I must have been between the ages of seven and nine on a family visit to my Grandfather’s apartment. Even though he lived within twenty to thirty minutes to our house, depending on traffic, it was rare to see him. I can only remember a handful of times.
This particular time, my brother and I were in the parking lot having a rock fight. Not the smartest thing two boys can do. He is five years older than I am so that puts him at twelve to fourteen years old. The sun was going down quickly, as it does in South Florida.
As often happened with my brother growing up, he did or said something I did not like and I played up the drama by turning away from him and tapping my foot. It was falling dark, quickly.
“James, watch out!” he said.
I turned and was hit in the forehead by what felt like a boulder, but turned out was only a large rock. I was filled with anger and my brother was filled with panic as he saw what he had done. I fell to the ground and he rushed over. As he began to drag me toward my grandfather’s apartment, I was screaming my refusal and telling him to, more than likely, “unhand me.” As the dragging continued, I felt a warm sensation washing over my face and in my eyes. I touched my face and looked at it. There was barely any natural light anymore and the substance was just dark and thick on my hand. I knew what it was though and began to scream in a different way. I was scared and crying now, no longer angry.
The scene inside the apartment was one of shock and panic, as I’m sure all they saw was my brother dragging in a bloodied me. My father drove to the hospital and my grandfather held me in the passenger seat in his lap with something over my forehead to slow the blood flow.
I had seven stitches put in and the doctor said that I would not have a scar.
It is there, a diagonal inch jutting from the hairline, right in the middle.