Walls Without Mirrors

“Are you alright?”  Her friend asked.  “Yea, I feel fine.”  “Well you were screaming a lot.”  “No, that wasn’t me.  I didn’t scream.”  “Ok well, I asked the receptionist, you were the only one back there.”  “Oh.”

She didn’t remember screaming.  All she remembered was, when she tried to look at the sonagram screen the nurse turned it sharply and the image disappeared before her eyes could translate what she saw, so she turned her head and on the other side of the bed was a cart with a lot of surgical tools, and that was the last thing she remembered.

The hot water streamed down over the curves of her body and mingled with her tears.  She was shocked, unprepared for the emotions surging through her.  It had been a chore, a task which needed completion, and a decision which could be afforded no thought and no second guessing.  The time which had passed before it was to be completed, had merely been inconvenient, not reflective, and now this shocking backlash of overwhelming sadness had overtaken her, and she could not relate.  Where was all of this coming from and who was this person standing here crying?  Suddenly exhausted, she was finished and turned off the shower.  She could barely make it to her bed fast enough.  She closed her eyes and forgot about the world.  Later, awakening still wrapped in her bath towel, she changed into pajamas and went back to sleep.  Then he was there.

Sitting on the edge of her bed offering her a cranberry juice he was asking how she felt.  Numb.  She felt nothing.  She had felt nothing when he took the condom off and pinned her arms down, refusing to stop until his satisfaction had been met and her resistance had been overcome.  She barely struggled, it had been futile enough and something inside her just shut everything off in disbelief.  Now she looked at him sitting so close yet she could hardly see him.  Sighing, she sank back into the pillow welcoming more sleep.  It was all over, he would leave soon.  The whole episode would be like one of those unfortunate stories which one reads about in a young woman’s magazine, in the same issue where there was useful advice on how to survive on an entry level salary, and make-up tips and fashion tips, and tips to get him to notice her and date her and love her.  It was all just an unfortunate circumstance which would eventually disappear into the back of her mind.

A week later, in a house crowded with family, the scent of roasted turkey permeated the air.  It felt like summertime in the kitchen.  She had obediently laden her plate with enough of everything so that it was full and ate enough of everything so that it looked empty.  She made polite conversation of how school had been going, avoiding the fact that she hadn’t been to class in a month as a result of morning sickness, and then debilitating exhaustion.  After, she retired in front of the television to partake in the traditional Thanksgiving nap.  Just a week ago, she thought to herself, I had a baby inside me, and just like that I don’t anymore.  She felt more aware than ever of  her body.  Her hands folded over her stomach and she felt her hip bones through her t-shirt as she dozed off.

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