The bleeding starts on a Wednesday morning. We are sitting at the counter, and he is drinking coffee and I am drinking orange juice, and through the window we can see the breaking waves. We are drinking and watching and talking, and if I let myself drink and watch and talk I can forget how I am coming unstitched in my guts. After an hour we get up from the counter and I go to the bathroom, and I know I will see it there, the red smear, but I go anyway and I wipe anyway and I breathe in and out anyway. I hold the paper in my hand and I look for the window that will show me the sea and I stand there for minutes or days, and the patchworked paper looks back at me.
Today was "Special Person's Day" at the girls' school, so we went out for breakfast with my mum and dad beforehand. Lily said the other kids are jealous because she has so many special people to choose from--my parents, Michael's parents and Gaz's parents.
Contains possible triggers I had another grandfather. His name was Dean. He died before I was born, in 1980. Dad always told me that he had died of lung cancer. Upon reflection, his story was changeable. "He had a kidney thing." or "He had a brain haemorrhage." I imagined what my life might have been like if he hadn't died, if I had had two sets of grandparents instead. In my six-year-old imagination, Grandpa - that is what my older cousins had called him - and I played football in the park and went to the movies (he always let me get a Choc Top). In my ten-year-old imagination, he listened to me talk about how annoying my little sister was (he always paid attention to me).
I arrive at the clinic and feel the blood drain from my face. I want to be done with it, to feel relief and freedom, and I hate myself for it. Gaz has been agitated with me from the early morning, and to not feel his warm hands around me exacerbates how empty I feel. This is the third time I've been to the clinic in the past month. I take my patient information form and try sitting in a different corner of the waiting room. I am crippled by terror and I make a desperate call to another clinic. - Please, I'm desperate, do you have any places today? - I'm sorry, I don't think we do. - I'm already at the other clinic and I just can't do it, help me. - Come in at 1 and we'll see if we can squeeze you in. I run from the clinic to Gaz, who is sitting on the ground next to my car with a cigarette. He is lit up like a bushfire. He doesn't look at me. My phone rings. - Hello, we've had a cancellation. Can you come in now? - Yes.