Via is broken. Tired. Her heart hurts. She wonders if she is breathing anymore; she wonders if she even needs to breathe. Does it matter?
She is gone. And no one knows.
There is a wall between her and the rest of the world. Not a normal wall of cement or brick; it is invisible. Like a force field. But it is there. She is on one side of the wall, and the rest of the world is on the other. People try to talk to her; they say things, they reach out, but they don’t understand. They could never understand.
If it is possible for a person to lock themselves inside their body, Via has done just that. People are staring, but she doesn’t acknowledge them. She doesn’t move. The world goes in and out of focus. The pictures spin around her like a kaleidoscope being turned by an excited child. She can not hear; she can not see. She can’t feel anything. But they don’t know that. They don’t understand. They can say whatever they want to her; it doesn’t matter anymore. Nothing does.
Via leans on the counter. She knows that she needs them to help her, but she doesn’t know how to get their attention when she can’t speak. She falls down, folding into the linoleum like she consists of liquid. As her eyes close, she wishes that it would open up and absorb her; she has no place in the world anymore. Disappearing would be easier than living.
The world is loud, too many colors. Everything is moving very fast. She is in a room with no idea how she got there, on a bed surrounded by a dirty blue curtain. The gown she is in is paper thin. She feels naked, exposed. People are staring, and she has the thought that they will see her, that they will know what happened. One man is wearing a uniform, dark blue and official looking. But he’s too close. Via opens her mouth to scream but nothing comes out. She tries to erase his existence by ducking into her arm, but there are wires and cable streaming out of her elbow. They are jumbled and tangled together, like her insides. She screams again, soundless, and he fades into the fog that is the rest of the world.
A weight settles on Via’s chest, and she thrashes in an effort to shake it off. The fear increases the fog. Everything around her is blurred together; everything is messed up. Light and dark at the same time. Loud. Overwhelming. She can’t focus. Emerging from the fog, a woman takes her arms and holds her to the bed. Every place the woman’s fingers make contact with her skin, Via feels a bolt of cold deep inside her bones. The only thing she can focus on are the ten places where the woman is connecting with her skin.
The fingers are like a mirror, a reflection of the past. Everything comes rushing back. She can feel everything that happened. She remembers. Everything.
She blacks out. But then she is awake, like no time has passed at all. The woman is talking almost as soon as Via’s eyes crack open. Was she sleeping at all? Or was she just disappearing? The questions were too fast to comprehend. Was there someone they could call? Via laughed deep inside, but not in a comedic way. It was deeply sarcastic, bitter. Someone they could call? What a riot.
It is all over her, what happened. She can’t get it off. She has this notion that if she could just shower, if she could just scrub what happened away, things would maybe feel a little better. But she isn’t allowed; she has to stay there. There are no choices; there is no way to make things better.
She will never be clean.
The woman explains what she is doing as she goes along. Via only catches a few snippets. They call it evidence collection. They are inside her. Her experience as been reduced to nothing more than the collections of evidence, the collection of remains.
This proves it. It is all over her. He is all over her. She is his.
She is his, and he is the wall. She can not touch the rest of the world, and the rest of the world can not touch her. Everything is right there, but she can’t reach it. She will never be whole; she will never fit in again. He has changed her; he has broken her. Her place, her existence, has been erased; what is so large to her, what is so huge and irrevocably altering, seems so small to the rest of the world. He has made a wall, strung her behind his net. She is lost. She can’t get out. She can’t voice this, any of it. She can’t speak. She will never speak, ever again.
She hurts, but she’s numb at the same time.
She is ashamed.
Nothing more than evidence collection.