Small, black panel, with white text.
LAUREN; WORDS, NIC WILSON
LAUREN; PICTURES, JAKE ALLEN
Close on a woman’s hand, carrying a circular drink tray.
LAUREN; I LOVED MY FINGERNAILS.
Still close on the same hand, folding over several dollar bills.
LAUREN; THEY WERE STRONG.
LAUREN; PAINTED RED.
A little back from the hand now, resting at her side, as a hand creeps towards her rear.
LAUREN; I NEVER DANCED.
LAUREN; BUT I MADE MORE THAN THE GIRLS WHO TOOK THEIR CLOTHES OFF.
Same distance as the last panel as the hand slaps across a nondescript man’s face.
LAUREN; BECAUSE MEN WANT MOST WHAT THEY CAN’T GET.
Still close on the hand, again, holding a key, moving towards a car door. Another hand, different from before, has just seized hold of her wrist.
LAUREN; I DIDN’T RECOGNIZE THE BASTARD.
The man’s hands move around her throat. Her fingernails are visible as she tries to pull his hands away, pulling on his wrists.
LAUREN; BUT I FOUGHT HIM.
She claws across his cheek, tearing out troughs of flesh that haven’t begun to bleed yet.
LAUREN; I SCRAPED AT HIS EYES AND HIS MOUTH AND THE SOFT PLACES I COULD REACH.
Close on his hands. Her fingers are again at his wrists, trying to pry him away, as he squeezes her throat closed.
LAUREN; I SCREAMED UNTIL THERE WAS A POP IN MY THROAT.
LAUREN; THEN ALL THAT CAME OUT WAS A SMASHED HISS.
Her fingers touch a cut in her cheek, leaving blood the color of her nails on her fingertips.
LAUREN; HE PUT A KNIFE TO MY CHEEK.
LAUREN; AND HE TOLD ME I WASN’T HURTING YET.
His hands are threaded through hers, squeezing her palm. Her fingers are limp and pale.
LAUREN; I BEGGED HIM NOT TO COME IN ME BECAUSE I WASN’T ON THE PILL.
She’s buried her face in her hands, sobbing. Her fingernails poke out through her hair, which hangs in places over her face.
LAUREN; HE TOLD ME NO ONE WOULD BELIEVE IF I TOLD.
LAUREN; THAT THEY’D CALL ME A WHORE, AND THAT ONE DAY HE’D KILL ME FOR IT.
Close up on a bedpan. Her fingers are curled inside, so we can’t see her fingernails, and she’s hunched over it, wretching.
LAUREN; I PUKED MOST OF THE NIGHT FROM THE PILL THE NURSE GAVE ME TO KEEP FROM HAVING HIS BABY.
Close on a policewoman’s shoulder, where she’s keying a microphone attached to her radio. Her fingernails aren’t long or even painted, but they’re well kept and have a dull shine to them.
LAUREN; A POLICEWOMAN WATCHED AS THEY DID A RAPE KIT.
The nurse performs a pelvic exam. All we see is the side of the nurse’s head and the nurse’s gloved hand resting on her thigh.
LAUREN; THE ONLY THING SHE SAID TO ME WAS, “CHAIN OF CUSTODY.”
Close on the nurse’s hand. She’s wearing gloves, but through them you can clearly see the outline of perfect fingernails. She’s dropping a long cotton swab into a plastic bag.
LAUREN; IF YOU FIGHT LIKE THE TELL YOU TO, YOU GET BLOOD OR SKIN OR HAIR UNDER YOUR NAILS.
Her fingernail clippings are in another plastic evidence bag. Through the bag we see her from the neck down, sitting on the examination table, holding her hospital gown.
LAUREN; IF IT’S BLOOD, THEY CUT YOUR NAILS, AND TAKE THE CLIPPINGS TO A LAB.
She looks at her fingernails, curling them into her palm. The nurse did a poor job, and the cut lines are jagged and thick, and extremely noticeable across the shiny face her nails had.
LAUREN; AND I WANT SO BADLY TO FORGET.
LAUREN; BUT MY FINGERNAILS WON’T LET ME.