50 Shades Darker

19 June, 2017

I found myself sobbing, heavy, quiet tears, through deep, rasping breaths.  Crying that doesn’t want the comfort of strangers, in a very public place.

It had all begun with a routine appointment; a nil-by-mouth, we-lost-you in-the-system, sorry you’ve been here for a few extra hours scenario.  When the doctor finally arrived, he was one of those doctor demigods, who has gone into medicine purely to save the hopes, dreams of ordinary women, like me.  We chatted, well he chatted, while I silently worried about the procedure, and he gently talked me into it.  It was sort of our first date.

A few minutes later I was on the bed, deep throating a hosepipe, he was pushing down my oesophagus.   Choking and gagging in a very un-Linda Lovelace way, I thought, why-oh-why do I always go for the wrong men.  We’d neglected to establish a “safe” word, to halt the rough play, I tried to introduce one – a little too late.  As I had a strap round my head holding a mouth guard in place and a tube down my throat, I wasn’t able to communicate using words like, “stop” or “psychopath”, instead I used sort of continuous retching, choking noise.  Dr Christian Grey, intuitive as he was, got the message.  He paused his delivery to try and soft-talk me into playing-on.

“The worst is over.” he said.  I glanced at the long length of hose in his hands, I wasn’t entirely sure I could trust him.  The pause was shattered by a mutiny.  My head said breathe, follow his instructions, try to be a good girl about this;  but my body decided otherwise.  Gripped by an innate desire to continue both living and breathing, my hands reached up completely independently and ripped the hose out of my body.  Suddenly it was over, I sat hyperventilating on the bed.  Dr Christian Grey was ever-so-nice about it, and of course, I apologised profusely. He stood in front of me, with his gentle strength, pondering our situation.  Then in his soft Australian lilt, he said,
“I guess we’ll have to sedate you next time, so we may as well do a colonoscopy at the same time.”  My body was electric with shock, he was already escalating, planning his next perverted scheme; to drug me and shove that hose up my arse as well as down my throat.  Horrified, I mustered all the fake enthusiasm I had and replied,  “Yes, of course.”  I’d realised I had to act compliant, f I was going to get out of this date alive.  If I could only convince him I’d return, then he might just set me free.  It was a long shot, but my only chance of surviving.

Luckily, I’d had private drama classes at prep school and my mind flashed back to the time I won a joint silver medal, at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, for my interpretation of “Shop keeper conversing with Paddington Bear”.  It was a duologue, where Paddington was played, I remember, by the utterly un-bear-able Samantha Asti-Spumanti.  She was given the most extraordinarily positive review in the school newsletter that week. While my part of a “working man in a shop”, was barely mentioned; despite the many gruelling hours I spent teaching myself a convincing northern accent – “Hay up! By gum.”  Even Nanny said it was utterly unfair and that I was far the best on stage, and had my parents come along, they would have absolutely agreed and not even recognised me at all, until they had looked in the programme to double-check the names.

All the memories of those days on stage came flooding back, they would be tested to the full in my escape plan.  Acting as convincingly as I could, I said, “Hay up!  I reckon I’ll be back next week for reel of hose pipe up me jacksee”.  I held my breath as he stared at me, his beautiful brow creased slightly; I could see I had thrown him into a state of confusion. He was obviously trying to decide if he could trust me to return.  Then he smiled  gently and motioned to the door.  I walked towards it, wishing I could run.  He pressed the green release button and freedom opened in front of me.  Still acting as normally as possible, I said,  “Hay up! I’ve had a right fantastic time with thou hose pipe.” and with a polite, “Thanking thee.” I left.   Only when I heard the door close behind me, did I start rushing through a labyrinth of endless passageways, until finally I found myself on the main corridor of the hospital and in the safety of a busy public place.  I slumped onto a chair,  panic and relief simultaneously rushing through my body.  I took rasping breaths –  part panic, part checking there was no residual bits of hosepipe in my oesophagus, and I sobbed uncontrollably.  No one stopped.  I didn’t want them to, I didn’t want to explain that nothing much had happened, that I was just over-reacting to an everyday procedure.  Instead, I took comfort from the fact that crying so soulfully in a hospital corridor, made it look like my grandpa had just died.  “Routine medical negligence”,  passers-by thought, as they walked to their appointments, “Fifty shades darker.”  I replied in my head.

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