We rushed inside and he did everything he could to take care of my wound. It became red and raw. As the moments pass it looked worse and worse. Pete's face was white. There were no words to his remorse. No adequate apologies for his stupidity. He did everything he could think of to make me comfortable. He felt such utter despair that I couldn't help but feel sorry for him.
At first it stung. But the shock of what he had done protected me from immediate pain. Gradually though it started to throb. The kind of pain where you can feel your pulse in the injury. After a few hours of throbbing, it reduced to a lingering ache. At night when I fell asleep I would forget about it until the morning, when I stood up and felt stiff as my body reminded me the wound was still there.
Pete bent over backwards to make it right. He would look at it and touch it with painful regret, and all the meekness of the penitent. He was attentive and compassionate. He never once let pride prevent him from demonstrating his repentance. He took ownership of the injury and was perfectly responsible for it. He exhibited relentless sympathy and never tired of my complaints at the pain and inconvenience of it.
At one point he said "This is the stupidest thing I've ever done." And I looked at him quizzically.
It is remarkable to me how I heal from this trauma more quickly when my hurt is met with ownership and responsibility. How my heart melts like butter on a skillet when I am treated with genuine tenderness and compassion. I have such a longing for that tireless sympathy whenever the pain and inconveniences of this experience resurface.
My flesh wound has healed. There is a scar, but it only brings feelings of warmth and gratitude when I think of how I was treated while I was healing.
"I did this to you." He said. "I can't believe I did it. But whatever you need, I'll give it to you."