day 248 – Folie a Deux – Part 12

Word count: 706

“Where am I?” Catherine felt faint. Acid was burning its way up to her throat; her breath was short and her heart racing. The room was spinning, wherever she was. Vicky was there – and Tom – and some other people from school. She recognised their blurred faces as she spiralled to the floor.

She fell back against something soft, it felt like a sofa. Catherine clutched on to it – she felt inertia as if she was in a car that had braked too suddenly. A figure that looked like Vicky crouched down beside her and held her hand.

“Catherine are you alright?” turning to a man behind her, “Tom, get her some water…. she’s drank too much…”

“I… I… I haven’t,” she shook her head lethargically, “I haven’t drunk anything, n-n-othing…. air… please, air…”

Tom came bounding back into view with a glass of water. Catherine swallowed the entire glass without a break. The cold liquid was soothing on her lips, her brain and her stomach.

“Where am I?” she asked once again, “I don’t remember…”

“God, she’s pretty messed up,” one of the others whispered.

“She probably took something, there’s no way she could get wasted that quickly,” another said.

“No! No, I didn’t drink, I didn’t.. take…”

“Catherine, tell me, tell me honestly – what have you had?”

“Nothing, I, I was there, I was in that place… it was real, it is real…”

“Catherine, what are you on about?” Vicky asked, checking Catherine’s temperature with the back of her hand. “She’s burning up, Tom…”

“We can’t call her parents – they’d freak?”

“I know… what do we do though?”

“Keep an eye on her until she sobers up?”

“I suppose… but what if she had taken something else? Did anyone see what she had to drink?”

“I’ve had nothing!” Catherine managed to say more coherently, “The last thing I remember was… exam.. we were in the exam. I’d finished early.”

The world was becoming less pixelated now. Catherine could now make out the faces of the crowd that had gathered around her ill body. She put her hand on Vicky’s.

“Jesus, Catherine, that was eight hours ago…” Vicky turned to get Tom’s opinion.

“What happened, Vicky? Where have I been?”

“You’ve been here the entire time. We’ve been talking – we’ve been talking this entire time… don’t you remember?”

Catherine shook her head. She felt even more sick than she had done before. For eight hours she had walked and talked as normal. She had had conversations with her friends, had been partying, drinking, had been doing everything as normal – but she had no memory of it? Not only that, but she believed herself to be dreaming, to be in a house, in a kitchen with a woman she could not speak to. It was too weird to explain to anyone. Despite the fact that she was with Vicky all day, despite the fact that she was clearly walking amongst reality the entire time, somehow being in the old house felt more real. The party, the exam, the whatever in between – that was the dream. Why did it feel like that? Why did her brain switch off entirely? Was this where her illness was heading to?

“No, Vicky, no, I don’t remember… I wasn’t here, Vicky. I was asleep.”

Vicky looked shocked. “We need to get you home now.”

Vicky and Tom made to lift her up, but Catherine resisted, “No, no – my parents would kill me. Just let me relax. Let me recover. Where did you say I was?”

“At mine, celebrating,” Vicky answered.

“Good… I wouldn’t want them to see me like this. They probably wouldn’t believe I wasn’t drunk…” Catherine forced a laugh. The crowd echoed it and dispersed, leaving only Vicky and Tom behind.

Catherine was lying on the sofa now. Vicky sat on the edge.

“If you need anything…”

“I know where you are,” Catherine smiled.

The two of them left her alone. Catherine was quite glad. She had felt like she was suffocating. Now that she was alone, she could reflect where she had been. Was it real, or was it all in her head and if it was all in her head, why did it feel so real?

~ by S.G. Mark on June 11, 2012.

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