Hello All! It's been awhile. I feel like writing again. I went back and edited a few problems with the first chapter and now I'm updating with this new chapter. Please enjoy.
Chapter Two – Hangover… or is it Hungover?
Life was sounds of rain pattering against a window, the smell of burnt coffee, tinny voices in another room, the smell of fabric softener, pizza and bedhead on a pillow.
Taryn laid face first, smooshed against the pillow case, feeling as if a weight bag was sitting at the side of her head and pressing her down into the pillow.
She groaned as she turned, muted gray light, feeling like dusk, through the blinds that made it possibly darker than the time of day. What day was it? Was it evening? How long had she been asleep?
Her body felt like an ancient machine being turned over as she maneuvered to her side, wanting the overwhelming headache to pass. It felt like her ears were being pulled out at the sides and a vice attached at the crown of her skull.
She groaned more loudly as she rolled to her back and stared up at the light fixture and the fact the fan must have had over a year of dust growing along its edges. Why didn't she or her roommate ever dust the fan? It was too high and they didn't own a ladder. That's right. She could see every dust particle, so that the simply disgusting appearance made her squint and the close her eyes.
Taryn moaned a bit more as she felt her angel bones flatten, as her body stretched on the bedspread, body parts acclimating into their proper place.
It suddenly dawned on her, and she sprung up in bed and her bones, like some collapsible tent pegs all realigned too quickly, joints being pushed into positions they weren't ready to be placed into, readjusted. Hisses and barks of pain emitted from deep within.
"Oh… fuck," she breathed, raking fingers through hair. "What the…" she glanced over her room where the cheap IKEA drawers used to be, but instead a pile of her clothes sat because Emma took it when she left. And then the book shelf of her only items of worth and a few boxes of papers she'd written for classes she couldn't remember half of what she'd been taught.
"Where…" and then she began to remember leaving work, possibly with someone, though even that vision was hard to recall and what she even looked like, and then…nothing. Did she dream that? It didn't seem to have really happened? Was this how it happened because her heart was broken when Emma left? Was she drinking alone again?
She swung her legs to the side of the bed and her head throbbed, like she had the worse hangover ever. Squinting, she fumbled grasping at the side table, feeling for her cell phone. Grabbing it she quickly pulled it around to see that it was around 1:42 in the afternoon.
"What happened?" she quietly asked herself, and then her eyes slowly drifted downward to find she was only in her panties.
Thoughts swirled around, but kept bumping into walls of black and she could not remember anything of the night before. She only recalled working and didn't have any idea how she got home or when she got home or even going out for drinks to place her in this state of blackout. She hadn't been this drunk before.
Taryn tried standing and fell back onto the bed. Her body felt so drained and so tired, and like she had aged twenty years as everything hurt, ailments like a creaking older body.
Lightening and thunder hit outside her window and she turned to see the flashes of a small storm through the blinds. She needed to use the bathroom.
"What happened?" Taking a breath she stood up, this time standing on wobbly legs and shuffled to the bathroom.
Hitting the light switch, she turned holding to the sink and then caught her reflection in the mirror. What she saw staring back at her was so pale and gaunt, and made her jump slightly at the vision that she didn't fully recognize.
"What happened?" she whispered, feeling at her face. Such dark circles etched around her still very blue eyes, but her lips looked cracked and dry and despite being a fairly pale person she was deathly white. "I look like a holocaust survivor. What the hell?"
She felt at her stomach, it just felt so empty. And then she felt two small bumps around her pelvis. She stared down looking more closely and could see it was two small bumps, a concave area like she'd been punctured by something.
"What is this?" She inspected it more closely. "Did I do drugs last night? Ah fuck, I don't even remember." But the more closely she looked she saw two more bumps just above her right breast and then began to worry. She turned quickly back to the mirror and noticed two more bumps just below her ear along her neck and inches above her clavicle. "Man, what did I do last night?" She ran her fingers lightly over the bump, "Damn, that's the weirdest hickey I've ever had… what the…?"
Her heart raced more quickly as she began to look over her entire body looking for more puncture marks and then nothing more. She had those three sets and that was it. Her breath became ragged and she felt lightheaded, dizzy from whatever was wrong with her and the panic as she grew more anxious over not being able to recall the night before. Every thought fell further down this blackened hole and disappeared.
She wanted to call someone, anyone and find out if they had been with her and who drove her home.
She fumbled back to the bedroom, bumping into the wall and then the portal and outside the window she could see the sky was darker, or maybe it was just her head growing darker, as the area in front of her closed in all around, like a small pinhole, until she felt the carpet of the bedroom floor.
She hit it hard and lay there, unable to move. Was she dying? And then her heartbeat throbbed painfully at her neck, the fear growing, as she had no idea what had happened to her, and everything turned black, and she mewled low and incoherent, wishing she could stop the darkness that slowly surrounded her as she blacked out on the floor of her apartment room.
Again, small tinny voices and Taryn felt her senses keener and realized she could hear voices from other rooms, muffled and chatting, as she lay back in what looked like a hospital room. It dawned on her she was in a bed in a hospital. Looking down across her body she was under a white thermal blanket, her thin pale arm with an IV stuck at the inside of her elbow and her finger hooked to a little monitor.
The beeping of the machine beside her sent a throbbing and ringing in her ears, as she glanced across the plain hospital room of light green cloth chairs and light woods and off-white walls.
Even her breath seemed unbelievably loud.
Blinking, she stared up at the ceiling and then back down across the bed, trying to figure out what was going on.
And then the person, who walked through the door she didn't think she would ever see again, but her light steps, years of dancing always carrying her forward, strode across the floor and to her bedside.
Her pale green eyes, gazed over Taryn's face. Instantly, she saw the concern from her ex, Emma. "Why'd you do it, Tare?" And then it was obvious she had been holding back crying, "Why would you do this?"
"You know what?" her voice heightened in agitation, "I didn't think you'd ever go this far."
And then the frustration that swept across Emma's delicate features of freckles and her light brown hair, cut short and in a bob since she needed it fashionable and yet easy to maintain for her dance company, all shook with her ire. "You know what I mean. I go back to the apartment and find you passed out on the floor." And then Emma's voice cracked as she did cry. "You barely had a pulse. I called nine-one-one. What did you do? Did you just find some dealer," she whispered, "on the street?"
"Wha…?" Taryn's heart raced. "You found me? Oh man, I thought I was dying."
"Well lucky you – you're alive!" She then lifted her hand like she wanted to pummel her ex, but rather closed her fist in frustration. "You just had to pull the suicide thing. What the fuck is wrong with you? What the fuck, Tare? Did you think it would make me forgive you?"
"I… I didn't…?"
Taryn finally noticed the tall, beautiful brunette standing in the doorway. Lithe with a dancer's body and she knew it was Emma's new girlfriend. She couldn't remember her name only that the sight of her made her want to punch someone.
"Well, yeah you found me." Taryn's voice rose, "you did your Good Samaritan act and now you can go. I'm good." She held up her IV riddled arm, "They have me on the good drugs now and so no more worries. Buh-bye – someone's waiting for you."
"Taryn," Emma breathed exasperated, "Don't pull this-"
"-I'm not pulling anything. And don't worry – no more suicide attempts, though this wasn't an attempt. I have no idea how I ended up almost dead on the bedroom floor. It was an accident and I don't-" Taryn stopped herself, still so frustrated she had no recollection of the night before "-I just…I don't know. I'm good now."
Emma stood beside Taryn, their eyes meeting, for three years they were inseparable and then it took Taryn flirting with someone else one more time until it just got to Emma and she had an affair on her. It was just that one time, but Taryn could hold a grudge like no other. Nothing seemed to work out in her life afterward and Emma just packed up and left, moving in with some friends at the dance company.
"Em, I promise this wasn't some suicide attempt," Taryn finally told her, "I don't… I don't know what happened to me. I don't remember anything from the moment I left work until this afternoon when I woke up in my apartment."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean," Taryn emphasized, and then waved her hand across her face, "Like nothing – zilch – nada. I can't remember anything and I think someone drugged me, but I have no idea who and I can't remember anything."
Taryn only nodded, and Emma turned back toward the figure in the doorway, "Hey Becky, I'll meet you at the Starbucks downstairs, kay?"
The taller brunette nodded, turning in Taryn's direction, said a quaint, "I hope you feel better," all bright and cheery making her want to punch something again, and then left.
Emma turned back to Taryn. "What do you mean, someone drugged you? What strange chick did you pick up this time?"
"Man, don't start with that. What about that little void bitch – oh golly gee whillikers, hope you feel better - waiting-"
"-oh stop it Tare."
"Shit, I don't know why I bothered worrying over you. Fine-" Emma turned, "-I'm leaving."
Emma simply breathed out, "No Taryn. I'm tired of waiting on you." And then walking to the door she turned to Taryn one last time, "By the way, stop picking up strange-ass chicks cause I will not be around to find your half-dead body next time."
Taryn sat there and watched. As if she didn't feel her gut was hollow before, and now it felt it was collapsing, being pulled in with her heart. To herself, "yeah fine, leave" and then the tears came, as she sat weak and feeling her whole life had ended all over again.
For one more night they kept her on fluids to remove the after effects of the drug, they even gave her a pint of blood, saying it was low and she was simply anemic, and then she was sent home to an empty apartment. At least the rain had stopped. But she felt strange inside, like something within her basic structure shifted and changed. She didn't understand why she kept hearing voices through the apartment walls. She knew they were thin, but they seemed thinner since she was drugged or whatever had happened to her that night.
Even her smell was more acute and everything bothered her, so that she began rummaging through the apartment and throwing everything out that became too overpowering of a smell, the pizza boxes, the empty coke cans, the bath powder that wasn't used any more and dirty clothes that she instantly threw in the washer.
"What's wrong with me," she began to wonder. "I feel like I'm losing my mind."
And then as she rummaged through the side table she found something stuck between the bed and table. She reached down and pulled out a small charm from a bracelet. It was silver, something very antique, like you would find at a little specialty shop crafted back in the 20s or 30s. Turning it over and over in her fingers, she could see it was a decorative little letter "J."
"J," she whispered, "Zhoo-lyet."
Suddenly she nearly fell backward, as if being punched hard in the stomach, bowling her over and she instantly sat on the bed. A vision of red hair and those deep green eyes and a fast car and then an old estate, driving past a field of dead and forgotten vines from a vineyard, and realized she had been with someone that night. Yes, she had been with someone and she needed to find out what happened to her, she needed answers, and she gripped the small "J" in her hand, realizing what she needed to do.
She was going to find that woman that did this to her and ask her what she did because Taryn knew something wasn't right inside. Something had changed, and she felt… hungry, yes… absolutely famished, but couldn't figure out what it was she desired, down deep in the pit of her stomach.