This I Believe

Molly - Westerly, Rhode Island
Entered on October 25, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: legacy

I believe that every scar has a story. Each scratch, bruise, and bump on my body comes with its own tale – the burn on the back of my hand from our brand new toaster oven, the scratch running parallel to the vein on my right wrist from my cat’s sharp claws, the leftover blister on my heel from a pair of too tight sneakers. While the pain is gone and the ordeal is done, the memory stays as another blemish is embedded into my skin. Almost twelve years later, the furrow on my otherwise smooth chin is the only reminder of an afternoon gone bloody.

Like most young girls, my sister Eliza and I loved Barbie’s. We’d outfit them in fancy dresses, tube tops and otherwise garish outfits. Together, we’d move their legs and make them walk down our makeshift runway, shining floor lamps on them as they presented their outfits in our dingy basement. The basement was unfinished with painted gray concrete floors, a side area for my father’s rarely used tools, and a built in wooden couch. It was winter, and I was clad in pink and white floral footy pajamas. My blonde-haired Barbie doll had just taken her walk down the runway and it was my turn to illuminate the stage as my sister’s Barbie came next. As I walked across the basement, I tripped either on the lamp cord or the too large feet of my footy pajamas. Immediately, the underside of my chin – the part right on the bone – collided with the bench of the wooden couch. The skin split completely, but almost bloodlessly. Still, I wailed, and my parents bolted down the stairs, knowing the cries of injury. With my mother guiding me and holding a kitchen towel underneath my chin, we walked the two blocks to the hospital. In the first room on the left, a doctor sewed my chin closed with three delicate stitches.

Now, twelve years later, there’s a little indentation on the bottom of my chin from the day I collided with our wooden couch. With each fall, each break, and each accident, a scar is left to serve as a reminder and leave behind a little bit of a story you may have normally forgotten.