8

Eloquence Lost

She'd probably be a straight "A" student if only she could study. She could probably run for miles if she could only sleep. Sophia sat down out in the hall reading a book. She had been working on this book for months; Angela's Ashes. She wasn't sure why she had taken so long with this particular book. She thought maybe it was the devastating subject matter, or maybe it was her not being able to concentrate enough to read it. She wasn't very far in the book. Nonetheless she kept trying to finish it. She sat in the hall. It was well lit and never went out. She wished it would. The seeping light from under the door was usually irritating.

Next to the door was a calendar, Friday had a dark red marker circling it several times. On the bottom bunk, her roommate was asleep on Michigan time which meant she went to sleep and woke up super early. She closed the book and adjusted her black gauchos. Her purple ribbed tank top had a toothpaste stain by on the strap. She straightened her legs and stared at herself in the mirror across from her. It was huge; it towered a little higher than the doorframe next to it. She was across the hall from the bathroom.

She rolled over and pushed herself onto her feet. She got up to the door and turned the lock. She crawled up to the top bunk of her bed and lied down. She closed her eyes and let herself sin into the bed. It was comfortable enough. Her blankets were soft and inviting. She was enveloped in warmth and safety. Her dorms seemed to be safe, didn't have as many parties as the other ones on campus. Okay, so they did sing at 3 o'clock in the morning sometimes, but only on weekends.

One hour later, she eyes were fixated on the ceiling. Two hours later she gained knowledge of the various gems fastened to her picture frame and hung on her bed frame. Three hours later she was pulling at her hair and making little knots on purpose. Four hours later she had gotten up and was watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on her computer. Six hours later she was attempting to peruse Angela's Ashes out in the hall again. Seven hours later her eyes were pervaded with the sounds of her roommates' alarm going off. Her eyes were open, her body was aching and her skull was throbbing. She seized incredulity that she hadn't slipped into unconsciousness at all.

As she glanced at her watch, her eyes grew weary as her body crept into the oblivion that is sleep. She awoke later in the day and had missed all her classes. She dreamt she was Buffy, except she got eaten by a demon.

Sophia realized she had missed an early morning club meeting when she woke up. And all of her classes. She woke up around 4 in the afternoon. She was still tired; it felt as if she hadn't slept at all.

She got up and went to the computer. She went to look up her homework.

It was Friday! Sophia packed her car and got in. She started for home. Home was about 300 miles away. It seemed like a short drive though. She got home in 4 and half hours exactly.

"So, Mom, what do we get to do this weekend?" Sophia asked.

"You're going to do your homework, I've got to work."

"What?" She asked desperately.

"I've gotta go to work." She left and went to her room.

"Damn." Sophia stared at the closed door. She had come all this way and now she didn't have anybody to talk to.

She went to her room. She observed the bare bed, her bed sheets were in her dorm room. She lay down and exhaled heavily. She lay there for an hour and then finally sat up. She had made herself tired. She went to her bags and yanked out her laptop. She reached in her backpack and grabbed her French book. She began to read through it and then closed it. It was boring. She opened her laptop and the internet connection failed to work. She couldn't check her class work.

The next day she saw her mom for a quarter of an hour when she had to go to work. It was a dull day. Sophia flipped in and out of her books and occasionally worked on her paper by glancing at a few books and then closing them again to type on the laptop. She called a few people from town but they didn't answer except for one, Juan.

She'd met Juan through the table. They all exchanged each other's numbers by the end of the semester because the table became an utter disaster and nobody much met there anymore.

Well, he came to pick her up in his awesome white truck. They drove around and then parked in the Jack in the Box parking lot to eat those really cheap yet popular tacos. He put in a Netflix DVD of some cable show. She recognized it as something she had seen her roommate watching. She couldn't really stand to be watching it again. However she did so with no protest.

They talked a little bit but then he had to go meet up with some other friends. He dropped her off at home and she saw her car sitting in the driveway which hadn't moved since she'd gotten back home. She didn't have anywhere to go.

Again, she worked on her paper and then skimmed through her French book. She basically read the bold print headlines and then closed the book. She went to sleep early. Her mom was coming home late.

She woke up early. She still felt very tired. She drank a few cups of coffee until she felt jittery and then got ready. She wore a white dress.

Sophia was yawning as she pulled out of the driveway. She felt her hands shaking and she attempted to steady them as she got onto the road. She got to the first stop light and her hands were shaking so badly she smacked them against the steering wheel. Then they seemed to stay still. She took a back road and then found herself at the St Francis of Assisi church. It wasn't Immaculate Conception which she normally went to but she didn't want to run into anyone from there.

It was a good mass. Except for when this little kid asked if she was married to the guy next to her who was wearing a suit. She drove home in perfect order; her hands had started shaking again.

She drove all the way out to the county to see if Rob and Mary were home. They were, but they didn't answer the door. They texted her a little while later saying they were washing the dog.

She went home and took some sleeping pills. She fell asleep within the hour.

Sophia woke up and got back to writing her paper. She continued flipped through the books and then typed. She checked the internet again, this time it was working. She checked her email and avoided studying.

There was an email from her friend, Alejandro, although, he didn't sound like much of a friend. He said she didn't believe in God and she was just showing her face to appease her family. She began to cry and then called up her friend from church, Miss Cardon.

Sophia drank a handful of pills and closed the bottle. She sat on the couch. She stared at the bottle in her hand. There was a loud noise and she dropped it. It opened and spilled pills everywhere. They seemed to fall in slow motion. She wasn't aware how long she had been sitting on the couch. However, she was now aware that the sun had set outside. How long had it been since she'd read that email? How long had it been since Miss Cardon had left? How long had it been since she had taken the pills? Where was God?

She wiped a new tear from her already swollen eyes. She went down the hall to her room. She grabbed her keys. She returned to the threshold of the hallway. That's when she felt it. She leaned back against the corner between the doorway of the kitchen and the hall. Her back slid down the wall until her butt hit the floor. She put her palm to her forehead. She felt it. She felt it. She felt it.

She laughed. Her body felt tingly. Her head felt clear. Nothing could touch her. She felt happy. Everything seemed to be happening slowly. She laughed again. "Now this is great." She shook the keys and went outside.

She tried sticking the key in the lock, it wouldn't go. Then after she had scratched the handle, she got the key in the lock. She opened the car and got in.

"Oops." She veered seeing the stop sign behind her. A car honked. She giggled. She pressed on the gas until she was going 90 miles an hour. The light was turning red. She winced, she couldn't slow down in time, and she ran the red light.

She stopped suddenly. She tried to do a u-turn. She ended up backing up and then going forward. She started speeding again. She made it up to the highway. She then went back into town and made it to the mall. It was an outdoor mall. Stupid. In Arizona.

She was on the left side of the road. Oncoming headlights roaring past her honked its horn. She looked behind her and then sped to the right side of the road.

It was wearing off.

"I HATE YOU!" Sophia yelled out as she smacked the steering wheel with her wrists. The pain emanated up her arms. She sobbed between screams, "Why did you say that to me?" Her chest heaved as she hyperventilated. She couldn't stop thinking about Alejandro's words.

Every road that could have led her home didn't. She made it to the Indian casino. She pulled into the parking lot and then made it to up to the palm trees. She was nearby a landscape of giant rocks and bushes. She couldn't go in a circle, there were too many cars. That's when she saw a space big enough to do a u-turn. She tried to turn but she didn't make it all the way around again. She put it in reverse. She now had enough space to go forward and pull out onto the road.

The car was still in reverse. She pressed on the gas and suddenly the car jerked backwards. She felt a huge thump and that's when she saw water squirting all over the front of her car. She pressed on the gas again and the car further jolted backwards. It had gone down at least 6 feet of a steep incline. She got in drive and attempted to pull out onto of the landscaping which she was now in. She tried to drive between the big boulders. That's when she saw security stop on the road in front of her. They were 100 feet away but they saw her car attempting to drive out of there. Panic set in.

I love you this much. I love you this much.

No, I haven't been drinking. They gave her a breathalyzer. 0.00. She sat in the car, she burst into tears.

I love you this much. I love you this much.

She read the bible while she was waiting.

"They're going to ban you from the casino. They're not going to press charges. All they ask is you give your insurance info and pay for the damage."

She nodded.

"Sign this." She signed the papers."We can't let you drive home." The ambulance came. The lights blurred together in a mass of pixilating colors.

She couldn't see behind the tears. She said her head hurt and she couldn't remember if it hurt before or after the accident. They wanted to check her out.

I got into an accident. She called her mom's friend, Danette. She couldn't call Miss Cardon.

"Do you want to go to the hospital or do you want to go home?" Danette Sister asked.

"What-" Sophia stared out the window. She saw the breeze blowing the bushes leaves. Everything was slow again.

"I don't want to leave her like this." A man said.

"Nope. Definitely not." She lifted her onto the gurney. Her neck was in a brace. They strapped her down. Those stars. They mocked her. She could see the faces around her and the sky behind them. The dark black sky with little twinkling dots laughed at her. She wondered if someone up there was watching her, if they saw her right then. What happens when you throw a rock at a star? Nobody else had seen her, but the stars did. They put the star in stare. They fixated on her, not helping her. They stayed still. This was the lowest point in her life and they had found her then to stand by and do nothing.

She instantly hated every boy who took her out on a date which led to them under the stars. Why did they want to see them?

I hate them. I hate stars. I love you this much! I LOVE YOU THIS MUCH!

She whined and attempted to push herself away from the wall. "Are you uncomfortable? How am I supposed to help you if you don't say anything?" the fireman adjusted her gurney.

Then they pushed her into a room. Sophia was glad they had unstrapped her. But she hated that she was still in the brace. She had an IV line in her arm. They had missed the veins many times. She wanted to go. Then there was her mom. I WANNA GO HOME!

She was tearing at the IV and then pulling at the neck brace as the woman stopped her from yanking it out. "… if you stop throwing a tantrum like a 3 year old!" The nurse yelled. Then a male nurse was attempting to hold her down. Her mom was successful at holding down one arm. Then she swatted at the nurse.

"… jail!" She swatted him anyway. She screamed louder. "Call security."

Security came in.

"I'm such a matillialistic lallor," Sophia slurred her words. She quietly laughed. She was in bed. Everything had worn off from the day before, the pain, the anger, and the drug, but her first thought was she needed to talk to the monsignor or somebody from the church. She dind't know the monsignor enough to want to talk to him about something like this.

I feel like I have lost control. I've lost control of my life. I have no control.

She was supposed to be back in class. She should have left early that morning to head back to campus but she overslept. She had not gotten home until midnight. Barely conscious andextremely dizzy she had come home with her mother and then without saying anything crawled into bed.

She sat on her bed. I love you THIS much! I love you THIS much.

Sophia never knew how long she could sleep. She had finished angela's Ashes. This was the first major academic accomplishment in awhile and it wasn't even for class. She managed to finish her paper and she drove back to campsu. SHe got back late at night. She missed a few calls from her mom.

That night, the light from under the door in hr door irrated her. She closed her eyes, I love you this much, God! I do. With all my heart. Help me. Help me please! She begged him!