She never called.
The police detective on my case never called.
She promised me.
She promised me she’d call.
That’s all I wanted from the police officers. The results. I wanted to know the results of my lab work. If they found a match. A DNA match.
My legs were spread wide for the nurses. No tears. Calm. I was so calm as they scraped, pricked, and exposed my body to find answers. Photos. They took photos of my insides. Displayed. My insides were displayed on a large TV screen. I could see. See what I looked like inside.
Was my kit even tested?
Or perhaps, it still lays at the bottom. The bottom of the cardboard box the police officers placed it in. The box filled with other kits and numbers just like mine. For we have no name. Only a number. Gone unseen. Untested. Untouched. #140620241.
They say, tell someone. Go to the police. File a report. Give a statement. Answer the police officers questions. Cooperate. Answer more of the same questions from different officers. Don’t get upset. Retell the story. Again. Again. Again.
I did. I did all of that. Yet, I am left. Left waiting for answers three Springs later.
At the clinic, they took my clothing. The clothing off my body and placed them into a large plastic bag. Even my bra. It was protocol.
Sitting in my nakedness, I wondered where my clothing went. Does it silently sit someplace? Suffocating from the plastic fumes it’s housed in?
Some days, my mind can’t settle. Settle into realistic places. Too much. Uncomfortable. Everyone around me seems uncomfortable by me. But I can’t drown. Drown the voices. The images. The lies. Away.
I wander. I have to wander. To other realms.
A warehouse. I picture a warehouse filled with all of these unopened, numbered bags. Different colorful outsides, yet much the same haunting insides. Wrapped up and piled. Piled so high they form a pyramid.
A point so high.
Each bag has a story.
A story to tell.
With each step … another story is revealed.
In this warehouse, right before dawn, I imagine the bags speak.
They become alive.
Sharing themselves with each other, while sitting on top of the other.
Pleading through the plastic to be preserved. “Don’t forget about me” they mutter. “Please. Don’t forget.”
My bag bursts. Bursts open with words.
A darkly lit room. No windows. Questions. I am being questioned by a detective. She is asking me so many questions about that night. The night I can’t remember. The night I came home without pants. No Underwear. No shoes. No phone. Only a shirt. I only had a shirt on. Soot. My feet were covered in brown soot. Walking. I had been walking the streets barefoot? A bar. A party. That’s right. I was out dancing at a bar for a friend of a friends birthday party. I remember now. They were cute. The hipster boys flirting with me. Dancing with me. Vodka soda. They bought me a vodka soda. I drank it. Then blackness. I can’t remember. I can’t remember how I got home. Head spinning. Ears ringing. Eyes heavy and sideways. Lost track of time.
I don’t remember leaving. Leaving the bar. Walking. I am now walking the streets trying to call a friend. Pick up. Pick up. Pick…What’s going on? He picked up. You okay? I can’t see. I say. I say. I don’t know where I’m at. Help me. Come get me. He can’t. He can’t help. I can’t see anymore.
Confused. Everything is all jumbled. A taxi. I get in a taxi. I think it was a taxi. A car. Maybe it was just a car. The front seat. I sit in the front seat. A man. The man sitting next to me smells of patchouli. My nipples feel hard. Excited. He is touching them. Kissing them. I don’t know if I like it. I want to go home. How do I get home?
Jumping out. I’m sure I jumped out? My thigh hurts. More walking. I’m trying to get home. Another car. I wave. Wave them down. A couple. Can you take me home. I say. I say. Crying. Begging. I can’t walk. Legs. They stopped working. My address. Lights. Bright lights speeding by.
The morning. I wake up. I wake up to myself not remembering. Remembering the bruises. I wish I didn’t wake. Wake up. I’m scared. Scared of not knowing. Knowing what happened. Happened to my body. Only fragments. I only have fragmented memory. Flooded. I’m flooded. Every week. More. More Floods. Can’t breathe. I’m drowning. These fragmented images keep flooding my mind. I want them to stop! How do I stop. Stop the flood. Stop time…
The house of bags continues to grow. Evolve. Heal. One on top of the other. Supporting each other. Day after day. Year after year. Flood after flood. Forming a tribe.
Each morning, right before the sun fully awakens, the bags dutifully fold their cloth edges in, and tightly zip themselves back up…one by one…to wait. Pretending. They pretend to peacefully sleep, but secretly they hope. They ALL hope today will finally be the day someone remembers to come unzip them.