The stabbing in my chest jolted me awake. I coughed and again the pain seared through my body and I yelled in agony then sucked it in with a gasp when I realized I didn’t know where the hell I was. I looked around the dark room. I was sitting in a large, lumpy bed with a brown, musty blanket. There was nothing in here, just brown curtains over the window, a door, and two sliding closet-doors that were off their track, with plastic, circle-holes for handles.
Each little breath was an assault on my ribs. I looked at my swollen fist, opened and closed it carefully, and slowly started to realize where I was. I began a mental dialogue to calm the growing panic from the crippling pain….I was going to be fine. Rissa was probably going to appear in a second with a new pill then I would go home and go see my uncle who’s a doctor, and I could leave all of this bullshit behind and get back to normal. I suddenly remembered I had finals next week.
What the hell time was it? I held my heavy head and looked carefully at the curtains. There was a slice of bright light on one side. Perhaps it was the afternoon. All the crap and absurdity of the night before started to slowly come back to me. Rissa brought me here to this dump of a house, fed me a couple of Oxycodone and held me while I writhed in pain until the drugs kicked in and I guess I fell asleep. But she wasn’t here now and I was trying to take very shallow breaths to keep breathing manageable. I wanted to cough and my palms started to sweat with the anticipation of how that was going to feel. I couldn’t help myself and as I hacked up salty phloem, I hollered in agony. Damn it. Who heard me? I touched my chest lightly and realized that Chris must have busted my ribs.
Where was the Oxycodone? She said her dad ate them like candy. I remembered her taking me in the bathroom last night before bed. Did she put me in the shower? It was a blur. But maybe if I could find that bathroom I could find the pills to stop the hellish burning in my chest. I sat up gingerly, trying not to yell out again. I managed to crawl out of bed, stand up, then I looked down in total fucking dismay when I saw I was in my boxers . Where were my clothes? I looked around the room…no clothes, which also meant no phone. Maybe they were in the bathroom. I stumbled to the wall to switch on the light but nothing happened. I thought, who the hell belonged to this depressing room where the damn light didn’t even work? Surely not Rissa?
I opened the door a crack and looked out. I could hear a TV. Was she out there? I looked down the hallway. It was lined with brown shag carpet and the walls were a bare dingy-white. There was a picture on the wall and I squinted to look closer. A large bald, man was holding up a big fish. There were three wide-eyed little girls standing next to him like small ghosts. Their eyes looked swollen and red, as if they had been crying. I studied it for a few more seconds, hoping one of those children was not Rissa, knowing one of them probably was.
Each door was made of that brown, fake thin-wood and a couple of them looked like they had holes punched through the press-board…jagged pieces freshly dangling. I ran my hand along the wall for a little support and wrapped my other arm around my ribs…anything to keep them in place while I shuffled along like an asshole. I grasped the loose door handle of what I thought might be the bathroom and opened it slowly. There was the small mirrored door to a medicine cabinet over the sink. All I had to do now was find the Oxycodone and in 20 minutes the crippling pain would be gone, then I could get the hell out of here and go home.
I closed the door to the tiny bathroom, held my ribs again while reaching up with the other arm to open the cabinet. I stared in fucking amazement. The entire cabinet was lined from top to bottom with bottles of Oxycodone. The bathroom door suddenly banged opened, slamming me in the ribs and I doubled over, yelling some obscenity. Then I realized my head was down there next to a belly, a large male one with brown and gray hair tufting over it. I slowly stood up to meet eyes with a bald, sweating man who was grinning at me like a hunter who had just tripped over a doe.
There we both stood in our boxers.
“Hello sir,” I said.