White Dog barked her usual greeting to let us know Michael had arrived home from school. YoYoMa, Puff and I were painting in the back room and WD's happy woof turned to alarm at about the same instant that Michael said, "I think this is the worst day of my life!" I turned to ask, and gasped. It looked like he had been on the losing side of a total thrashing.
White Dog and Quinn were on his heels, worried and not sure what to make of the unsettling tone and smell and vision that had just entered our home. Michael's shirt was spattered and the knee of his pants was stuck to his skin with dried blood. His face was covered on the left side by a rag he held to the oozing cut under his eye. Both his lips were split and his glasses no longer lived on his nose.
"What happened?" I tried to sound calm as I questioned. "Looks like you were in a fight." The WDA nervously swirled around him as he just stood there...swollen and miserable.
"I wish everyone would stop saying it looks like I was in a fight! I fell down the concrete ramp at school and off a curb." I ordered him into the bathroom to gently wash with soap and water so that we could clearly assess the damage. Quinn followed him to make sure that the job was thorough.
When he came out it was clear that the cut beneath his eye was deep but his face was swelling from the trauma so quickly that it was hard to tell much else. White Dog sat next to him on the sofa while we applied an ice pack and I cleaned up his palm and knee. Nuka laid down at his side and TOWD paced as Puff watched from a distance.
YoYoMa and I quietly went to the cabinet to gather supplies for the patching up: adhesive tape, gauze, scissors, antiseptic cream, peroxide, and warm soapy water. When Steve walked in TOWD took him aside and explained the situation. Steve looked Michael over and agreed that although the cut was bloody, it was not deep enough to warrant stitches. We would spare Michael the stress of going to ER (he was already getting quite worked up at the prospect).
As Michael held onto WD, Steve once again thoroughly cleaned the cut and liberally applied antiseptic cream. Using a cotton swab, he cleaned off Michael's lips and then chased Puff down as she tried to take the medical waste out to the yard for disposal.
Yo and AWD assisted as I made tiny little butterfly bandages (thank goodness for the Girl Scouts!) that we then applied over the cut. Michael looked like a frightful Halloween monster with his puffy face and lips, scabby split, and taped over gash. WD administered the water to go with the aspirin Steve offered and Michael laid down once again. Quinn stood at his shoulder, Nuka assumed position at his side and White Dog checked on him every few minutes.
For now all is well...sore but already on the road to recovery. Michael is fortunate to have an entire staff of White Dog nurses who will keep watch and protect. The extra pair of glasses have been found. There are no head bumps; it seems he fell full on his cheek...so we are not too worried about a concussion (although we will keep an eye on him for the next 12 hours).
Michael was dismayed to find out that he will look and feel worse tomorrow...and that he will probably have a scar. "Don't worry," Quinn advised, "remember how long I looked awful with my shoulder shaved and healing? We'll all still think you are very handsome."