There’s blood everywhere.
Like watery ketchup, the kind you get if you order a bacon egg and cheese anywhere outside New Jersey. I’m not great with blood - mine, anyone else's - it’s just not my thing.
That’s probably why I never became a doctor. Blood. It could also be my dyslexia with math, my ADD and the fact that I failed biology in high school, but it makes me feel better to say “oh, blood makes me puke.”
My face is now a mixture between flushed, sweating and shivering, and the entire room has begun to spin like that scene in Beauty and the Beat. Except I’m not in a vanilla frosting ballgown, I’m in a My Chemical Romance t-shirt. Potato, poTATo.
In a panic, I do what any teenager does - grab a towel and call my mother. As usual, she doesn’t pick up. “What’s the point in having a phone if you never USE it?” I murmur sarcastically but quietly so to conserve the energy in my last dying breath as I bleed to death.
It feels like an eternity passes as I try and connect skin to skin again, closing the flap and running it under hot water. She calls back.
“I cut myself, there’s blood everywhere, it’s deep” I gasp entering a infantile state
“Okay, it’s okay - Mummy is on her way, do you need an ambulance? Should we take you to Valley? (that’s the local hospital)” she rambles back with her South London accent
Well, of course I feel a bit silly now, holding the wound closed with my left hand. “No, it’s okay, I just wish it would stop. You know how I am with blood?”
“We left the house ten minutes ago, WHAT were you doing? How did you cut yourself?” she stays on the phone to try and calm me
“I just, I came downstairs to make a bagel and I wasn’t paying attention and I sliced into my finger with the bread knife”
I hear her half laugh, half gasp.
“It’s BAD. It’s REALLY bleeding” I try and convince her
“I know, I know, we’re pulling in now.” I hear the gravel of the driveway purr and my dad pulls the car in. There she is, my ethereal mother, grasping a huge bag from CVS. She’s brought about 13 types of band aid, just in case.
In typical Brit fashion, she starts by hugging me while simultaneously filling the electrical kettle for tea. Which, if you weren’t aware, is the British response to everything. She closed the wound with a paper stitch, poured me a cup of tea and ordered a bagel slicer off Amazon, because I “can’t be trusted with knives.”
Ten years later, I have “decent” kitchen knife skills but to this day, I still just purchase bagels pre-sliced.
I’m literally and mentally scarred.