It lay forlorn on the gray table. Cold, alone and shivering. A tired traveler in wait.
She looks down, and says aloud, irritation seeping into her voice: “What kind of mess did you get yourself into? I thought we decided we’d be more careful on where and what we trip over?”
A whimper floats up as a response.
“I suppose you are just going to sit there and stare at me now, aren’t you?
The old clock ticks seconds loudly while they stare back at each other. Concern looking into guilt.
Oh alright, hush. Let me take a look?”
With a slow delicate finger she lifts an end into her palm, and peers down. The robust red that it once shone of, was now a lackluster maroon. Dark black scar streaked diagonally, a vestige from a long gone ravage. Her forefinger traces an arc over the ashen bump, next to the fresh deep crimson gorge. A lump of pale puke, unceremoniously stuck along the wall, having no route for escape.
A soiled tear makes its labored way along the ridges making a perfect circle on the gray below.
Her voice dropping down a notch, she comforts: “This is deep, sweetie. How did this happen at all? You know better than to allow this, don’t you? It must hurt, but we’ll make it alright soon. Just hold on okay?”
With a moist white gauze, she wipes the gash down. Firm and steady, with just enough pressure to remove the now caked mire, yet only slightly grazing the nerves below. She continues talking in an even voice, so as to distract and keep thoughts engaged.
“Do you have any idea how strong and rugged you really are? How many of these you’ve blown away with a small gesture, a wave of hand? I know I haven’t told you this often enough, but am so darned proud of you. Oh yes, remember the incident at the school, how refined you handled the situation, and the other time when you knew the sneaky culprits, but you bore it all in silence anyway. A decision you took after great thought and consideration. A composed silent dignity that only the more perceptive could realize. Honestly, that was mighty distinguished of you.”
A flush makes its appearance gradually. A smog of doubt swirling into comprehension, making way for comfort. Clear sighs bubble in succession.
“I know you think the right thing is to not fight back or attack, but c’mon sweetie, all things aside, you have got to learn to protect yourself. See, look around you, everyone’s doing it. Protecting themselves no matter the ripples it causes around. It’s ruthless even, at the complete disregard for compassion and humanity, but that’s the kind of muck we live in. Think about it as “adaptation”. We’ve been doing it for generations now, it isn’t new. Wait, you do understand what I mean by adapting, don’t you? It doesn’t mean one changes inherently, it is to react differently to a similar situation when it repeats itself.”
The wound now disinfected and naked, she picks up a wad of cotton bandage and unrolls it. The smell of antiseptic washes over them, leaving behind a squeaky clean slate in its place. A warmth now radiates through her palms, radiating a smile and a hope into it.
She continues: “You are worth it. Every bit of you. Do not ever let anyone fool you into thinking otherwise. Ever. You are a precious piece in the grand scheme of things, and you know it. It’s after all natural to occasionally let smoke get in our eyes, especially when the heart’s on fire, but the good thing about it is that, it clears as rapidly as it binds. We are survivors. We will always be, and every such event only reinforces us to stay on our path. Whatever you do, you sure aren’t turning back. Okay?”
The pulse once feeble now picks up a steady pace. The paleness rapidly disappearing into a flush healthy pink. A redness robust in its function and as a symbol of all things healthy.
Smiling: “There, you look just fine and perfect if I may say so? Remember, you are beautiful, strong and wise and very worth it. Just have faith in yourself. You and me sweetie, just you see, we’ll go a long way!”
So saying, she picked up her heart, placed it ever so gently within her tranquil chest and skipped out onto the lawn filled with yellow daffodils. A clear sign of a welcoming new Spring.