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Before I left my house, I checked the weather forecast on my phone. Although the weather app forecasted rain at around 3 PM, I chose not to bring an umbrella anyway.
When we left school, it was raining. I wondered if you had an umbrella. You pulled out a plain, black umbrella. I think you were waiting for me to take out my umbrella too. I told you I left my umbrella at home.
I said, "Did you know I’m actually afraid of umbrellas?".
You looked surprised.
I said, "Yeah, I think it started when I was in elementary school…"
And I told you the story of my scars.
It was raining that day too. Actually, just saying that it rained might be a bit of an understatement. It was raining cats and dogs. It felt like a torrential downpour that wouldn’t end. The rain was unrelenting, and it was pitch black outside.
That day, I had to go pick up my brother from his after school program. As I waited in line, I wondered when the downpour would end. Soon, the doors opened. As I reached my hand up to close my umbrella, I felt a sharp pain run through my right palm. As I brought my hand back to my face, I jabbed myself against the sharp part of my umbrella again, this time on the left side of my right hand.
Blood oozed from my hand. The sight of blood terrified me. My head began to ache. Even in the dark, I could tell that I had lost a lot of blood. I tried to stop the bleeding by squeezing my hand, but the bleeding was just as unrelenting as the rain. I closed my eyes shut. It’s okay, I told myself. I can get through this.
By this point, my entire right hand was blood red. I put my hand back in my pocket. It was my turn to go in through the door. The lights dazzled me like a deer in headlights. I walked toward my brother’s table. Through force of habit, I took out my right hand to sign the sign-out sheet. I must’ve been out of my mind. Blood seeped onto the paper.
Parents were horrified. One of the leaders brought me over to the cafeteria and put medication on my hand. He asked if it stung. I said no. I felt numb. He told me that I might have to get stitches.
What finally brought me to my senses was that one of the teacher’s assistants asked my little brother if he could put his boots on himself.
It’s been six years. I now have two scars on my right hand. They are streaks of white among the pinkness of my palm–they almost camouflage. It’s been so long since the incident, so long that I almost forgot about my scars. But the other day, I was reminded of them when I looked closely at my hand.
And that’s what scars are. They are a figment of your past, something that you can’t forget, something that will forever be a part of you. The storm has passed already, and though my memories of that day may have somewhat faded away, my scars are a reminder of what happened that day. They are the reason why I’m extra careful when I’m closing my umbrella.
As we entered an open area, I anticipated that I would be hit by rain. It would serve me right, I thought, for not bringing an umbrella even though I knew it would rain. I looked up at the sky. It was drizzling. Pit-pat. Pit-pat. Each droplet of rain seemed to taunt me and remind me of the fact that I purposefully didn't bring my umbrella.
I sighed. I'll probably be fine without an umbrella, right?
As I braced myself to get hit by rain, I noticed that you held your umbrella out for me. I was touched.