Khira is suffering from depression after the death of her best friend and lover. She's rebuilding her life and trying to cope with the world again, but horrific dreams haunt her sleeping hours, and they're getting more violent and realistic with every second.
I had that dream again – of falling over the edge of cup – then diving into a pool of milky tea. Then the tea became blood – my own – I could taste it – the salty realness of it woke me. I was sweating and panting – I ached like I had been swimming for real. I think I may need help – I don’t know – maybe?
It was still dark in my room, and the windows let in only the slightest of breezes that could stir the curtains into twirling dancing patterns – darkening the darkness more – it was still light enough to see in the ‘black and white’ sort of way that makes it seem so surreal. I’m unsteady on my feet as it is – but my head is dizzy and I feel dehydrated. My night clothes cling to my frame and I shake them loosely to waft some fake wind over the heat radiating from me. Even my hair is plastered to my face and where I had been laying were the red depressions of bedding on my arms. I fought through the ensuing thickness of the air until I came upon a light switch – the artificial light filled the room – flickering at first – it was a harsh, yellowing light on my eyes and it took several blinking moments to get used to it. Hmm – I was surprised I had managed to make my way through the mess and chaotic nature of my room – it was nothing other than a collaboration of the finest pieces of handmade junk by yours truly, a bed with millions of blankets from various charity shops and some old hand-me-down furniture from relatives long deceased – but it was a room – and it was my own – oh and there is about half my clothes strewn across the expanse of floor – under which, I believe, is supposed to be a horrible floral type carpet and quite a nice fluffy rug made by a friend of mine when she went through a stage of latch-hook in her search to find herself.
Outside my room is not very different except for a lacking of mess and a bit more mismatched furniture. I’d left the hall light on and the bulb hadn’t been changed since before I moved into the house so I think it must have been a bad idea, but for now I zombie-walked into the bathroom – pulled the cord and squeezed my eyes tightly – even though the lights were on – the bathroom had a certain brighter and much more evil, in my own eyes, light – it took a little while to get used to it. My watch on the side of the sink informed me that it was just past four in the morning – too early to wake yet not early enough to get proper sleep by returning to bed – perfect. I stood in front of the bathroom mirror and inspected the damage – what a total and utter disgrace – mascara down to my mouth almost and hair sticking up in the oddest angles known to the universe – some of them theoretically impossible. Bath time I think. I pulled back the purple plastic sheeting that was supposed to be a shower curtain and turned just the hot tap on until it steamed – the water was just about right so I turned the cold on to balance it and removed my sweated night clothes and threw them into the wash basket. I don’t know why but the small amount of time spent waiting for the bath to fill and being naked on your own in that bathroom is one of the most awkward moments I can think of – am I so rude as to get into the bath whilst it is still being filled or do I wait until the proper moment when it is filled and hope for a good temperature? I dip in the test foot and discover warmth that is good enough to stop the sweating yet not to make me freeze my non-existent bollocks off. I submerge most of myself and lay motionless for a few moments – soaking myself in the liquid before scrubbing myself clean and getting out again. I pull the plug and wrap myself in a large soft towel that reaches the floor even though it is wrapped underneath my armpits and hoisted slightly at my hips by grasping hands. My watch continues to inform me that I had spent an hour bathing.
I go back to my room picking up many dusty clumps on my damp feet and dry myself on the way. It’s now considerably more breathable in my room now the breeze has picked up and circulated itself around. I ponder about – wondering what clothes are best for a weekend when you’re supposed to be going to a car boot sale. I’ll decide later – for now I’ll wrap myself in a silky dressing gown and wander downstairs. I flick the light switch off and close my door. The hall light is still on and I’m sure that bulb will cease to work soon – I turn off that light too and go down the stairs. Really should have put on slippers – the wooden cold scrubby feeling you generally get from bare feet on wooden stairs is quite uncomfortable at half past five in the morning. But I continue down – and make a note that I have to save up some money and get a carpet for the stairs – soon.
I hear a faint tinkle then a light thumping of delicate paws on the stairs and then feel a purring and brushing around my ankles – Chlamydia is awake too – most probably hungry or lonely. I’m glad the house had carpet on the proper floors at least – even if the previous owners had a perchance for the floral and obviously hideous. Note to self: save up more money for more carpet and some paint and brushes. It’s a lot lighter now and there’s no real need for more lights but the kitchen is not light enough to make breakfast yet so I put on the spotlights – that was something I liked about the house when I moved in – the kitchen was different – it had spotlights and wooden cupboards and dark green plants and a wine cooler built in – in fact all the appliances were built in – so it just looked very wooden – but I liked it. The kitchen floor was cold too – it was a nice looking plastic laminate sort of thing and it looked almost like proper black and white chequered tiles – but it was still cold. There was a very normal looking long wooden cupboard to my left and inside was a normal looking fridge. I pulled out some bacon and an egg and set to work on breakfast – I cut off the fat and placed it in Chlamydia’s bowl and cracked the egg on the side of the frying pan – making a bit of a mess major. I chucked the shell into the ‘dalek’ food bin – or a bucket of waste to go into the compost bin to normal people.
The smell of frying bacon is almost hypnotic – cook me some bacon and I’m sorry home security – they’ll know everything I know – not that they’ll be much interested in my babbling. I place my food on a plate and take it to the table in the other room – turn off the fan above the hob and the spotlights and shoo the Chlamydia that is curling about my ankles again into the room and close the door after her.
There’s something off putting about a cat watching you eat – maybe it’s the competitive way she stares with those green orbs that plead for a piece to be flung her way or maybe it’s the slow plodding towards your food as you put your head to down to eat. It’s like a game of granny’s knickers – granny standing with her back to you in the playground and you have to walk up to her and tap her back – shout granny’s knickers and run back to the ‘home’ before she catches you. At the moment – I feel like a granny and I’m going to catch Chlamydia if it’s the last thing I do before I finish my breakfast and decide to let her have a lick of the fats on my plate – no harm done and take it out to the sink to wash later. I go back upstairs to dress.
Car booting clothes for today; jeans, not too scruffy but not new; a t-shirt with a v-neck; comfy trainers – OK not really trainers more glorified plimsolls with laces but still? And one large rucksack with two key-rings on bought by friends after going on holidays to exotic places who felt guilty so managed to scrounge up enough Euros at the port for a key-ring – but who here’s complaining? It’s only half past six now but the thing starts at about seven and I’m meeting up with Carol-Anne on the way – she’ll take a good twenty minutes to flap about grabbing crap she doesn’t need before tottering out in four inch heels to ruin them in the field and have an excuse to buy more next weekend or even tomorrow depending on when she next decides to go out. But who am I to say anything, I would love to waste shoes, well, I wouldn’t as it’s an extreme waste of time, energy and money – two of which I don’t really have to spare and if I did have all three it’d just be a lesson in futility – oh but who really cares? I put my phone, purse and my keys in my pocket and walk down the road to Carol-Anne’s house – it’s only five minutes away and the weather is quite good today. I find it really odd why my house was so cheap – the other houses around me are so big and grand – very expensive and it’s a good area of town – OK – it’s slightly run down and smaller – but not so much so that it’s uninhabitable by any standards, least not mine. I think the other houses don’t look lived in though – they look sterilized, manicured then put into vacuum sealed baggies and left to stay perfect. Carol-Anne is slightly more down-to-earth than the others round here – she has an au pair to look after her two children and clean the house so it’s not pristine but it isn’t like an everyday person either – it’s just a Carol-Anne. I'm quite close now and I can see movement behind the misted glass of the front door. Looks like an argument between Carol-Anne and her lovely but short-fused husband Martin. I see a very flustered Carol-Anne storm out the house – unusually organised, flat shoes, large rucksack and a waterproof on.
“Ah,” she spots me, “... Get in the car, lets get going and away from this – I'll tell you what's happened when we hit the motorway.” She beep unlocks the car and chucks in her bag in the empty child seat in the back. I scurry round to the passenger seat and just about manage to buckle my belt before the car reverses quickly out of the drive and speeds off down the road. The radio is switched on and I can hear faintly the disappearing sound of Martin saying - “Wait 'til you get home Carrie, this isn't finished one iota...”
“So, where do you want me to start? His inability to understand the children or his inability to understand me?” She glares at the fluffy pink dice on the mirror – just as if she were to kill them in a few seconds.
“Just at the beginning will be fine I guess?”