“Lulu’s had a bit of an accident.”
My heart leapt and my mind raced into its darkest depths. Needing to know but not wanting to know.
“Where? What’s happened?”
“Lulu’s been bitten by a dog. She’s at the doctor and wants you to come.”
Everything stands stood still. There, in its darkest depths, my mind yanked out its most shocking imaginings swung them around and slapped them over my head me into oblivion. Sanity and rationality, absent until now, struggled for control.
Seeing Lulu who had already been treated didn’t push back the fears. The wound was too awkward for a stich so they had used steri strips to hold it together. They were bloody and hid the damage. She was distraught and sobbing.
My heart which until now had been drowning leaped in my chest, gasping for air.
We took Lulu home and calmed her. Once over the shock she was amazing, almost prosaic.
What I hadn’t noticed was how quiet Molly was. With gentle prodding she revealed how worried she had been and it occurred to me that she was in just as much shock as Lulu. She had seen the whole thing and then run all the way home let me know the bad news. Such a huge responsibility for a ten year old. For the second time that day my heart gasped for breath.
That night after the girls were in bed asleep I found a little solace in the bottom of a wine bottle
Fast forward three weeks and everyone is fine, at least on the surface of it. Lulu today told me how frightened she’d been when ‘that dog’ had bitten her. She described in detail how she had seen its teeth coming at her, in particular the ‘pointy ones’. I let her talk and told her how I understood how frightened she must have been. I let her feel the moment and told her she will probably remember that moment from time to time but it will get less frightening and soon she will stop remembering it at all. Then we both moved on.
The scar is going to be minor, but for me that mark is a spoilt moment that brings tears to my eyes.