“Shit,” I yell.
“What?” Mum asks.
I look down at my throbbing big toe and pluck a discarded nail that hung limply. My mum follows my gaze and frowns at me. “What’ve you done now?”
“Shit. Shit. Shit!” I punch the air around me and kick the wooden box with my good foot. “How can I go to graduation with this?”
I turn my head and find my mum smile at me. That’s right. She smiles at me. She knows something I don’t. I hate when mums do that. It’s not right to be all-knowing.
“Wear thick socks,” she says.
“Wear fricken thick socks?” I yell. I know I shouldn’t, but sometimes I need to vent, and this is one of those times. Graduation is in one day. I can’t go to graduation with a bung foot. God. Sometimes my mum just doesn’t think. “My life is ruined.”
“Don’t be so dramatic, Max. Wear thicker socks, and it won’t hurt as much.” She looks down at my foot and rushes to the cupboard in the kitchen. She fumbles around until she returns with a plaster.
Blood stains the wooden floor below me. My mum crouches down to plaster me up, but I swipe her away like I would a fly. “No, no, No,” I say. “I can do it myself.”
I snatch the plaster from her and hastily rip open the plastic to patch myself up. I push down on my toe with a muted grunt and the pain spikes through me.
“You’ll be fine,” she says to me. “Wear thicker socks.”
“You wear thicker socks!” I run to my room and slam the door behind me. I can hear her sigh as she treks to the kitchen once more.
She’s probably gone to get a cloth to wash up the blood. I clench my teeth as I think about how nice she’s being. Why are mum’s so nice? Why can’t she yell back at me? God. Sometimes I think parents are just put on this earth to torture us until the day we move out.
Originally published at www.amaitken.com on May 2, 2017.