After I brushed my teeth, I climbed into my white rod iron twin bed as my mom tucked in all the corners of the blanket.
“Jessie, I think the doctors are going to have to take your leg off.”
“Is it gonna hurt?”
“No, they’re gonna put you to sleep.”
“Is that gonna hurt?”
“Can I get a dog?”
I got a dog.
The day before my amputation, I got a dog. A sweet, sweet beagle named Daphney. I picked her because she had speckles on her belly; she was special, she had to be special because out of all the dogs there she kept walking up to me. I liked her because she was different than all the pups. She picked me.
The surgery happened just as my mom expected. Except for the night before, when I insisted on spending an extra long time in the bathtub so my right leg would be perfectly clean for the doctors, or except for that same night when I drew helpful pictures of my leg for the doctors who would be performing the surgery. My mom didn’t expect that.
The morning of April 1, I snuggled into a different metal bed with different white sheets. I snuggled with BunBun, my favorite stuffed animal, and they put me to sleep with banana-flavored anesthesia (gross). I woke up in that same bed several hours later, doctors and my parents watched as I flipped back the blanket to reveal… hot pink.
“We were thinking of telling you we cut off the wrong leg as an April Fool’s joke.”
A. Hot. Pink. Cast.
“Butttttttttt we decided that would just be a bit too much.”
They chose hot pink for the color of my cast. I told them I wanted a surprise and they chose the most stereotypical color for an eight-year-old girl. Who cares about a missing limb when someone is judging your personality with a color? Hot pink. Fail. Great April Fool’s joke.