Test 4, Day 3

England 362 and 224 for 8 (Moeen 67*, Broad 0*, Olivier 3-38) lead South Africa 226 (Bavuma 46, Anderson 4-38) by 360 runs

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One hot, humid summer’s day my sister, our neighbor and I were playing our garage. I as showing off a bit, I guess, showing them I could get from one end of the garage to the other without touching the ground — climbing over the lawnmower and the garbage cans and the other assorted junk you find in everyone’s garage. After a while the neighbor kid’s dad called him home, a storm was coming.

We were living in Ohio and it was flat and you could see thunderstorms rolling in way off into the distance. In the summer it felt like a storm hit us every week. You could feel it coming in the air the day before, as the humidity spiked and the birds grew quiet and air was thick like soup. And then the storm. The horrifying storm. The lightning lighting up the night, the shutters rattling in the wind, the thunder shaking the house. I was scared death of thunderstorms growing up — especially of the tornadoes they occasionally produced — and this fear was doubled by the fact that our house did not have a basement.

After the neighbor kid left my sister and I went back inside and helped my mother close the windows in preparation for the coming rain. I was a little manic with fear and when I was losing the sliding glass door in our family room I neglected to move my other hand in time and slammed the heavy door directly on my thumb. I howled with pain. The nail had shattered and there was so much blood. My mother wrapped it in a towel and called the doctor’s office and they suggested we come in. I sat in the back seat as my mother drove with my sister in the passenger seat through the nasty Ohio thunderstorm, hydroplaning through intersections as the wind rocked my mother’s bright orange 1976 Chevette hatchback. My mother had put some hot soapy water in small cereal bowl and I kept my thumb submerged in the water as we drove.

At the doctor’s they did an x-ray, determined nothing was broken, wrapped my thumb and sent us home. The nurse told me that if it started to hurt, to hold my thumb up over my heart.

The next my sister and I were eating lunch in the kitchen. I was in so much pain. I was crying. It hurt so bad! My sister looked at me and saw that I was in pain and she motioned to me to raise my thumb over my heart. “Up, up,” she said. “That will help it feel better.” And she was right.

“Don’t worry, soon it won’t hurt at all and you’ll forget all about it, ” she said after I calmed down a bit. She was right about that too.

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