Bruise: (n) an injury appearing as an area of discolored skin on the body
He had an unusual name: Page.
He was a boy. So he took a lot of crap for it.
In other words, “Page One McCloy.”
I liked him.
He was a simple little fella. He tried really hard to do everything that everybody else did, but he was sickly–that’s what the teacher said–had a difficult time keeping up.
He also had a problem when playing, because the slightest little bump could cause a bruise. So you can imagine, there were times that Page came from home black and blue. The cops would be called and then everyone would realize it was just due to his…you know. Sickly.
So physical games were pretty much impossible because he always ended up looking like he had been beat up in a bar fight.
One day we found some crab apples in his backyard, rotting on the ground. We decided to throw them at each other. Apparently one of them wasn’t quite rotted enough, and it hit him square in the middle of his forehead, knocked him down and left a huge bruise.
His mother was really mad at me, so I wasn’t allowed to play with Page for a couple of weeks.
But when I returned the friendship was as sweet as ever, and we continued to carefully carry on as young boys do–dodging injury.
Christmas vacation arrived, and I told Page that I would call him over the holidays and that I was looking forward to seeing him “next year.”
When January 7th arrived and we returned to school, I couldn’t find Page. A teacher took me to the side and explained that he had passed away over the holidays, from complications due to something called leukemia.
My first thought was that I must have killed him with the crab apple. That idea haunted me for months.
Matter of fact, it wasn’t until we were in biology class two years later that I understood the type of disease that caused Page to bruise.
Whenever I think of bruises, I think of Page.
Then I think about how important it is, if you love someone, to be tender to their condition … and try not to leave any kind of bruise.