I wanted to follow my brothers and sisters through. I did not mean to walk into the glass door beside the open one. My body, though slight, could not slip between its molecules; I shattered that crystal barrier. I created the shards that brought the pain and the blood drops and the shame.
It was gray rain that day, and almost dusk-time, and so my eyes were more blurry than normal; they were always blurry because we were practicing faith in God and not doctors, but this was worse. And I saw my mom, saw her dark line of an arm extending from her body, deduced that she was holding the door, but I chose the wrong one.
A male employee carried my nine-year-old body, which I had thought weak but knew then had a conquering power of solidity. He brought me to a back room, for employees only, where he used a first-aid kit to mend my cuts.
No second aid would follow because God was trusted instead. I have two physical scars: on my nose, on my knee.
When I was lifted high above the staring shoppers, I buried my face in my hero’s shirtsleeve and pretended this did not happen, that I wasn’t a pathetic half-blind girl but a princess in a parade. My blood could be rubies and not liquefied pain. My fear could be joy; the broken pieces of glass could be diamonds raining down on my unscarred face.