“You said you wouldn’t try this again.” Lorna’s voice is harsh.
“I didn’t. I’m just sleeping.” I twist my body, turning to face her. My hotel suite still appears to be sinking. I struggle to keep my eyes open.
“You look fucked.” She sits down on the edge of my bed. “Where did you get the poison from?”
“How did you get in?”
“I had to get reception to open the door. If you keep OD’ing, I don’t wanna waste my time with you. This isn’t fun, Nicole. You better still be coming to the party.”
“I am. I didn’t OD. I just held a bit back last night. I was just topping up.”
“I’ve been hanging out all day, and you had some left!” Lorna throws a bag of heroin on the bedside table. “Gimme the spoon. You’re not having any more.”
“But I gave you half the money.” I open the drawer in the bedside table and take out the spoon.
“You can have yours later.” She snatches the spoon from my hand. “Go get dolled up. I need to borrow a dress. Can I have that Moschino one?”
Reluctantly, I slither out from under the covers. I walk over to the wardrobe and find the black dress Lorna wants. “Be careful with it. It’s one of my favourites.” I pass her the dress on the hanger.
My legs are unsteady as I head for the bathroom. I run the shower. I need to wake up and that should help. I brush my teeth then wash my face. My head is pounding. Smack does that sometimes, and especially after nearly overdosing I’ve found out in the last twenty-four hours. While I’m in the shower, I hear Lorna come through. She pulls the shower door open. Cold air rushes in.
“Mickey might be there tonight. I’d suggest you steer clear,” she says, holding the shower door open.
“What’s wrong with him? I thought he seemed nice.”
“He’s dangerous. That’s all I’m saying. What are you going to wear?”
I’m all goosebumpy with the cold air coming through. I hurry washing my body. “I don’t know yet.”
“Wear the purple dress. That would’ve been my second choice.”
The purple dress falls halfway down my calves. It’s high-necked too. It’s one I use for clients, so I look the part – and not like a hooker – usually at formal events. I don’t want to offend Lorna with my opinion of her taste. But I don’t want to wear that dress tonight either.
“What type of party is it?” I ask, rubbing conditioner through to the ends of my hair.
“A house party. I told you.”
“Don’t you think that dress is a bit too much? I’d be more comfortable in my black skirt and a top.”
“Wear what you want.” She slams the shower door.
I quickly rinse the shower gel from my body and the conditioner from my hair. I think about Mickey. I don’t want to stay away. He seemed so nice. A gentle soul is the impression I had of him. I guess Lorna might know him better. She must do. I’ve spent no more than a few minutes in his company.
In the suite, I step into my short, black skirt. Lorna looks at me disapprovingly. I look away. I rummage through the tops hanging in the wardrobe. I brought two large suitcases with me when I flew out here to Sydney. I’m not a discriminative packer. I’d have taken every item of clothing I own if I could have. I choose a purple top. That’ll keep Lorna happy, I hope. It’s something purple.
As I apply my make up in the bathroom, Lorna comes in. I see her face in the mirror above the sink. Her expression is hard. “C’mon, let’s go,” she says.
Hastily, I draw the black line above my lashes. “I haven’t done my mascara.”
“You don’t need it.” She grabs my arm, pulling me out of the bathroom.
I do need it. My lashes are blonde. Mascara opens my eyes up. I can’t say the words. She tosses my Louboutins at my feet. I slip them on. I run back through to the bathroom. I grab my mascara and pop it into my handbag. She can’t stop me applying it once we get there.
I know she’s angry with me. I can tell. I hate people being angry with me. I feel guilty. What happens to me is always the same – I lose my adult self and feel like a child.