Chapter 2. Pt. I
I wake up and my cat is suffocating me as usual. She’s on my chest and I struggle to open my eyes against the blinding light seeping through the blinds that I forgot to close again last night. I gently push my cat off my chest and sit up rubbing the sleep and leftover makeup from last night out of my eyes. Fuck My head is pounding and I rub my temples slightly. I glance around the room. Wait. What?! There is a hand sticking out of the blankets to my left and I roll my eyes, mostly at myself, and get out of bed. I am completely naked and I roll my eyes again and grab a long t-shirt from off the floor. I glance at the figure again and start to remember my dream.
I did too much coke last night and drank six too many vodka and cranberry doubles. Fuck. Coke always makes my dreams all fucked up and weird. Zombies? I go into the bathroom and rinse my face and sit down to pee. I wonder what my dream means and I sit for a while pondering this when my roommate walks in.
“…Hi.” My voice is hoarse and I’m not wearing any underwear so I glare at her as she fiddles with her eyeliner. I feel bad for the look but I feel like shit and probably don’t look any better. I finish my pee and brush past my roommate back into my room. I notice the guy in my bed again. Shit I had forgotten about him briefly. When the fuck is he going to wake up? I’m slightly annoyed because I want to be alone and listen to music really loudly but there is this dude interfering with that. I’m hung-over and selfish so I go over to the bed and poke him slightly in the side.
“Hello...? Morning!” He doesn’t budge and I frown to myself and glance around the room. I decide to clean up and shower and then try to wake him up again if he isn’t awake by then.
I grab some clothes from off the floor and smell them to make sure they are remotely clean and get underwear from my dresser and leave the room again. My roommate is nowhere to be found and I smile inwardly as I close the bathroom door and lock it. I throw the supposed clean clothes onto the counter and peel the t-shirt off. I turn the water on and sit on the side of the tub while it warms up. My dream keeps coming back to me. It was pretty violent at the end, and I actually died in it. Don’t people not usually die in their dreams? I shake off my confused thoughts and realize the water is at the perfect temperature so I turn the shower on full power and hop in. The water feels great and I sit under it for a good full five minutes without moving except to have the water beat down on my sore back in a different spot.
I finally decide that it’s probably a good idea to wash the smell of smoke out of my hair and I do so with leisure. I finally get done with my shower twenty minutes later and I step out grabbing the stained white towel off the rack. I put on lotion and throw on my clothes. I can hear my roommate playing music in her room really loudly and I wish I had put my music on first. Some top 40 shit pours through the walls and I scowl.
I step out of the bathroom in a wave of hot steam and good smelling shampoo and go back into my room. The guy in my bed hasn’t moved a muscle and now I’m really annoyed. I walk over to my desk and put on the first metal cd I can find in the mess of CDs on my desk and press play as I turn the volume up. A lot.
“Okay buddy! Time to get up! Rise and shine!” Nothing. What the fuck? Get UP! I’m super annoyed and I walk over to the bed with my hair still up in my towel and smack him upside the head.
“Hey lazy!” His head rolls over to the other side but he still doesn’t move. Umm… I think that’s a little weird; I hit him pretty hard. I can hear “Norma Jean” screaming in the background. The song that’s on is one of my favorites but I can’t move. I’m staring at this guy in my bed; I’m staring at his hand that I suddenly realize looks slightly purple. I slowly reach out a hand to the blanket that’s covering his face and body and whip it off.
He’s definitely dead. There is nothing alive about that. The guy’s stomach is empty. I mean, his stomach is missing, no intestines, no liver, no kidneys, not even a gall bladder. He had been scooped out like a ball of ice cream and there wasn’t even any blood. I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or scream. I had to still be dreaming. Right? I look at the guy’s face and realize he doesn’t even look remotely familiar, cute, but unrecognizable. I couldn’t have been that fucked up last night to not remember someone…right? My mind is blank. I don’t know what to do. I can feel myself slowly but surely backing up towards the door. I swing around and bolt out of the door and slam it behind me. I look down at myself and realize I’m shaking. Where’s my phone? Shit. Do I call the police? I don’t even know what I would say. “Yes, hello, officer? Well, I woke up this morning and there was a dead guy in my bed. What? Why didn’t I call the police immediately? Well, the truth is, I was really hung-over and wanted to take a shower.” Yep, that will go over real well. SHIT. I don’t know what to do.
My roommate walks out of her room and stops at the sight of me. I must look weird. I am propped up awkwardly on my bedroom door my hair still up in a towel and probably a frightened look on my face.
“Um…are you okay?” I stare at her and shrug.
“Yeah.” She gives me a weird look and walks up putting a hand on my doorknob.
“I think I left my blush on your desk last night before we went out. Can I grab it?”
“NO!” I nearly shout it at her and she winces.
“I’m hung-over too, ya know? Don’t yell. Jesus, if you have a guy in there you should have just said so.” I stare at her and say nothing. “Whatever, just get it to me later.” With that said she whips around and goes down the stairs. I breathe a big sigh of relief but try to keep it quiet. What am I doing? It’s not like I killed the guy. I don’t need to hide it. I slide down my door into a sitting position. My legs stick out in front of me. I’m wearing my favorite jeans and they have big holes in the knees. I wrap my arms around my wife beater tank top and rub my arms. I’m not really cold but I need some sort of comfort. What is going on? I glance down and realize there is something sticking out of the pocket of my jeans and I reach for it, remembering that I had worn these jeans last night. What did I do last night?
I grab the paper and yank it open reading it quickly. It’s a phone number. No name, no description of where I might have gotten the paper, just a number. For the moment I couldn’t care less and I shove the paper back in my pocket as I stand up. I need to call the cops but something is holding me back. Shouldn’t I be a little bit more freaked out about this? I mean, there is a guy, not only dead but severely mutilated in my bed and all I can do is sit here. Before I can come to any conclusion I can hear my phone ringing from my room. I open the door and quickly slam it behind me and rummage through the pile of clothes and coats from last night. I search through all the pockets of my coat before finally finding it sitting on the floor by my bed. It’s my friend Kat. I was with her last night. I answer and turn around to stare at the body.
“Yo Mila, How you feeling?”
“Um…Kat…? What exactly happened last night?” Kat starts laughing hysterically at my question. I reach over to the bed and cover the guy back up with my sheet and wonder how long I had been sleeping next to a dead guy and shudder.
“It doesn’t surprise me you can’t remember! Dude, you were so fucked up last night. I can’t even remember how much coke you did. I mean, it wasn’t just a matter of how many lines you did but how many grams you did.” Kat makes herself laugh again at her little joke and I tap my foot impatiently. “But seriously, you were super fucked up, you met some guy at James’ house and left with him. You said you were going back to your place so I didn’t argue.”
“Who was this guy?” I question her quickly.
“Oh, I dunno, just some guy. He was really hot though. Way to go baby. Did you do him?”
“Um…I don’t really know. Look, Kat…” Kat gasps and interrupts me.
“You don’t know? You dirty little ho! You totally did and don’t want to tell me. Fuck you! I know you did a cocktail of drugs last night but come on. Tell me!” I’m still in a vile mood and this outburst annoys me.
“Look, Kat. I’m serious. I don’t know what happened last night. I have to tell you something though.” Kat clears her throat and I take this as a sign to continue. “So, something happened…I got up this morning right? And dude is in my bed. So, I don’t remember but I think, whatever and go shower. I come back from showering a half hour later and dude is still not up. So I yell some and poke him some – No, not like that.” I add after Kat giggles at the word “poke”. “Kat, the guy is fucking DEAD! I don’t know what to do!” There is silence on the other end. “KAT! Fucking answer me!” Still silence then I hear a weird noise and Kat speaks slowly.
“Look, Mila, this isn’t funny…”
“I’m not fucking joking Kat, he’s in my fucking bed with his stomach scooped right out of him!”
“Stop, stop stop, that’s disgusting Mila and I don’t find this funny at fucking all.” I am quiet for a moment. I don’t know what to say to her to convince her. Suddenly I hear a choking noise coming from Kat’s end of the phone.
“Kat?” No answer, the noise goes on. “Kat? Are you okay? Kat?” I repeat her name a few more times before the noise slowly changes from a choking noise to a whimpering noise.
“Kat…?” Then nothing. I wait and repeat her name a few more times before I hear the audible click of the phone being disconnected. I look at my cell phone and “Call ended” blinks back at me before it goes back to my main screen. I should call the cops right? I should do something. What the fuck is going on here? I suddenly remember my dream and shudder again. I glance at the guy on my bed and wonder how long he has been dead.
I need a cigarette. I grab the pack out of the coat that hangs over my feet and rummage for a lighter. I find a yellow lighter and light the cigarette hanging out of my lips. I suck in hard and blow the smoke out through my nostrils and stare intently at the sheet under which lies the dead guy I may or may not have had sex with last night while fucked up on something or other. I lean against my desk, still staring, and tap my fingers on the old wood. Another drag and my night starts coming back to me a little bit. I remember going to James’ house. We were there all night. We had an ounce and two 30 packs. There were about 15 of us. I knew mostly everyone. There were a few kids I didn’t know. But, apparently, I think, they were friends with James. I remember doing massive amounts of drugs and talking to Kat all night. James and I had a good conversation outside smoking cigarettes. Torin had been there, my ex-boyfriend, we had made out in a corner and he had done a line off my stomach. Gross. What was I thinking? I don’t remember the end of the night though. I remember tidbits but not much in detail. I take another drag on the cigarette then tap the ash out into my trashcan. I’m totally making all my clothes smell right now. I shouldn’t be smoking inside. Fucking roommates. She’ll totally kill me if she comes in right now. And that’s when I realize I didn’t lock the door.
“I can smell your goddamn fucking smoke Mila! What the hell? I told you to smo-“ She is cut off the second her eyes register the bed and see me with the cigarettes against the desk staring at the bed. “What…?” I pull the sheet off of him. Dina screams and covers her mouth.
“I don’t know…I don’t know what happened Dina.” I look up at her and ash my cigarette again in the trashcan after taking a long drag on it. “Kat called, something is wrong over there, and there is a fucking dead guy in my bed. I don’t know. I don’t know. What the fuck is going on?” I’m rambling and Dina comes over.
“Okay, look, we need to call the cops. We need to tell them you just woke up, and you don’t know what’s going on, you didn’t do anything wrong. We’ll tell them you didn’t do anything wrong!” I stare at her aghast.
“But, I didn’t do anything wrong Dina. I didn’t do that.” Dina starts to back away from me and I roll my eyes. “You can’t be serious Dina, Oh my god.” Dina is nodding and trying to smile and stroke my arm. I brush her hand away from me. I’ll kill her. “Okay look, I’m gonna go over to Kat’s house. Don’t do anything until I get back.” I glare at her a second before I run downstairs for my purse. I get back into the room and the guy is still there. I somehow had hoped he would have just vanished. I start to put on a little bit of makeup and as I grab my coat I hear a noise outside my bedroom door.
“Um…Mila are you in there? Look, I wanted to apologize for the way I acted…”
“Dina, just come in.” I look at her as she enters and she has this weird look on her face and she is wringing her hands.
“I’m sorry about that, I..uh…just wanted to say that I’m sorry.”
“Dina, what the fuck are you talking about? Look, it’s cool. I’ll figure this out. No big deal k?”
“Well, I mean…I was just really scared and uh…”
“Fuck. No. Fuck. Did you call the fucking cops Dina?! FUCK!” I am scurrying around and shoving my feet into my shoes and grabbing my purse and cigarettes. I could really use a cigarette right now. I glance out my window, it overlooks our front yard and I see from way down the street a cop car cruising down. “You fucking bitch! How could you do that?” Dina is backing up and stumbling over the clothes all over my floor.
“I-I-I’m sorry Mila. I mean it, really, I’m sorry. I just, I mean, I just didn’t know what to do, ya know? I was scared.”
“Oh fuck you.” I run to the back of the house into her room and slide her window open. She follows me in and tries to yell about how I should just turn myself in and how it would all be better that way. I don’t listen and I launch myself out of her window and into our backyard.
I’m on my feet and running. I’m jumping fences and running through yards filled with big trees and plastic slides. I can’t even think right now. I am running towards the Tavern. I know I can trust everyone there. My feet lead me into a street and a car slams on its brakes to avoid hitting me. Oh shit. Close call. I whisk past the pedestrians gawking at me in front of the Starbucks and round the corner into the alley. I can see the back of the Tavern from here. I can see Harold’s car parked in back. I slow down. I had been running for what seemed like forever. I lived about 20 minutes walking distance from the Tavern. Running, I had made it in less than five somehow.
I glance around the alley and don’t see anyone so I dart into the back of the Tavern and go up the stairs. I burst through the sheet that hangs over the stairway into the Bar. It’s brighter than the stairs and it takes my eyes a minute to adjust.
“Whoa buddy.” Harold stares at me from a barstool. “Jesus Mila, you look like shit.” I glare at him and go over and grab his shirt dragging him back into the darkened stairwell.
“Harold, look, something is going on and I need you to come to Kat’s house with me right now.” Harold gives me a look.
“Um…can I finish my beer?”
“It’s barely noon! How are you drinking? We need to go now.” Harold raises his hands and his eyebrows in defeat.
“Okay, let’s go.” Harold yells to the bartender that we would be back later and I’m already running down the stairs and out the door. Harold catches up and barely grabs my shirt as I run past his car. “Mila, I have a car, get in.” I nod and go around the side of the car and get in.
I need a cigarette. I grab the pack out of my pocket and as I do the little piece of paper from before, flutters out and onto the floor of the car. I grab it absently and search around for a lighter. Fuck. I can picture the lighter sitting on the side of my desk next to my CDs and I shut my eyes. I start to rub my temples and I groan audibly.
“What’s up Mila? What’s going on?” Harold hands me a lighter as I open my eyes and look at him. He is backing up into the alley and driving over potholes. My head smacks the top of his Geo and I rub it before lighting my cigarette. I hold the drag in for a second before talking. I pull my knees up to my chest and start telling Harold. I tell him what I remember from last night and everything that happened this morning. When I get to the part about Dina calling the cops he rolls his eyes. “Of course she did, that bitch. She doesn’t want anything to ruin her pretty little scholarship to Med School.” I nod and realize the ash on my cigarette is about to fall off and I roll the window down and flick the ash off. I take another long drag and peer sideways at Harold. He has an intense look on his face. As if he were confused yet very determined at the same time. He sees me watching him and his face relaxes a little “I don’t know Mila, I just don’t know. I think Dina is right. We might just have to go to the cops.” I shake my head frantically and before I can get a word in he continues. “I know you didn’t do anything wrong. I know that. I know you. I know you wouldn’t kill a guy for crissakes. But something happened to him and we aren’t in any place to figure it out ourselves. I mean look at us.” I do. I give him a long hard stare then glance around his trash filled car and down and my ratty jeans and the cigarette butt in my hand. It has dwindled down to nothing and I glare at it before flicking it out the window.
“We can’t go to the cops yet Harold. I need to figure out what happened last night so I can give them a straight story first. I need to remember everything so that I can prove to them I didn’t do it. Turn here.” We are almost to Kat’s place and Harold isn’t paying attention and he takes the turn a little too fast, scaring a pedestrian who give sus the finger as we speed by. “Let’s just figure out what is going on with Kat and see what she can tell me about last night okay?” Harold looks at me briefly before pulling into a shitty parallel parking spot and he turns the car off.
“Okay, but Mila, if you can’t remember any of it? What then? What if the cops catch up to us? They are gonna find us eventually.” I shake my head at him and get out of the car and he follows suit.
“It’s gonna be okay Har Bear.” I call him his old pet name I had for him when we dated and he looks down and doesn’t respond as he follows me up Kat’s stairs.
I knock on Kat’s door. I’m tapping my foot on the stairs as I hear something inside.
“Kat! You in there baby?” I yell in response and the door slams open.
“Jesus Mila, couldn’t you call first?” My mouth drops open. Kat is fine and she is staring at me with smeared black eyeliner under her eyes. She looks a little pissed. “I’m about to get in the shower.” She looks at Harold and visibly rolls her eyes in his direction and turns around. “Whatever, come in. I’ll only be a minute. What the fuck is going on by the way?” I look her up and down but she looks fine and she is already walking away down the hall so I follow her in with Harold at my heels.
I shut the door behind us as Kat disappears into her room.
“I don’t even know where to start.” I sigh and plop myself down onto Kat’s dirty red couch. There are cans of beer all over the place and I grab one to use as an ashtray as I grab my purse. “There’s a dead guy lying in my bed right now, I mean, that is unless the cops already took him away.” Kat’s head pops out of her room at this remark.
“What?” I rummage through my purse for my cigarettes but I’m not finding them so I pause and look up at her.
“I wasn’t kidding on the phone. I guess you must have gotten cut off earlier or something, but I woke up this morning with a dude dead in my bed. Hey, I rhymed.” I grin awkwardly as my hands wrap around my cigarettes in my purse and I pull out one and place it between my lips. Kat comes out in just underwear and a bra and grabs the cigarette from my lips as I am trying to light it. She takes a long drag on it and curls her knees up to her chest. She is staring off into space and I grab another cigarette and light it. Harold has been quiet this whole time. He is sitting on the edge of a chair that is piled with dirty clothes and trash. I look over at him and he gives me a forced smile.