Thursday, June 29, 2006


3:07 a.m.
Ripped out of bed by the caustic blare of a pager. The dull voice from the answering service told me the cops would be there too. Ten minutes to mentally prepare. Ten minutes to drive to the ER. Damn. Just open a vein.

It was simple to spot her when I glanced in the waiting room. She was noticeable because she didn’t want to be. Amongst the screaming babies and broken noses, she picked at her nails absently, trying to pretend nothing was wrong. I’d never seen her face before, but I knew her well. She’d been drained. Eviscerated. I felt the vacuum tug at my middle. Wouldn't it be easier to open a vein?

I nodded toward the officer as I sat down next to her. He knew to leave us alone and let me do my job. Right now, she needed someone who didn’t care about anything else but her. I told her who I was and what I would do for her. I told her what she was feeling and why.

I told her it wasn’t her fault.
It wasn’t her fault.
Not. Her. Fault.
Fucking sick empty feeling. Christ, just open a fucking vein.

Her used and exhausted body followed me to the exam room. While we waited for the doctor, I explained what would happen. Her eyes were far away but she seemed to understand. Now, her body was a crime scene and she was a witness. More shame and humiliation lay ahead. More would be taken from her.

There it was, pulling my insides again; wanting to take it all back, make it not so, undo the damage, save her, save just one.
Could I ever bleed enough?

No blood or guts or miracles.
When they put her feet in the stirrups, she reached for my hand instead.


At 11:31 PM, Blogger Ron Southern said...

You know how good, and how overwhelming it is.

At 12:38 AM, Blogger Laurie said...

That was good, T.

I've seen what you described in the ER too many times..

At 12:40 AM, Blogger gnightgirl said...

You DO know you have a one-way ticket to heaven, yes?

At 7:55 AM, Blogger theresa said...

Ron - I know it's wiped me out to write it.

Laurie - Victims don't need the chaos of that scene. Our ER created a separate room dedicated just for doing assault exams. It's made things a lot easier.

G-Girl - If there a place up there for especially naughty Hot Chiks with a penchant for shennanigans?

At 8:02 AM, Blogger Dick the Boomer said...

Written with the voice of someone who has been there, seen it, felt it. I salute you.

At 8:10 AM, Blogger theresa said...

Dick - ack! you're embarassing me.

At 4:57 PM, Blogger greenman said...

very nice. very powerful. Elegant in its simplicity.

At 1:54 PM, Blogger ZooooM said...

So talented. I keep posting comments like that, but it's true.

At 11:33 AM, Blogger naive-no-more said...

T~ This was powerfully heart wrenching, told with a voice that carries burdens heavier than anyone should have to.

I'm amazed daily by your strength, your love, and your talents.

Excellent job.

At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, hits close to home.


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