It sits to the right of my knee. I’ve accepted it will always be here, a part of me. Grade 2 I believe it was, the blue/green octagon tables we sat at still fresh in my mind. Sitting on the opposite side of the 8-figure shape sat one of my friends. 7-year-old me took everyone who did not make fun of her as a friend.
The class was abuzz it was soon to be home time and excitement over the hand puppets we made that day filled the room. To be honest I started with her, had I just minded the family on my hands I would have had a gaping hole in my knee.
The bell rang and like clockwork, we rushed to the door pushing each other out the way, traffic in the passages heavier than Fleet-street on a Monday morning. My memory jumps to me grabbing one of her puppets of her hand and running I can hear her calling my name from behind me, the heels of my betty toughees for girls clonking on the gravel of the netball courts. I ran.
All of a sudden her voice didn’t sound distant, she grabbed my bag and let go so fast, too fast. Blood just kept flowing out, the droplets ran down my knee one after the other. I offered the puppet back to try and stop the blood which wasn’t enough.
I believe for a moment I didn’t just break my skin but some kind of nerve, left all alone on the grass outside the gate. I tried standing up to walk home my knee buckled and back on the grass, I was. I knew I couldn’t stay there forever. I crawled, dragging my backpack slowly easing my knee into standing up straight. Holding onto the moist grass blades for dear life the proud spirit in me refused to stop and ask for help before I knew it I could stand.
Limping between the pathways and beeping cars I finally made it home and I collapsed on the stoep. Finally getting a look, the blood had dried up the scar wide open. 7-year-old me didn’t know it then but that wound and the tears that fell that day became a clear indication who will always have me.