A story-like snippet inspired by true events. Records an accident that results in pain not from an injury but something from deep within.
Blood smeared across the bathroom floor, pooling at my feet.
I tried to keep my head clear and even out my breathing.
I was trembling, it’s from the adrenaline.
I don't feel the pain, it’s because of the adrenaline.
I tell myself, I am better than this.
I clutched at the phone, and say to myself:
I will become a biologist, damn it, I am better than this.
I suck in a shaky breath and inspect the wound.
I ignore the slight tremors of my hands.
Check the bones, none are broken.
Check the tendons, my toes are responding.
I let out a sigh of relief.
I’m ok, I’m ok.
My hands become steadier.
Stop the bleeding, I press a towel onto the wound, close my eyes and began to count.
It was the only way I could tell time.
If it does not stop in 15 minutes, I will need to get to the ER.
I really dread for that to happen – I absolutely hate shots – they will give me a tetanus shot for sure.
I snort internally, at my childish thoughts at a time like this.
But I sober up and look up at the shut bathroom door.
I knew my four-year-old sister was on the other side.
She had peaked anxiously through a creak that I had previously left, but in my frustration and panic, I had jarred it shut.
I did not want her to see me like this, at my weakest.
I did not want to trouble her, at times like this.
I did not want her to spend the night at the ER, alone and wary.
I did not want her to be scared, confused and worried when she has experienced enough of that already.
So it is for the best, if I can contain this.
I press harder onto the wound.
The bleeding eventually stops.
A sigh of relief.
I take a moment to fold into myself and bury my face into my knees.
Time passes, time’s up, I urge my body to move.
In a trance-like state, I felt nothing as I proceeded to wrap up my wound, mob up the floor, wash out the bathtub that had been stained red, and left the towels in for soaking.
I did what I had to do, if I didn’t, who would?
I opened the door to announce that I was alright and shuffled past worried eyes to my room.
I had a group presentation to deal with tomorrow.
Physically, I could manage it.
But emotionally, I knew I was unstable, when have I not been?
I made a call to inform my groupmate of my absence for tomorrow, and hoped they would do fine without me.
They had to.
The phone buzzed, waiting to connect.
I felt my stomach churn as I counted the number of buzzes.
My breath was shallow, I was expecting noone to answer.
But at the very instant of a human voice over the static of a telephone line, I shook, something inside me had broke.
I tried to maintain my composure as best as I could and hoped that my voice did not crack.
The conversation was as brief as I could make it.
I hung up and let the tears stream down my face.
Not from the stinging pain from my wound, but from the throbbing pain in my heart.
The ones that I needed at that very moment, the ones that I truly needed, had never picked up.
It had never felt so painful. It has never felt so painful.
But I remind myself, silly me, silly me, time and time again, they had been nothing but disappointment, why would this be any different?
Why was I expecting anything more?
I steeled my will, and let out a grin of near madness and reminded myself like times before:
Count on no one but thy self.
I remembered that the doctor was bewildered and chastised me for not going to the ER.
I just needed that signed slip of paper to justify my absence for school.
I learnt a new word that day – “laceration” was scrawled in a terrible doctors’ font.
Years went on and I held onto that slip as a burning testimony, a burnt-in memory, to remind myself of the motto that had kept me going through life.
And I look at my now over-grown baby sister at the age of 14, living in a dream-like land of pop star idols and gossip girl magazines, and wonder if she remembered that night, when I was her age and bleeding across the bathroom floor.