I hid in my room for the rest of the day. It seemed like a waste of time, just laying around on the bed, staring at the ceiling. But interacting with actual people was more than I could bear.
Sonya stopped by and spoke with Dr. Bennett in harsh whispers outside my door about things I couldn’t decipher, but I pretended to be asleep when she knocked and asked if she could come in.
I heard Dr. Bennett make some excuse for me. “All stressed out” and “feeling the pressure,” and some garbage about the first trimester, and how exhausted a woman feels. I doubted Sonya bought it, but I was too spent to think about it at length.
When I had been on The Line, I’d been numb. I had to be, in order to get through the appointments, and get through the endless days of the same. I’d spent hours laying in my sleep compartment at night, thinking about what my life would have been like, if I was on the outside. Cradling what memories I had of my family like precious jewels. Thinking of what my life could have been like, if I’d never gone to The Line.
It had never occurred to me that I’d get retired. I figured I was on The Line until my body gave out, which happened to a lot of girls. And then I would be euthanized and all my troubles and sadness would just end. Life after and outside The Line had never crossed my mind. Not once.
And now, I was faced with just that.
I should be happy. I should feel ecstatic. I should be reveling in my new found freedom and enthralled with the possibility of my free life. Instead, I was huddled in the bedroom of a very understanding and seemingly caring man who wanted to help me, maybe even to love me, and I couldn’t even look at him.
Would I ever be able to?
Was I doomed to this life of emotional retardation forever?
I wasted away the day, in my hurricane of emotions and thoughts. I wanted to burst from my room and plant a big wet one on Dr. Bennett just to see if I could…But my imagination was as far as the idea progressed. When it came to getting up, and going through the door, I could not. My body was unable to move. It was like my mind was free, but my body didn’t know it yet. It was still numb, and my brain was stricken dumb with hope.
My eyes rested on the door.
But not of what one might think.
And what I could be.But probably couldn’t.