The most painful thing that happened to me was when I was 7. Not emotional pain, I don’t think I had any of those and with 6 siblings I highly doubt you could actually had time to experience any.
But let me first introduce you to our neighbourhood. Not hood, neighbourhood (yes, it sounds pretentious, but I’m a closet snob, so deal with it). Anyway, to get to our home, you have to get off the highway (and I use the word highway rather loosely) and use the now public access road (this is what happens when the GoK takes over. Roadside markets, hawkers, kiosks and potholes, the neighbourhood is shot to hell now) and eventually reach our turning. The road leads downwards towards our home and avails a lovely view of the sea on your way down.
Anyway, I was 7.
I remember everyone was home (with my siblings either being in university or boarding school, I’d say this was quite a feat…or it was Xmas/Easter) and we were riding bikes.
Now our bikes deserve further elaboration as they would give Richard Hammond (Crash Course) a run for his money. No brakes, bland tires and chains popped out at will, they were a danger to be reckoned with, but I loved them. And with 7 kids with such large age differences, no one could expect each of us to have our own bike.
I remember my bike, yes, still digressing. It was black and had no brakes. I wore out a couple of slippers coz of that bike. Fun times. I wonder why I didn’t name it.
I was 7. You remember the details.
I was sitting on the back of a bike, on one of those small metal butt-imprint things and my brother was riding. We were on a big bike, no brakes , downhill, at maximum speed (hmmm…now I get where my over-cautious pessimistic nature comes from).
So me and my bro (my bro and I) started to free fall (ride/ slide/ whatever a bike with no brakes does going downhill) then tragedy struck.
My foot got stuck in a wheel.
For all you’ll who might have forgotten what a bicycle wheel looks like. It’s a spoke wheel. Yup, you know what that means. And my foot was stuck in it.
No brakes, downhill…
I was howling bloody murder but my bro couldn’t stop the bike (…em…girls’ bike…boy…you get the picture) and I remember the smell of smoke as he tried to stop the bike with his slippers, slowing it down, but not stopping.
Oh, the humanity!
Mayhem and destruction!
Bodies littering the streets!
We finally came to a stop at the bottom. In our compound. Where everyone had congregated after hearing me howl from half the way down. I’m sure if I cared then, I would have felt a little embarrassed, but I’m the freaking last born! Screw everyone else! My foot was a mess!
To cut the long, albeit scincillating story short, I was carried to the clinic across the road (ain’t I lucky?) and my foot was bandaged up and all (and was my last admission into a medical institution…paranoia is your friend). No walking for a month or so, doctor’s orders.
To say that that was the best holiday ever would be a gross understatement, all my siblings waiting on me hand and foot (hehe) instead of the other way round….epic.
And that, boys and girls, is the story of how I got my only scar.