The Lull – Prologue

The Lull – Prologue

I’ve been working on this – shall we say – “piece” for a while now and found this hidden away in my drafts. Any thoughts would be appreciated. In case you can’t tell, this is going to be a medical thriller, someday. Here’s hoping.

I’ve been waking up at the exact same time everyday, 3:30 AM. Sometimes I think I can hear noises, but that’s probably just my imagination. Truth is, I haven’t been sleeping well and it’s been eight months now and I know it’s not the new mattress. The clumps of hair I find in my hands every time I run a few fingers through my hair feel like warning signs. Multiple warning signs. Back in my day as a doctor at the hospital, I would see cancer patients on therapy losing hair this alarmingly. I don’t know what’s wrong with my body, but I sometimes feel like a part of me is kind of dying. And that isn’t comforting.

Who is going to take my place when I am no more?

The pain in my tailbone is bad today. I would rate it a solid eight point five. I can’t remember when it started but I can feel it intensifying. My normal ignore-it-till-it-goes-away tactic isn’t working anymore. Which is funny because it works really well when I have my dysmenorrhea. I try chamomile tea. It’s now almost four in the morning, and it’s cold, and dark and wet outside. It hasn’t stopped raining in forever. The wifi goes for a toss when thunderstorms happen and I temporarily have no access to Instagram. I like to stalk – no, keep up with – a few people when I am alone. I like to see what Rita is up to with her brand new side hustle, or what Nikkie is up to with that judgemental mind of hers, and what Tina is doing with life. These guys were my best friends in college, and then we went our separate ways and then the whole pandemic happened and all hell broke loose.

You’d think they’d check up on me, but I am someone they secretly like to call “The Dismissed”,  and they’re not wrong. I’m a has-been, a pariah, the one who threw her life away. I have no job, no prospects, and I don’t know if I would ever see my patients again. There’s a health crisis raging outside and they need me more than I need them but they don’t see that.

After all, what would anyone see in a emaciated former doctor in her late twenties who lives in a shoebox of a house, savings dwindling, with no one to turn to? I close my eyes and touch my back, that’s where they surgically implanted something so Nikkie could get away with something else.

Their life, happening.

Mine? Nothing but a lull.

Grouchy Mark!

Grouchy Mark!

It’s funny how almost everyone’s got birthmarks. Like, in weird places. Places they can hide. Me? I’ve got one – ugh – on my face. Right cheek.

Now you know why people stare.

Froggy eyes. Check.

Birthmark. Check.

Way too much mouth. Ignore that please.

I’ve had tons and tons and tons of people asking me the same question over and over – “God, what’s that on your face?!”

For a long time, this question would bother me. Why don’t I have perfect skin too? Why so blotchy? Why on one side? And I admit, I’d get grouchy when people asked me about my birthmark.

Unable to come up with anything funnier, I’d reply, “That’s just God being clumsy for a minute with his coffee. While he was making me, you know. And some splashed onto my face. He probably thought it looked cute though, so He left it on, even though He could have airbrushed it out.

That’s how I’ve got this coffee stain on my cheek. No, it’s not a port-wine stain, it’s just coffee, thank you very much.

And for a long time – right from the day I started med school, so that the girls at my hostel wouldn’t see my it – I’d wear concealer religiously. Wake up at five, sneak off to the communal-with-cubicles-showers, slap on concealer, go brush, go have breakfast. All this sneaking so that people wouldn’t notice my birthmark. Sounds extreme, but college chicks are scary when they pick on you. I guess it’s already been established by ten gazillion people that girls can be cruel.

It was super uncomfortable at first, but then I decided there was nothing wrong with my face, might as well let other people know that too.

People with birthmarks on your faces – there’s nothing wrong with you. Trust me.

“Everyone is beautiful. Right? All we ever need is a little encouragement to he ourselves.”

This was the last installment of the Post a Quote a Day Challenge that the beautiful Noorain ( nominated me for. I hope I did an okay job, though and I gotta go find my funny bone now. Because, duh, my posts have been getting a lot “serious” now. Which I don’t really like.