Just another day, Maura, just one sunrise and one sunset and then it's over. This case has been especially hard for me. Not only is the victim a young woman, her semi-aborted fetus is also a victim…on many counts. I remember walking to the scene with Jane and the excitement of a new case; of someone else's story to tell. In a nanosecond, the excitement vanished for me.
Her story is so similar to mine. I won't be able to hide behind her corpse, like I would any other, because the skeletons in my closet are far too comparable to hers. Maura, don't be ridiculous. There aren't any legitimate skeletons in your closet. The probability of finding any such thing is preposterous. I entertain myself with my thoughts so I don't have to think of the intimate connection I share with this case.
I start reciting the facts I can prove: Female, age 16 and 3 months, her name is Sofia Meredith Jenson. Her family is on their way from California to identify her body. She was an honor student at Saint James of Catholicism Boarding School here in Boston. Cause of death: exsanguination from deep laceration to the abdomen. Fetus is likely in the second trimester -I will find out who did this to you. I silently promise this woman and her slightly developed fetus.
Before I have time to catch the tears, they start falling from my cheeks. I wish I knew how to adequately ask for help. I have never had to ask for help, but I may not be able to get through this autopsy without some form of support.
I hear the elevator descending down to the lab. The only person I want to see walk out of that elevator is Jane. She'll know how to comfort me, she always does. Stop it Maura, you can't rely on others to relieve your personal problems.
I turn my back to the door, so as to prolong my chances of maintaining an ounce of dignity. I sniffle and wipe the tears off of my cheeks with the back of my hand. I pretend to be busy extracting Sofia Jenson's lungs, even though I completed that over an hour ago.
"Find out anything revealing yet? Her parents have called at least 10 times in the past hour." Jane's voice bounces off the sterile walls of the lab. I look up and shake my head, afraid my vocal cords will deceive the façade I'm hiding behind. "Not particularly. The DNA tests haven't come back yet. Have you detected anything abnormal yet?" I reply with a slightly airy tone.
Jane narrows her eyes at me. Shoot, I can never fool Jane Rizzoli. "Spill it, Maura. What's going on?" I shake my head at her. There are just some things I'm not ready to disclose about myself. My eyes sting with tears. The slight contraction of my Frontalis and Procerus muscles give me away. Damn me and my physiological inability to camouflage my emotions.
Jane walks over to the operating table and rests a hand on back. "This case is hard for me too, Maur, but I can't help you when I don't know what's wrong." Just that little bit of physical contact, sends me over the edge. I can no longer hold the tears in.
"I'm sorry. I don't want to talk about it, Jane." My chest constricts and I start heaving. I don't even have to look up at her, because I know Jane is wide-eyed and searching for any sign of what has disturbed me. I take off my clothes protector, gloves and surgical face mask, defeated.
"I don't want you to judge me, Jane. You're my best friend and I don't want my past to ruin our relationship." My eyes wonder the room, looking anywhere but at Jane. She walks up and grabs hold of both of my hands, clenching them. I finally look up, mascara running down my face and onto my new blouse.
"There isn't a thing you could tell me that would make me run for the hills. You're my best friend too, Maura, and you're really worrying me. Just tell me." Her earnest eyes tell me that she's sincere. Okay, I trust her. I will tell her, but not here.
"I trust you and your judgment, Jane, but I don't want to tell you here. Not in this way. It's not something to discuss in loose company." I try to make sense as best as I can. She nods, "Of course. Come over tonight. I'll pick up some take-out for us and we can talk then, okay?"
I curl up the corners of my mouth in an attempt to fein a smile. "Okay" is all I can manage. She plants a kiss on the crown of my head and hugs me from the side. "It's gonna be alright. I'm here if you need me…like always." She looks at me once more and exits the room, clearly at a loss of something to say.
I haven't really prepared a speech for this. I need to collect my thoughts and form them into a coherent storyline. This is the part I've tried to shy away from; reliving those moments again. My mind wonders as I suture up my patient's "y" incision. Say her name. I chide myself indignantly. You can't even say the poor woman's name?
I wish I could turn my mind off, just this once. There isn't a switch, Maura. Don't be idiotic. The time has come to think about it. I can't pretend like this hasn't happened. Not any longer. I sigh and make my way to my ornately decorated office, closing the door behind me. I'm left alone with my past. Not even the dead can shield me now.