Such a rambunctious child is what they would always say about her. When she wasn’t sitting quietly in the house she loved to go outside to run, skip, and dance around. She was a little wiry child with caramel colored skin and dark frizzy hair; her radiant smile bigger than her face. It was as if she was saying, “Look at me. I’m happy”. But, she wasn’t. She was extremely introspective for a child.
The brownstone houses on Hayward Street all had picket fences in front of them. Doris loved to run her hands across the abrasive metal. The wrought iron fences had ridges and curves from their architectural designs. It had a hypnotic feel for her. She would count the pickets over and over again. The numbers never changed. She would close her eyes and picture them. Sometimes, she could feel the jagged edges from the peeling metal. It created small scratches and rough spots on her fingers. These were insignificant to her. She never complained about them. The pleasure she got from this imaginary game was worth all of the scrapes and cuts she’d got.
Startled from her dream world, she heard her mother calling her from the upstairs window of their house. She knew she had better get there quickly or there would be trouble. She turned and ran as fast as she could and climbed the front concrete steps like a marathon sprinter. Blinded by the sunlight, she ran through the ornate large wooden doors into the foyer and was ready for a sprint up another flight of stairs. Suddenly, she was down on the floor with her hand grasping leg.
What was that? Doris thought.
Ouch, that hurts, she moaned.
But, she got up and ran up the last flight of stairs falling as she reached the top.
“Doris, where are you?” her Mother shouted.
I can’t get up, she thought, while holding her leg.
“Don’t make me come out there and get you”, her Mother screamed.
“But my leg is hurt,” she said, as she noticed blood seeping out.
She began to cry.
“I’ve had it with your disobedience. Your father is going to hear about this”, her Mother ranted.
Aggravated, her Mother finally came into the hallway and saw the blood. She was angry and yelling and saying how clumsy she always was. She was shouting and raging about not being able to take her to a doctor because her father wasn’t home yet. She was standing there hollering and helpless. This was how she always was …. HOLLERING and HELPLESS ..!!!
Finally, Doris looked down at the wound. It was a huge gash. She could see the bone. There was white puffy skin inside and lots of bright red spots. It was smooth and rough all at the same time. She thought it was brave of her to look at it.
Her grandmother came out to the hallway to see what all the shouting was about. She grabbed her and carried her into the house. She told her to hold this towel over it and press really hard. It hurt. She didn’t want to do it but figured she had better. Her grandmother called a neighbor who happened to be home. He was able to drive her to the hospital along with her grandmother.
Her stitches were metal clips that held the skin together. They felt smooth and cold to the touch. The wound didn’t hurt too much. It must have been because of the medicine they gave her. She felt safe in the hospital because no one was yelling. The nurses kept asking her if she was okay. She didn’t feel scared or afraid that her leg was going to fall off anymore.
When her father came home from work that night there was more drama. Her, hysterical, Mother had to give him every detail in her usual frenzied temperament. This was all part of her extreme manic behavior. He listened even though he would have preferred to take his after work shower and eat his dinner. His personality was always rough and abrasive with his family even when he was being nice. Of course, her Mother made sure he knew that it was entirely his fault. How could he have left that roll of barbed wire in the hall where one of the kids could get hurt?, she asked. Silence.
For days, it was the negative topic of the household. For days, Doris was told how much trouble she had caused. Her brother and sisters avoided her for fear they would be in trouble through association. For days, she waited for a gentle touch from anyone to let her know they felt her pain.
Over and over again, her mind played the last words she remembered before the doctors gave her the sleep medicine – “You are so rambunctious”.
This was originally posted in May, 2011. The prompt was about texture in writing. I thought I would post it again as it goes well with the recent challenge from Ailsa from Where’s my backpack? To join her photo challenge: http://wheresmybackpack.com/2012/09/14/travel-theme-texture/
my entry for the photo challenge: http://insidethemindofisadora.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/travel-theme-texture/
Flash Fiction: with snippets of my true-life for my Memoir “A Girl Grows in Brooklyn”.