Sunday, 30 January 2011


I woke early. The room was still dark but not so dark that I couldn't see, like it would be at night. I could hear the birds singing their morning song. I tried to ignore the pressure but it pushed me out of the cocoon of warmth created by me and my little sisters. I turned around on to my belly and slid off slowly, reaching with my toes to feel the floor. I tiptoed quietly, as quietly as I could through the sleeping house. From my bedroom toward the bathroom door then into the kitchen, the kitchen was still dark and I was a bt scared but more scared of making a noise so across the cold lino floor through the far door into the laundry porch I ran. Suddenly my feet slipped on the damp floor. I threw out my hands to stop my fall and my hand landed on the jagged edge of empty baby food cans in a bag by the washing machine. I got up and turned again, past the troughs to the toilet. I closed the door and sat down and gazed at my hand. I could see things inside my hand. Pink flesh and veins. I was fascinated by the insides of my hand, drawn into it, watching things move and shift but then it began to throb. It hurt a lot. I tried to keep quiet but I wanted someone to help me. It was hard to pull up my 'jamas with one hand. I flushed the toilet and held my cut hand tight in my other hand and walked slowly back along the porch, careful not to slip again. Crossing through the shadowy kitchen I stood near the kitchen door. I didn't call out but I whimpered, leaning against the door jamb. I feel sick in my belly and there was sweat on my forehead.
Then she came out of her room. Her door was opposite the kitchen door, the bathroom door to my right and my bedroom was over to the left, past the buffet cabinet. The front door was opposite the cabinet and I could see the growing light through the three mottled glass panels of the door.
"What are you doing out of bed?" she hissed at me. I whimpered again. "Be quiet or you will wake your father! Go back to bed." she hissed again. I held my hand out to show her the cut. "Oh shit, what the hell have you done?" she grabbed my arm above the elbow and pushed me into the bathroom. She ran cold water over my hand. She found a rag, tore a strip of it and wrapped it tightly around my hand telling me to be quiet and stop whinging. "Now get back to bed" she said and shoved me toward the bedroom door.
I healed quickly as I always do. There was no bandage or plaster or wrapping to show them at school at the end of summer. Only a scar. I was five.