She has to see me. Someone has to.
|I haven't even opened my eyes and I can already feel a pounding headache coming on. It's unlike anything I've ever experienced. It takes me what feels like forever to finally open my eyes, but looking at the clock jolts me up. I can't believe I slept through my alarm. I'm not the best student but I hate missing classes, and I hate trying to catch up. Right before I get up I notice my pyjamas still folded on the bottom corner of my bed, exactly where I always put them. Did I really fall asleep in my coat and jeans? I guess there's a first time for everything. Hey, at least I'm already dressed for the day.
I should go make some breakfast, though at this point it would be more like lunch. I'm not hungry but I hate to miss a meal and I don't want to get more off schedule than I already am. I throw together a sandwich and sit at the table but...I can't taste it. My mouth feels dry and I can't stop chewing, trying to make the pieces small enough to swallow. No flavour, except hints of copper. The more I chew the more it feels like cotton. I think I'll choke if I keep eating, so I push the plate to the other side of the table and glare at it. I know my boyfriend has a break in classes right now so maybe giving him a call will help. My roommate and I are lucky enough to have a phone right in the kitchen so I don't even have to get up. The phone rings with no problem, but as soon as I say hi I'm met with silence. I don't think he can hear me. I try yelling into the receiver but it doesn't seem to work, and he hangs up. I'll have to see about getting it fixed.
My head is still hurting pretty badly but I should try to get notes from the lecture I missed. There's a girl around the corner who always studies with me and she has the most beautiful handwriting I've ever seen. I'm so envious. It makes her notes super easy to read so she's my go-to if I'm too sick to make it to class. It's really bright outside, and the light is not helping my headache, but the fresh air feels good. Her car is in the driveway so I know she's home. I knock, but I can hear one of her records playing inside so I ring the doorbell instead. I can't help mouthing along with the lyrics while I wait- I love Neil Diamond. When she opens the door she gives me a funny look. I try to ask her what's wrong but she closes it right in my face. I ring the bell again. She reopens the door, frustrated, and looks around. She's acting like she can't even see me. She ignores everything I say and goes back inside. I'm starting to get a little worried. Did she really not notice me? Is she ok? Am I ok?
I decide to walk around the block before going home. I'll try to talk to anyone I see. Little by little my fear is rising. Nobody acknowledges me. No "hellos," nods, waves...nothing. This feels like a scene from one of my mystery novels. Am I dreaming? I keep walking around the block, up and down the same streets, but nothing changes. I feel invisible. It's starting to get dark. How long have I been out here? My roommate should be home now so I start to run to my building. She has to see me. Someone has to.
Once I get to the front door I hear voices inside. They sound familiar. I open it and walk in, following the voices to the living room. It's my parents. They didn't call and let me know they were coming. They always do. It's ok, there must be a reason right? The phone is broken after all. My boyfriend is sitting on the couch with them. No one looks happy. My roommate leaves the bathroom and walks right past me. I follow her into the kitchen and she crosses off the date on the calendar. Wait a minute, that's not right. Today isn't Thursday. When I went to bed it was...it was Sunday. Wasn't it? I went out, and...blank. What happened next? I run into the living room and start yelling. Everyone is focused on the tv. I'm screaming now, right in their faces and getting no reaction. Then I hear my name on the television. I turn around and see my picture beside a news anchor. I feel sick. My mind is flooded with thoughts and I can only make out a few words from the reporter.
"...missing...student...brown hair...black jacket...seen Sunday night...man...white vehicle..."
Oh God. The man. I back away from the tv and catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. This can't be right. I run up to it and look at the horrible reflection staring back at me. Jeans, covered in dirt. Black jacket, covered in dirt and dark brown stains. Face, white. Lips, purple. Hair, matted in blood. I touch the back of my head and cringe. It's wet and my hand turns red. I can see the reflections of other girls behind me now. I spin around and look at their faces, white and purple like mine. Some are crying and some are angry. One of them steps forward and holds my hand. She doesn't open her mouth but I can hear her. It's ok now, you're safe. Another one chimes in, I hope they kill him. He's gonna fry for this, I just know it. God, why can't I remember? One of the girls tries to smile and tells me to think. What's my last memory?
It's Sunday night and I'm outside. I can't remember where I'm going. There's a man walking to his car and he drops something. A briefcase. He has a sling on his arm so I rush over to help. He smiles at me and thanks me. What a gorgeous smile. When we reach the car I lean in to the passenger side to set down the briefcase. Suddenly something cold hits the back of my head and everything goes dark.