Back at my mother’s house for the holidays, I took to dancing ballet in my bedroom. I did not reveal to my mother that this is why I slipped, dear readers, though I am disclosing it to you. This is not because I am embarrassed for dancing ballet—for I assure you that I am quite graceful and light on my feet—but rather horrified at having been conquered by the laws of physics, unusually enforced since I had slipped and “fallen” (propelled?) into a doorknob; upon which occasion, as I had been sweeping through the air, my right eye came crashing down onto the closed door.
I staggered backward and, leaning over from the doorknob punching me in the stomach, held my hand over my aching eye. My mother had heard the noise and come through the door, and demanded at once to know what had happened and whether I was all right. Gradually I began feeling light-headed, which I was not happy about, because that is sort of pathetic.
I needed to lie down, and plopped facedown on my bed with my mother still asking what had happened, and at that point I gathered myself enough to rise and inspectively remove my hand from my eye.
Seeing my face, my mother screamed. “Nahida, you’re bleeding!”
I looked down at my hand, and there was blood. The door had cut me right above the eye. I blinked. Blood moved off my eyelashes. Still dizzy, I grudgingly fell back on the bed as my mother ran out of the room to retrieve Neosporin bandages and cotton balls.
“I’m dizzy,” I objected as she attempted to stop the bleeding.
“Then stay lying down,” she pushed me back. “What if this happened at the university and not at home? I wouldn’t have been able to take care of you! This is swelling, it will bruise. What if your glasses had shattered and the glass blinded you? What were you doing!”
“I slipped,” was all I said. I could not inform my mother that I had been dancing, or else endure a lecture (I kid you not) on the dangers of grown women leaping through the air.
At the age of 20, I would not surrender my leaping rights. (Or ever, really.)
Feeling happy, I grinned.
“How can you slip on carpet?” my mother asked incredulously as I giggled. At this point the older of my two little brothers walked into the room and, upon sighting the blood dripping from my eyebrow and off my hand, swerved to the left and winced.
“How would I place a bandage here?” she asked him. “Her eyebrow is here. Your eyebrows are beautiful, I hope this doesn’t scar,” she said mournfully.
No, I protested, my eyebrow!
This must have been a punishment for my vanity. Dear God, I thought lying in bed. I appreciate very much that You have given me amazing eyebrows that I’ve never had to pluck or shape. I would be thankful if You did not take them away just yet. Also, if You could make me not faint, I would retain some dignity.
My brother lightly swung the door and attempted in confusion to reenact what he imagined was the fall. “How do you fall vertically?” he asked.
“I think a jinn pushed her,” my mother said solemnly. “Nahida, I keep telling you to tie up your hair, letting it loose attracts jinn!”
In short, I am fine, though anticipating a black eye, and possibly a bruised cheekbone. Anyhow, this is the most exciting thing that will happen to me all break, so I am only amused.