No by NUR COSTA

I hung up. More like, he hung up. I thought of all the things I could say “no” to. Recent ones. Often I achieved that purpose. Looking back at when I said “no”, it was like I didn’t mean it. It was only a mouthful. No sound came out, really. There is only a hole in my mouth, incapable of speaking and that is why I love Laura Marling’s album I speak because I can. I often admire what I do not have. Maybe. I think. I guess. If you want. Almost all my sentences finish or begin with these words. I guess. I go to the bathroom and sit on the sink. I look down at my stomach and remember when my dad cut it open with a surgery knife under tight clean white sheets. I do not remember anything because I was asleep the whole time. He helped me, he said. He cured me, they said. You could do it if you want, my mother half-asked him. I was never in that conversation so I couldn’t say “no”. The next day I ran across the hospital corridor. I was soon spinning. Laughing. Making other patients jealous. It never occurred to me that I might have lost a part of me. I was too young to care about the definition of an instinct. I was unaware of what it meant. A trigger. It is supposed to make you do something. I never felt that urge in my blood although I often check what’s in there. Curiosity kills time. I stopped feeling and started thinking. I think I started to fear all the knives. I was enchanted by my father’s hands. So I walked where his fingers pointed all the time. I never questioned his direction. I guess, I never said “no”.

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