I could feel the cold vent plate pushed against the tips of my toes, the pressure from my mom pushing on my frontal plate, the dizzy spells that flashed me back and forth between unconsciousness and consciousness and the hectic movements of everyone around me. Life was in slow motion for me. I seemed to sink in every piece of emotional distress that was floating in the air. Dad was spazzing out, Mom was still trying to make clear of what really just happened, and I’m pretty sure my sister was wondering why her older sister’s blood was staining her hands.
Here was daddy’s little girl, lying in his living room floor, pronounced to not make it. We just put carpet in the week before and my red blood seeped into the tan shag as if we were changing the color to maroon ourselves. My mom finally got to sleep for more than four hours today, but of course, I stopped that. She woke up from a nap to find herself compressing an old bath towel against my forehead. My little sister stood by and watched this catastrophe unfold, with no clue that she was the reason I was going to survive. From that moment on, I never looked the same.
“You want to be like Ben Wallace?” kids would snicker at me when I wore my all-white crispy Detroit Pistons jersey with the matching jersey plaited mini skirts and Air Force Ones, low tops of course. They thought it was a joke to have an idol or someone to keep you going through rough times. What they did not understand was a energetic kid like me gets bored sitting in blood transfusions, chemotherapies and IV treatments and the only good thing to watch was the Pistons make their way to the Finals that year against the Spurs. So that’s what I did. I tried to be like Ben Wallace.
I’m pretty sure it was around noon that day, my mom was sleeping, dad was cutting down pear trees in the back and my little sisters was upstairs playing in her room. I snuck outside to check out that new basketball rim Dr.Passal gave me. We were close; he was my pediatrician since I was a baby. He was also my lifesaver. When I was diagnosed with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, he was the only pediatrician who did any type of research on this case in medical school, so he accepted my file. There was no cure for what I had. If I bleed, I bleed for hours and then wait for a blood transfusion to pump the ounces of blood I lost back into me. If I walked, the bottoms of my feet would be black and blue. He gave me the basketball rim on a basis that I was not to touch it until I was pronounced cured. Which was kind of a teaser, seeing how there was no cure for ITP. So for that reason, my parents did not sand the hoop down. Do you really think I listened to them? My idol is Ben Wallace, and then you hand me a basketball rim and tell me not to touch it? Good joke. I ran out of that house, stood and analyzed what I was going to do. Then, I did it. I grabbed that wagon and I rolled it under the rim. I put my left foot up and the right one followed and I stood on the edge of that wagon. I grabbed that ball and I went for it. A full-out Ben Wallace dunk. But things went wrong, and that ball didn’t sink into the rim. That ball sank into my skull. My 7-year-old sister found me, with every ounce of strength she had, she pulled the rim out of the hole in skill and called for help. Now, I regret it.
See, now I have this scar left in the middle of my forehead. You know, the one I’m sure you would notice immediately upon meeting me. The one those middle school kids teased me about, the one I was insecure about through high school, my mom likes to say, and it stands for “T is for trouble.” As I grow older and notice my face transforming throughout the years, I never got to sit down and examine what happened that day. I never understood why it took me so long to accept that day and live with the scar on my forehead until now.
“I love your scars, they show you have character and that something happened that made you who you are today, no matter how little.” Pretty charming, hey? These were the words of my boyfriend, Justin, within the conversation of meeting each other. These words replay in my head every time I see that scar, I never understood how to pull anything positive out of an ugly facial mark. When I saw that scar, all I remembered was the puffy black eyes, blood gashing through stitches, the hole in the center of my face, the cuts and bruises and the agony of never being able to look the same again. Because of him, I realized that the scar on my forehead doesn’t mean “Trouble” like my mom says. It’s not the leftovers of a successful plastic surgery. It’s the image of someone who overcame something very serious in their life. If it wasn’t for this scar, I couldn’t live to tell you about this. If it wasn’t for this scar, I don’t think kids would have a way to separate me from the other kids. If it wasn’t for this scar, I think my peers would know my name before my past trauma.
So here I am, C’Priana, not the, “small Mexican girl” or the, “the short chick” but the “girl with the T-scar.” and surprisingly for once, I accept that and I am okay with that because that little scar that everyone snickers about has a message and that’s to take everything life hands you and show it off. Wear those scars proudly, model those moles, accept those bushy eyebrows, acknowledge your large forehead and smile with those crooked teeth. Because although you may have an ugly “mark” on your face, you’re beautiful. Way more beautiful than the Mary Kay beauty queen who took four and a half hours to get ready this morning. Strength is beauty. Being strong enough to accept your flaws makes you naturally beautiful so flaunt your stuff sister. And leave the dunking up to Big B. Trust me on that one.