They had told me how it was going to be.
I was to lie still, and let them do the work, but hey, I never agreed to not scream, did I?
So I screamed. I screamed as if there was no tomorrow. I screamed because the local anesthesia didn't quite mask the effect of the six inch knife that was now slicing its way across my gut, the blood flowing down the sides, onto the table.
"Clench on this." The orderly pressed down a cloth firmly into my open mouth. The dry cloth smelt, but there was nothing I could do about it. So I clenched, as hard as I could. I must have been clenching really hard, since I think I passed out.
When I woke up the bearded doctor was standing over me, his pearly white teeth gleaming in the fluorescent light that hung over the window. A sulking nurse stood on the other side of the bed.
"It was a successful operation. You rest for now," he patted me on the shoulder. Leaving, he motioned to the nurse, "If you will."
From the corner of my eye, I saw the nurse inject something into the IV drip that they had hooked me up to, and then I fell back again into the void.
The next time I woke up, it was morning. As a faint light ray danced its way from the window onto my bed,I lay for quite some while, slowly caressing my belly, within which a robotic kidney now whirred away. The slight hum that it made was strangely loud in this grey and empty room, but I guessed I would slowly become more accustomed to the noise as days passed me by.
Suddenly a sharp stab of pain shot up my abdomen. "Nurse, Nurse, NURSE!"
A minute and another injection later I was back into the dreamless void.
This time, when I woke up, it was night, or it could have been evening. I didn't really know for sure. They had drawn up the thick curtains, so it was impossible to guess. The fluorescent light lit up the room once again. I made no attempt to move; mainly because the last attempt had broken any will I had got left. So for the second time, I lay there, just waiting, for my friend the void to take me back.
After a few days of drifting in and out of the dreamless void, I was finally able to stand and walk around. The faint humming sound was almost a part of me now, I rarely noticed it anymore. The new kidney was working fine, I could tell by the nature calls. The bearded doctor would come and check on me sometimes, asking the same question every time, "All well?" I would only nod and try to smile.
Later that day I slowly made my way from the room to the receptionist.
"Wait here", she said when I approached her. A few moments later she was back with my sparse belongings in one hand and a fat envelope in another. "That's twelve thousand in cash as discussed." she said handing me the envelope.
"Nice doing business with you." I put out my hand, but she didn't shake it.
But then she never did.
As I made my way out the back door of the hospital, I was keenly aware that I could not keep this up for long. After this one, just a few sellable ones were left. Actually just three more organs, and after that even this doctor would refuse to do business with me.
Hopefully the little girl who got the kidney would never have to go down that road, but then again her parents had money.
Pah, who the hell cared? The artificial sun they had put up after the War was almost on his way down, and there were crisp notes in my pocket.
It was time for a hard earned drink.