After dry heaving again, I drag my sorry ass downstairs to watch some TV. Unfortunately, I also manage to give myself a massive headache, so I mute Law and Order and just stare at the screen, sweating and curled in the fetal position. I get up and take two aspirin around 8, and then another two around 9:30 (because I threw the first ones up, surprise surprise).

Then around noon, just as my headach starts to fade, the phone rings and sends another splinter of pain shooting through my cranium. As it turns out, Aunt Bren's kids, Theresa and Alex, are sick too. She thinks it's chicken pox, although she isn't sure because Theresa had the shot before she went to kindergarten. She wonders if maybe thr shot didn't take, or ther doctor missed the vein. After all, he was a Chinaman, and with his eyes it must've been harder to see–

And now I'm trying to find a way to hang up on her, because I can barely stomach her racist rants when I'm feeling healthy. Now I'm sick and irritable, and she's lucky her husbands calls her away, because I'm about three seconds away from calling her out for the bigot she is.

Or not. I'm not a huge fan of confrontation.

So I waste the rest of the day trying to force down saltines and sipping water, throwing them up sporadically, and watching Olivia and Elliot solve silent rapes. Not that the rapes were silent. I'm sure those women made a lot of noise. I'd be screaming too, if I was them. I meant that I was watching the TV on silent and... yeah, that point probably didn't need any clarification.

Staying home sick with nothing to do is almost as bad as being at school. I can't even use the internet, because my mom was alte on the bill this month and stil hasn't paid it off. The highlight of my day was watching my neighbor, Mr. Baldino, scratch himself and stare at the telephone pole in front of my house for about fifteen minutes. There he was, this middle-aged, pudgy, weirdly hairy, just scratching at the back of his neck, and sometimes his balls, staring at a telephone pole like he'd never seen one before. After a while, I think he noticed me staring at him rather obviously from my bedroom window, and he just blushed and hurried back into his house.


At the end of the day, I crawl into bed feeling shitty and lonely, and I suddenly find myself wishing I'd asked mom to stay. I know I can't call her, because she's in the air, and that by the time she comes down I'll alread be asleep, so I just send her a quick text saying how incredibly boring my day was and go to sleep.

Later, I wake up at 2 am, and after running to the bathroom to puke again, I see Mr. Baldino standing in front of the telephone pole again, staring at it in the moonlight, scratching harder than ever. When he catches me staring, I duck away from the window. When I look back five minutes later, he's back to staring at the pole. This time, I don't think it's funny.

Down the street, I can see another figure scratching in the moonlight. It's Ms. Foster and her son. She's in her leopard print pajamas, her hair in curlers and wrapped with a big scarf. Her son is in basketball shorts and a wife-beater. They're both standing in front of

I lock my door before I go back asleep.

A/N: I know I know, short chapter in which nothing really happens until the end. I don't know, I really just wanted to establish a sense of normalcy before 'shit gets real', but I'm afraid it might drag a bit because generally, I'm terrible at pacing. So to make up for it, I'm gonna update again tomorrow.