There we were, having a perfectly lovely Sunday. There she was, silently coasting away from us down the hill, as Fatty and I chatted to a friend who'd chanced by the same playground.
There was a godawful crash of metal-on-metal. "What was that?", one of us exclaimed. I moved around to where I could see the metal pedestrian bridge. There was a kid on a bike, sprawled over. Our friend, who was closest, ran down to help, Fatty following. I stayed where I was, thinking there were plenty of helpers. Then I saw the green shirt, and heard her begin to cry, quietly. My girl.
I dashed down. She had stopped crying already, but was pale and sweaty. Her chin was dripping blood. I held the gaping cut together with my bare hands to stop the bleeding. Fatty ran off to get the car.
In the ED, they joked with her and checked her over. Her jaw was tender and swollen just near her left ear; she couldn't open her mouth far. The doctor suspected a fractured jaw and I felt slightly sick, but the Xray came back clear. The jaw was only badly jarred. Sweet relief!
Laura lay still and dry-eyed as the doctor injected the local anaesthetic. She closed her eyes and said not a word as he stitched and snipped, stitched and snipped. We took her home and she went straight to sleep, uncomplaining.
Later she woke, whimpering and sweating, her eyes wild and scared. It took me ten minutes to calm the shaking.
Now she is languishing at home on her soft diet of yoghurt and mashed potato. I am kissing her and stroking her cheek and telling her she is the best daughter I've ever had, which makes her laugh.
It's good to hear that laugh.