I was lying on the floor of a cold damp room. My head was feeling foggy like a late night right before a set rain. I felt a slight pain in my head and a stinging on my neck. There was a faint light coming from the small window just above my head. The room was tiny, not much bigger than a jail cell. I suddenly felt a surge of panic and couldn’t seem to bring myself to call for help or move. It seemed as though I was under water. The room felt like it was spinning. I blinked to adjust my eyes. But my blinks got longer and longer until there was nothing but darkness.
I pushed up from my computer keyboard at my desk. ‘Oh my god, did I just drift off at work?’ I thought. I shuffled around trying to get my bearings. I looked down at my phone. 4:00 PM! ‘Jesus had I slept that long?’ I shook my head just trying to recollect anything about the day. But the only thing I was able to actually recall was searing pain in my head before I knocked out. I reached over for my office phone and hit my messages button. You have 2 new messages. “Well, shit.” I said softly aloud. I pressed play.
“Hello, Tabitha Grimston, this is Raya Worley. We had a meeting today at noon. I would have appreciated a call when you decided not to show up.” She paused and then began again with much more of an attitude in her voice. “Please be sure to reschedule and do try to be on time and show this time!” I heard the click of the phone. Next new message, the automated voice returned.
“Itha! Where are you? Is everything okay? Where have you been all day? No one can reach you! I’m getting worried. Call me, ASAP! By the way, this is Madaline. CALL ME.” End of new messages, again the voice told me. Madaline had been my best friend from childhood. ‘I should really give her a call back.’ I thought to myself. She sounded quite worried in her message. Though, I probably would have been too had she not contacted me in hours. We spoke very regularly.
I still had a ton of work to do but my headache just wouldn’t let up. So, I decided to take my work home with me. I gathered my things and grabbed all my notes and jotted down who I needed to call back. I started out the door; I hesitated for a moment. There was… I shook my head vigorously, blinked and looked back to see a dark figure standing at the far end of my office. There was a shadow cast in that direction but not much light got into my office anyway. ‘No, couldn’t be, it has to be this damn headache playing tricks on my mind.’ The only thing I could think was that this was getting out of hand. I walked out into the lobby, told Nina my assistant that I would be continuing my work from home today. I left the building and jumped in my truck. As soon as I did, I told my phone to call Madaline.
“Hey! Where have you been? I have been worried. Why didn’t you answer your phone?” She prattled. I just sat waiting to get a word in edgewise.
“Hi Maddie, I was at work. The weirdest thing happened. I fell asleep at work. I didn’t feel tired when I arrived but I guess I was. I passed out for like hours. I woke up with my face scrunched against my keyboard.” I said slightly laughing at what must have been a silly sight. “Anyway, I am returning your call because you sounded like you were going to have the police out looking for me soon.” I said with a snicker. “I am fine, really, just a bit of a headache.” I paused to allow her some time to process what I told her.
“Itha, you can’t be doing that to me. You know I would have called the police.” As she was talking, I sat there thinking, ‘Yes Maddie because I wanted to pass out all day and did it totally to freak you out.’ I studied the road and listened to her, rolling my eyes at her ridiculousness. “Seriously, I was freaking out. I thought you had been kidnapped. Wait a sec, what do you mean you fell asleep? Maybe you should go to the doctor. This could be something way worse! Are you still at work?”
“No, Maddie, I’m on my way home right now. I decided to bring work home with me. I need to try and get rid of this headache. I’m fairly certain it may be the root of all this weirdness. I am fine, promise.” I tried to calm her down.
“Okay, Itha, but seriously if it gets worse, go to the doctor! All right?!” She was nearly yelling at me by this time.
“Yes, Maddie, I’ll go if it gets worse. I am almost at my house. I will talk to you tomorrow when I have some time. I really need to get this work done and get caught up. I love you and will see you soon.” I heard her breathe heavily at me.
“Okay. I love you too. Call me tomorrow. Have a good night. Bye.” She said.
“Night.” And I hit the End Call button on my phone.
I pushed the garage opener clicker and eased on into the garage. I parked my truck and got out with all my paperwork in hand. I clicked the lock on my remote key and heard a horn indicating it was in fact locked. I looked down at my door to the house to unlock it, when I realized I must have left it unlocked this morning. Strange, I never did that. I shrugged and pushed through the door. I walked in and sat all my stuff down on the island in the kitchen. I poured a glass of red wine and settled for a moment. ‘Today was one weird day, what was in store for the rest of it?’ I pondered.
[This portion was brought to you solely by me.]
Written By: Stacey Estrada