“If I throw up I’ll feel better right?”
“I have no idea Nicole.”
“I’m going to go try”
The sound of her dry heaving doesn’t bother me or make me sick.
Ana, backpack and keys in hand walks in and asked where Nicole is.
“She’s throwing up in there.” I say and nod in the general direction.
“Good.” Ana says, and calls in to the bathroom. “Did you throw up Nicole?”
“No, I’ve only been dry heaving” She stammers through coughs and unsteady breathing.
“Well drink water okay?” She doesn’t pause, “I’ve got to go now, I’ll see you in a couple months kay? Feel better Nicole.” And she leaves.
The fact is, I am mostly unattached to the situation.
I want to feel for Nicole, but it is difficult to feel for people when they won’t let you. It is difficult to understand when they block you out and it is difficult to talk when there is vomit in your mouth.
Nicole is now trodding from the bathroom to the bed. Her onesy pajama’s are hanging on her like the grief she refuses to admit to. I feel like I am continually finding myself in these situations where I am completely useless in. Her mom comes in with a glass of seltzer and some oyster crackers. I find her mother’s presence awkward. Even more awkward is Lania’s awareness of her daughter’s hangover, and her calm sort of annoyance with it that contrasts her anger from the night before. Lania reminds her of the completed homework that was promised to be such, and the chores that need to be done.
Next to me, Nicole has collapsed on the bed. I don’t know how to read her, and I don’t know how to feel.
Her face has changed from a contortion of nausea to a look of exhaustion.
“Andre kissed me last night”
I’m slightly irritated.
“Yeah I remember you telling me last night.”
“Yeah…” She scrunches her face and slowly chews on a cracker. “It was..kinda cute…”
I fade back into detachment.
I reason, there is not much advice or counsel to offer. It was a drunk kiss on New Years Eve. What is there to say?
But still, I don’t like seeing her this way…
I am pestered by the things that are required of me for the day.
I want to leave.
Ugh, I don’t like being the friend that leaves.
Nicole is sipping on Seltzer. “He told me he loved me.” She chuckles.
I’m sorry I can’t handle this as ‘matter of fact’ as Ana.
I’m sorry I’m not the obvious ‘best friend.’
Her expression shows sympathy. “I feel kinda bad.”
“Do you like him back?”
“I don’t know…” She sighs. “I don’t really think so.”
She presses a wet wash cloth against her head and sighs again.
There is nothing for me to say.
I have never experienced hangovers or drunk kisses,
I don’t know how to deal with a brother’s co-worker falling in love with you,
Remedies and words of wisdom are beyond me
And in this moment
I become so
“I’m sorry Nicole, I have to go.”
Underneath the annoyance and frustration with the previous evening,
The company that was there,
And the choices of those individuals,
I find myself the complete odd ball.
Why did she even tell me to join them
Why did I come.
“What? Really? Will you stop by later today?”
“Yeah, oh yeah I will for sure.” I reply, detachment, irritancy, they are simply hiding my secret.
“Kay, well thanks for coming last night, I hope you had fun.” She smiles.
“Yeah for sure.” I give her a hug. “Hope you get done all you need to, today.”
My mind is preoccupied with escape.
“Love ya Taylor!” She calls as I’m leaving the room.
“Love ya too, Nicole.”
I gather my things, I thank her mother1 monotonously.
I reach my car, load my things, and turn the keys in the ignition.
I take the familiar streets and face the mountains capped in powder.
It is quiet. My thoughts are still. (I tell myself I’m happy. I believe it.)
The truth I can’t see,
That I ignore
Sits by me in the passenger’s seat.
I am so alone. And so terrified.