I knelt over the porcelain throne, the urge slowly subsiding.
This bug is nasty, I feel like I haven’t been anywhere besides my bed or the bathroom for two days. Has it really been two days, I wonder? I really don’t remember anything since the last miserable crawl to the toilet in the last ten minutes. Vague recollection of headaches, sweating up a storm, wretched stomach cramps. Did I call in to work? Is it Sunday? The way I’m feeling, I guess I really don’t care at the moment.
My nose wrinkles. Above the stink of vomit and stale sweat, there’s … something. Sharp, pungent, reminding me of high school biology? Formaldehyde? It’s already fading.
I just about make it back to bed when a faint foot tread makes me spin towards the doorway in alarm. No one else has a key! A silhouette framed by a halo of blonde hair appears in the doorway, and a soft voice remonstrates “This has been one hell of a first date.” She flicks the light switch and I get my first look at her.
Blonde, like I said, with one of those hair styles that is short length with bits of frizz appealingly flaring in all directions. Maybe five-seven, way more slender than I usually find attractive. High cheekbones. Very pale.
More bemused than angry I ask, “I’m sorry - who are you and why are you in my house?”
She comes towards me slowly, her eyes on mine. Green, I note distractedly. “I’m Sarah, we met last night and then you nearly passed out on me. I got you home and have been cleaning up your puke for the last 18 hours.” It was said matter-of-factly, but with an undertone of amusement.
That was enough to put me back on my heels. Geez, I think, that has to have sucked, royally. Aloud I said, “Can I get a mulligan on that first date? Like, when I am a bit more presentable?” I sat back on the bed, aching and exhausted, and now confused. How come I didn’t remember any of this?She sat beside me and took my hand, with only a fractional hesitation. “You’re tired, go back to sleep. It’s the best thing for you.” Her hand was ice-cold, and she got up abruptly. “I’ll be here when you wake up,” her voice soothed. Switching off the light on the way out of the room, my last view of her was of her scratching her back. Exhaling slowly, and slipping into sleep, I noticed another faint scent in the air, a sickly-sweet trace of rotting meat.