There’s a couple blankets and a pillow on the floor next to the bed, like someone slept there. Looking behind me, the other side of the bed is crinkled and messy. That’s strange. If Ivan slept in the bed, who was on the floor?
I don’t remember drinking last night, but the terrible pain in my head seems to be pretty good evidence that I did, as does the fact that I can’t remember someone else sleeping in our room.
The sizzling of bacon drifts down the hall from the kitchen. Pushing myself off the bed, mouth watering, I make my way to the source.
In the kitchen, Ivan stands in boxers and a bathrobe, spatula in hand.
“Good morning beautiful,” he says, leaning down to give me a kiss. I push him away.
“It hurts too much.” I tap my head. “Where’s the Ibuprofen?”
He retrieves some from the cabinet and places it in my hand. A moment later, he hands me a glass of water. Gulping down the medicine, I take a seat at the table.
“So, other than the head, how are you feeling?”
“Terrible,” I tell him. “How much did I drink last night?”
He laughs. “More than you ever have before.”
“No, not really.” He looks at me. “Wait, are you being serious?”
I nod my head, confused.
“What do you remember from last night?” he asks me.
“Not much. I remember going to bed, and there was someone on the floor. Are they gone already? Who was that?”
“That was me, Nico. I slept on the floor.”
“But then why was the other side of the bed all wrinkled?”
“Because I switched to the floor after— wait, do you really not remember?”
“Remember what?” I’m starting to get worried.
“Seriously, Nico. You better not be fucking with me.”
“I promise you Ivan, I’m not. Now tell me, what am I not remembering?”
He hesitates for a moment, contemplating. “It’s a long story. Can it wait until breakfast is ready?”
I want to protest, but the smell of bacon is overpowering. “Yeah, but make it quick. I’m starving.”
While Ivan finishes up breakfast, I’m racking my brain for any memories from last night. I remember going to bed, and being really cold, and the other person— were they there when I went to bed? Or did they come later? My memory doesn’t seem to be working for me. I have only a few flashes of images and feelings and nothing else.
The light going off. Coldness, a deep, deep chill. A body on the floor beside the bed. Crying. Fear. A fear I can’t explain, one that I don’t know the source of, but that even now, remembering only a hint of it, chills my bones.
Finally, breakfast is served. Ivan sets the plates on the table and sits down across from me. I dig in right away, feeling like I haven’t eaten in days. After a moment, I notice Ivan hasn’t touched his food, but is watching me with concerned eyes.
“Well, breakfast has been made,” I say. “Now are you going to tell me what it is that I don’t remember?”
He takes a deep breath. “Last night, I woke up to you screaming.”
Listening to him recount his story, my appetite fades away. It is replaced by concern, worry, and fear. By the time he’s finished, my whole body is tense, and I feel nauseous.
“I still don’t know what it was you were screaming at,” he says. “But I know that you looked terrified.”
I don’t remember what I was afraid of either, but the unknown fear is still buried inside of me. I can feel it lurking, like it’s waiting to be reawakened.
“I said-” I take a deep breath and then continue shakily. “I said I was worried about a baby?”
“Not just a baby, Nico. Our baby.”
“But we don’t have a baby.”
“Exactly. That’s why it scared me so much.”
Silence falls between us. He’s finished telling his story, and I don’t know what to say. But I do know I believe him. The look in his eyes is too grave, his concern too real, and my fear too strong.
“What do you think it was?” I ask him, breaking the silence.
“Honestly? I don’t know. I’m just hoping it doesn’t happen again.”
“Me too,” I say. “I mean, I may not remember it, but I don’t want to experience anything like that.”
I look down at our plates. Both are full of food, barely touched. But neither of us have an appetite anymore.
“Can you clean this up, babe? I think I need to lie down.”
“Of course,” he says to me. “Do you need anything else?”
“No, I just need to process all of this.”
“Ok. I’ll take care of this.”
He gets up and immediately freezes, eyes focused somewhere behind my head.