I hope your Monday is treating you well. Chapter 16 is up. I will only post a few more chapters before I leave you hanging! Links to the previous chapters and the link to purchase “The One That Got Away” follow the excerpt.
I was mist. Unhampered by any physical restraints. All of my thoughts were simultaneously and instantly available. There were others around me. Freely flowing, intermingled, but somehow separate too. As I glided past another I would briefly touch their essence. Most were familiar in some way, but some were unknown to me. There was also a sense of being watched over in a completely protected way. The feeling of peace and calm that existed in the dream felt overwhelming to me. In real life, even when you are feeling happy there is always something to worry about in the back of your mind. The total absence of any sort of worry felt odd indeed. The serene drifting was violently interrupted by a static filled version of “Proud Mary” on my radio alarm clock. Anna was always messing around with it so I never knew what sort of music or volume that I would end up with. I batted at it inefficiently attempting to slap down the snooze button. I eventually succeeded, but in the process I toppled a glass of water that was setting next to it.
“Oh, great,” I muttered as I fumbled to turn on the table lamp in order to survey the damage. Fortunately, the glass did not appear to be broken, but water had washed down the back of the nightstand and had settled into the beige carpet. So now my apartment was officially christened. I sat on the edge of the bed and scratched at my head rapidly with both hands to assist myself in waking up. My headache was low and mildly throbbing this morning. I had actually stayed another whole day with Leigh because I had continued to be feverish and dizzy. I had also called out sick from work yesterday, but I planned to work the dinner shift tonight. I promised Leigh that I would go this morning for the blood work and x-rays. I was really going to do it. However, I had insisted on coming back to my new apartment last night. I really needed to start getting this place organized. No one likes to be living out of boxes. At least I don’t think anyone does. Anna was still at Leigh’s house. I would pick her up after work tonight. It was still dark outside. The quiet was deafening, but I was liking it just now. I eyed the sodden spot behind the nightstand and toyed with the idea of turning off the light and curling back up in my bed. I looked out of my curtain-less window and saw a neighbor’s light pop on. This reminded me that I was now participating in the ‘fishbowl effect’. I hastily turned the light off. I hate the idea of being seen floating in my lighted window by anyone wandering by or looking out their own window. I sat there in the dark for a few minutes absorbing it and the silence. It felt comforting. I closed my eyes and let myself be engulfed by it. I tried to clear my mind. The only thing I was really having trouble dismissing was the desire for a cigarette. As I was focusing on trying to eliminate that thought I was startled by the whisper of a kiss brushing across my cheek. At least that’s what it felt like. I jumped up, clasping my hand to my cheek. My first crazy thought was that I needed to hold it there. I felt tingly all over and I shivered suddenly. Then, reality took hold. It most certainly had to be a bug. I frantically brushed at my face and hair and my pajamas for good measure. Light! Light would be good. I almost knocked the lamp over trying to get it on. I apprehensively searched every visible part of me for the offending insect. I scrubbed at my hair and watched to see if any small crawly creature leaped out. Then I stripped off my flannel top and bottoms and dropped them in a heap on the floor. I nudged them with my foot to encourage any stowaway to withdraw from its hiding place. I realized with a start that I was standing naked in front of my window. I didn’t wait to see if my wakeful neighbor was viewing my nutty antics. I left my room immediately. Apparently, a shower was first on my list of things to do this morning. As I hurried down the hall to the bathroom I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was someone waiting in my room. And it wasn’t a bug.