Tik, tik, tik...
The ticking of the clock above my head is deafening.
Every nurse who walks by my sitting body gives me the same look. What a sad little girl! She must be saved. I return the stare with my big hazel eyes, trying not to appear like a poor victim girl when I’m far from it.
My aunt and grandmother appeared exhausted and overwhelmed. They occasionally look at me with disgust and hatred. They have every right to be, because I am, after all, the cause of all this nonsense.
Another nurse arrived. She sat down beside my aunt and asked her a few questions. She sensed the tension between us and directed them to another room to finish the paperwork. My grandmother gave me a quick glance and told the nurse in a thick Moroccan French accent that she would stay with me.
The nurse had this white savior look on her face that almost made me chuckle, and she told them that both were needed there, and she could stay with me. I could see in her eyes that she wanted to end her relatively short sentence with What a sad little girl.
What should a New Yorker white nurse expect when she sees a Moroccan small boyish girl who received a double slap on the face twenty minutes ago for causing her father's heart attack? My aunt told my grandmother to accompany her and give me the dirtiest look after calling me a meaningful curse in Darija.
I shifted in my chair, feeling the burning sensation that hit my throat just before a crying meltdown. My father, who was kind but colorful when he spoke Darija, treated curse words as if they were normal ones. As an advantage, he taught me every possible curse word. He was the epitome of a cool father; he was very proud of who he was and where we came from.
I am a thirteen-year-old Moroccan girl who grew up in New York. Although I appear to be a young boy with short hair and a boyish body, my brain was much older. As they walked away, I swallowed my tiny pride and looked at the ground.
“Are you okay?” the nurse asked as she grabbed my frail hands. “Did she say anything bad to you?” I returned her gaze, wanting to scream at her.
“No.” I simply said.
The nurse moved her hand and looked at my legs. I was dressed casually in dark grey sweatpants. Something intrigued her attention, and she became even more irritated, the hero gaze returned. I followed her gaze and noticed the large blood stains that had dried on my skinny legs. The stains made the pants stick to my legs. I repositioned the fabric to make it appear looser.