When we got to the Parliament steps, Sam turned into an 8 year old kid again. He stood at the top of the 10-step drop and smiled. There was no fear behind his eyes. There was no knowledge of pain, broken bones, blood – all that seemed to have dissipated. He was 8 years old again. Believing that a board to the testicles would tickle, that a knee would bleed not crumble, that his bones were rubber not breakable. I stood at the base and watched him pace toward the centuries-old building. He spun, as if to showcase his outfit, and started on his way, his right foot slapping the polished stone furiously, a strain on his face as if he were about to orgasm. Still, even as he came within a foot of the stair-edge, there was no fear. He brought his right foot onto the board, shuffled both feet, moved weight to the back and hit the kick precisely at the top of the stairs. I held my breath as he sank in the air, hit the ground, and watched the board come from beneath him. The crack of his skull sent a tense feeling from the back of my head to the bottom of my tailbone. Blood ran immediately and furiously toward the gutter. And selfishly, only one thing ran through my mind:
I hope she isn’t working, I hope she isn’t working today. I hope Sarah isn’t working the late shift today.