Stopping the bleeding
|[I am aware this is a tenuous link to the prompt.]|
I've read up. I know what to do. I have assembled the tools to do it. I'm ready.
I lie back, bare-chested, and pull the trolley closer. Reaching out, I take the scalpel in my left hand. Closing my eyes, I place the blade against my skin at the correct point for the first incision. The metal is cold, goosebumps appear.
Gritting my teeth I cut. There is pain, but it does not compare. I move the blade deftly and after the first few inches find myself able to open my eyes and guide my work. I cut the perfect 'Y', just as the book described.
I place the blade back on the trolley. Next I take the saw. I flick the switch and the circular blade begins to turn, reaching full speed quickly with a whine I find distasteful but appropriate. I position the saw an inch above my chest, between my collarbones. I have to close my eyes again. This won't require guidance. Just...strength. And determination.
I force the saw down and feel it cut into my breastbone. There is a loud crack. The pain is white hot and I cry out, but it soon subsides to the other. As quickly as I can without moving off course or snapping the blade I split my breastbone in two, quickly turning the saw off when I deem the job done and dropping it to the floor.
I lie still for a moment, panting with exhaustion and pain. I open my eyes. Forcing my fingers between the two halves of my breast I feel sick. With my bare hands I prise my rib cage open. I won't describe the sound. It is awful. Awful. My blood runs freely from me, soaking my fingers, the bed, dripping to the floor. I look down.
There it lies. My heart. Beating steadily but somehow weakly. It looks unhealthy, damaged. Grey. Doing its job but no longer really interested in it. Carefully, I slip my fingers around the flesh and lift the organ from its home, bringing it up to my face, to my eyeline. I look hard at it. And whisper to it.
For about five minutes I whisper, telling it what it needs to hear, what it must be told. I didn't know if this would work. But it seems to be. With every passing minute, almost wth every word, my heart responds. Beats stronger. Grows healthier. When I have said all there is to be said I bring my heart to my lips. And kiss it gently.
Blood coats my lips, runs down my chin. But my heart responds, quickens and pumps strongly. Gently I return it to its rightful place.
I put my head back and with my blood soaked hands force my ribcage closed. To my surprise and relief it knits itself shut almost straight away. There is no pain while this happens. Quickly, just in case my body realises this isn't possible, I take the needle and surgical thread from the trolley and sew the 'Y' incision closed. The blood that ran from me stops.
I am exhausted. I rest for a while. My body heals itself amazingly quickly while I do. When I have the strength to do I so, I sit up, swinging my legs over the edge of the bed. The trolley is blood spattered, the floor red, the bed soaked. But my body is clean. My chest feels normal. There is no pain. And I realise...there is no pain!
I weep with happiness. Looking down, I see not everything is perfect. But I will carry my scars proudly. They came from a worthy place. They will remind me of that. They do not bother me. But...
The 'Y' that is emblazoned across me...I wonder...should I take the scalpel once more...and add a question mark...