Chapter Seventeen

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I awoke to find half my body hanging off the side of the bed, arms dangling freely like a corpse.

What time is it?

It was barely even eleven a.m. Way too early to deal with the day.

I turned the other way to find my pudgy cat Tommy sitting on my pillow. He looked angry.

“Hey precious, did anyone give you breakfast?” My words only came out in a whisper, as I’d clearly lost my voice from the night before.

His angry expression changed to widened eyes and a desperate meow.

After two stumbling attempts, I rose from my bed and in an instant my head started throbbing.

Here comes the hangover.

My stomach felt rotted and empty, but the simple thought of food set my vomiting cylinders in motion.

Whatever was churning inside I managed to send it back down, as I slowly made my way to the basement. I grabbed Tommy’s food dish and started to remember the events from the night before.

Blue T-shirt guy, feeling guilty for being an “almost-’ho,” El trying to arrange me with her Indian friend...oh yeah, THAT.

I poured some kibbles into Tommy’s bowl, as my emotional thermometer started rising. That bitch is just as bad as my parents. There was so much more I could’ve said to her last night, but all I could do was storm right out of the club. I remembered Amy and her boyfriend trying to stop me, but I almost knocked them over as I darted for the exit.

I also remembered the eighty-five dollar cab ride home, which could have been avoided if I’d slept over at Eleanor’s like I’d planned. On the other hand, eighty-five dollars so I didn’t have to see her face? Worth it.

The only thing I remembered after that, was stumbling into the house at three a.m.

I looked myself up and down.

At least I’d somehow managed to put on my pajamas.

I dragged myself up the stairs and back into bed. I was not going to deal with Eleanor today, but my parents would be home in a few hours. This only left me two more hours to rest, before I’d have to scrub off all the booze that was encrusted on my skin. So I drifted, all the way past drooly land, into the valley of slow rhythmic breathing, and right up to the doorstep of vivid dreams.

But then I remembered my car. My car that was sitting abandoned in the train station parking lot.

Dammit.

***

By four o’ clock my parents were comfortably home with their cups of tea in hand, and the television spewing out their favourite Indian soap opera. As for my car it was safely in the driveway now, but only after a twenty-dollar payment to my younger brother, since I’d forced him to crawl out of bed and drive me to the station.

Sitting in my room (and perfectly able to hear that goddamn Indian show), I cranked up the music on my laptop. A moment later I turned my attention to a script, an edited script that James had allowed me to preview. I was so excited to read the words that defined his biggest passion. I sank my teeth into page after page, captivated by every engrossing description.

His story was a tale of true love mixed with harsh realities; from social-class divide, to conflicting ambitions, to years apart, this script made the online thing seem easy.

Two hours later I sent him my reaction with some special encouragement. This script was going to be his worldwide breakthrough. It felt so good to know that, but even better to tell him in my very own words.

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