Posted in Regina Crow, Spring 2016

Preschool Cutter

Scars

The scars on her legs are barely visible now. She noticed them when she was six. Her older sister liked to have her wear dresses, the skirts were short as that was the style then. Looking down, Regina couldn’t help noticing the purple discolored line of the worst one on her knee.

She asked her mother what it was, but her mother didn’t know. Staring at the random pattern of them running down her leg, a memory would tug at her thoughts. Regina remembered a day years earlier when she felt desperate for attention. She felt like one more minute of loneliness would choke the breath out of her.

First she tried summersaults, a new trick she had just learned. No matter how she begged, her father did not look up from his reading. Again and again she tumbled until she was dizzy, hoping he would glance her way. What ever he was reading it had his full attention.

Regina sat for a while, watching him, trying to catch her breath. She couldn’t though, she could barely breath for the need to be seen. Next to her, leaning against the wall was her fathers bow saw. He had warned her that it was dangerous and not to play with it. But at that moment she didn’t care. She had to be noticed. She started playing on it, again begging him to look at the her new trick. Her eyes were glued to father, desperate for him to look up, not caring if he yelled or hit her. When at last the pain caught her attention, Regina was surprised to see the bloody cuts on her legs. She hadn’t noticed she was hurting herself.

“I’m bleeding,” she told him quietly.

At last father spoke, “Go to your mother. “ Still he didn’t look. Still he read.

Slowly, heartbroken, she plodded to the kitchen. “I’m bleeding,” Regina repeated, quietly.

“Put a band-aid on it,” her mother didn’t look either.

Confused, she found the band-aids, and tried to find some big enough to cover the long red lines all across her legs. Eventually Regina gave up on covering them all, there were too many. She would have to put band-aids on top of band-aids to cover them all. She went back to the kitchen.

“There are too many cuts,” she told her mother.

At last her mother looked, not at her face, but at her legs. “What a lot of band-aids!” mother exclaimed in that tone that told Regina she had done something foolish and childish and wasteful.

If that was where the purple wormlike scar across her knee had come from and all the other white lines, no wonder her mother didn’t know. Mother had only seen a waste of band-aids that day.