My head is the size of a whale and my ears ring so loudly that I might as well be deaf.

The room is bright enough that I can see pink though my eyelids. Squinting doesn't help; it only makes my headache worse.

Why was I so stupid last night?

I carefully lift my arm to cover my eyes, but as I am on my side, light still gets in.

Where am I?

My room at home has thick drapes that filter out all but the most direct sunlight and my dark green walls help me feel cool and comfortable on even the hottest of days.

In the dorms, we have blinds on the widows and giant old trees right outside, giving our second story room a basement gloom even at noon. And the bed sighs at the slightest movement.

This bed is quiet and soft. And the sheets are smooth—not from cotton washed a thousand times, but like they were always that way.

I roll over. On my back, my arm blocks out all of the light, but that simple movement brings a cacophony of pain.

My eyes try to explode in their sockets. Blood pounds through my temples. My throat is raw like I threw up.

I may have.

I think I did.

It hurts to remember.

If I threw up, at least I can't smell it.

My nose doesn't hurt. But the area around my mouth is numb. And sore like when the housekeeper would get annoyed with my twin and I after one of our messy escapades and scrubbed us just a little too hard with a washcloth.

Bryana and I used to get in such scraps all the time. Mrs. K always said I should keep Bry out of trouble, but my parents knew I had no control over her.

Even at birth—although how my parents made it to the delivery room in this day and age without knowing there were two of us, even they couldn't say—my sister was the dominate one. My father looked from his loud, pink, already named daughter to his quiet, pale, unexpected son and named me the backup name they had in case their guess of my sister gender had been wrong: her name without the first and last letters.

I hadn't really been ill; it was just that she has always been extra healthy. She is stronger, faster, and more skillful than me.

And much better at getting us both into trouble.

I sigh and that sends a throb along the band of pain that wraps around my forehead and tugs on the top of my spine. Even behind my arm I see fireworks.

Why can't I just die?

My shoulders hurt, too. I need to stretch them to relieve the knot between my shoulder blades, but I can't risk it; I don't want knives stabbing though my head.

My stomach hurts. I hope I'm not hungry. The thought of food is revolting.

In fact, I hurt from my waist to my knees. Not the pain in my head, but a dull ache like I'm recovering from a marathon.

But a marathon of what?