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Destined to play, p.16
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       Destined to Play, p.16

           Indigo Bloome
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  He holds his hands up in mock surrender, which I take as a positive sign. With a concentrated effort, I lean against the basin and wash my hands and face. As I turn around to face him, my legs fail beneath me again and this time he scoops me up before I hit the floor.

  ‘What on earth? I just don’t understand …’

  ‘That’s enough. You are not capable of looking after yourself at this point in time. That’s exactly what I’m here to do,’ he adds sternly.

  With these words, I am whisked out of the bathroom back into the bedroom and placed carefully in the centre of a large bed.

  For some reason, my uselessness sets me off once again into a series of giggles and I can’t even raise my head in protest. I realise then that I won’t be able to trust my legs for a little while yet. The look on Jeremy’s face registers with my brain that I’m staying put, regardless.

  ‘What am I going to do with you?’ At least he has a small smile.

  ‘What have you done to me? Don’t you think that is the important question here?’ I say to him, recognising my mind is starting to clear from the fog.

  ‘Fair point. There is a lot to explain, I suppose.’

  ‘Yes, I suppose there is,’ I agree.

  ‘Why don’t you start with what you remember?’

  I raise an eyebrow at him. Oh, here we go … his clever trickery to get me to go first. He quickly adds, as if reading my thoughts, ‘Alex, sweetheart, you know I’ve always been honest with you.’

  ‘Yes, that’s true, even too honest at times.’ I can’t muster the energy to argue with him so I let my mind flick back to the memories of the weekend. I notice the strangeness of my memories as feelings come flooding back to me instead of clear images. In some cases I have a perception of what I believe my memories are but they aren’t represented visually, I just get an extraordinary rush of sensations through my body as I remember certain aspects. It’s really weird. I shake my head … my brain isn’t ready for this sort of overload.

  ‘I remember fear, excitement, shame, then exhilarating pain and pleasure bundled up so comprehensively it seems impossible to distinguish which was more overwhelming. Then sexual tension and arousal and all-encompassing energy; like the force of life itself was whisking through my veins, but it all seems somewhat muffled now.’ I know my cheeks flush as these words flow out in a jumbled mess. He strokes my hair in understanding and pulls the covers up to keep me warm. He is being very attentive.

  ‘What’s wrong with my head, Jeremy? I can’t think straight.’

  ‘It’s the sedative. It should be completely out of your system within twenty-four hours.’

  ‘What, you gave me a sedative?’

  ‘Yes, just to allow your body some time to recover. It was in the first hot chocolate I gave you before we came here. I should have remembered how much anything like that affects you so it may take a while longer for the impact to wear off.’

  My head swirls with his words, as a distant memory comes flooding to mind.

  I had gone to a bar in Kings Cross for a girls’ night out and ended up talking to some guys we didn’t know. One drink later, I felt strange and woozy so my friends called Jeremy, as they were really worried about me. Apparently, the guys took off quickly once they realised we had male friends arriving, so we assumed they must have spiked my drink. I was totally out of it, couldn’t stand up and don’t remember another thing. It was scary how quickly something like that could take effect.

  I wake up at Jeremy’s place some time the next day to him prodding and poking my body and mumbling to himself. Feeling way less than average, I roll over in a daze and continue my slumber. The next time I wake up, Jeremy delivers a cup of tea, which I think is really sweet. I reach my arm out from the covers to take the cup and notice my arms are covered in blue, red and green markers. I try to remember what happened last night but my mind draws a complete blank, not a good sign. I place the teacup down carefully and peek under the sheets to find my body entirely naked, covered with the same markings: lines, arrows, circles — all colour coded. I groan in disbelief, not really wanting to see if the other side was the same, but know it will be as I catch the cheeky grin on Jeremy’s face.

  ‘Well?’ I raise my eyebrows to him, awaiting his explanation.

  He’s like an excited puppy as he jumps on to the bed beside me.

  ‘Well … Alex … I was bored while you were out of it for so long, but I didn’t want to leave you by yourself. I needed to ensure you were okay. So I decided not to waste my time and do some study.’

  My eyes bore into his as he continues.

  ‘And, well, as you can see, it was really worthwhile.’ He whips the covers off the bed. I lie beside him looking like an ugly roadmap.

  ‘I mean, good learning for me. I missed a couple of things but nailed muscles, organs, arteries …’ He looks at my face and continues hastily as he shifts my body to illustrate his point. ‘I’m pissed off that I missed your appendix by half an inch but everything else was pretty accurate. Nervous system was all good — brachial plexus, lumbar plexus, principal arteries of the circulatory system, the organs of the digestive system, although I think I was slightly out with the duodenum which is annoying.

  Principal components of the lymphatic system — all okay. Female reproductive system was a lot of fun to do. Obviously I took care not to specifically mark the vagina, labium minus and clitoris, but I did manage to highlight the labium majus and the anus for example …’ His hand floats elegantly yet deliberately over each of these parts as he speaks, ‘which didn’t seem to disturb you too much before moving onto —’

  ‘Okay, okay. I get it,’ I interrupt and try to flick him away from me. ‘This better come off.’

  He starts kissing the parts he refers to. ‘And then there’s my favourite, more intimate places that not everyone knows about …’ My body feels leaden against his light, fluffy, erotic kisses that are gently, but persistently, stirring me back to life. I don’t resist him. Anger dissipates as my medical student, studying anatomy, transforms into my lover, studying me. I allow him to play with my body as if he is my master puppeteer. His magic touch deftly transforms my wooden frame into a sexually awakened being. As has always been the way between us.

  I’m brought back to the present with the thudding realisation that absolutely nothing whatsoever has changed between us from that time to this, given the state I’m in at this precise moment and his desire to utilise my body for his studies. However, first things first.

  ‘How long will I feel like this? I have my next lecture … What’s the time?’ I look anxiously around the hazy room for a clock, but realise we are almost in complete darkness — or at least I am thanks to my still incomplete vision. I don’t even know if it is day or night.

  ‘It’s okay. It’s only eight p.m. now.’

  ‘Oh god, Jeremy, how could you? You don’t understand. I can’t even stand up and I have to give a presentation to the Board of the Australian Medical Association in twelve hours. I can’t even think straight. Do you understand how important this is to me, to my research? They are my biggest critics and you put me in state like this? How could you? You’re meant to be a responsible doctor, for goodness’ sake!’

  ‘Alexa, please calm down. You don’t have to worry.’

  I interrupt him vehemently. ‘Easy for you to say, Dr Quinn. Your career doesn’t depend on it; you obviously don’t need any more funding for your work as you seem to be doing quite well for yourself.’ I flop my hand around the room to indicate the suite, my lack of muscle control making my gesture look ridiculous to both of us. I continue, undeterred by my complete absence of coordination. ‘You’re not the one who has to stand up in front of the AMA to pitch your case to critical and highly qualified professionals, most of whom would prefer to discredit my work, not endorse it. You wouldn’t even know what it feels like, they think you’re the medical messiah!’ I’m shaking with emotion as I try to struggle over to the side of the bed. I need some w
ater, coffee, anything to help sober me up quickly. I’m fumbling around as effectively as a beached sea lion trying to target a quick-moving penguin.

  ‘Will you please lie still before I have to restrain you again? You will do yourself damage.’

  I’m precariously close to the edge of the bed again but I’m determined not to let him put me in a position that risks the future of my career. He must understand that. He moves to the side of the bed, either to prevent me falling out or to prevent me getting out, I’m not sure which at this stage. I carry on with my sea lion movements to the other side.

  ‘Where are my clothes anyway? I hope they are still in the walk-in robe.’

  ‘Will you just stop for a moment? Please!’ His voice is sounding as exasperated as I feel with my sluggish movements.

  ‘No, Jeremy, I can’t actually.’

  Resigning myself to the fact that he will not assist me, I eventually make it to my destination and attempt to haul my log of a leg over the side of the bed with both hands.

  ‘Ahhh. Why do you persist when you know it’s just not going to happen!’

  He grabs hold of my ankle before it hits the floor and quickly fastens the connecter to my wrist. It is only at this point I realise I still have leather straps fastened to each limb. Oh, lucky me. He deftly does the same with my left side, attaching my wrist and ankle together and heaves my whole body into the centre of the bed, rendering it virtually impossible for me to move, let alone walk. He surrounds me with pillows so I’m sitting in an upright position, which is the only slight relief because lying down in this position would have been rather precarious to say the least. Thank goodness I practise yoga.

  ‘Damn you. You can’t keep me captive here, I’m not your bloody puppet. Why are these restraints still on me?’ I explode at him.

  ‘They’re great, aren’t they? Save so much time and energy … If only I had had these at uni, imagine the fun I could have had with you …’ His voice trails off as his mind wanders.

  ‘JEREMY! I have no time for trips down memory lane right now.’ My throat feels hoarse from yelling at him.

  ‘Oh, yes,’ he says, coming back to me. ‘Now, can you just lie still and let me explain?’

  ‘I’m assuming that is a statement, not a question,’ I say acerbically. ‘It’s not like I have a lot of choice!’

  ‘No, you don’t.’ Even though he sounds bothered, he looks pleased with himself as he nestles in close to me.

  I can only roll my eyes and hope his explanation is short.

  ‘Let me say, first of all, you are not going anywhere.’ His hand puts up a stop sign to pre-empt my protest. I ignore it.

  ‘I have to, Jeremy. You don’t understand, do you?’ I’m getting desperate now and try to explain the importance of this meeting, how much it means to me. I struggle futilely against the restraints in sheer exasperation and break into a hot sweat.

  ‘Jeremy, this is my career we are talking about, the one I have worked and studied so hard for. You, of all people, must understand …’ He straddles his long legs either side of me, trapping me further with his body as his hand nimbly covers my mouth.

  ‘Let me make myself perfectly clear. You are not leaving this room until I authorise your release — medically or otherwise.’ This time his hand blankets my mouth before any expletives escape. Am I that predictable to him? I think I must be if … the room starts to spin around me …

  everything suddenly feels very strange … loses focus … spins … feels very fuzzy …

  Next thing I know a bright light is shining in my eye and someone is taking my pulse and blood pressure.

  I try to lift up my head. I can’t.

  ‘Have you got a vein yet? That IV needs to go in now!’

  ‘Not yet, her veins seem to be collapsing.’ A woman’s voice.

  ‘Here, give it to me.’

  I feel a sting in my hand.

  ‘Done. Tape it up. Sweetheart. Can you hear me? Look at me, it’s Jeremy.’

  ‘Wh — what happened? What is all this?’ I look around and notice a drip, monitoring equipment, a nurse.

  ‘Oh thank god. You must take it easy. Do you hear me? Do you understand?’

  ‘No … I don’t think I understand, Jeremy. I … don’t think … I understand at all.’

  ‘No, of you course you don’t, sweetheart, because you never allow me time to explain.’

  ‘This is my fault?’ I say confused.

  ‘No, no that’s not what I meant. God, you just had me so worried. You fainted.’

  I must drift off again as next time I open my eyes the room seems really bright, which reminds me what we were talking about before all this medical business interfered with our conversation.

  ‘Is it morning? Jeremy! Have I missed —’

  ‘There’s nothing to miss.’ He attempts to calm his voice. ‘There is no presentation to the AMA.’ The light diminishes.

  ‘You cancelled me? My one chance to present?’ I ask, incredulous.

  ‘No, sweetheart, please lie still. Try to keep calm. You are exhausted. God, I’ve pushed you too hard … too far.’ He pauses. ‘There never was a presentation to the AMA. It was all organised to ensure we had enough time together.’

  ‘What? No meeting?’

  ‘You have no more lectures for the rest of the week. The only lecture you had to present was the one you did last Friday.’

  ‘What? … How? … I don’t understand …’ I’m so tired I can’t get my head around his words.

  ‘There is too much for you to understand right now and nothing you need to worry about except rest, which is the most important thing you need.’

  ‘No lectures? … All cancelled … Was it that bad, my first lecture? … you said it was good.’ Strangely, insecurity sweeps through me. I feel really weak.

  ‘It was great, you know it was. Now, just close your eyes and rest.’ He places his palm on my cheek and nods to somebody positioned behind me.

  ‘No, I can’t rest Jeremy. What happened? Why am I like this? I might be okay … in a while

  … to present, you know … could be … and … why do I have an IV? …’

  Reality vanishes.

  I wake up with my eyes acclimatising to their restored state, which puts a smile on my face. A fleeting thought wonders where I am and my foggy head takes a moment to register that Jeremy is staring at me with an anxious expression from the armchair in the corner of the room. Seconds later, he is by my side.

  ‘Just checking your vitals,’ he says before I have the opportunity to utter a word.

  ‘How do you feel?’ Light penetrates my eyeball. I try to shift my head away to no avail.

  ‘Foggy, but better than before, I think.’ I notice the IV still in my hand. ‘Is this necessary?’

  My voice is croaky.

  ‘I’ll let you know in the next hour or so. There are a few more things we need to check first.’ He pumps the band around my arm and concentrates on my blood pressure; it feels sensitive and I twinge a little.

  ‘So, definitely no lecture today?’

  ‘No!’ His expression is anxious as he continues his doctor business. I sense that now is not the right time to venture into ‘why the hell not?’.

  It was always near impossible to distract Jeremy mid-task so I don’t bother now. His eyebrows are furrowed as he determinedly checks over my body.

  He lifts up the sheet and for the first time I notice a tube coming from between my legs.

  ‘Oh god, please no!’ I cringe in disbelief.

  ‘What? Oh, it’s just the catheter,’ he says nonchalantly and covers my legs with the sheet so I’m protected from the view. ‘That can come out when I remove the drip,’ he says in his matter-of-fact voice. I suddenly wish the drip would whisk me away into blankness again.

  ‘Right. Not great yet, but not too bad,’ he says to himself as much as me. ‘Are you thirsty?’

  ‘Mmm.’ I nod as I notice how dry my mouth is.

r />
  Nurse? Could this be more embarrassing? I mean, honestly.

  He raises my upper body slowly off the bed and brings the water to my lips so carefully, it is as if he thinks I will break. I assure him I won’t … break, that is.

  ‘Frankly, I will be the judge of that.’ Great, still in doctor mode. I decide it’s safer not to argue and ‘frankly’ I don’t have the energy to debate him, so I let out a long sigh instead.

  ‘I don’t like all of these tubes, Jeremy. You know I can’t handle anything hospital-like.’

  ‘I know, sweetheart, just a little longer. I need to know you are getting the right fluids and we only have one more test to complete, then it’s precautionary. I can’t afford to risk anything when it comes to you.’

  My head spins with his words.

  ‘Test? Risk? From fainting?’ I wonder if I am sounding as confused as I feel.

  ‘Nothing you need to worry about. I will take complete care of you, I promise.’

  ‘Jeremy, you’re scaring me and treating me like a child. What are you talking about?’

  He lowers his forehead to mine and kisses my lips lightly. ‘You were amazing, perfect. The results of our experiment, your neural connectivity, well, let’s just say they opened a whole new pathway of research relating to the limbic system.’ He slides his fingers slowly between my breasts, delicately circles my belly button. He continues lower and slides his hand gently between my legs, so as not to disturb the tube, and lightly and magically massages my secret parts.

  His touch, his words, ignite a deep rumbling from within my core. The pleasure is intense, as he targets his approach, the waves unrelenting as my mind struggles to stay present with him and I drift off as delightful tremors overtake my body. It’s as if he has a remote control button for my clitoris. I can’t understand why I am so instantly reactive to his touch. It completely distracts me from asking him what is going on here. The drip, catheter, nurse … it all surrounds me, but makes no sense at all.

  Reality returns as he removes his hands and passes the nurse a small sample of something before she hastily disappears from the room. I suddenly feel like giving in to it all. I don’t want to fight any more; Jeremy can do what he likes. The relief of my surrender is almost overwhelming. I try to look away from the intensity of his stare and eventually close my eyes as I feel big, wet tears sliding down my cheeks.

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