Tap. Tap. Tap.
The sound reverberated through my alcohol soaked brain. Insistent and annoying, it couldn’t be ignored anymore. My brittle eyelashes exploded dried mascara across the white pillow cases reeking of cigarette smoke and alcohol dribble; probably mine.
A groan escapes my parched throat as a thousand drills set to work across synapses in my brain; the effort of sitting up drawing the chomping headache closer to a nauseous state as things drift in and out of focus. Brown duvet, the colour of dirty mud. Ugly retro furniture scattered across a minuscule bedroom suffocating from IKEA throwbacks that were as mismatched as my brain functions. Eww, was that the smell of vomit? I search around for my mobile and touch a warm body buried under the mud duvet. It moans and a burp escapes its neandatholic shape, accompanied by a hairy hand scratching a naked exposed butt cheek. Nausea was reaching a critical point as I tried to piece together the night before.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
That irritating sound again. Where was the door? Stuffed in the corner trying to escape the furniture I guess. My feet make contact with the cold floor and I shuffle cold feet towards it.
Why was the sound coming from behind me? I turn, confused and slowly becoming frightened. Where was I? I was wearing a man’s shirt, smelt like crap and my hair felt like a nest atop my aching crown. The tapping was coming from the window maybe. I couldn’t tell. The window is glazed and odd shapes keep appearing and disappearing like silhouettes against it. Ouch! My foot catches on the edge of the bed and I abruptly sit down to rub my poor toe. The body hidden under the mud duvet shifts and turns, large hairy legs and arms showing like spiders. A snore breaks the intermittent taps and I feel a cry of panic rising in my throat. Please God, don’t let me have slept with that thing in the bed!
Tap.Tap. Tap. Snore!
Dammit! Where the hell was the tapping coming from. Aching toe, pounding head and dull confusion make the job harder of pin pointing where the sound is coming from. Aha! Another reflective surface! A mirror positioned to watch the occupants of the bed. I blush, thinking of what this mirror could have seen. The agony of not knowing, that horrible blankness in my mind of missing memories making me break out into a cold sweat. I make a move towards the mirror, catching the reflection of a disheveled woman dressed in only a light blue cotton shirt, crumpled and creased. Naked legs, blotchy face with smeared make-up. Ugly! I grimace at the reflection and it scowls back at me, showing the wrinkles hidden beneath pounds of caked make-up. A tear escapes the panda eyes and draws a black line down the dirty cheek. I let it go, watching its slow progress.
A sigh escapes my lips and I wish I could take back the debauchery I can’t remember. The tapping continues, closer now. I search the area, listening through the the drilling in my brain. It’s somewhere by the mirror and as I look around, a ripple appears on the surface of the unkind mirror. I watch as the reflection changes. An image of me in a pink lace dress, strappy heels and perfectly coiffed hair and make-up. I’m laughing at the bar, chatting to a stranger in a blue cotton shirt, strong arms and easy smile. My hand touches his arm and he orders another round of drinks.
Friends bump into me, laughing and throwing back shots. I’m in the midst of the alcoholic haze, oblivious to the white substance carefully dropped into my shot glass. Easy Smile hands me my drink and I swig it in one go, awarded by a snigger and pat on the lower back. I laugh in return, inhibitions lost.
Suddenly the tap tap tap returns and I watch my reflection turn to me, slowly tapping the surface of the mirror, soundlessly begging me to stop. I watch as Easy Smile leads me out into the cold air, me stumbling in heels suddenly too high to balance in. Friends too far gone to worry that I’m alone with a stranger in a blue cotton shirt. A taxi ride and the eyes watching me in the rearview mirror can’t focus long enough to send a message of panic, an SOS to say stop.
The long corridor in a dingy apartment block I would never dare walk in front of during the daytime and I stumble awkwardly, pushed by Easy Smile. The rest is too horrible to watch and I close my eyes, tears smearing the rest of my caked face. The lump in the bed moves again and my heart beats faster. The drilling has stopped in my head, replaced by fear and the need to escape. I look around, pin pointing clothing thrown carelessly across the room. My head spins as I run, gathering as many pieces as I can before Easy Smile wakes. My shoes are nowhere to be found, but by now the panic in my heart doesn’t care. I have to get out of here.
Crazy hair, smudged face, half clothed, I open the door to freedom. The sun is rising above the dirty blue wall in the corridor leading to a set of lifts. I pace myself, using the wall as a support as I make my way to the safety of the lifts. The grubby buttons have half the plastic covers broken off and an offending drawing accompanied by the words ‘Sheila will do you n e tyme!’ Make me hesitate. Too long. A strong pair of arms snake across my body and pull me back. I try to scream, clawing at the wall and the watching the streak of blood join the numerous dark marks already there. A thick musky hand covers my mouth and I struggle to breathe as my feet drag back along the cold cement corridor. The door closes, a key locks it tight and I am trapped. The clothes I collected are thrown down and my scared body runs through the IKEA jungle to the mirror. The tap tap tap continues and before Easy Smile drags me back into the mud duvet I see the desperate eyes from the night before.
If only I could go back in time and listen to the warnings in those eyes. If only.
Pic provided by Designhomes.pic
Copyright held by Eloise De Sousa (2014). All Rights Reserved.