I looked at my reflection in his rear view mirror; my eyes wide with my pupils dilated, my face a sickly looking yellowish hue. Sweat continued to stream down my cheeks. Please, please just let me get back home. I did my best to hold in the hideous noises that wanted to escape my body. After Peru I thought the worst was behind me, but now I wasn’t so sure. I could feel my organs flailing around inside of me and felt a huge knot of pain on the inside of my throat.
My phone dinged with incoming texts.
The first was from Rose. Hey, what is going on, and do I need to come home now?
Absolutely not! I texted back. Stay and enjoy your birthday.
Ken, sweet Ken, also sent me a message. I hope you feel better and let me know if I can do anything or if you want company.
He was the polar opposite from Lucas. Rose had tried to get us together after Lucas and I split up, but I could never see him as more than a friend no matter how hard I tried. Another wave of cramping overcame my body, and I had to lay down across the back seat of the cab in the fetal position. Finally, we pulled up to my place. I threw twenty bucks at the cab driver and staggered out of the cab. The hail had given way to rain, and I was drenched by the time I got into my condo.
I stumbled through the doorway and barely made it into my kitchen, where I began to scream, releasing harsh, wretched noises. The foreign sounds were loud and nasty and came from a place of dark, deep-seated pain. They were unlike anything I had ever heard and did not feel like anything I had ever experienced before. I’d had episodes of uncontrollable sobs, random bouts of back pain, and massive unexplained waves of nausea for a while now, but this was different. This pain was magnified tenfold, as if a strong man had reached inside my chest and was ringing my heart out like a wet towel. I hunched over and a hollow, high-pitched shrill forced its way out of my mouth.
I felt as though I had an entity inside me, something dark and desperate, something that clearly wasn’t me, something fighting for its life within my body. I could feel my heart beating faster and faster and faster and even faster. I thought maybe I should have gone to the ER instead of coming home. But I knew that would have given my Uncle Bill all the ammo he needed to prove his theories about me true.