chapter ivMature

He came to in a hotel bathroom, leering at himself in the mirror.

At least Graeme thought it was himself.  He was so bruised and bloody and crumpled in places that he was not entirely sure he wasn’t hallucinating.  There was no physical pain to compliment the grotesque beating his body had clearly taken.  Whether he was hopped up on painkillers or something else, he couldn’t tell.  His lip was torn, his nose was bloody, one eye was completely swollen closed.  It looked as if he had been slammed face-first into a wall about a dozen times.  The disassociative voice in the back of his head said he was lucky he hadn’t lost any teeth.

Blood stained the porcelain sink he leaned over, swirling in with the soapy water.  All of the suds had been swallowed up with shades of crimson.  The black marble counters were slick with more of it.  His jaw felt strange, mis-aligned somehow, and he realized it hung a little limp. 

How had he dislocated his jaw?  Where the fu*k had he gone that he’d gotten the sh*t kicked out of him so thoroughly?  Where was he, now, and how had he gotten there?  Exactly how much had he had to drink, to make such a blatantly dangerous decisions?

What the fu*k was happening in his life, and where had it all begun to unravel?  Graeme thought of Daisy, he hoped it hadn’t been her in the trunk.

He hated that he didn’t know.

Drawing himself out of the tornado that his thoughts had become, he tended to his multitude of injuries.  He didn’t flinch when he had to manipulate his jaw back into place.  He remembered his father, saying to him over a multitude of street brawling injuries, often with men twice his size, “I’d rather enable you than have you struggle to fix yourself at the end of the day, Graeme, but it doesn’t mean I’m okay with it.”  Graeme deliberately did not think about what his father would have to say about his present situation. 

Wiping his face clean with a soft aureate towel, he blinked.

The End

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