This time I’m going to say it. I am going to tell her exactly what is on my mind. It is easy. I practised it in the mirror. I’m going to go for something scathing, just so she knows she hurt me. Chin up. Eyes narrowed. Lips in a thin stern line.
“You hurt me, you know.”
“You hurt me!”
“The last time when…”
Oh forget it. We’re not supposed to complain. Worse than that, no one will sympathize.
“We’ve all had that experience,” they all say. “What’s the point of bringing it up?”
“We’re women. It is our lot. Blame Eve.”
Stupid Eve. I’ll bet you anything that the forbidden fruit wasn’t that shiny or red. I bet you the moment she was done eating it she felt grossed out by it. The same feeling you get after binging on a litre of haag & daas.
But here we all are pretending to read last year’s magazines. Some are so tattered and torn you have to fold them in half in order to read them. I’m not interested in what Kanye said to Kim about Amber, but no one is going to know. I’ll keep this nonchalant look on my face, I’ll even try to look slightly bored.
The lady across just glanced at me. She’s young, twenty, maybe twenty-five years old. She looks like a model with her long legs crossed like that. If you don’t look too closely, you will not notice that it is her anxiety that is overwhelming. Our eyes connected and I felt her fear. That is no comfort because it just echoes my own feeling.
It is fearsome. You have to prepare your body for a stranger’s unsympathetic eyes and touch. Then you strip in a brightly lit room with medical instruments of every kind neatly tucked in a corner. Everytime you take in a deep breath to calm yourself, you are afraid the strong smell of the disinfectant will make you infertile.
Then you turn to the narrow bed, the one covered in grey faux leather that is always cold. And what the hell is with the tracing paper they ask you to lay on? It tears every single time!
“Put your feet in the stirrups.”
You try to distract yourself, looking up at the ceiling, counting the number of sections.
You take a deep breath and every muscle inside rebels. Nam myoho renge kyo. Nam (fuck) myoho renge KYOooooooouch!
“It’s in ma’am.”
Mutha fuckin’ mutha fucka. It’s painful! Then the scraping and the pinching and the touching…
I’ve been watching some of the ladies that have been coming out. One of them looked like she had been draped in a heavy winter coat that someone forced on her in the summer heat. I know that feeling.
Sometimes it takes all day to shake off that feeling and just get back to normal.
After she left, the room felt even more heavy with different emotions. This space just doesn’t seem large enough for all of us to be in here.
A muffled whimpering comes in from the direction of the examination room and we all look up. What the hell are they doing to her? I cannot hear it any more.
We are all straining, trying to listen. Slowly we all get back to what we were doing. The room is tense. No one speaks.
No one leaves either. Whether for health or the wealth of children, this is what we need. This is the road we must walk, strong and brave, conquering our fears and praying that the good Lord grants us our wish.
If I promise not to make a noise, or complain about the last time that she hurt me, or curse your servant Eve, Lord Almighty Jesus Christ my Savior who rose from the dead, please grant me the honour of bearing a child.