Hist Mother’s Arms – Excerpt from Children’s short story collection Solar Girl and Lunar Boy.
Hist Mother’s Arms – Part 2
The nurse, Bea, washed Jon’s forehead with yellowish-brown betadine that ran behind his ear. Bea’s brown face was surrounded by straight, thick black hair. The rest of her body was covered in white. She kept smiling and repeating, “That’s a good boy.” Her soothing voice put him into a matriarchal trance, as name-calling, rocks and falling took an afternoon nap.
Grace stood close by, rocking Mary side to side, like mothers’ of young children do. She was trying to put on a good face and comfort Jon, but he could sense her aversion to looking at his wound.
A tall mustached man, in a hospital coat, suddenly loomed over Jon.
“This is Doctor Patrick,” voiced the nurse, in a hasty introduction.
“What have we here?” he questioned, without expecting anyone to answer. He took the pad off of Jon’s eyebrow.
“Don’t touch it!” Jon screamed with fright.
The doctor ignored his outburst and stated matter-of-factly, “Pretty good one there buddy.” Turning towards the nurse he said, “I’ll need a butterfly suture set.” The nurse already had it ready and placed it in his hand.
Jon eyed the doctor with the hair on his lip, as he opened the suture kit and seeming to speak to the plastic tray said, “Son, I’m going to give you a little poke. It will sting.” Nurse Bea handed Doctor Patrick a small syringe. “Then I’ll stitch you up so good you’ll never know what happened.”
Doctor Patrick moved closer. Jon could feel his height. He looked at the doctor’s black belt and buckle, when his white coat fell open, then felt a sharp sting. He started to cry.
“The next part won’t hurt,” the physician’s monologue continued.
“It’ll just feel like someone tugging on your eyebrow a bit.”
“Son,” Jon repeated to himself. It sounded like his father’s voice. He knew his dad would want him to “be tough” so he bit his lip, counted backwards and closed his eyes. He longed for his mother’s arms and cried out “Mama!”
“All done,” chuckled the tall, black-belted, mustached man. “You can open your eyes now.” As he put the tweezers back in the tray, Dr. Patrick turned to Grace, who had just opened her eyes and said, “You have a brave little guy here.” Jon wiped away the tears with his dirty sleeve.
Before Grace or Jon could say a word, the self-absorbed doctor had gone to the next bed and disappeared behind a sliding beige curtain. Bea looked at Grace. “He’ll need to come back in a few weeks to get those removed.” She gestured towards Jon’s forehead and smiled her bewitching smile.
“I’ll tell his mother,” Grace replied, then helped Jon off the gurney and held his trembling hand out to the car.