing my foot, pulling something through it, and tightening my skin, repeatedly.
She did it a total of nine times, nine stitches, it felt like a whole lot more than nine when she was doing the procedure. The ties from the stitches made my foot look like there was a large caterpillar growing out of my foot. She wrapped it up in gauze and told us to not get it wet, rewrap it every night, and day, and to keep pressure off of it until the last week they are in. We left the hospital with my father carrying me once again, but a lot less rushed and gentler. He kissed my forehead as I fell asleep in his arms and didn't wake up until the next morning.