20 // The Girl Who Cried Death

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                   IN my life, admittedly, I could be what some people might call a little melodramatic. Sure, I had moaned about certain death a little more frequently than the average person, and yes, okay, I had written my will probably more than once. And maybe I was what some might call The Girl Who Cried Death.

But this time I was seriously going to die.

My body was now rejecting my soul, or really the poor decision making I had done the night before, and was now expelling me from it in the most terrible and painful means possible.

In fact, I was pretty sure that I was already dead. And this was hell. I had descended into the awful, fiery pits of this painful hell that was my terrible, unrelenting hangover. And now I was dead. And everything was awful.

I groaned, turning over in my bed and away from the offending light that pierced through my blinds and spurred further the pounding headache that had seized my temples. Pulling the thick duvet over my eyes, I hoped that by burying myself deeper into the darkness it would soothe the jackhammer that had unfortunately set up home right in the middle of my forehead, rhythmically beating on my brain matter every second that ticked by.

This just in, it did not. It did not help at all.

Slowly coming to the surface were faint, alcohol-infused memories from the night before, from the almost-moments with Tyler, the strange heart-to-heart with Melissa, and decking Britta in the face. I didn't even want to begin to think about the consequences of that, or of anything really, because that meant doing anything other than the bare minimum of brain activity. And that hurt. Thinking hurt.

Everything hurt.

I was surprised that Reese was able to get my drunken, stumbling self into the cab and into my own bed with as little causalities as possible, although I totally threw up again in my mom's unsuspecting petunias outside as soon as I'd gotten on solid ground. I had been force-fed an entire bottle of Gatorade from Reese in the cab, though, so throwing up on them might've been a good thing.

Gatorade had electrolytes, it was what plants craved.

And just as I was finally surrendering to the peaceful slumber I had been so forcefully praying for, at long last a blissful interruption to my slow death, I heard my door fly open and bring me right back. I jumped involuntarily at the sound, eyes shooting open as all hope of sleep disappeared.

I was so very, unbearably awake.

"Go away," I groaned, pulling the covers tighter over me in an attempt to block out the outside world. "I am dead. Let me die in peace. That is all I ask. Is that too much?"

"I just brought you some comfort snacks," came Reese's familiar voice. I heard him rustle something, but was not curious at all to find out what it was. I was more curious on finding out whether or not sleep was in my near future, or if my own personal wakeful hell would pursue.

When I felt the edge of my bed creak under Reese's weight, it seemed hell was going to win.

"I will bring you a world of pain if you don't leave," I threatened, although it was weak and muffled by pillow, softening the biting edge I was going for.

Caring, though, that was for alive people. People whose entire bodies didn't ache with the burning fire of a thousand suns.

"I brought crackers," he cooed, his voice only further kindling my irritation, "C'mon, they'll make you feel better. They're salted and everything."

Despite myself, I couldn't deny that my interest was piqued when a package of crackers was forcefully wedged into my little blanket cocoon. Now that food was in front of me, and I was beginning to realize I was a person again, I was becoming a little more aware of how terribly empty my stomach was. Not surprising, since I'd done a pretty good job of emptying it on the grass, a little on Reese, and in my mom's flowers.

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