“Rise and shine, sleepyhead!” A voice screeched from the hallway, directly outside of my bedroom door. Slowly, I woke up, eyes drooping like the fronds of a palm tree.
There was a short knock before Jackie burst into the room.
“You slept through Sunday!” She threw open the curtains in my room and added, “And you missed a delicious breakfast I prepared myself! Green eggs and ham. Although I swapped out the green for red, in honor of the month of October, of course.”
I jumped out of bed. “What time is it? It’s Monday? Already?” Pausing from frantically trying to get my life together, I added, “Wait, when did you get back?”
“A little past…four. You were out like a light.” Jackie shook her head. “I got home this morning at like five. I didn’t want to wake you!”
With a frustrated groan, I realized I must have fallen asleep in my clothes. Again. Usually I would head straight for my PJs the moment I got home though, so I was surprised I still had jeans on. I ran towards the bathroom, almost tripping over the rug because my balance was still thrown off from sleep. Blinking, I stooped—rather ungracefully—to fix the offending piece of cloth.
“I have work!” I exclaimed. “Well, like…” I stood and faced Jackie, shoulders already drooping with defeat, “…half a day ago. But…ohmygosh, I’m going to be so fired.” I sighed.
“I think someone called in sick today.” Her face held an impish grin and struck a pose, hands on hips as she took a few long pacing steps by the door. Her legs were clad in spider leggings and they seemed to jump with every wide step she took.
Eyes narrowing, I rubbed my neck. “You did what?”
“I called in sick for you. Apparently you had food poisoning. Pity.” She pouted at me, pretending to rub away tears under her eyes. “You’re welcome, by the way! Now you have all day to party with moi! You like my leggings? I got them this morning before I got back! We can get you a pair too—”
“I still have my night classes,” I reminded her. “If I’m missing work from a fake sickness, I should at least do some homework.”
“That’s rough. You, being sick…with food poisoning and all.” She eyed me, folding her arms. “Maybe you should take a break. Rest a little. How does your head feel? Food poisoning can cause headaches too.”
“Why do you keep saying that?” I laughed a little. “It’s like you’re trying to convince me I have it or something. It’s not some disease, and my head is fine. If I really had food poisoning, I wouldn’t be worried about my head.”
She paused for a second and blinked at me, catching me off guard. Jackie was rarely at a loss of words.
Usually she had several words too many. Sometimes she even took my words.
Then, she threw her head back and let out a loud cackle, “Oh, that’s absurd. I know it’s not, like, some contagious disease. Next time I’ll say you have mono or something.”
And everything was back to normal.
Going into the bathroom, I decided splash water onto my face to wake myself up. When I was combing out my hair, I realized there was a giant lump on the back of my head. I heard a dripping noise behind me and turned to face the rest of the bathroom. Looking down at the source of the sound, I saw a red liquid dripping into the bathtub. Without much other warning, it burst from the faucet in a steady stream, roaring to life like a crimson waterfall.
I gasped, eyes wide.
What was happening?
I must have blinked or something because suddenly there was a small flash of darkness and the bathtub was normal again, water running steadily into the tub.
It wasn’t until later, when I had left for class that I realized I hadn’t turned on the bathtub.