Stacy’s eyes fluttered open. The sun greeted her through the off-white blinds hanging from the window.
Her head throbbed– each pulse sending cascades of dull pain from her temples to the backs of her eyes.
“Where am I?” she muttered to herself between yawns. Stacy rolled over onto her back and stared at the ceiling. Every crack and pour of the dry white plaster felt familiar, yet she still couldn’t place where she was.
She threw her covers off and rolled her legs off the side of the bed. Sitting up was a rush. Stacy’s vision tunneled and she nearly lost her balance.
‘Oh god,’ she thought, her eyes rolling back. A citrus-y bile made itself an unwelcome guest in the back of her throat. Stacy placed her head in her hands and peered down through the space between her pinky’s and ring fingers. She gradually regained her vision only to feel the bed below her start to spin. She groaned as the nauseousness broke over her like waves.
Her ears pricked up at the sound of footsteps outside the bedroom door.
“Morning sunshine,” a voice called through the door. “Can I come in?”
“Uhh,” Stacy groaned.
The slightly yellowish door swung open slowly as a sharply dressed man, mid-30’s, white button down, slacks and glasses, entered the room.
‘I know you,’ Stacy thought. ‘What is your name?’ she felt a twinge of embarrassment.
“How’s your head?” He said closing the door behind him.
“Awful,” Stacy said mumbled into her palms. “Did I go out drinking last night?”
The man bared his teeth in what she supposed was a smile. “Ah, no. Not quite.” He sat on the bed next to her placing his hand on her back.
Stacy felt her skin crawl. That strange familiar feeling she felt earlier now returned as full-fledged deja-vu. ‘Who is this?’
“You feeling okay? Can I get you anything?” He said mechanically rotating his hand around her back.
“Maybe just some advil.” She answered.
Wordlessly he stood up and walked to the dresser at the far end of the room. He checked every cabinet meticulously. Stacy picked her head up and frantically looked around the room trying pinpoint the source of her deja-vu. ‘Where is this? Who is he?’ She thought, her inner monologue quickening. Stacy felt tears begin to well in her eyes.
The man turned around and approached her with a half-empty glass of water and two small red pills cupped in his hand.
“Thanks,” Stacy said trying to mask the anxiety in her voice. She took the glass and the pills looking at them closely.
The man noticed her hesitancy. “Sorry, I only have generic I.B.’s. They still work the same though.”
Stacy felt swept away by a current of panic. Her heart was in her throat and she fought to speak. “Oh, no. I was just… I don’t know. I just feel nauseous is all.”
He showed no emotion. He nodded as if out of sympathy, but his eyes cut through her.
‘I want to go home.’ Stacy thought.
She took the pills and tucked them in her cheek and swallowed some water. As she upended the water she felt a sensation of pressure in her left leg. She choked on her water and looked down to see the man pushing the plunger of a four inch needle into her upper thigh.
“No,” was all Stacy was able to mutter as her thoughts dissolved into a twisted dreamscape.
Stacy’s eyes fluttered open. The sun greeted her through the off-white blinds hanging in front of the window.