“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
I lie on the stainless steel table, indifferent to my nakedness, as she walks around me.
My limbs seem to hang without effort, relaxed, patiently waiting for the entire thing to be over and done with. And yet, there is something in the stone-like quality of my arms and legs that removes whatever it was that had once made them human.
Strands of my dark hair have escaped over the edge of the table and hang in damp clumps, still wet from when the pathologist washed them. It is the smell, however, sour and acidic, that seems to offend her the most, and she slips the mask over her head and adjusts it around her ears.
I stare up at the ceiling, expressionless, as the woman leans over and searches my face. She seems to be looking for something, the slightest crinkling of my skin or a single twitch, anything to suggest that I might be aware of what is about to happen.
A drop of water falls from my hair and lands a couple of inches from her shoe.
The woman doesn’t notice, but she steps away, her fingers hovering over a tray of instruments before settling on a long scalpel. Her hands are steady, eyes empty, as she inserts the blade into my shoulder joint and slices downwards, curving around under my breasts.
I want to tell her that she is looking in the wrong place, sorry, but you won’t find it there.
It died with me.
I suppose that when I was alive, I might have had lots of stories to tell, but they are of little consequence now. The story that she wants to hear, the only one that really matters now, it’s gone.
It is the only story that I will never be able to tell.