The Manchester Review

      "Relax, relax."
      How can I relax when I am in so much pain?

      "Relax baby," Hamid said sitting on my back. When he penetrated, I screamed.
      "Are you alright?"
      "I said to relax…" the gynecologist says. I want to scream. But the secretary is sitting too close by.
      "I said R-E-L-A-X."
      I shouldn’t have come here. I should have let it go.
      "Listen. I have a girl of your age."
      I wonder if she knows I am thirty now.
      "What if he leaves you?"
      I have started to sweat. Is Hamid leaving me? "Are you leaving me?" The light from the lamp on the ceiling is right in my eyes. I look away. The phone rings. Now I hear the secretary's voice. I can picture her biting into a doughnut while answering the phone.
      I am being torn in two and she is standing there with her gloves on looking so serious. Now she is applying gauze. I see the blood.
      "Because you didn't relax you have a slight tear. It has nothing to do with the hymen. I'll give you cream for it. "
      "It's deep inside. It is not damaged..."
      Now I have a tear.

      "I have a tear."
      "Where's that?"
      "Don’t know. Somewhere…"
      “Where did you get it?”
      “At the gynecologists”
      “Why did you go to the gynecologist?”
      “Are you alright?”
      "Let me see your tear."
      "Be careful."
      "I am careful. I am very very careful," Hamid says as he comes closer.