It all started at the entrance of Swan Hotel. One of those new architecture-y buildings in which the big deal is the slanted roof and the spiral-y stairs.
I was there for a reason, a baby. My baby. I was always worried I would give birth to a monstrous looking baby, but her face, her face was beyond words. Tanned complexion, eye slits that exposed deep brown irides. Most precious thing to me.
I was there for a reason, a baby. My baby. I saw a taxi driving off. I stuck out my thumb for the next one. Wait, I'm in New Jersey, cabs don't come and go like that. Should I call for one? No, not enough time. A man in a gray suit walks by on the phone and says "They're at Castle Care Center". He's a bad man. He's someone I've seen in an action movie, he broke someone's fingers. OK, it's time to go. A black van left unattended, I get in and drive. I speed. Why speed? Why attract attention? Who knows. Police sirens. putputputput. Oh no, I'm going to have an arrest record. Game Over. Continue? Yes.
I was there for a reason, a baby. My baby. I see a taxi stop at the curb. My sister appears from behind me "Let's go!” I should tell the taxi driver to take us to my house, just in case anyone hears, then when he drives off I'll tell him the real deal. I get in and sit in front passenger seat. "Castle Care Center, please." So much for that scheme. The taxi driver is of dark complexion with a long beard, he has friendly eyes. Yet he's quiet, shady. Some time passes and I decide he's a good guy. We are close to arriving where we need to be, even though I really don't know where it is. Streets get narrower, busier. A lot of parallel parking. He stops in middle of street near some place that looks like a corner store with apartments over it. The sign over this corner store like place is "La Casa Care Center". Close enough. I tell him we'll be right back. I get out. Slam door. Glance at sign and turn around to look at cab. He's driving away with my sister! Maybe he's just kidding. My mom does that sometimes, pretends to drive away but comes back around. No time for games now though! I wait. 3 minutes. 5 minutes. 4 minutes. He comes back around block with her. His yellow car. He's not laughing. Not apologizing. No excuses. I don't think or care to ask. My sister comes out, we walk up La Casa Care Center's front steps.
I start thinking of the father, all I imagine is reddish brown hair. I kick open the door. I sense trouble already so that seemed an alright thing to do. "WHERE'S MY BABY!? WHERE?!" I see two ladies each holding an infant. I see a toddler playing on the floor with a teething toy. "WHERE IS MY...?" The toddler with teething toy. Tan complexion. Brown eyes. There you are. "I found you!" I embrace her. A lady speaks up, "Are you sure that's your baby?"
Of course that's my baby. I would know her face. Really, Sandra. You remember faces? Aren't you known for not remembering faces? Not putting names to faces? How could I be so sure "My Baby" is this face? I look down at the toddler's head. Blonde hair. Not mine. The ground rumbles as I get furious, the roof shakes. WHATDIDYOUDOTOMYBABY. The lady says "She's here, can't you see?" I look everywhere. From face to face. every corner. every crevice. I look on the ground. Am I stepping on her? Oh no. I look at the lady. She says "look again." I look on the ground again, there is a license plate with blood droplets on it, in cryptic writing are the words "in the seeth". Somehow that made sense. They took my baby and used her parts. She is dead. She is an organ donor. I cry. I wail. my feet give out from underneath me. The lady says "Why so sad? She has a great sensorimotor organ, it was quite useful!"
I am seething. Sensorimotor. Screw all my psychology classes for teaching me that word. I wake up. I look for my heart on the floor.