Dr. Ariel Rivera was working on the young black woman and she felt a pull in her heart. Suddenly she was overwhelmed by the scent of dread emanating from the body. It wasn't a physical smell, but a smell nevertheless.
“What was going through your mind while facing death,” she whispered. “Violence must have driven up your adrenaline. Was that enough to stave off death?”
The body was dark but shiny. It had a glossy film, almost a milky covering that gave the black skin that shine.
“Did you scream for help?” The doctor continued. “I'm sure your soul still feels the hurt. I know your ghost must be angry and confused. Wondering why you were left to die. No one came to your rescue, which made the pain feel more pronounced. I'm sure of it.”
Having a conversation with the dead instead of just completing the autopsy was happening more often for the doctor. She did find it relaxing and unnerving.
The young dead black woman from the city projects was beaten and then raped. Her mother worked several jobs to pay the bills and save for her only daughter's college. Living in the housing projects was the only way to save extra money. She worked for her daughter's future because she had none of her own. When the doctor's assistant told her the back-story of Abby Jenkins, and her mother, that really crushed the doctor's heart.
She paused and then realized she was holding the dead girl's hand. She released it slowly and tapped it three times for no apparent reason at all.
Helping someone when they are being attacked or even after the fact must be considered absolutely irrational. That's what the doctor kept thinking when she looked at the naked body. A young person who would never see another minute go by and her last hours were brutal.
Her mother taking on more shifts so that she could save for the funeral. She hasn't seen her daughter's body yet because she just had to work. To bury someone isn't free.
The doctor wasn't sure about a lot of things, but she was so sure about Abby's mother. A dedicated hard working woman who contracted AIDS from her drug addict boyfriend, but still didn't stop living to create a future for her daughter. A future stolen right from under her.
When she got the news about her daughter she crumbled to the floor, but only for a few moments. She got up and thought about a perfect burial. She had to work until everything was paid off, regardless, of the circumstances. She would cry much later.
She would work hard even if misery and dread dominated her thoughts every waking minute and nightmares when she slept.
There was no plausible explanation for why Abby's mother who has AIDS could be as strong as she was for her daughter. Living was a cruel joke, but the strength had to be given to her by God. It had to because there was no other reason behind the explanation. It just had to be God.
© 2017 Frank Atanacio
Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on February 13, 2018:
thanks again Nikki bless you
Nikki Khan from London on February 13, 2018:
Of course only God can give such strength to bear and heal your wounds up.
And God does His work very well as we normally feel less pain with the passage of time.
And yes time is a great healer too.
An amazing dead body's note and mother's grief over death of her future dreams.
Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on January 19, 2018:
thank you so much Savvy..:)
Yves on January 19, 2018:
When I think of all the hard working women out there who work like dogs with no thanks and no reprieve, it makes me feel very sad. I've witnessed this truth. Indeed, life can be so unfair. You captured the pain of this reality perfectly and eloquently. So beautifully written, Frank. Your work is profoundly good. Thank you for being a part of Hubpages. You make us better people.
Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on January 16, 2018:
thank you for visiting and it's good seeing you again Richard
Richard Ricky Hale from West Virginia on January 15, 2018:
Oh Frank, I truly miss reading your stories. You capture all the important details and emotions, keeping me hooked until the very end. A rare talent.
Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on January 10, 2018:
thank you so much Pegcole..:)
Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on January 09, 2018:
You skillfully drew me in with your words and evoked sympathy for the grieving, hardworking mother along with the daughter. The empathy from the doctor was palpable as she worked on the deceased and talked to her. Nicely done.
Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on January 05, 2018:
Shyron, thank you so much for the comment!
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on January 04, 2018:
Frank, I feel for Abby and even more for her wonderful mother who has lost everything. You are a fantastic writer.
Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on January 01, 2018:
thank you MsDora and a happy new year to you and your family Frank
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on December 31, 2017:
What a wonderful tribute to all the mothers like Abby's who determine to beat the odds for their children's sake! Tribute to God too, whom you recognize as the Source of their Strength. This is so real.
Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on December 31, 2017:
Thank you Cynthia and you take good care
Cynthia B Turner from Georgia on December 31, 2017:
Brilliant, as is your style. Take good care! Cyndi
Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on December 30, 2017:
I know clive me neither..:(
Clive Williams from Jamaica on December 30, 2017:
Not getting notifications! Great one.
Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on December 30, 2017:
thank you so much Nell Rose
Nell Rose from England on December 29, 2017:
Your stories always make me think. In this you made that poor girl so human and sad, and of course there was the irony of the situation too, another great take on a sad subject.
Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on December 29, 2017:
LOL, I'm Laughing Missy, with that Buck it up babe.. remark you made ... cool.. I can hear my characters saying it
Missy Smith from Florida on December 29, 2017:
I can always relate to every character you put in your story; The doctor, because if I was in a job like that, I would be talking to them too. I think about the same things she does when I see similar stories in the news, or if I'm watching a crime show re-enacted. My mind can't help but drift to what the victim must have gone through or was thinking as her/his life was being taken.
Furthermore, I feel the poor mother's pain. The pain of struggling alone, doing your best, along with all the bad luck life has promised. I get her. It makes you stronger. It sadly becomes a - buck it up babe, you have no choice scenario. It is God as well. Because, in some circumstances the invisible one is all you have to turn to for comfort. If God isn't real, and we won't know until we get there, but if he isn't, at least we have the promise of him to cling to when needed.
Your stories are always sad. Not only for the losses, but for the reality into the world you capture that we live within today.
Frank Atanacio (author) from Shelton on December 27, 2017:
thank you for always showing up Flourish...
FlourishAnyway from USA on December 27, 2017:
How sad. Some lives are filled with more questions than answers. You captured the simultaneous resolve and despair perfectly.