[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]
[This would be after Ben returned from tide pool viewing through the woods, going faster than he safely could and getting scraped up in the process.]
I didn't think it was that obvious I'd hurt my hands, I wasn't dripping blood or anything, but apparently it was noticeable because pretty much the moment Erica saw me she asked, "What happened to your hands?"
My reflex was to hide them, and I said, "Nothing."
"I can see it's not nothing, let me see."
"I fell in the woods a couple of times. It's no big deal."
She held out her left hand, palm up, "If it's no big deal then there's no harm in letting me take a look." I hesitated, then put my right hand on top of her left. It didn't want to open and I had to will myself to override that desire. "Ben, this is terrible."
"I've had worse."
"If the best thing you can say about something is, 'I've had worse,' then that's a sure sign it's pretty bad." She looked back at my hand.
"You sound like my mother."
She said, "Then your mother sounds smart," without looking away from my hand.
"So anyone who agrees with you is smart?"
She let go of my hand and looked me in the eyes, "Only the ones who agree with me when I'm right. Ben, you didn't even clean the wounds, I could see dirt in there."
"They're scrapes, not gashes. Who ever heard of cleaning a scrape?"
"If it's deep enough for dirt, it's deep enough to clean. Now look, I've got..." she checked her pockets, of which there were many, eventually finding what she was looking for on one of the inside pockets of her coat, "I've got some disinfecting wipes-"
"You carry those around everywhere?"
"More or less," she offered them to me. "You should use them."
I did, and many words went through my mind, most of them derivatives of, "Fuck," but I said nothing.
"I know it hurts, but an infection would hurt more."
[Edith and Ben Index]