Kidnapped - Part Two
The picture fades out and Eastenders comes back on.
An hour passes, although it could easily be two, or even three. The TV has switched off automatically. You are unable to sleep, in fact you feel wide awake. Occasionally the sound of traffic reaches your ears from the street below, the voices of late night revellers, some tinkling laughter. You notice the lights have dimmed in the room and in the corridor outside. You become aware of approaching footsteps, coming from a long way down the corridor. They grow in intensity, although it seems like an eternity before they arrive. The double swing doors open and a nurse enters. Her blue and white uniform is immaculately clean, starched and crisp. She is like something from a bygone age. Her hair is pinned up inside her cap. She is extremely pretty. She smiles, projecting warmth and empathy. You like her immediately.
“Hello, Nami. I’m Jennifer. I’ve just come to check on you, see if you need anything. How are you?”
You try to answer her, forgetting that you still cannot speak. You emit a little hiss and gurgle and have the urge to put your hand to your throat, but the white satin ribbon checks your right wrist.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” says Jennifer. “What have those naughty doctors been doing now? Honestly, they’re becoming really mischievous lately.” She comes round alongside you and her long slender fingers touch your throat gently, feeling the strip of plaster. “They don’t always do this procedure. I don’t know why they should do it to you? But don’t worry, it’s not harmful and the plaster can come off tomorrow. You will have your voice back in a day or two.”
Her fingers stroke your face and tidy your hair. “Are you comfortable..? Just nod, or shake your head, Nami.”
“You feel quite warm. Would you like me to wipe your face with a cool flannel to freshen you? And I could brush your teeth and hair if you like?”
You nod again and Jennifer goes to the sink and runs a flannel under the tap, squeezes it out and comes back to wipe your forehead. It feels like heaven. She next wipes your cheeks, your chin and your neck, being careful around the piece of sticking-plaster. You feel totally refreshed, a new woman. Then she brushes your teeth, gives you a mouthwash. And finally brushes your hair out, taking her time. She is gentle and mindful of any tangles. It is a very sensuous experience. You have always liked having your hair brushed, or combed. You particularly like going to the hairdressers and having your hair shampooed and your scalp massaged. A memory comes back to you.
You notice that the sensation afforded by the attentive brushing is particularly enjoyable, much more enjoyable than the memory that occupies your mind right now.
“Is it nice, Nami?”
You nod and smile. You’d like to tell Jennifer just how nice it really is and that you do not want it to end just yet.
“Has anyone told you why you’re here, Nami?”
You shake your head.
“Have you any idea why?”
You shrug your shoulders.
“Well, I’m sure the consultant will fill you in. It’s not my place to tell you. But I’m sure you are going to enjoy your stay with us. I understand your trials start tomorrow.”
“Well, there’s nothing to worry about. I’m not allowed to reveal anything about the tests tomorrow – other than they are to assess the effectiveness of your operation.”
You’d really like to know what the operation was for, what has been done to you, what changes have been made? It’s very frustrating not knowing, but you are not the least bit frightened, only intrigued and anxious to know. In fact you feel quite excited by the whole episode, the mystery of it. It’s like being in a dream, weird yet enjoyable. The kind of dream where you know it’s only a dream, but you don’t want to come out of it in case you miss all the nice things that you think might be coming your way... if only you can stay with it.
Jennifer finishes brushing your hair out, leans forward and kisses you on the lips. It surprises you. It is brief, but soft and sensual nonetheless. You feel pleasantly confused. Part of your anatomy responds in an unseemly way. “Do you want something to help you sleep, Nami?”
You nod, licking your lips and tasting Jennifer’s lipstick. She prepares a sedative for you. You can smell the pleasant antiseptic soap on her hands as she angles the glass for you. You wonder if she will kiss you again. The pristine look of her uniform, the pure and sanitised appearance of her skin fills you with irrational, yet overwhelming desire. She is so near, yet so far out of reach.
“Good luck tomorrow, Nami.” Jennifer dims the light to ‘night-glow’ and leaves you. You have a kind of empty feeling inside, a hunger for... for something, you do not know what. What is it that you want Nami? What has brought you here to this place? Your mother used to say to you: “Be careful what you wish for,” didn’t she? Do you remember? No? Lots of things are hard to remember at the moment, aren’t they? It is quite normal under the circumstances.
Soon the sedative takes you down, down into the softness of the bed. You feel relaxed, happy and safe and surrender to an overpowering, deep sleep.