‘He doesn’t appear to have broken anything,’ the doctor says.
I look at the x-ray’s delicate image of my boy’s foot and ankle bones and they look for all the world as if they are made of light, delicate and powerful all at the same time.
‘Now perhaps you could tell me again how the injury occurred?’
The doctor whips the plate down off of the light-box as he says this, like he thinks he’s on some detective drama or something.
‘Like I told the nurse,’ I say. ‘He was messing about with his brother on the big bench in our garden and it fell and landed smack on his toes.’
‘Smack on his toes,’ the doctor says nodding, the picture of my boy’s bones tapping lightly against his leg.
‘I can see what you are trying to say,’ I say.
‘I’m not trying to say anything,’ the doctor says.
‘You’re trying to say I did it,’ I say. ‘If you think I did it, just say so,’ I say.
‘His injuries are consistent with being stamped on heavily, perhaps by a large booted adult foot.’
He looks down at my large booted adult foot.
‘They’re also consistent with a large wooden bench dropped on his foot by accident,’ I say.
‘There’s no need to shout, sir,’ the doctor says.
‘I’m not,’ I say. ‘You’ll know exactly when I start shouting,’ I say.
He takes a step back. I take a step forward.
‘Where’s my boy?’ I say.
‘If you’ll just calm down and answer my questions,’ the doctor says, but I’m not listening anymore.
I push past the doctor and out of the small exam room. Looking up and down the main corridor, I don’t see my boy. I run down to the casualty waiting area, slap open the double doors and there he is, at the vending machine with the nurse who took him out.
He turns to me beaming. ‘Look what I got, Daddy,’ he shouts and runs right at me, waving a packet of Opal Fruits.
I lift him into my arms and he squeals a loud and throaty, ‘Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.’
We turn to leave and I see the doctor watching all of this.
‘Let’s go home, Daddy,’ my lad says and plants a kiss on my cheek.
I look at his black and bruised toes dandling over my belly and think of the bones of light that glow secretly inside him.
‘Does he look like I go about stamping on his feet,’ I say as I pass the doctor and take him home.