She never fully understood why her mother hated her so. Was it jealousy ,envy, or a woman travelling through her own troubled psychological and spiritual world. But ever since she could remember her mother had told her many, many times, she was no good. That no man would ever want her, or find her attractive. The attacks became more frequent, cutting and corrosive as Jennifer’s youth vitality,and beauty began to emerge. As she moved from child to teenager to womanhood.
Looking back on her childhood from the perspective of a mature adult, she reflected that perhaps her mother had being on her own tortuous journey through life, and was a troubled soul, as she had come to learn only those who had been hurt themselves, tried to hurt others. The poisonous seeds of destruction had long since being sown in Jennifer’s mind, and spirit ,and over many years had seeped deep into her soul, to fester for evermore.
She arrived at her residence from yet another exhausting 14 hour day. Tired beyond belief, she slowly unlocked the gate that led into her recently purchased apartment. Ignoring the bright summer day, that others were so enjoying. She moved slowly toward her apartment. Too tired to laugh or smile anymore, she let herself into her empty apartment. Empty of happiness and joy. Devoid of passion for her career. Empty of love.
Had she the energy, she would have slammed the door, and thrown her purchases onto the floor, with her self entitled rage. She carried these poisonous feelings with her everywhere, and everyday. They became more pronounced when tired, she managed to hide them somewhat at her work, but not fully. Her colleagues had come to know her as ‘tetchy, brusque, brutal and off hand’. To some she was a brilliant surgeon, of that there was no doubt, but her interactions with others, be they patients or colleagues, left a lot to be desired
She would have gladly swapped her intelligence, and skill as a surgeon, to be more attractive. Many evenings alone in her apartment cradling the glass of red wine, that had become a very comfortable and faithful companion, where she sat and brooded and raged at God. Fully believing that she was unattractive and would never find happiness with a loving partner. But it was all in her own mind.
She was physically an appealing woman, with her long auburn hair, slim petite figure, and gracious movements. Although her austere and seriousness persona, may have being off putting to some. It was attractive to a certain sort of intelligent man.
Greatly upset and angered by her perceived lack of attractiveness she had gotten into the habit of comparing herself unfavorably to other women, everywhere. How much thinner than her they were. How their skin was clearer. How much prettier they were, in her own mind. How happier they seemed, as they lived off their looks. She had come to despise and detest these other woman, and they prettier and happier they seemed. They more hatred she began to feel for them, especially at this time of the year, in the warm sunshine, when they looked even more striking. With their eye catching clothing, revealing more of their bodies. Turning men’s heads wherever they went. The better these women looked the more angry she became. She so wanted to make them hurt, to make them pay, someway, somehow.
She finished her first glass of wine, knowing that she was not going to stop until the last drop was emptied from the bottle. It had become a nightly ritual for her now. To help assuage and calm her bitterness and rage. But there was little chance of avoiding her feelings, which came back like a wild storm every moment she was awake. She had become a wretched individual. Her colleagues did not like her anymore. Her family could no longer understand her, and her obsession with her looks and attractiveness
At least she did have her work, which was some very little compensation to her.
It was the Tuesday morning she was scheduled to perform the operation. As she scrubbed up in the changing area, putting on the light blue uniform of the surgeon, washing her hands and foreman’s all the way up to her elbows, while one of the young student nurses, helped her, by attending to her latex gloves as she held her arms aloft. The operating theatre was a brightly lit room, with all the necessary attributes required to carry out the surgery. With the different scalpels, the surgical saw, that would have not looked out of place in a brutal builders tool bag, and other surgical instruments laid out neatly on the small wheeled trolley next to the bed. The white tiled walls and floor, easy to clean. The fresh scent of disinfectant, a familiar but at times overpowering fragrance to her. More akin to a torture chamber, and the instruments of death, to those not familiar, nor a frequent visitor to such place.
Her operating colleagues entered the theatre shortly after. She glowered at them each in turn, with a stern, unsmiling face. They a long time since given up trying humour and banter with her, as it would not work. It had worked on her in the early days, but now they had concluded among themselves she was now a changed person, and not a very nice person. Many would not have being here, had they not being scheduled by the hospital administrators. Work was work, and money was money. That was the attitude many had come to take. Looking to get the operation over, to do what they had to do, and to leave her company as soon as possible. The orderly switched on the classic musical, as she had always insisted. The calming strains of the cello concerto filled the white tiled operating theatre, as they awaited the arrival of the patient.
The orderlies wheeled in the patient, on the bed from the ward. She was still conscious. Looking scared, as is understandable. The orderlies joked with the young woman, trying to calm and ease her mind. She looked at the patient, and her fists clenched, the chemical concoction in her stomach started up. The tightness in her chest and around her heart, palatable. She could feel the veins from her shoulders down along her forearms and into her hands and fingers tighten, and release internally, in her anger. Her jaw tightened and jutted out, her teeth clenched together hard, making her jaw become very square. Her eyes narrowed into spears and daggers, weapons of destruction. As she viewed the clear skin, the large blue eyes, the healthy shine of her hair. The voluptuous body plainly visible beneath the sheets. The friendly warm attitude, and easy smile, even under such circumstances. She noted how the men in the room, were taken with this young striking woman. She knew how they’d fawn and fall for her, given even a chance. Willing to fall in love with her, no matter what type of person she was. To forgive her everything, and shower her with gifts of love, forgiveness, wealth and more, just because of the way she looked.
Something she had never experienced herself. She concluded how foolish, shallow and empty men were. But she still yearned for a man of her own. Some man to tell her how beautiful she was. How special she was. Some man to focus all his loving attention on her. She introduced herself to the striking young woman, trying hard to hide her envy, and jealousy, but not winning. She found no need to be overly civil to her, and relayed perhaps in more detail than was necessary the procedures she was about to perform. She continued to explain how she would make an incision with the large scalpel, which she held up in front of the patient. She explained how she would cut two inches into the woman’s stomach, just above the waistline, and from there move upwards into her breast bone area. Perhaps having to use the surgical saw, to access organs that lay beneath the breast bone. The more she spoke she could see how fearful and afraid the young woman was becoming, and she so enjoyed the feeling of power, she began to feel slightly light headed with it all. She concluded her chat with the patient by further explaining generally speaking, and letting these words hang in the air, purposefully, it was a reasonably safe procedure.
Giddy with the power to cause such fear and suffering she asked the nurse to bring her a glass of water and a chair, waiting for her composure to return.
As she sat and waited for her composure to return. She wondered was God, or life at last coming on her side. Presenting her with such an opportunity, and there were sure to be other opportunities. So many future opportunities, so many choices and methods, to inflict damage and destruction up to any level she choose, even an agonising death, if she so wished. A chance of revenge. A little well overdue payback. Who would ever know. Of course a scalpel could slip. The wrong vein or artery could be cut. Millions of operations a year all over the world. These things can and do happen. An overworked exhausted surgeon trying their best to help the sick and dying. Patients die and get mutilated on operating tables all the time. Who would ever know, or be able to outright accuse her. Her colleagues watched astounded as, for the first time in years a broad smile gently broke out on her face. Her eyes brightened.
‘Let us begin’, she said softly, as she moved towards the operating table…………..