Children’s Foot Falsehood

‘Please!’ I shouted, bursting into the emergency room, Anabelle cradled in my arms. ‘Please, doctors – anybody!’

A gaggle of nurses rushed immediately to my side, lifting my daughter up and placing her on a stretcher.

‘What’s the issue?’ a stern looking nurse asked as she took my daughter’s pulse, rattling off a string of numbers to another nurse with a clipboard.

‘I was putting her in the car to take her to school and she just… she just…’

I couldn’t finish the thought, pressing a hand to my mouth as I started to well up with tears.

‘We’ll look after your daughter ma’am,’ the nurse said to me in a soothing, practiced tone. ‘Don’t worry.’

‘O2 stats are fine, pulse is stable…’ the previously clipboarded nurse reported. ‘Hang on. Cynthia, what day is it?’

‘Monday,’ Cynthia replied with a frown. ‘Why?’

The nurse standing next to Anabelle pulled a pen from her pocket and lightly jabbed it into her big toe.

‘Ow!’ Anabelle yelped, jerking awake.

‘She’s fine,’ the nurse rolled her eyes. ‘Though she might need a new pair of circulation socks – my life saving treatment just put a hole in this one.’

‘So she’s… you’re…’ I glanced around the room, confused. Cynthia lowered her glasses to the end of her nose, disapprovingly glaring at Anabelle.

‘I, uh… I feel better!’ Anabelle threw her hands up in celebration.

‘You were faking?’ I asked, feeling the tears steaming away from my eyes. ‘Faking?!’

‘Not completely…’ she said sheepishly. ‘My feet do hurt.’

‘I know somewhere that’ll help you with that,’ Cynthia nudged me. ‘A great place near Cheltenham that does children’s orthotics.’

‘Thanks,’ I said, through slitted eyes. I turned my fury back to Anabelle.

‘Is that the time already?’ she said nervously, glancing at the clock on the ER wall. ‘Wow… I’m gonna miss Math this morning. Maybe even PE…’

‘Then I’ll have to ask your teachers for catch-up homework,’ I hissed. ‘Thank the nurses for saving your life – and then let’s go, young lady.’


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