Engraved Memory

May 11, 2012
Running toward the rolling tattered volleyball, I extend my arm. With each step, dizziness seeps into my body. My eyes close and I am falling, falling straight for the stacked bleachers in our school gym, my heart thumping louder with each stumble. I bring my arms in front of me to shield my face. The gym is a blur, with girls playing volleyball for intramurals, the orange nets, and the bright light seeping in through the windows.
Bang! My head makes contact with the metal bleachers and starts throbbing from the intense crash. The entire left side of my face is tingling with bursts of pain. When I blink I feel warm drops of blood filling my cupped hands and dribbling down my bare arms. It seeps into my shorts and shirt, staining my shoes cranberry red and creating puddles of blood on the gym floor. Tears fall down my bloody face and I feel frightened to move my hands off of my head. I hear my name “Zahra! Zahra’s hurt! Zahra! What happened to her?” Squeaking tennis shoes get louder as Mr. Yates tells me to lay down and gives me a tissue to put to my head. “Beep.” I hear them call the front office. “Hello. I need someone to bring a wheelchair. We have a hurt child here.” I hear the panic in Mr. Yates’s voice.
Girls are gathered around me staring at me with horror. I start to panic Will I have to get stitches? Will I be ugly? Mahalet steps up to comfort me as the coaches go to get tissues and napkins. I can already imagine the rumors spreading about my clumsiness and the deep gash in my head. I cry even harder hearing the lady come in with the wheelchair, “It’s a deep gash; she might need to get stitches.” They lift me onto a wheel chair with blood on my face, in my hair, and all over my body. I leave a trail of red as I am dragged to the clinic.
Lying down on the clinic cot, they start to clean all the blood. I hear dozens of crumpled paper towels hit the trash can, each fully soaked with my blood. I feel pain as the lady’s cold hands try to bandage my head. When my mom arrives she squeezes my hand saying, “Everything will be all right,” and I finally calm down and take a deep breath.
Today, when I look into the mirror, I see the jagged scar sitting right between my eye brows. In a way the memory has made me stronger. If I can go through the trauma of this event, then I know I can deal with anything. It will forever be engraved on my forehead.





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