Chapter 08 - FrankenGirl.
Present/Future - Unknown.
"Do you trust me?"
In a Victorian fashion, with his palm and forearm supporting her spine, he gently laid her down on the cold, sanitized table. The warmth and comfort of flesh quickly disappeared into the manufactured, plastic harshness. It was accented with the striking feeling of its coldness.
"Of course," she said, her breath escaping her. The table was so harsh, so cold; feelings she never associated with him. Whatever this was, whatever new procedure this was in the next step of their romance, their passionate romance, she trusted it. Not that she entirely trusted the situation that she was in, but she trusted him. So as long as he was there.
"Because you love me," he said, as he hung over her, looking down upon her laying on his table. He said those words with such confidence. But not the kind of confidence you would expect a man to say to his lover. He said it with the confidence of trickery, of deceit, of having the upper hand.
Taken off guard, she paused for a moment. A nervous reflex, she began to rise from the table, flexing her core in fear to propel her upper body from the harshness of the plastic beneath her. He could see the fear that resounded with his statement. With a more expressive, cordial tone, a kind that dripped a texture of velvet as they words were uttered, he stated, "No, no-- because you love me." She eased, the velvet enveloping her fears. "Yes; yes-- because I do love you," she responded with a certain exhale of relief. Nerves on fire; ceasing to fire the electrodes at the sound of his comforting voice. He leaned in and kissed her. It was the kind of kiss they shared the first time they ever locked lips; the first time he ever told her he loved her. The first time they had to say goodbye and the first time they got to say hello again. That kiss; a kiss that could seal any deal to any fate, of fortune or of demise.
As he pulled away, allowing his lips to linger on hers for every last second while pulling away, she let go and fell into him. There was some kind of magic as to let her will power, her beliefs, her essence just fall into those last moments of that kiss. An enchantment of sorts. Yet Cinderella never met such an entrapment akin to this Darling's fate of misfortune. In a state of pure relaxation, of trust of love and of comfort, the Darling fell asleep. The harshness of the cold, the lack of comfort of cradling plastic, and the garish light of fluorescent lighting would normally keep those nerves firing with fury. Yet, his kiss, his trust, his love that she so vehemently believed in, allowed her to relax. It all allowed her to give in, give up, and let go and into the darkness of sleep.
The dreams that followed were vivid, fantastical, horrific, and perfect. They were dreams of laying next to him underneath a tree, reading stories she had authored about their romance. They were dreams of fantastical flights -- of sitting atop observatories to see the indefiniteness of the Los Angeles skyline from such great heights. And yet, they were also perfectly horrific. The terrors of torment. Failing to keep promises, of never believing she was good enough. Of hiding her from the world and of fights about her ambitions being too demanding and never wholesome, humanitarian, or genuine enough. She was a selfish bitch who would never understand his world; she was a girl with a broken heart at the moment, that cracked with every misunderstanding he had perceived of her.
Every time the terror would prevail, a pain would surge. Pain like the assertive stabbing of the dull blade of a butcher's knife. So dull to not be able to cut, but only to saw. And away the rusty edge would saw, up and down, up and down. Staring at the corners of her mouth where he left a kiss, away from the full lips, up the plump cheeks, into the solid core of the cheekbone. Sawing, stabbing, jagged-edges; sawing, stabbing, jagged-edges.
She squealed. Unable to awake from the terror; unable to yell for help. Something was suppressing her own voice from expressing her very real fears that emerged from the midnight terror. But a weight, an incredible weight, suprressed her lips from moving and forming words, thoughts. The weight was so heavy that it exhausted her to even contemplate how she would begin to part them to form the words, the cries for help. The weight of her body fell into her chest, into her core, giving in to the weight of the force that kept her from speaking. She felt so tired, so alone; holding on to the only thought that when she awoke the midnight terror would flee. It would be back to the vividness of trees and stories, of fantastical images of skylines and city loves. It would go back to the way it was and ought to be.
A lull in the fear, and then the midnight terror crept back. But this time, it was all so much more aggressive and violent. Walking in and out of her life, he'd only show love when he felt like it. She would sit on the floor and worry and wait, fearing for the worst with days of silence in the interim. In his shirt, she'd sit on the floor of this foreign place and wait. Foreign in surroundings and feelings -- foreignness that crept over her like a disease that took with it her mental capacity and emotional strength. Then, he'd walk into the terror scene, and instantaneously, the dull blade begins to saw. He would say that he never needed her; she was just a means to an end, and the dull blade would tear, ever so slowly away at the fatty-flesh of her cheeks. He would say that she was a wretched girl; a girl whom men loved the idea of, but took one whiff of her true essence, and became sick to the smell. The kind of woman who would speak up, instead of shutting up. The kind of woman no man could bear. The kind of woman he would always hate. The dull blade plunged into the cheekbone, and even with its lack of precision, it shattered all the structure of the face of the girl who thought herself to embrace the color of the world.
The midnight terror, ever so frightful, electrified her to the core. The incredible weight that sunk into her chest and into her core seemed to be zapped from her body, her eyelids splitting wide open, her lips parting into a wide expression of terror. A frightful scream escaped her lips, her chest, heaving up and down; up and down. She felt a warm liquid run down the side of her face. She ceased to scream, looking to her shoulder and upper arm only to see a trail of warm, red, thick liquid running down her arm. Not just one thin stream, but many. Many droplets falling on her shoulder, running down the curvature of her bicep, into the crevice where her upper arm and lower arm met.
Heart racing, she yelled out, "Love?! Amor?!"
Her words rang out into the emptiness. Her cries were met with cold, harsh, and sterile silence.
The salty tears immediately began to well. She tried to keep them back, but they were so voluminous that they overcame the barriers of her lower eyelids and eyelashes. One blink and the levee broke, allowing the flood to pour. She felt the multiple tears fall, stinging her cheeks where she imagined open wounds lay. Stinging to the point of surging with pain, the contact of tear and tare shocked her into sitting up straight, screaming out with the desperateness of feeling an ungodly pain.
The pain only fueled more tears and the tears continued to fuel the pain; a vicious cycle.
She arose from the table, a little lightheaded, and slowly proceeded, one foot in front of the other, to walk over to the sink in the operating room.
Along the way, she noticed a full-length mirror hanging on one of the eggshell-colord walls. She stopped, her side parallel to its reflection, fearful to turn another ninety degrees or so see the product of the midnight terror. But at some point, she reckoned with herself, at some point she would have to face the fears and the scars of the trust that had been so violently violated. And so, she turned. The dull edge of the butcher's knife was very real, as jagged cuts started at the corners of her mouth, up the sides of her cheeks. The right side of her face seemed slightly collapsed, where the brute force of the knife came crushing down to burst the structure of her booming smile. Blood dripping, scars formulating-- the face of the betrayed; the face of the midnight terror; the face of the emotionally forged monster.
"A fucking FrankenGirl," she heard the voice of her lover say. She turned around slowly, blood dripping onto her clothes, to find her lover standing in the doorway of the operating room. A transformation of glory-day love, he promised. This was no transformation into the indefinite romance but to its definite death. Disgusted with the image he saw, he flinched. He was grossed out by his own terror, the pain he himself had inflicted. Dr. Frankenstein, afraid of his own horror. There was no stopping the salty tears now.
"Come," she heard a seductive, female voice say. From behind the door she saw a small, soft hand reach out. The hand of another woman reached into the operating room to pull him away. He took one last glance at her, horrified with his creation, and tightly squeezed the hand of the soft voice from behind the door. His safety, his reason for his destruction; the woman who, one day, would do the same destruction to him. He left the room and the world went dark. One florescent, flickering light was all that was left now. In the horrors of the cold, sterile, and harsh operating room-- one flickering light.
She fell to her knees, her jeans absorbing the puddle of blood that had fallen from her face and onto the cream-tiled floor. In the shadows of the flickering light, she looked again at the terrible disaster he had callously carved her once smiling face. The face that smiled, and painted the pictures through words, the color wild. All the world would ever see, however, was FrankenGirl, the product of sutures of a stitched-together romance that would never stay surgically in place. The product of a midnight terror that spanned some months, some years, at the hand of the dull edge of a butcher's blade. And all the world will ever see, she cried to herself, are the mutilated scars of a mortified soul.
But someday, little did she know, that maybe someday the world would look closer at the scars that were left to find that they connected to form the semi-harsh edges of a delicate flower, with soft petals.
And while she cried in the pool of blood on the floor, she saw FrankenGirl. While God above, with her heart in his hands, had plans to blossom the scars of the beautiful Flower Woman.
FrankenGirl - Illustrated by Bianca Ungerman.
© 2020 Bianca Ungerman.