Brooke, doing her thing
Katie and I had just returned from the mall. She brought her packages to her room and I headed into the den, where I knew I’d find Brooke. There she was, in her PJs, watching Dora while rolling back and forth across the floor on her scooter, as you do.
Luau was hovering over my shoulder.
I didn’t know what was wrong, but I knew something wasn’t right. The air was just .. off.
“I need to tell you something, Hon,” Luau began. I turned to look at him, then looked back at Brooke. Everything looked like our version of normal. Why didn’t it feel that way?
“But before I do, I need you to know that she’s okay.”
Stories in which everything is okay don’t begin with a reassurance that everything is okay. What the hell was going on?
He saw the panic on my face. I saw the reticence to tell me whatever he had to tell me on his. The next twenty seconds took three minutes to pass.
“We went out for a bike ride,” he said. I knew what that meant. Brooke rode her bike on the sidewalk, the only place she will ride it, and he walked alongside her. It’s what we do.
I studied my girl. She looked all right. But, something. What?
He explained that Brooke had gotten just a little bit ahead of him on her bike (as she always does). She was about to cross over a driveway when he spotted a woman in a car, backing out. Panicked, he shouted to Brooke to stop. She did, with her front wheel about a foot into the driveway. The woman in the car didn’t stop. She backed out, tapping Brooke’s bike with her bumper. The impact was not enough to hurt her, thank God, but it was enough to knock the bike to the ground.
The woman jammed on her brakes, then put the car in gear, driving back into the driveway. She then looked back at Brooke, then at Luau, reversed again, PULLED OUT OF THE DRIVEWAY AND DROVE AWAY.
Brooke was fine, he said again. She was frightened, mostly by him yelling, but she was fine.
We both know that fine right after trauma doesn’t mean fine. It takes time for our girl to process big events, big feelings.
Acknowledging the obvious, he said, “Well, she’s been fine; there might be a delay.”
She stepped off the scooter and curled into my lap for a squeeze.
“Yeah, there might be a delay,” I said.
I held her with everything I had.
I am nauseous writing this.
The woman drove away.
She could not possibly have known if my little girl was okay.
She DROVE AWAY.
Who does that?
I don’t know what to say. I don’t know how to end this post.
I just know that something is really, really wrong.