I ate heartily this morning. Our breakfast consisting of a cluster blackened bananas and graying oranges accompanied by cold soggy soup in a thermos and hard chocolate bars that tasted slightly stale. Disgusting. Yet so delicious. I ate more than my share. Anna didn't seem hungry.
Anna had awakened surprised. Maybe I'd been spending far too long playing the little spaced out monkey. She didn't seem to know what to make of my newly emerged consciousness. But she at least seemed warmed by my sudden spiked appetite; I caught her nodding blandly as I scarfed down the decaying fruit. I wish I could say her own comparably small appetite encouraged me, but I didn't push anything.
She offered me pills, or rather suggested I take some. I brought them out from under their stashed location between the sheets and held them loftily in my palm, feeling their light weight. Then I placed the two bottles on a tray beside the bed. Her wavering eyes made that easier - easier to put the bottle away.
And the monkey retreated. He wasn't gone, but damn if he wasn't hanging off my tailcoats now, struggling for his weakening hold. I couldn't get him off yet, but I recognized that I would soon.
And that hopeful thought only brightened my mood.
We talked. The first time we'd talked in days. Really talked in weeks. She told me her worries, her fears. About the neighborhood she had spent the last days scouting. About our dwindling food supplies. About the Freak she'd shot down two days ago, as she explored a 7/11 market a few blocks away. And about her growing apprehension over the fact that she had yet to come into contact with other humans since settling in the hospital.
And for my part, I didn't have much to share. So I listened, and talked when it seemed right. And after an hour went past, Anna's eyes seemed brighter. Full of some light I couldn't quite define. More aware. More awake. But I knew it related to companionship.
What a stupid term.
Anna said she was going to explore a little further today. Try and circle a larger part of the city in her scouting trip today. Try to find more accessible resources. Try to find a safer hideout where our immediate safety wasn't guaranteed by a damn cat. Maybe even make out for any survivors.
It worried me. Letting her go alone like that. God only knew what sick deprived bastards she might meet out there alone. But I wouldn't stop her. And seeing the heavy rifle holstered against her back abated a few of my more pressing concerns. Not all of them. But most.
Anna suggested I get out of bed today. Try walking a bit. Get used to the idea that my recovery time might not be promised. I should try and make an effort to make travel - at least over short distances - possible.
And I suppose it made sense while she explained it. But the moment she stepped through that door and I sat there for a few minutes, feeling the building headache, the early waves of rising merry ache spreading up my side, and those two beautiful little bottles sitting there within reach, her sensibility might as well have been insanity.
Yeah okay fuck that, maybe I'm just being lazy.
Hey, I tried to get up at least. Single movement - push my legs over the side. Okay, check. Bring them down to the floor. Check. Rise into a standing position, and here's the straw that broke the camel's back.
That manageable pain that had been moving in slow motions up and down my side kicked into turbo. Bearable pain was suddenly unbearable and I plopped.
Yeah. Plopped. Plopped.
The moment of intense pain drew my breath, I let go of the bed for weight distribution, my spine snapped for a second and then sagged, and down I went.
Wasn't too bad. There was this wonderful bed to catch my fall and all. But had it happened in the hall or across the room, I'd be royally screwed until Anna returned.
The pain was rolling now. Arcing and moving in graceful motions down my thigh, up my side, between my ribs. Fire touched something that I secretly suspect was a lung and I started in a furious coughing fit. All the while the pain in my skull escalated, each pulse of my heart now a steady thrumm against my temple.
Nice way to start the fucking day.