“The Last Moments of a Fragmented Dream World”
I’m sitting in class, foot tapping the floor while I scribble aimless words, shapes and faces in my notebook. I don’t think I’ve written a legitimate page of notes in this thing all semester.
I look out the window and the trees burn orange and bleed red. They look like skeletons and the grass is straw-yellow. It’s only a matter of time before winter reigns. Everything is so beautiful. The colors are so much more saturated. My eyes are fixated on this one couple smiling and laughing. Everything is lovely outside… But ugh this class is so…
“… and that means what?” I jerk my head up.
The teacher is staring at me.
“Uh … um…”
“Pay more attention to class and less to the window!” she scolded me.
I try to reply but suddenly I’m drowning. I can’t breathe, my mouth tries to form words and my tongue is thick and heavy. Knowledge of my inhaler pops into my head. Inhale. Exhale.
And stop. The sensation goes away. Too fixated on themselves to notice, the class proceeds forward, dragging me along.
I sneak a final peek out the window before returning to scribbling nothings in my notebook.
“Late teen girl. Found unconscious on the bathroom floor. Possible overdose. Heart-rate sinking to 52. Very pale and diaphoretic”
The gurney sped down the hospital corridor.
“She’s comatose. We’re intubating her now.”
It must have been muscle memory that walked me down the stairs and out of the building because I have no idea how I got here. Yes, indeed it had to be muscle memory. The very same that put this cigarette in my mouth and lit it.
Two shapes are talking, over each other, to me – so I end up unable to decipher either of their words. Things come back into focus. Elaine stands in front of me, alone.
“What happened to the other person?”
“No one was here but me…” she replied as she cocked one eyebrow up and rested her hand on my back. I felt obliged to agree. All my questions seemed to melt into oblivion as she blathered on about her psychological medical science class which amounted to a mess of spinal cords and behavioural patterns.
She calls me “Lexi” like an old friend. She calls herself nothing and the more I look at her, the more unfamiliar she becomes.
She looks over the edge of the bridge. I hear the words “Wake up” whispered close to my ear like the voice of God. Yet, feels like an earthquake. My body resonates, my shoulders ache and my feet are numb.
I’m not asleep. I can see her perfectly. She looks like a pale angel. Then I notice how she’s not Elaine, far from it. She has dark hair, a frail frame, horizon-blue eyes descended from Caribbean waters.
She looks exactly like I want to. The more I openly dissect her features, the faster she walks and the more I come to realize that she is my vision of perfection incarnate. I am following a trail of valium, ecstasy, Xanax, speed to catch up, to push forward, and to be like her. I haven’t realized yet that she’s not real, that I am. I’m losing my mind as I try to walk as fast as her, but I slip and fall. Hard. Balloons lift into the air. They spelled things like ‘Get Well Soon.’ Something smelled like dead flowers.