You scream as the knife enters your skin, inside the slender curve of your back, and you yell as the life you once had flashes before your eyes, only it isn't the pain that is making you hurt – it is the terror of wasted years, of past mistakes. Now, you think, the distorted image of who you really are will never be revealed, and the callous façade that had kept you sane for all these years would be the woman your colleagues remember. The heartless ice-queen who her acquaintances deem inhospitable, unapproachable and too determinedly motivated – a dreadfully alone individual incapable of forming friendships.
You fall to the ground, barely seeing the earth around you halting into a state of dread. The blinding lights may be the last thing you see. You decide that it doesn't matter. You, at last, have control. What's wrong with gaining the control you crave for? You have always had power over life and death, like a god over your territory, or so you like to think, and this will be no different. And you don't care if you died now. You aren't scared of dying. You're glad to be rid of the hurt, the past memories, and the guilt; the part of yourself that you hate the most, the part that has betrayed you always is fading and you rejoice as the world turns black.
Though, the battle it is not over. Not yet. You still have limited time on this planet, before ascending towards purgatory. You fight with all your strength, and, this time, it isn't to no avail. You're reluctant as the pull of life increases, however, you finally give in – you decide that you have so much more potential.
As you wake up, the pain of the injuries hit you automatically, without warning. You are laying on your front, the beeping of the machines the only sound to greet you. You won, and now you wonder if you regret it, winning, that is. Maybe it would have been better if you had died. Nobody would have missed you. You wouldn't have hurt anyone.
Before long, a doctor you have never seen before enters gravely. He tells you about your wounds. About the damage done. About how you can not move your legs. Then, the reality dawns on you and you cry out, only to be comforted by no one. No one is here for you. Like it always is. You have to get through this alone.
They tell you that you have a chance, a small percentage that you could, eventually, walk again. That is all you need to rekindle the fight in you. But then they tell you about your surgery. How they had to cut it away. How they cut away the precious reminiscences which leave you with nothing. The beautiful image of two embracing nightingales (shrouded brilliantly in love) concealed in the arch of your back, the illustration to remind you of your most adored parent, that you can never quite let go. You can remember the adoring memories that you share with your long deceased father, some of which you consider everlasting, but they will fade away just like everything else in this tiny, futile world. Nothing lasts forever. God's perverse little joke.
The act of tattooing one's skin is a transformative declaration of power, an announcement to the world: You are in control of your own flesh. The intoxicating feeling of control derived from physical transformation had addicted millions to flesh-differing practises… cosmetic surgery, body piercing, body building, and steroids… even bulimia and transgendering, some of which you have applied. How ironic.
Your tainted human spirit craves mastery over its carnal shell.
And now it was gone. Forever.
Perhaps you can move on.
Or perhaps not.
You don't really have that much control.