Aftershave. Lavender and aftershave. These are the two things I smell when I wake up.
I'm in my room. The TV is on in the corner, playing some old black-and-white crime thriller I don't know the name of. Blinking, I don't remember having a TV in my room. Such an odd thing not to remember. Flexing my fingers, I run them along my sheets, which are softer than I can recall. My mom must have washed them recently, however I seriously doubt it.
Whenever I wake up from a nap, I'm automatically greeted with a headache. And without skipping a beat, a headache forms in both of my temples. I get up and step into the bathroom; here I locate the overwheliing smell of aftershave. It's cheap and it intensifies my headache into a migraine.
After I wash my face, I realize where the lavender scent is coming from. A jar of lotion rests on the counter, next to the aftershave. Neither of these things are mine. I put them in the medicine cabinet behind the mirror, trying to remember the last time I had a girl over.
The answer is never.
My stomach cuts off my trailing thought by making itself heard in a long, deep growl. I decide to abandon the lavender conundrum and quell my hunger, instead. Food always seems to make the headaches go away.
On my way to the kitchen, my body continues to wake up. As I stretch my back––my spine cracking in several places––the color pink catches my eye.
To my left is an open room, the walls painted pink, as well as pink curtains and a pink bedspread. My sister's room. There's nothing really worth looking at and the bright shades of pink aren't helping the thudding in my skull. It's crushing, splintering. A flash of light blinds me.
Then I remember that I don't have a sister.
My stomach cries out in pain again, urging me to the kitchen. I pull out leftovers from the fridge, fruit from the basket on the island, chips from the cupboard. All I can think about right now is food, satisfying this deep hunger in my gut and this splitting pain in my head. The leftovers are meartloaf and chicken. Days old and they're still delicious. I eat like I haven't eaten fresh food in months.
This thought strikes me and I stop chewing. When was the last time I ate fresh food? I swallow what's in my mouth. When was the last time my mom cleaned the kitchen? The counter is smooth and uncluttered except for what I've thrown on it. The sink is empty and clean. Even when I opened the fridge, no repulsive odor threatened me like one usually does.
How long had I been asleep? The clock above the sink reads a quarter past one, but I can't remember when I fell asleep in the first place. My heart seizes in my chest.
I leave the kitchen in search for the garage. If my car isn't sitting in there, then I'll know for sure that this isn't my home. As if everything else here isn't enough––the aftershave, the lavender lotion, the sheets, the pink room, the kitchen––seeing my car is my last desperate attempt to ensure my sanity. What I have in me is waning and I feel like I'm losing it…losing all of it. All that I have left.
In my rising panic, all I can find are closets and rooms I don't recognize. I start to hyberventilate.
Where am I––?
I find the garage. The first things I see are tools, boxes, blood, and a man. All things I don't recognize. My car isn't here. This isn't my home. Hyperventilating causes the tips of my fingers to go numb. Despite all the food I just ate, my stomach feels empty. I feel empty.
My eyes bounce back to the man lying in the middle of the garage and freeze. There's more than a considerable amount of blood around him.
The human body contains that much blood?
I move towards him. He isn't moving. There's a bloody crowbar next to him, sunk in his blood. Also beside him, almost unseen in all the blood, is a knife.
I gulp, feeling food between my teeth slide down my throat. My car isn't here. This isn't my house. That isn't my room, my bed, my aftershave, my sister's room, or my leftovers. This is not my house.
As I stand here, realizng this, realizing everything, I ask myself:
Did I kill this man?