John took me to the emergency room after the accident. I begged him to leave before my parents got there. That way they wouldn’t embarrass me, in front of him at least. The pain in my broken leg was subsiding a little from the pills the nurse had given me but I wasn’t too numb to think about my parents.
I am in deep shit. They are going to kill me. I’ll be grounded until after graduation; stuck in my bedroom until after the fourth of July. It never pays to lie to them. Every time I do, I get caught. But I’m just trying to have fun like other kids and, this is my senior year. I’m so tired of being different. All I want is to be normal which isn’t easy with my family. No shit, they are really going to kill me this time.
I could hear my Dad’s booming voice the minute he arrived in the emergency room. “God damn it, where is she? Gina! Gina, where are you?”
I should pretend I’m asleep from the pain killers. No, I should really save the nurses from his bluster and maybe keep him from getting arrested. “Take it easy Dad, I’m in here. I’m fine. They are taking good care…”
“What the hell happened, young lady?”
The privacy curtains were nearly torn off their rods as his six foot frame appeared at the foot of my bed.
“Geno, un minuto. Give her a chance.” As my Mom peered around him to look at me, her soft brown eyes were huge and searching from under a ginger colored halo of curly hair.
They always look mismatched when they stand next to each other. He’s tall and powerfully built with weather beaten skin, a pencil mustache and bushy eyebrows. She’s just like a tiny doll with porcelain skin and perfect proportions.
“Mom, Dad, I’m OK. I broke my leg. That’s all.”
“That’s all? They said you were in a car accident. In a car, full of kids who hit a tree. But I say to myself, how can that be? We told her no. No, she couldn’t go!” He looked over at my Mom with a shrug, his hands turned upward as if offering her a basket of fruit.
“I know what you said, Dad but we weren’t doing anything wrong. We were just going golfing.”
“Nothing wrong? Well something a little more and we would be down in the basement, in the morgue, identifying your body. Then what?”
Well, with my luck and our connections to the Catholics, even if I was in the morgue I’d probably still have to listen to them scold.
“Bella bambina. What were you thinking? And what will other people think? Non mi ami piu?”
“Oh Mom, of course I still love you. I didn’t do this to hurt you. It’s just that he never lets me do anything. I never have any fun so I just went because I wanted to be with the other kids and just to play golf, you know?” I was hoping to gain at least a little support.
When the doctor came in with the X-rays, Dad stood there, ramrod straight with a death grip on the gurney’s safety railings. His face went white, his legs collapsed and he sat down on the chair with a thud when he heard the doctor say surgery, metal pins and physical therapy.
Uttering “Mama Mia,” Mom took over, shakily signing the consent form. “Grazie. You take good care of our daughter. Grazie. She’s a good girl.”
As the anesthetic was guiding me into a dreamy, cushiony place, I felt a big rough hand fold over mine and heard a gruff voice through the muddle. “OK. You do what you’re supposed to in there, damn it. We’ll be right here when you get back, young lady.”
I felt a soft kiss on my cheek and heard a whispered “Ti amo, bella”.
“Love you guys too.”