Frozen & Blanket
I feel frozen by those icy blue eyes. My limbs have all gone cold and I’m encased in a iceberg named Fear floating in a silent ocean named Shock.
“Lina?” someone’s calling for me but my lips are sealed shut, never to open again.
“Lina!” Can’t they just go away? Don’t they know that I’m drowning and I cant be saved. They’re shaking me, thawing me muscles despite my silence. There’s a pill in one hand and a bottle of water in the other.
“Take it,” she says gently. I do as she says. No point in refusing.
“I found her. She’s in the bathroom on the floor. I know. We need to get her out of here. I gave her the meds but she still hasn’t responded. Yes. Yes. When will you be here? Ok. Ill get her to the pick up.”
Warm hands haul me up. My legs try to gather themselves under me but they still haven’t thawed completely and we stumble. Colors pass us, windows, red, yellow. A lion roars in my face but I cant muster a reaction. The meds must be kicking in because I can breath and the cage around my heart is also starting to melt away. I’m so tired. I try to lay down but the arm holding me up wont let me. I groan in protest. I’m just so tired.
“Just a few more minutes.”
A few more minutes till what? Then I’m laying down, finally. Someone’s brushing my hair, brushing all the ice away.
I roll over and gather my blanket to my chest. It smells of fresh linen. Mom must have done laundry. I take a moment to enjoy the softness of my bed and the plumpness of my pillow. Theres nothing like waking up in my own bed after a good nights rest. I open my eyes to see mid-day light streaking through the curtains. Shit, I’m late! How could mom have let me sleep so late?! Wait… is it Saturday? Sunday? No yesterday was Monday, right?
I bolt out of bed and dash down the hall. Voices from the kitchen. Wait, what? Isn’t dad on a business trip? I explode into the room to find mom and… Jen? Why is Jen here?
They’re starring at me with looks of concern.
“What?” I sputter, slightly winded from my sprint down the hall. “Jen? Why’re you here? Why didn’t someone wake me? And why aren’t you” — I point at my mom — “trying to usher us to school? The day’s half over already!”
They give each other looks of bewilderment and pity. What is going on?
“Hello?” I ask dramatically. “Anyone hearing me?”
Now they’re studying me. I widen eyes as much as I can and wave in front of their faces to see if anyone really is home. Finally mom speaks, “Baby, do you remember… what happened?”
“What?” Now I’m even more confused — and they’re back to giving each other cryptic looks.
“You don’t remember what happened at school?” Jen tries this time.
“Did it burn down? Is that why we’re not there?” I clasp my hands in gleeful excitement.
“No,” they say simultaneously, chuckling at my apparent hope. Some of the tension leaves their bodies and I too relax a bit. But as I do, images start flashing through my mind, and I stumble to an empty stool at the kitchen island. Will punching someone. A dark room and a bed. Icy blue eyes filled with anticipation. A red party cup filled with punch. A pill in my hand. Icy blue eyes filled with remorse and regret.
“Honey?” Jen asks at the same time mom says, “Baby?”
“Patrick…” I wheeze, taking deep breaths, or trying to. Nope, no deep breaths for me. The cage is too tight. Too tight.
“Here,” mom hands me another pill and I down it with the glass of milk Jen hands me. When my lungs finally have room to move I look up to find their worried faces.
“I’m ok now,” I exhale. Mom rubs my back as Jen settles back onto her stool next to me. “What happened,” I ask Jen. She looks down before meeting my gaze again.
“You bolted, had an attack. It was bad. I found you in the bathroom curled up on the floor.”
“And Will… Patrick,” I whisper, his name closing my throat as usual.
“Will beat the hell out of his ass,” she beams proudly.
“Jenna, language!” Mom says and I roll my eyes. She still thinks ‘hell’ is a bad word.
“Oops, worry Mum.” Yes, Jen calls my mom ‘Mum.’ No we aren’t related. Just friends since forever. I crack a grin at Jen’s attempt at sincerity when its clear she’s not really sorry. She turns back to me. “You’ve been out for over a day.”
“Yep,” they say simultaneously — whats with this whole synchronized thing going on between them?
“And Will’s worried,” Jen continues. “He was suspended, by the way. I haven’t told him anything — as requested — but you should really let him know you’re ok. And I brought you’re school stuff.” She pulls papers and books from her bag, neatly stacking them on the bar.
“Patrick was rushed to the hospital but he’s only got a broken nose and some bruises. Oh, and a fractured cheek bone.”
“Only,” I say rolling my eyes. She grins wickedly.
“I saw him at school today and he’s aalll black and blue and his nose is all bandaged up.”
“Serves him right, after what he did,” mom interjects and we gape at her. “What?” she asks innocently. Jen and I share an astonished glance.
“Just never thought I’d hear my gentle, anti-violence, wouldn’t-hurt-a-fly mother say something so clearly vengeful and violent.”
She rolls her eyes replying, “Hurt my baby, and you deserve all the pain that’s coming to you.”
We all share a chuckle. After a few more minutes of playful banter between the three of us, mom clears her throat.
“Do you think you can return to school?” I take a minute to think about her question. The mere thought sends chills through me and I wrap my arms around my middle.
“You don’t have to,” she quickly adds. “You don’t have to do anything you’re not comfortable with. We can home school you if you want. Or find you a new school.”
“I thought I could handle him… but I couldn’t even handle seeing him. How am I going to handle seeing him everyday. And what if he tries to talk to me again?” Silence follows my questions, answers no where to be found.
After a long pause mom informs me that she made an appointment with my therapist for tomorrow morning. I nod and we drop the subject. Jen says she’s sleeping over and we order pizza for dinner. I feel bad that I cant give Jen the answer she wants. I know she’ll be lonely without me at school. But I just don’t know if I can handle it. When the pizza arrives and the popcorn is popped and the candy is out, we hunker down for a movie in the den.
“Sorry,” I burst before she pushes play. She looks over at me questioningly. “That I cant promise I’m coming back to school.” She waves me off nonchalantly.
“Ill miss you but I don’t want to find you like that again. I’d rather have sleep overs every night…”
“So basically move in?” I interrupt.
“Pretty much. I’d rather do that then worry about you having a panic attack every day.”
“You’re the best,” I say leaning my head on her shoulder.
“I know,” she smirks.
“Start the movie,” I lightly smack her on the arm, ready momentarily forget the passed days events.
Up next: No Pen