Thirteen Miles Away Essay, Research Paper
Nat slowly reached for the tap. The shiny silver colour was smothered with large fingerprints. Before her fingers touched the tap she covered her hand with her sleeve. She turned it stiffly. Water trickled out. She observed her sleeve, noticing dark grey dust. She placed her hands under the running water. Red liquid appeared in the grey, smeared, filthy sinks. Stepping back she looked at her wet hands. No red liquid remained. She looked closer for a wound. A cut. A scratch. Anything. The tap stopped dripping.
Looking around the dead grey toilets, she could see smears. Smears of red, brown and grey. Looking closer she realised that the smears were not part of the design. She noticed red fingerprints. Grey handprints. The tall thin metal doors had dents and scratches of obscenities. Threats were scratched into the doors. ?DIE BITCH DIE? was repeated several times. The doors were ajar. Not being able to see behind the doors, she lightly tapped them to open them. The moaning, creaky, rusted hinges moved slowly.
In the first cubicle there was a large drawing on the wall at the side. It looked like an outline of a body. It was the type of outline seen in a murder scene, where detectives draw an outline around the dead body on the ground. It seemed to be drawn on with black wax crayon. The outline of the body was black, but there were other marks within it. Red marks around the throat, stomach, and chest areas. Words surrounded the drawing. ?KILL, DIE, BITCH, HELL? were scratched with red crayon around the drawing.
?Dear God?? Nat said aloud. She quickly turned around to walk out, but was distracted by something dripping from the ceiling. It looked like the same red liquid that appeared from the taps. She looked up. The red liquid was splattered on the ceiling. The toilets had a vent with a fan inside it at the top of the wall. Loud sounds emerged from the vent. It sounded like vibrating, but each buzz it made sounded heavy, like a tonne of thunder hitting metal. The fan blades were coming into contact with something, which they shouldn?t have. You could hear the friction sounding like fingernails running down a blackboard.
The floor was made of dark red/brown tiles. They looked filthy with brown smears, and black dust. Trying to think of an explanation for the state of the toilets was hard. The stains were unrecognisable. She could not think about where they had come from. There was a moan from a cubicle near the doorway. Slowly creeping towards it, trying not to make a sound, she looked inside where there was nobody to be seen.
Peeping her head into the other cubicles, which had syringes, and used toilet paper soaked in water, thrown onto the walls.
Nat looked like she didn?t belong in the toilets. She wore a crisp white shirt, and bright pink cropped trousers, with new, white trainers. Her hair was clean, and tied in a plait. She wore a shiny, silver necklace and bracelet. She looked like she didn?t belong there at all, and she contrasted with her surroundings.
The florescent light kept flickering on-and-off. Nat thought she saw a spark shoot out from the light but she was unsure. The toilets smelled of urine and cigarette smoke. She could also smell intoxicating fumes, which reminded her of strong correcting fluid. A sign on the wall stating ?Please Wash Your Hands? fell off the wall. The sign was just hand written on paper.
Nat stepped towards the door to leave then she heard a splash. She stepped into a brown watery puddle. She lifted her right foot and noticed the brown liquid drip off.
?Oh no?what the?? Nat said disappointedly. She turned back and rushed into one of the cubicles to get some toilet paper to dry off her trainer. She pulled at the thin white paper and wiped her trainer. She turned around ready to walk out when a large dark figure appeared in front of her. The shadow of the figure covered Nat with a large chill, like a large cold blanket made of snow. Nat?s heartbeat speeded up. She could feel her heartbeat pumping. It banged. It thumped faster and faster like the propellers of a helicopter turning faster and faster. It was beating so fast she could hear it.
?Excuse me? ? Nat asked politely. She couldn?t see the face of the large figure. Worse still, she couldn?t tell if it was a man or a woman. The figure wore a large, long black coat, with large black trainers, with black laces. Nat couldn?t tell if the coliseum-like figure was wearing a mask or a balaclava.
?Excuse me, can I just come past? Please?? Nat asked again politely. The figure blocked the doorway. Their arms were like tree trunks. Sweat was pouring down Nat?s back, and head. Her clothes were clinging on, and she felt heavy.
Thump. Nat fell back. She landed on the toilet seat as if she was sitting on it. It was instant. A large grey hand with red fingers suddenly emerged from behind the black sleeves. It quickly shot out and hit Nat in the stomach. Although it hit her with great speed, it seemed to be in slow motion.
She was certain she was going to throw up, but as soon as she thought she was going to vomit, her head heavily shut down. She closed her heavy eyes, and wrapped her arms around her stomach. Just before she closed her eyes she could see the figure disappear. Her head sounded like a television shutting down after being left on for a long time.
?Mum! Dad!? Nat was screaming in her head. She wanted to be home. She didn?t care about anything else. It was as if she was asleep, but she couldn?t wake up. She was alert in her head, but she could not move her body. She had no control over it. What was the black demonic figure going to do next? Punch her more? Kick her? Rape her? Stab her? She was almost certain she was going to die. She heard the door close. She listened but she could near nothing. No breathing. Anything. Only her heartbeat and her blood pump around her body.
How long would she have to wait?
?Natalie! Oh Natalie, who the hell did this to you? Speak Nat! Come on!? Nat?s Mum was holding her arms tightly, gently, but quickly shaking her to wake her up. She grabbed her mobile out of her handbag. ?Dave! Quick! It?s Nat, she has been beaten up!? Before she could tell what was happening Nat could feel her stomach cry. It felt like it had been beaten with a hammer. Still unable to move, she felt tired as if all her energy had been drained from her like a sponge being strangled. ?I-I-I-I?m okay Mum.? Nat couldn?t take it anymore. Her brain fell asleep.
?Well, we found her in the toilets?She said something?Okay, we?ll have to do a blood test?maybe an X-ray?? Nat heard voices. She was somewhere different. Somewhere which didn?t smell of cigarettes, and filth. This place smelled clean. She could smell bleach. She didn?t think she was at home. She slowly opened her eyes.
?Hello Natalie. I?m Dr. Holden. We?re just going to get a blood test from you.? Nat?s eyes felt puffy. Her stomach felt like it had been cut open and re-arranged. She wasn?t sure how they did a blood test, but she couldn?t be bothered to think of ask how. She could feel her arm being wiped, but she just assumed she was being washed. The next thing she knew, there was a small prick in her arm. Tears fell from her swollen eyes. The pain was not worse than the pain she suffered in the toilets. She used sleep to escape. She slept in the toilets, and she let her Mum take over, and she was going to do the same. By sleeping she could forget all the pain in the world.
It was late evening now and she was in her own special cubicle lain on a bed. This was her first and best opportunity to look at the hospital properly. The room was painted while, with transfers of Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Piglet. The transfers reminded her of school with her friends ? she had Winnie the Pooh stationary.
Her Mum was sitting doing a crossword. She was smiling.
?Glad to see you?re awake. We can go home as soon as the transfusion has finished.? Nat looked up to her right and noticed the bag of blood, almost empty.
The colour reminded her of the toilets. Images of the toilets flashed through her mind.
?Would you like a drink love?? Nat?s Mum asked whilst she closed her crossword book.
?Can I have milk? Please??
?Of course you can dear. I?m Sarah. I?m going to look after you for the next ooh?half an hour.? The nurse announced as she checked how much blood was left.
?Thanks.? Nat said gratefully.
Sarah and Nat?s mum walked out of the room, and Dave (Nat?s Dad) looked at a poster warning of the dangers of alcohol. Nat sat up and lifted the hospital vest to look at her stomach. It looked red, but she guessed that it would probably look much worse as the days continued.
?Hi again. How are you doing? I?ll give you some gel for the bruise. It will get rid of the swelling.? Dr. Holden emerged from nowhere. Nat smiled politely as she looked at him. He was tall, with black hair and brown eyes. He wore a long white, clean coat, black trousers and black shoes. Looking at his style of coat reminded her of what happened.
Sarah came back, looked at the blood, and stopped the machine. She carefully took the needle out and pressed the area with cotton wool. was proud that she didn?t squirm as the needle came out. She didn?t feel as ill as before, but she had a headache. Sarah picked up Nat?s clothes and handed them to her.
?You get changed dear. You can go as soon as we?ve got all your stuff together.? Informed Sarah.
?Will I have to come back?? Nat asked. Sarah shook her head, but if it got worse and was in continuous pain, then she would have to go to her GP. Nat started to get changed. When she finished, Dave came in.
?Hey love. We can go now. I?ve got the gel and painkillers.? Nat?s Mum came in with a small drink of milk. Nat drank it, and got her things together.
Waving to the nurses, and Dr. Holden who was getting ready to go himself, Nat walked out of the ward, and down the sterile white corridor. It still smelled of bleach. Nat, her Mum, and Dave walked through the car park, found the car, and they put their things away in the trunk.
Nat sat in the back seat, as it was the most comfortable. Dave asked if she was okay, and started the engine. Nat closed her eyes, hoping to sleep, and wake up at home. She did close her eyes and sleep, but woke up when she realised that they were parked at a service station.
?Is this the one where??
?No love. This one is thirteen miles away from that one. We?re not far from home, but your mum wants to get a pint of milk.? Dave reassured her.
?It’s okay. I?m just going to the bathroom. I need to wash my hands ? I?ve got that sticky, gel stuff on them.? Said Nat.
?Okay love, be careful.?
?I will.? Said Nat, confidently. She got out of the car and went into the service station with pride. She was going to be brave. It was just another bathroom. It wasn?t the same one.
Nat saw the symbol for the ladies room, and she pushed the door open. Still wearing her white shirt, and pink-cropped trousers, she walked up to the taps. Nat slowly reached for the tap. The shiny silver colour was smothered with large fingerprints. Before her fingers touched the tap she covered her hand with her sleeve.