The scars on her shin mark the numerous times she had scrapes and bruises through exuberant play; either with her siblings or friends in the neighbourhood or school. The play area was diverse i.e. the school playground, around the house, down the road at the long-standing family friend’s. The venue for the escapades wasn’t relevant; the result was permanently etched on her shins and if you asked her she could regale you with tales more exciting than those of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer.
Her knees were no longer an eyesore. In her youth they were riddled with hideous, outcrops of ridges that were tributes to glass cuts, scrapes and other mementos of her tomboy ways. With time, they didn’t appear as angry or obvious and thus saved her from queries.
She remembers that the marks just below her right knee were a vivid reminder of how she had almost lost it. A sudden and wrenching drop between the slabs of a drainage slab during the sojourn of the youth corps year was one of the souvenirs she brought home. A trip to the hospital had not been required thankfully.
The strappy, sexy sandals she bought at an outlandish price had also left its calling card. The dark marks found behind both heels were a tribute to their passage in her life. She considered them a small price to pay…for that second glance, the oohs and aahs could be heard, silently echoing, whilst the eyes did nothing to hide them. Those that could verbalised the compliment and pronounced her feet, the belle of the ball. For these fleeting moments of glory she now bore their indelible marks.
The abrupt encounter with the hot steel of a motor-cycle exhaust could also be read by the side of her right ankle. This branding had almost completely faded but closer scrutiny and questions could draw out the story of her gawky mistake in those early days of the okada evolution. This was a miscalculation she would not make now. The round marking had been burned not just into her ankle but her consciousness and became the premise on which her etiquette on how to mount and dismount these machines was based.
Although her thighs were no longer as firm or her belly taut like she would have liked. The number of hours she put into exercise, selecting the right clothes and eating right was worth the three healthy children she now had. Each of her scars was a memorial to the various stages of her life and reminded her about the distance she had already covered in her journey.
‘Mom when are we going home?’ Snapping out of her reverie, Bernice answered Gordon’s question as she watched him stroll towards her, ‘we have thirty minutes left so you have to be patient.’ Laughing aloud at Keith’s remark about her son’s gait, she stood up and took the baby from Winifred. Cuddling the sleeping child, she thought how funny it was that her glimpse of Morgan had brought the rush of memories. She made a mental note to call Abigail when they got home, five years worth of telephone calls was enough…it was time to finally meet.