Friendship, Memories

Wound Openers

We all carry wounds we are unaware of until they are bumped, or worse, smacked.

After a church acquaintance discovered that she and I shared a hometown, she innocently asked, “Did you attend Grimsley or Page?”

“Smith,” I said. A thirty-year-old wound opened, and I wondered what my face revealed.

The wound? One Sunday morning, my sister and I scoured the newspaper pages announcing new high school boundaries. We rejoiced to find our street assigned to Smith. My sister could return, and I could join her.

Hours later, a fellow middle schooler slunk into Sunday School lamenting, “I have to go to Smith instead of Grimsley or Page. Students at Smith are stupid and wear overalls and don’t own shoes and are excused to harvest crops… my life is doomed.”  

My classmates commiserated.  My teacher consoled. I kept quiet. I did comfort myself with my knowledge: shoes but no overalls, a modern mall under construction nearby but no farms.

I didn’t fully understand that I still bore the wound until asked “Grimsley or Page?” which implied, “Surely, not Smith.”

PS Patricia liked Smith, and we became good friends in Algebra 2.

Any wounds being opened?

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