DAUGHTER'S SUICIDE. | By: Terry Collett | | Category: Short Story - Dark Bookmark and Share


Suicide, they said, the police when they came, he tall and thin with dark eyes and she plump with round eyes like those of cows. They have laid her on a slab, naked, except for a white shroud covering her lower body. She looks as if asleep; no signs of injury, no slit wrists, or wounds, or hanging burns around her neck; she is just as she was the last time you saw her a week or so ago wrapped up in bed, sleeping off a busy day or hectic night. Anorexic, some nurse mutters over your shoulder, not to you, but a comment, a guess, to the rest. Had she been? You don’t know. Never gave it thought. She came and went so frequently, in such a rush, always on the go. Over dosed, a doctor says; we tried, but it was too late. She looks so clean, so pure, as if born just like that, ready-made, full-grown. You brush a finger along her hand. Cold. Stiff. She used to hold your hand on crossing roads as a child, gripped it tightly, her fingers gripping yours. She kept her nails short and well manicured, you note. If they weren’t here you’d kiss the hand, brush it against your cheek. She didn’t smoke, no sign between fingers of brown stains, or marks on arms of needles or any druggie signs. You’d have known; you always looked for signs after Gerald’s game and sad demise of shoving shit into veins. They’re leaving, the doctors and nurses, out of respect for your feelings and grieving. So silent here. What to say or do? You expect her to open her eyes and lips and say, what the fuck are you doing here, you didn’t care? But she’s silent, her lips do not move. You lean closer, put your lips on her mouth, press gently. Nothing. You gaze at her breasts; insignificant, she always moaned about that, having no tits, being flat. They’ll come, you said, but they never did as yet and won’t now. You draw down the shroud and toss it aside. Her thighs are thin, her legs are bruised, her feet small like those of a child. Her pubic hair is sparse and fair, unlike the hair on her head, which is red. She was always changing the colour, black, blonde, brown, always dissatisfied. Had she had sex? Undoubtedly at least by what she said. There was always a boy hanging about, her sort, having it away, not giving a fuck what might result. Had she been pregnant? Was that it? They’d have said, the doctors and nurses. Wouldn’t they? You being her mother and all. They never said. You lean down and kiss her breast, press the lips on flesh, wanting her to awake, to be there, alive. You pause, smell the air, sigh, breath in, begin to cry. She would have hated that: the tears, the sobbing, the red eyes. She always spoke her mind, said what was on her tongue, let you have it, highly sensitive, highly-strung, her words like piercing arrows having stung. You seek in your pocket for tissue or nose cloth to wipe away tears.  There is none, so you wipe with the back of your hand, lean up, stand, and look down. You see the child in her young woman’s form; the little girl lost look, the lost my way home kind of moan in the air. But she’s not there; she’s gone, nothing remaining except the shell, no being there, no sense of life or care, just that clinical smell, just her being numb and dumb and the overhead light’s soft hum.

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