Everything is dark. I wonder if my eyes are closed. I don’t think it would matter. I’m in a steel box, and I can feel the cold metal against my bare shoulders, my bare arms. If I stretch my toes, I can feel the base of the box, but I don’t. I try not to think about the small size of the box, try not to think about how much it feels like a coffin.
And I try not to think about what I overheard, the doctors in their lab coats and me on the bed. They’d not even been trying to whisper. They thought I was asleep.
How many have died? the woman had asked, offhand. There had been a rustle of paper, as if the other doctor was checking.
Seventy, he’d said, and he’d sounded pleased. Only seventy.
What’s the percentage? the woman asked, and there was more rustling.
Wow, the woman had said, and she had sounded impressed. That’s almost negligible.
And now I’m trying not to think about it. Hoping that I’ll be okay. Hoping that I won’t become a failed statistic, an error. Hoping I won’t be negligible. Hoping I’ll survive.