I gritted my teeth, which hurt, so I stopped. It didn't stop hurting, though. Jon had decided to come down and gloat at me once again, and I'd torn five stitches yelling at him. Now Kerry, who had been a trainee at this very theatre and was therefore the resident medic, was threading a miniature needle to resew them.
"Don't tense your face like that, it'll only hurt more," she told me.
"I can't help it," I muttered. Not being able to move hardly at all or speak properly irritated me more than anything else. At least Berny came down during her breaks and put up with my mumblings that served for conversation.
"Okay, try not to flinch," Kerry said.
I shut my eyes and tried to ignore the sharp pain as she resewed the wound closed. Once she was done, my hand immediately went to the stitches. They felt sharp compared to the others, which had been done on the day I arrived. We'd been here nearly a week.
"This will stay shut, right?" I asked her.
"Well, if I know anything. Just don't... don't fiddle with it."
"Mnh," I said, reverting to non-face-moving communication.
Five days. It felt both longer and shorter at the same time. I'd been given the job of sorting supplies, since I couldn't do anything else. Even so I ended up doing little else because there couldn't be more than maybe thirty people here, plus Jon, Berny and I, so the supplies were hardly numerous. I'd sorted and resorted things into boxes so many times that people had taken to asking me where stuff was rather than looking for it themselves. I felt like a walking, talking index. Except, not walking. Or talking. So just an index.
Two days after I'd torn the stitches, Kerry pronounced me healed and took them all out.
I looked up to see the concerned yet cheerful faces of Berny and Anna looking round the doorway at me. They must have just got off duty, because Berny's hair had puffed up like nobody's business, as it did in the presence of steam.
"Hello," I said, wincing and trying not to move the left side of my mouth. "Come in."
They both came and sat down on the bed. I'd got hold of an office chair with wheels on, which Kerry had attached a sort of sling to for my broken ankle, which was in a pot and consequently made it very difficult for my to move my leg. However with the chair, sorting things was much easier. But I still couldn't manage stairs, and lifts were out of the question, so I was confined to this floor. I was glad Berny came to see me, or else I might have died of boredom.
"So... How's life?" Berny asked. She knew the answer already, but she was trying to make conversation.
"As ever it was. Boxes of stuff. I found a Gameboy Colour, with an English Pokemon Green cartridge in it."
"Did it work?"
There was a short awkward silence.
"What about you?" I asked.
"The same. I think she's going to get an afro soon," Anna replied, gesturing to Berny's hair.
"We got a bunch of blood covered trousers earlier. Apparently they're from a few days ago, but I think someone-""
"Don't finish that," I laughed, grinning lopsidedly. Berny knew exactly how to cheer me up, even if laughing was painful.
"Oh!" exclaimed Anna, suddenly digging into the messenger bag at her side. "Berny, do you-"
"You show her."
"What? Show me what?"
Berny looked at me. "We thought you were probably the only person who doesn't know what your face looks like, so..."
Anna handed me a small mirror.
I looked at the four ragged, ugly scars, punctuated on either side by needle punctures, because Kerry had only had old surgery needles to work with. The longest stretched almost from my hairline and finished abruptly at my chin, if only because there was no more skin to be scarred, and broke in the middle over my eye. I was thankful that the zombie hadn't been coordinated or close enough to properly claw me, or I'd probably have lost that eye. Instead, I'd been left with just a slightly scratched eyelid.
I still couldn't believe how horrific it looked.