The stark smell of bleach was overwhelming. I scrunched my eyes at the bright light sipping through my closed eyelids. I felt powerless and heavy. I could not move my hand, my head or my body.

I slowly started blinking, desperately trying to open my eyes and see what’s around me. Where am I? As blinding light slowly subsided, I could see my surroundings. I was at the hospital.

The room was pristine clean and gloomy, with a typical hospital bed, IV and monitors beeping. The walls were a sickly grey colour and the linen was grayish. The place looked nothing like a room where a patient should be motivated to get better. If anything, the murky room was making me even more nauseous.

I could not remember how I got here but I knew for sure that I wanted out as soon as possible. Preferably right now. I pulled on the IV line and felt sharp pain. My face felt as if it was swollen and it had an awfully colorful assortment of bruises that also covered my neck and arms. Red lines around my throat, the mark of violent and strong hands, still seemed to choke my fragile neck menacingly. My hair was disheveled and my hospital gown indicated that I had recently vomited blood. My condition seemed critical.

The room was silent, apart from my heavy breathing and the beep beep sound you often hear in hospitals, indicating you’re alive. I slowly opened my eyes, squinting in attempt to sharpen the blurred images before me. I glanced around and saw doctors and nurses surrounding my bed.

Doctors kept irritating me with their silly questions. They were busy asking me what my name was but all I could think of was how long had I been here? As I shut my eyes, trying to remember what had exactly happened, it all hit me with a bang. The memory of it all started to occupy my thoughts.

Traumatic memories occupied my thoughts. But one thing I had later noticed was that my mother was inside my bed room. Her hands trembled as she came up to my bed. Her eyes were puffy and her make-up was runny.

She stood by my bed muttering.

“Why is God punishing my daughter?” She muttered sympathetically. “What did she ever do to deserve such pain?” She asked with a quivering chin whilst her eyes were weeping.

As months went by, I started recovering and feeling better. My progress impressed the doctors. I started seeing a therapist named Dr Merci, a respectful soul who had a welcoming smile and a soft voice. My therapeutic sessions with her revived my depressed soul.

***