December 15 9:17 AM
My apartment building is nothing special, but I was incredibly glad to see it nonetheless. A large naked birch tree cast the only slender shadow in the yard; sunlight, not bright this early in the morning but still welcoming, had begun to bathe the rest of the snow-covered lawn. Someone had already shoveled the walkways free of the previous nights snowfall, so I was able to walk inside without getting much snow in my slippers. All of my neighbors were at work; it was blissfully quiet throughout the entrance and stairwell.
When I kicked the door shut behind me and kicked the terrible terry slippers off, my first thought should have been to sleep. It was well past my usual bedtime. But life is cruel, and I had to prioritize. First, meds: I could have died without them, under the circumstances, my poor battered heart could have just given out from fright. I made a mental note to keep a pill case with a dose of Defenopine with me, a heavy-duty relaxant that I'm supposed to take in case of emergency, to keep my heart from doing anything explode-y while the ambulance is on its way. With my luck, there wouldn't be an ambulance, but maybe it would keep me alive. It was worth a try.
I wanted a bath worse than I'd ever wanted a bath before, as if I could wash away the whole experience of having met a vampire with vanilla-scented gel and sugar scrubs and lotions. My feet ached, though, and I didn't want to take off the bandages that the paramedics had put on them quite yet, so I decided to be grody and settle for washing my face (which was a mess, thanks to the non-waterproof mascara which had now migrated away from my eyes to places where places mascara should never ever appear on a face, not even n the faces of pop stars who do strange things with makeup in an attempt to be edgy) and brushing my tangled hair until it lay in a smooth shining wave around my shoulders. My hair is my only true vanity, and the only obvious physical trait from my sliver of Other heritage. The color is an impossibly light ash blonde, almost silvery, that looked like it could only have come from a bottle. I've been growing it out for years, so it's almost waist length, smooth, thick, and bouncy. I would never dye it, and I only cut it when split ends start taking over. Usually I wear it in a french braid, a bun, or some kind of twist. Last night I'd made a severe tactical error by being too lazy to do something with it.
Everything else is ordinary enough; two eyes, a nose, and a mouth, all in approximately the correct shape and location. I'm attractive enough, but I don't think I have a career in modeling or movies ahead of me. My skin is pale from working nights and not seeing much in the way of daylight, my eyes are blue, but not an exciting bright blue. They're a slaty grey-blue, pretty but unremarkable, especially when surrounded by raccoonish traces of mascara and sitting atop a truly impressive pair of dark circles.
I was tired, but I didn't want to sleep, not yet. Sleep has always been more of a necessary evil than a pleasure. This philosophy does make it difficult to zomb out at times, particularly after stressful, nightmare inducing nights like the one I'd just had. I took a prescription sleep aid, washed it down with tap water that I drank from my cupped hands. What else? I wandered back into my living room, turned the ringer on my house phone off, ate a too-ripe banana absentmindedly. I wandered around my apartment, feeling lost and scared and lonely, wandered and wondered what I was going to do. Sunlight started creeping in through the windows, lighting up squares of carpet. I stood in one, stared down at the bright sunlight on my bandaged feet, meditated on how it would feel to never see sunlight again.
Eventually, the drugs started kicking in, and I stifled a yawn, limped to my bedroom, and undressed. I laid down, pulled the blankets all the way up over my head, and fervently hoped that I wouldn't dream.
Author's note: Things are going to be low key for a minute... but it picks back up in Ch. 7. Be patient with me. ;D