"I think I'm being haunted," Kelly said as he sank down onto the couch shared by his roommate.
Eddie, who was drunk, felt the cushions sink and sway like an ocean beneath him as Kelly nervously confided in him. Kelly, who was not drunk, but was no longer sure if he was sane, wrung his hands over and over in his lap, and Eddie, drunk, happened to think his fingers looked like a mass of worms squirming all over each other and tried not to recoil at the sight.
"What?" Eddie asked, averting his gaze as he struggled, and failed, to sit up.
"I hit a girl last week. I think that's what did it. She came back because I hit a girl and had sex with her."
"What?" Eddie repeated. "Who?"
The congealed mass of worms spread as Kelly's face sank into them, causing Eddie to gag and grimace. Kelly's legs began to bob fretfully and Eddie, who was drunk, couldn't help but notice that they blurred together in a cartoonish way.
"Hey," he said, swinging a hand at Kelly. "Don't let your legs run out on you."
"It was after the show, you know," Kelly rambled, tangling his wormlike fingers into his long, dark hair, "and Roger, you know, had picked his girls and gone for the night, and I thought, hey, I can do that now, too, and I got one, and I took her to a room, and I beat her up."
"What the fuck."
"I don't know, I didn't-" Kelly began, but stopped suddenly and looked up, alarmed. "Do you feel that?" he whispered, frightened. "Jesus."
"Feel what?" Eddie asked, and, if he weren't drunk, would've been able to see the way Kelly's panting breath began to fog as it curled away from his lips.
"She came back," he whispered fearfully. His eyes tore all across the room, searching for her presence, but never settled for long before they were off looking at something someplace else. "She was in the room with me when I was doing it. She watched me beat that girl up. I could smell her perfume as I did it."
"Who, man?" Eddie asked, and, if he weren't drunk, would've been able to see that Kelly's eyes, usually so narrow and cunning, were wide and vulnerable with senseless terror.
"You don't have a girlfriend, Kelly," Eddie said dismissively, shaking his head and letting it fall back to rest on the cushion.
"Ex-girlfriend," Kelly hissed, and, if Eddie weren't drunk, he would've felt the way the couch began to tremble, and, if he weren't drunk, would've realized that it wasn't Kelly's shivers shaking it. "Do you feel that? Do you feel that?"
"Feel what, man? I feel good."
"She's here," Kelly said, starting to sob. "She came back because I beat up that girl, and now she won't go away. I messed up. She killed herself because of me. I can't take it back."
Eddie did feel a slight chill then, but wrapped himself up in his sweater and forgot about it. Kelly felt the chill, too, but couldn't ignore it as his skin bumped under his hands as they ran up and down the lengths of his arms.
"Shit happens," Eddie said with a shrug. "You know, my, my Nancy- she took my son away."
"What am I supposed to do?"
"She took my baby Neil away… Maybe I should go and haunt her, eh? Maybe then she'd give him back," Eddie tried to laugh, but began crying instead. "My poor baby Neil…"
"Shut the fuck up, Eddie!" Kelly shrieked, panicked. "It's not always about you and your fucked up, could-have-been family!"
"I was going to marry her," Eddie moaned as he rolled off the sofa. "Me 'nd Nancy and our baby Neil."
"Stop," Kelly pleaded, but Eddie, drunk, kept on crying and didn't even notice he'd fallen to the floor. Kelly wasn't sure if he was addressing Eddie anymore as the air around them took on a familiar scent.
It was flowery, and brought back unwelcome memories.
A faint twinkling of pink sequins caught in the corner of his eye, and if he had just turned his head to the side, he'd have been able to see her in the kitchen; out of place in the pink prom dress she'd died in. But Kelly, sober and afraid, could only tremble quietly in his seat as he endured the haunting, staring straight ahead as Eddie, drunk, wailed on the floor in despair.
"Please bring me my baby back."