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Nerves of Steel 1
I had gone through some sort of operation when I was nine years old. I don’t really remember why, but I think I’d fallen down the stairs and broken something. What I really remember was the pain. I’d felt it through my whole body like white hot prongs piercing through my flesh.
The doctor—I think her name was Dr. Gonda—was talking to me, almost cooing, while the blue-clad nurses were hovering around me.
“Don’t worry, it’ll be okay,” she was saying. “Everything’s gonna turn out just fine.”
I wasn’t really listening to her. I couldn’t, not when my brain was filled with thoughts of how my body felt that time. I’d been writhing uncontrollably and screaming at the top of my lungs. My mother had been watching me intently, but then I guess she couldn’t take the sight of her daughter acting like she was being tortured. She buried her face in dad’s shoulder, her own heaving up and down as she cried for me the tears I couldn’t bring out.
Then Dr. Gonda had jabbed me with a needle and I started to drift away. But even unconscious, I still had nightmares of the searing pain. I dreamt that I was in the center of a small red room that was slowly closing in on me, trapping me with its spiked walls. But just as I thought I was a goner, the walls stopped. It was finally over.
I had opened my eyes to see mom sitting on the right side of my hospital bed and dad on the left. I smiled tiredly at them.
“Is the pain finally gone, sweetie?” my mother asked.
“Yeah,” I breathed, overcome by relief at being able to speak intelligibly again.
“Yeah, it’s gone.”
I looked at their faces and saw that they looked relieved too. I grinned, ecstatic.
“Hold my hand, mom,” I said in a small voice. I wanted to feel at home again.
“I already am, sweetie,” she replied.
That’s when I started to get scared. The feeling of pain was gone.
But then, so was everything else.