til death do us part

and i am thinking of you- how i could have loved you.

he bought me drinks that night, and i remember the glasses lined up one after the other- vodka with vodka with vodka with vodka.  he took me home that night, and i remember the fuzzy pounding in my head, my contacts drying, my lipstick smudging.  he turned on his tv that night, and i remember hearing ross say rachel's name during the wedding from across the living room carpet.  he pulled my skirt up that night, and i remember pushing his hands back, tell him i was too tired, too drunk.  he pressed hard on my throat that night, and i remember his fingers tearing down my underwear, tangling them in my heels.

don't worry, this won't hurt, he told me, a stranger's lie against my ear.

and the protest caught as a scream in my throat, my breath coming ragged and hard, my face pushed down deeper into the couch and his sweat-slicked skin a distant force behind me as the laugh track on tv looped over and over and over again.

and i am thinking of him- how i should have fought him.

then they call my name, and lead me to this cold room with sun-faded posters of better landscapes.  i change into the gown and think of blue skies and white beaches.  the doctor stretches on her sterile gloves and instructs me to slide my feet into the stirrups.  the nurse beside me grips my wrist to source a vein and starts my IV.

she tells me, don't worry, this won't hurt, a stranger's lie beside my table, but i can hear the suction start and i am laughing so hard that i can't stop crying.

i could have named you rachel.