Stupidly, I had bumped my foot into a chair. By night, my big toe was a big red ball throbbing and hurting horribly. My beautiful partner helped me a bit but he was too grossed out by it so I had to take this matter into my own hands. Resisting the pain, I tried to make the blood and pus that had formed when the nail got stuck right into the flesh.
After along time of moaning and panting, I dried my wound, cleaning it with all kind of products and then putting a bandage al around my toe to keep it free from infection. My sleep was not very good and, the next morning, I saw it still hurt a lot. Before leaving for work, Patrick told me to call Laura, a neighbor that happened to be a nurse. Mondays were her day of and she might be able to help on what to do with my toe.
I called her on the cell and she came right away. We had helped Laura moving in after divorcing her husband and we had become great friends. Also, she left her daughter with us when she had to stay too late at work and her sister wasn’t able to babysit. The little one was adorable and we liked to have her in order to watch a lot of children movies and give her all kinds of bad and good food.
After examination, Laura told me to call the pharmacy and ask for something to reduce the swelling of my toe that should be good if I stayed a couple of days at home. It would heal eventually but not if I worked too hard on it, and as my work consisted on walking a lot, this meant I couldn’t go anywhere.
After Laura left, I called my office in order to tell them I wouldn’t be able to go for a couple of days because of an accident. My partner there got very worried and threatened to come home later and, before I could tell her it was all ok, she had hung up. The drugs from the pharmacy took some time to arrive and it was odd, for me, to receive the deliveryman wearing my pajamas barefoot. I didn’t really like not wearing socks or footwear but Laura had been adamant about it. The man warned me that the pills made you sleepy, which I loved instantly.
When the man had left, I took one of the pills and swallowed it with a big gulp of water. I had never been very good at taking medicine, even the simplest ones. Maybe it was because my mother was so overprotective when I was little and she kept trying for me to take vitamins and codfish oil. She forced me so often; I think I created an utter dislike for anything that comes from a pharmacy or from a doctor.
Patrick called shortly afterwards to check on me. I told him I couldn’t move a lot, only applying some hot water on my toe every so often. He sent me a kiss and promised to be there as soon as he could, which I knew was not very soon because he was an assistant in a sports team and those people loved to stay in one place talking and arguing for hours and hours and even if they didn’t have an incoming match, they would discuss all the games they had seen during the weekend, which could take some time.
I personally didn’t like sports that much but when I met Patrick he tried to make me be a little sportier. He failed tremendously although now I can watch a whole football game without the need to check my phone every five seconds or pretending to go to the bathroom. I do get bored still but I guess love can conquer all differences, if one is committed enough.
It was funny that when I turned on the TV, a tennis match was on. Then the doorbell rang and, slowly, I walked to the door. Strangely, my foot felt heavier, more swollen even. Didn’t the anti-inflammatory work? It was Laura and her little daughter. The little one was carrying a green backpack and a doll in her arms. They both came in and then Laura started talking fast: apparently her sister had a problem with her car and she had to go and help so she wondered if I could take care of her daughter Amanda.
To be quite honest, I don’t really get children that much. I mean, I like Amanda a lot but Patrick is always around when she comes in and he’s such a good guy with kids: he knows lots of games (or maybe his improvisation is really good) and kids like him a lot because his funny and just great.
Me, however, not so much. I mean, I can be creative because it’s part of my job but being a only child and having no close relatives younger than me, I never had the experience to take care of any of them.
My first idea was to change the channel and put on some cartoons. I had no idea what kids Amanda’s age liked to see. Actually, I realized I had no idea how old she was. So I asked. She was so interested in the cartoon that she only put one hand up, with all her fingers stretched. Then I saw one more on the other hand, that she hadn’t put up. So seven years old.
- I haven’t had breakfast. Are you hungry?
She nodded, not really paying attention to what I had said. I went, slowly, to the kitchen. I almost hit a counter in the kitchen with my feet and had to cover my mouth to curse. The kid, luckily, didn’t turn to look at me. Apparently cartoons were much more interesting than the limping man in the apartment.
After a fast look, I realized we had nothing good for a child to eat. Both Patrick and me ate granola for breakfast and I was sure kids didn’t like that. But I did so I poured some on a bowl with almond milk, because I’m weird that way. I found, at the back of a cupboard, a few cookies covered in chocolate. Was she allowed to have sweets this early in the day?
- What would you like to eat?
She took quite a long time to say she was rather thirsty. Luckily, we always had plenty of fresh orange juice so I poured some for her on a small glass, which I thought was best for a child. I put it in front of her, in the coffee table, but I didn’t know if she had seen me. Her eyes looked as if she had been hypnotized or something. Then, the doorbell rang again.
Apparently the doorman let anyone in, as it was a man handling pamphlets for a new Chinese restaurant. I told him we only needed one menu but he forced a bunch on my hands. As I couldn’t move, that was most probably a crime, or so I thought. I closed the door but then it was the intercom ringing. My toe was throbbing more than ever when I answered: we had bought a new dining table and I had totally forgotten about it.
So for the following thirty minutes, I had a child drinking juice and watching TV, two men trying to get everything in the tiny elevator and then out, a bunch of useless restaurant menus and a toe hurting like mad. I was already cursing my luck when an older lady, a neighbor, came to complain about the noise the guys from the furniture store were making. I tried to be nice but then the old bat put her cane right on top of my foot.
I don’t know if it was on purpose but I pushed the lady aside and made her fall on a chair by the door. Then the man in the living room dropped the table heavily, scaring the life out of Amanda, who screamed loudly and starting crying noisily. The man dragged the chairs in, as I helped the old lady up. I then screamed at them for damaging my floor and the lady fell again and I almost fell with her but apparently faith hates my foot as one of the guy’s dropped a chair right on it.
I cursed so loud and hard everyone stopped making a noise and just stared at me, like I was mad or something. Then, I saw Patrick’s face and he was visibly confused by everything.
- I got the day off… What’s going on?
Behind him was Victoria, my partner at the office. She looked worried.
Done with the world, I just decided to fall onto the sofa and let him deal with everything. Finally, with a huge pain on my foot and the sounds of people crying and screaming and talking again, I fell asleep. The medications had kicked in.