“What is this?”
My friend, Lenua, asked.
She looked at my left arms with her eyebrows furrowed. She stretched out her hand, and she traced her fingers around the small, stretched out skin that looks different from the rest of my skin.
The small dot on my right arms has a darker brown colour compare with the rest of my light brown skin. A few meters away from my elbow.
“It’s a scar I got when I was still a child. I was around four to six years old when I got this. I guess. I don’t know. All I know is that I got this when I was sitting on my mom’s lap.”
Lenua leaned forward with her hands below her chins, supporting her head. She adjusts her position on the sofa to get more comfortable.
Her attention on the TV was long gone one as she listened to me.
“What happens next?” she asked.
“My parents, my siblings and me, we’re sitting near the fireplace on the small shelter next to our house. We were enjoying the warmth when I stuck my legs out and accidentally kicked one of the firewood forward.”
My lips pursed when I recall this story.
“One of the firewood moved towards us and landed on my younger sister’s upper arms. Below her right shoulder. On her biceps.”
“Oh my god.” Lenua gasped.
“My father was quick. He grabbed the parts of the firewood where it hasn’t been eaten by the fire and throws it backs to the fireplace. It was too late. My younger sister woke up from her sleep. Before the firewood fall on her, she was still sleeping on my father’s lap.”
I sighed before continuing, “She cried. The firewood touched her skin when it was sizzling. Her skin immediately went red.”
I chuckled softly, “Funny enough. I don’t remember if my parent’s ever punished me for what happens that night.”
“You never ask them about it?” Leuna inquired.
I shake my head, “Never. I kind of forgot to ask them about this. It was a matter of the past. If I could, I never want to remember any of my past. At all. My past is a bit complicated.”
Leuna frowned, “Then?”
“Knowing my father’s temper nowadays, I assume he must of scold me back then. Or my mother. I assumed that they went to the clinic on the very next day to check on my younger sister’s burn.”
I leaned forward and grabbed the glass of orange juice on the table in front of us.
I sipped on it before continuing, “This scar, I got it from a small flickered of firewoods that fall on my arm when I accidentally kicked out the firewood. I don’t remember the pain. But, it certainly wasn’t as painful as what my younger sister was feeling.”
“Hey, it’s not your fault.” Leuna stretched her hand out and patted my shoulder.
“I don’t know. But, this small dotted scar on my hand can’t compare with the scar burns on her biceps. It was as large as a tennis ball. I will never forget how we got this scar in the first place.”
“Then, what about the scar’s on your left leg?”
I raised my eyebrows at her, “You seem to be really interested in my scars.”
“No-yes. But, it’s not what you’re thinking. I just felt that every scar had their own story, okay?”
I rolled my eyes, “Fine.”
I looked down on my front left calf and stretched my hands out, running my fingers on it. I used my index finger to pressed down a little bit and felt my hard bone on the tip of my finger. That’s how deep the small fingerprint-like scar was.
“I got this in my hostel. I have this friend. She and I were a bit naughty during those times. We walked down the stairs, near our dorms. There’s this big mango tree planted near the edge of the schools. Some of the boys are climbing it to pick up the mangos, and we wanted to have some too.”
“Naughty-nerd. That sounds interesting.” Leuna smirked.
I gave her a light slap on her shoulder and glared at her, “Actually, we are not allowed to takes the mangos. Climb it even. We don’t even know who the owner is. If climbing the trees is dangerous, caught red-handed by our warden is a disaster.”
Leuna gave me a light push and gave me an accusing stare, “I knew it. You definitely had a lot of stories to tell.”
“So, when someone shouted that a warden was coming to make a round, we ran up the stairs. The stairs are a bit narrow, and it was also very long. I guess it had 20 to 25 steps in total.”
I sipped on the orange fruit juice, “We are panicking. I am panicking. I don’t want to get caught. I want a clean slate throughout my school. On my last few steps, I tripped. I fall down, and I stretched my hands forward. I wanted to get up. I can’t. So, I struggled. There was this pain in my legs. It made me temporarily paralyzed.”
“That sounds terrible.” Leuna furrowed her eyebrows.
“It is. My friend asked me if I was okay. She already arrived at the flat ground. I looked at her and could only force myself to smile and nodded. When she saw that I’m struggling to get up, she finally came down to help me up on my feet.”
“I went to the study room, went to my tables and sat on my chair. I lifted the end of my trousers slowly. I saw blood dripping down my feet. I wiped the blood with some tissue. Then, I saw it.”
“My skin and my flesh. A very small portion of it was holding on my still intact skin. You know when you open tin cans of food where you left its hood on? That’s how my conditions look like. I lifted the almost peeled off part of the skin and saw my white bones.”
Leuna gasped as she covered her mouth.
“I panicked. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t dare to tell anyone about it. So, I keep quiet. I’m scared that the wound would be infected. It was so painful when I had to wash up. I looked at the almost peeled of skin and decided to take it out. I don’t feel comfortable wearing hanging skin.”
I stopped for a bit.
“There was this powder that I brought from home. I forgot its name. I stuff the small hole on my wound with it almost every day until the wounds were healed and covered by a new layer of skin.”
“Then, what about this one?” she pointed to the scar on my left knee.
It was a V-shaped figure pointing at the right side, like an arrow but without its shaft.
“My family and I were at the new farm. To clean it. Cutting the trees down, mowing the grass, moving some rocks away. I want to help make ways to reach the river at the edge of the farm. I was mowing the long grass with a sharp falchion sword.”
Leuna gasped, “How old were you?”
“I was around 8 to 10 years old when this happens. Our family trained us, their children, to use this kind of tool at an early age. Of course, we are not allowed to hold it if we don’t know how to use it. Also, we must have an adult around us when we are using it.”
“You were so young. Why would they teach you something like this?” Leuna frowned.
“This...is a habit that was passed down from our ancestor.” I smiled.
“This habit, is it still happening now?” Leuna’s curious eyes swept over my face.
“No. I guess, the elders have adapted themselves with nowadays modern thinking.” I grinned.
“That’s good. Okay, continue.” Leuna sighed in relief.
“I don’t remember spacing out for a second. But, when I realized it, I felt stinging pains on my knee. I hissed, and my father heard it. He asked me what’s wrong and I said I’m fine. I didn’t bother to check my legs for the whole day. We went back home, and when I lifted the end of my trousers, I saw the blood wetting a small part of my pants around my knee.”
“You were a child.” Leuna pursed her lips in dismay.
I only chuckled at her, “Anyway, I told my parents about it. Got scolded for not being careful. They got some herbs they got from a plant and stuck it to my knee for days. Until the skin healed.”
Leuna was about to open her mouth to ask again when I interrupted her, “The rest of the scar on my fingers is caused by a knife. In the kitchen.”
She narrowed her eyes at me, “You are unbelievable. You didn’t even want to share how you got a cut on your fingers on the kitchen.”
I smirked, “I’ll leave the parts of guessing to you. Anyway, it’s almost dark. You don’t wanna go home?”
Leuna throws a pillow at me for getting up, “You stingy brat! You don’t want to share your story. Now, you are kicking me out.” she pouted as she packed her things up.
I laughed when I saw the fake sadness on her eyes. Knowing that she’ll be back tomorrow.
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