The heel of my foot pounded against the thin carpeting and the cold, metal chair shook slightly as I waited. The bright light and antiseptic smell of the room didn't help. I hate waiting. There's nothing worse than waiting for your deepest fears to come true. The anxiety was probably worse than the actual pain. Thinking about it. Why do I always think about it?
I can't even watch it happen on TV and it's worse in a movie, for it to be enlarged and in my face. Gah, how could anyone watch it?
Roy sat there with a concerned expression on his face. He knew how I hated this, but all he could do was hold my hand. I squeezed it but told him to leave. Having someone watch always made it worse for me. It wasn't the humiliation, but something in my subconscious about anyone watching me always made me more nervous.
Then she came in. She looked so innocent, short with dark hair in a bun, dressed in white (as if she was a good guy) and a sweet smile. Not how you would expect an evil torturer to look. She made small talk with me as she laid out her equipment placing the vials neatly in a row and they tinkled together. I clenched my fist before she even asked me to, stretching my arm as if I punched her. Her cold, rubber gloved finger prodded my inner arm.
"Oooh, you have good veins," she chirped too happily for my tastes. They always said that. It was probably the only thing that made any of this bearable. If I had my mother's thin, hard to find veins they'd have to lay me down and strap me to the bed like they used to when I was little. As it was I turned my head as far left as possible when she reached back towards the syringe she laid out a moment ago. She didn't pick that up. Instead she strapped the tourniquet to my arm which signaled my mind to tense up. I physically forced myself to keep from rocking. I wanted to huddle in a ball and never come out.
I tried to swallow but couldn't as my breathing started to get faster. She told me it will only be a pinch. What a lie! If it was just a pinch it would be over and I'd be woken from this nightmare. I closed my eyes when I felt my head becoming light and know the room would start strangely moving if I didn't. I needed to think about anything but the needle sliding under my skin. I had to or else I would black out.
I thought about Roy; his dark eyes piercing my soul, his sweet smile and cute chubby cheeks. A slight smile crossed my lips. The nurse still tried to make small talk, but I'm no longer there. I'm with my love on a patch of grass talking quietly with the fresh spring air the only thing between us. He laughs awkwardly at a bad joke he told and looks down at the blade of grass he held. I want to kiss him to let him know everything was all right. Just being with him, I knew everything would be all right.
A slight lift of the needle pulled at the skin as she reached for the bandage. It dragged me out of my nice safe world with him. I hadn't even felt the tugs on the syringe as she changed the vials. My head started to spin as the evil device wrenched at my vein and my skin lifted up off of the muscle. Bile collected in my throat and I forced myself to think of anything but that thin metal in a place it shouldn't be. It didn't work this time. I'd glanced down at it to see what she was doing and the image of the needle sticking inside me burned itself into my brain. I felt sick. The stretched skin around it only made things worse as I could see the full length of the needle under the surface.
Then slowly, with care (even though it was too late now), she withdrew it almost as painfully as it was put in. The pressure from the nurse's finger replaced it. As she lowered the tape across the cotton, a shroud covered the memory of the needle in my mind. I could relax.
"Okay, all done," she said as if it was easy. I fought to keep my composure as I stood. I should have sat for a minute or two longer to clear my head. I simply couldn't stay in that room another second; the place was too sterile for my blood's taste.
Roy met me in the lobby crowded with people. I felt as if they all watched me and judged me. Vertigo engulfed me.
"You okay?" he asked delicately. He inched his fingers through my hair as he tried to look in my dilated eyes.
I nodded because I couldn't speak, and even that was a lie. This whole thing was a big fraud put on to satisfy my doctor that my hormone levels were in balance. I felt anything but in balance at that moment. I was glad Roy was there. I wouldn't be able to drive home with the world playing like a roller coaster.
"Come on." He took my left hand with care knowing I would keep my right tightly squeezed at the elbow for sometime, fearing another trail of blood, memories from my childhood, to follow me out the door.
Once in the car I inhaled the minty car freshener scent. Ahhh... Freedom away from nurses and needles, at least for another month.
"You can put your arm down now," he laughed. He knew my insecurity about it, but he wasn't as insensitive as I thought. He took my right hand, carefully stretching my arm, then leaned over and kissed the bandage with tender, loving lips. He then looked up at me and I did start to feel better.
He met my lips with his. I longed for this moment. Our first kiss; light, affectionate and mixed with a little passion gave me vertigo all over again, but in a good way. For this reward, every moment of torture paid off. I would brave the nasty needle for him every time.
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please send me any comments you might have, good or bad. Copyrighted 2009 by Christine Schnell. Go ahead and share it with others just keep my name with it.