The metallic squeal of her cell phone alarm did little to genuinely wake her. Although the early morning sun was beginning to trickle through the trees outside the window, it seemed as if she had only slept for a few moments.
“Snooze, snooze…..snooze…” she muttered as she fumbled with the fancy Android phone she just had to have. “Sshhhh!!” she grumbled as the alarm went silent for the time being.
She wanted to go back to sleep, but as her one open eye perused the room, she realized she never made it to the bed but instead slept on the couch. The couch was comfortable enough, but her back would grouse for most of the day due to the abuse she had put it through. Another quick look around and she realized she had only managed to remove her shoes and coat…looking under the covers, she confirmed she was still in the dark denims and faded t-shirt she wore out for the night.
It took everything she had to remember what day it was. She had worked all day yesterday, so that eliminated Saturday or Sunday. Her alarm was going off, so it was likely a week day. How many days HAD she worked this week? Four. It was Friday. Time to get up.
All of a sudden she realized her dog was not in her face. She was stirring but her overly affectionate needle-nose of a dog was not aware of her movement…the lack of dog in her face startled her awake.
For a very long moment, the silence resounded in her ears. Princess had been her constant companion for seven going on eight years and they were always together. Regardless of her size, Princess was a bed buddy, and the queen size bed was more than spacious enough for the 58 lb dog and a human.
As if a fog lifted from her head right at that moment, she realized again she was not in her bed, and it was highly likely Princess was. Tossing the blanket on the floor she hopped off the sofa and jogged down the hallway to check the bedroom.
Sprawled in the middle of the down comforter with a series of pillows spilling out around her, Princess lay with her feet in the air. Soft doggy-snoring was eminating from her. She looked way too comfortable to be disturbed.
“I’m up now…” she said. “What to do with yourself for the next eight hours, Trish?” As she walked back down the hallway to the kitchen, the idea of coffee sent happy sparks tingling through her weary body. She opened the freezer, took out the bag of Sumatra beans, grabbed the grinder and the coffee press and put on a pot of water. As the pot began to spew steam, she rememberd the question posed as she began the coffee project. “Work…must work…”
The clank of the teapot against the coffee press alerted Princess to her existence and the no-longer-sleepy white hound appeared next to the food bin with her typical, “I haven’t eaten in weeks, Mom” look on her face. It was as if she knew her trim physique would make a bigger impact – she was aptly sized at five pounds over racing weight (that’s what the adoption group told her) but Princess knew how to, at just the right moment, suck in her gut and look malnourished.
“Just a moment…let me pour the coffee into a cup and I’ll get you something to eat, girl.”
Princess sat. Although greyhounds are known to be bad at sitting, Princess always knew how, and in fact, had a quite pretty sit. She would perform her sit often in response to thinking there might be some sort of food related to her act. Now she was just trying to seem patient.
Trish grabbed a bowl from the pile. The simple act elicited a wagging tail (still in the sit position) and what she referred to as “happy ears”.
“Wait, sweet girl…” as the food bin was opened. It was just for show because Princess learned a long time ago not to eat until she was told it was okay. So, while the kibble and fresh food was mixed in her bowl, the food bin cover could be left open. No noshing until released.
Her release word was “go”, so as soon as it was out of Trish’s mouth, Princess would bolt to the food bowl and begin to enjoy the food in a way any chef would be proud of – with reckless abandon.
Dog was taken care of, coffee was poured…time for concentrated work. One of the joys of working from home was the ability to accomplish much with little interruption. Except those generated in her own mind.
While it was a good idea to bring up the project she had been working so hard on all week, her mind shifted to what might have gone on last night which brought upon the quasi-blackout-slash-memory-loss which seems to have happened. She knew the feeling of drunk/hungover memory loss. There was no residual nausea or headache. So, she must have been sober when she arrived home. But there was no memory of where she had been.
Thinking backwards in time posed only more questions. She now remembered working yesterday. Finishing up around 4:45 and making a quick dinner while she hopped in the shower. There was somewhere to go…but where?
The blank spot was not uncommon to her. At times, her projections brought about blank spots, but usually they were a few moments in duration. Not an entire night. By the evidence in her kitchen, she ate some form of dinner at home. Her clothing from last night (that she was still wearing) indicated wherever she went, it was casual…extremely casual. Still nothing. She tried touching a few of the items from the kitchen sink which must have been from dinner to get a sense…any kind of shadow from them. Nothing.
Slightly frustrated, she grabbed a hair elastic and her cup of coffee and headed for her office. Once inside, she set the coffee on her desk and pulled her waist length red hair into a messy pony tail. As she sat in her desk chair, her face flushed and a vision erupted inside her head.
With the typical sepia color and transparent fog slightly obscuring some of the details, she saw her kitchen, the phone on the counter ringing. The caller ID is blurry. Hard to know who is calling. Short call, lots of nodding. Not much conversation, at least that could be heard. Dinner seems to be done…dishes are put in the sink for now – there is a sense of urgency. Princess is on the dog bed, cookies are given…and out the door to the car. Damn. That’s ALL? Nothing more comes through.
She put her head on the desk and closed her eyes for a moment. An odd sensation hit her, as if someone was talking to her from the vision that had just ended…calling her name. It was a faintly familiar woman’s voice. “…Tricia…can you hear me?”
No one calls her Tricia anymore. Not since she moved to the Carolinas years ago. This was a voice from her past, but not a past she could put her finger on right this moment.
She felt the edge of the desk on her forehead, but she felt as if she were staring straight ahead into a fog bank…the gnarled limbs of live oaks all around the slim of a woman slightly older than she, hair glowingly blonde…and a peasant-like gauze shirt and skirt – pale colors, pale material but glowing hair. The woman was clearly talking to her, too. She couldn’t hear everything, but she did make out, “You will help, just as you promised, won’t you Tricia?”
For whatever reason, it seemed as if the woman were on the other side of the wall of her office, but yet in a completely different realm. The plea for Tricia to help shot through her body like a lightning bolt, sitting her upright and ending whatever remnant of a vision she might have been experiencing. Who *WAS* that? Why does she need help? What kind of help had I promised? When had I promised it?
The last thing Trish remembered was thinking, “I really have to get some work done…” and everything went black again.