My body is rocking. The floor is hard. My bones feel crushed. I open my eyes. I’m in the bathroom of my hotel suite. Lorna’s kneeling next to me. Her hands grip my shoulders. She’s shaking me.
“Stop! It’s hurting.” I look into Lorna’s eyes. They’re bloodshot. Her face is slightly red. Maybe she’s been crying.
“Thank God for that.” Lorna strokes my hair. “I didn’t think you were going to wake up.”
“Neither did I.” I didn’t want to. I close my eyes. My plan didn’t work. I wish the hand on my head was my mother’s. Keeping my eyes shut, I imagine it is my mum whose fingers are running through my hair.
“Did you do that on purpose?” Lorna asks.
“Yes.” What does it matter now if I tell her the truth?
“Did you do it because of what we were talking about last night? Your babies.”
“It’s not just… There’s more to it, a lot more to it.”
“It still hurts me, you know.” Lorna talks to the sink. Her lack of eye contact irritates me. “I was sixteen when I had my abortion. That’s eight years ago, but it still bothers me.”
I thought Lorna said she was seventeen when she had her termination. Maybe I’m not remembering correctly. I don’t want to talk about dead babies again. I don’t want to think about them. I need to get control over my thoughts. That’s what’s got me into this desperate state. I don’t want to get so desperate again that I try to take my life.
I remember Shelley overdosing at Len’s house. I was so angry with her. Now I’ve done the same. All the years I thought I wasn’t like Shelley, I’d come further in therapy, but what difference has that made? Me and Shelley are the same. I wish she was here. She’s the only one who understands me, who really gets me.
“I nearly called an ambulance,” Lorna says.
“Why didn’t you?”
“I was worried I’d get done for murder if you died.”
Oh, so she’d have let me die to keep her freedom. Of course, she would. She doesn’t owe me anything. She doesn’t know me. It was only a few days ago we met. Well, that’s good to know, in case I do try this again, that she won’t be calling for help.
I push myself to sit up on the bathroom tiles. The hardness hurts my bony arse. “I need some water.”
Lorna leaves the bathroom. She returns a moment later with a bottle of water. She hands it to me. As the water passes my lips, I realise how dry they’ve been.
“You don’t look so green now,” she says.
“I need a ciggie.”
She leaves the room again, quickly coming back through with my packet of cigarettes and my Zippo. I pluck a cigarette from the packet and light it. If I can’t die of an overdose, perhaps I’ll die of cancer. I was hoping for a much faster and less painful death though.
My forefinger and middle finger are scorching. I look at my hand. The cigarette’s burnt down to the butt. I don’t remember smoking it. I stand up and drop it into the toilet. I look in the mirror above the sink. I look a mess. My blonde hair is frizzy and knotted. My skin is as blemished as a boxer is bruised. Inside, I’ve taken a beating.
I turn on the shower, waiting for the water to run hot. I pull my Versace dress over my head. I step out of my knickers. I take off my bra. A syringe falls to the floor. The syringe I filled with one-half of my lethal injection. So I only took half last night. No wonder I didn’t die. I want to take the shot now but I can’t let Lorna know I have it. I stash the syringe in my pink toiletry bag. I’ll have it later.
Suddenly, I remember where I got the syringes I used last night when I made up my hits. One of them I stole from Lorna’s handbag. I don’t know if it was new or used. And I don’t know if that’s one I’ve just found or the one I used last night. I might have caught Hep C or HIV. I get into the shower. If only I could rinse away potential diseases. I can’t exactly ask her if she’s clean. I’ll need to get myself checked.
Lorna opens the shower door and steps inside. “Shall we go to the beach today?”
“Could do,” I reply.
“There’s a party on tonight. Let’s go there. It’ll cheer you up.” She squeezes shower gel on to the sponge.
“I’ll see how I feel later.”
She turns me around. She makes circles on my back. My chest is pressed against the cold wall tiles.
“Today, gorgeous,” she says, sliding the sponge between my legs, “I’ll look after you.”