I don't recall ever crying so violently in my life than I did in those long minutes. Much of it is a blur: the scrambling of shoes against metal fence, the slip, the outstretched hand snagging on the pointed chain-link, the scarlet gash, and my feet pounding against hard concrete while I cried and cried and cried. I remember seeing a dog lounging on his front porch while I raced down the street crying. In a few frantic leaps, I ran towards him, holding out my bleeding hand as if to say, "Help me! I’m bleeding to death!" but all that came out was a half-scream, half-sob. The pooch did nothing but stare as I raced back home.
My parents’ reactions were quite the opposite. They wrapped my hand in gauze and ushered me into the car. "Am I dying?" I asked, between jerking sobs. My father looked up as if to actually consider it seriously, "No." I didn't believe him. He was my father after all; he didn't want to believe I’d die either. I started crying again. "You won't die!" he yelled.
I lay on a bed with my hand wrapped in gauze, where the gash only sent milder protests of thumping pain after being treated with anesthesia. It was like the nurse had used a needle to swap my hand with rubber. Even when I pinched the skin around the gauze, it only tingled slightly. Then the nurse removed the gauze, and a needle poked through the skin near the cut."You were really brave." the nurse smiled kindly. I thought about how my face felt chilled with dried tears, and how red and swollen my eyes must’ve looked. I hid my face in shame and
wondered if I could really be considered brave.