I helped him peel his black Lycra shorts down over his hip and thigh, scraped raw and embedded with gravel from the road. He winced and bent his head back in pain. He breathed deep, in and out, to keep from crying. Blood rimmed the edge of the peeled place, and the center was pink and white. While I hurried to get the first aid kit, he hobbled to the shower to bathe the wound.
“Not too hot,” I called. No answer.
When I returned, he was gingerly allowing the lukewarm water to run over his thigh, sluicing blood down the drain. Eyes closed, teeth clenched, he turned his face toward heaven in agonized supplication.

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