Just an accident, my mother tells the doctor wrapping my arm in a cast. You know kids. He smiles and draws a happy face when he’s done.
Just an accident, I tell the counselors when they question the injuries. I’m quite clumsy.
Just an accident, I parrot repeatedly, like my mother taught me. She reminds me it’s my fault I need to be punished, and I believe her.
For a while.
Just an accident, the cops say when they show up at our house. Faulty brakes, icy road. I nod solemnly and close the door.
My smile is not an accident.