She opened her eyes. The result was soul-destroying; it was almost too much to bear. The crash wasn’t a result of what she saw, but what she felt. It was a throbbing which began at her temple and free fell all the way to the pit of her stomach. The nausea rose up like a tidal wave propelling bile upwards through her body. Mia covered her mouth with her hand in a nick of time. It was the taste which reminded her. She had failed once again.
A great Sage once said ‘To err is to be human’. This only goes to show that herbs shouldn’t dabble in philosophy. It wasn’t an error which had brought Mia to the brink of collapse. It was something crueller. It was sheer misfortune.
Mia sat up in her bed and immediately regretted it. Her courage buckled as fast as he stomach as she lay backwards onto the sweat-drenched sheets. She felt sick to her very core. Her nakedness only served to increase her feeling of vulnerability. Mia closed her eyes and decided that if the world was fair, the moment she opened her eyes a glass of water would appear beside her bed. It didn’t, proving that either thirst is merciless or that prayer is redundant.
It was the nature of existence that ate at Mia’s soul. For her life was a bowl of spaghetti in a sauce of contradictions. As desperate as she was to find true meaning, she often found herself swept away by a wave of circumstance. It was for exactly that reason that Mia had tried to kill herself once again. The headache, the nausea, the pools of vomit and piss were a result of taking sixty-three painkillers and washing them down with a litre of Russian vodka. Mia’s predicament was all of her own doing. In all honesty, for a human being she wasn’t very good at being human.
The human condition is nothing more than a concept. Do not feel sorry for Mia. Do not pity her. It is not that Mia wanted to die; it’s that she doesn’t want to live. Certainly not a life in which she feels caged, like a bird never destined to stretch its wings. That is why she fought countless battles with herself and that is why she was never quite at peace with herself.
Mia opened her eyes again and blinked at the darkness. She heard the tell-tale signs of a cat fight outside of her bedroom window. Mia stretched her ears as she tried to form the screeches of the cats into something recognizably human.
The fantasy which had seized Mia’s mind was interrupted by something so indistinct that to have heard it she would have to have been able to hear a mouse fart whilst at a philharmonic concert. Mia propped herself up on her elbows and scanned the shadows in her bedroom. To her hazy brain nothing looked out of place. Her room was somewhat Spartan, just a decrepit old wardrobe, a bedside table and her dead Grandmother’s old rocking chair provided all the evidence for her existence. Mia glanced at her digital alarm clock; her eyes couldn’t focus on the display. As she reached for her glasses she heard a squeak and froze in terror.
“Hello,” she called into the darkness. “Is someone there?” Ever so faintly, the squeaking increased its rhythm.
“Hello Mia.” The voice sent ice coursing through her veins. It wasn’t because it was a voice she knew either.
“Who?” Mia’s voice faltered as the rocking came to a halt.
“Nobody,” the figure in the rocking chair sat forward, the street light smashing over him casting his silhouette over the wall. Mia snatched up her glasses and sat up, pulling the duvet over her to protect her vulnerability.
“What are you doing here?” Her voice was calm, artificial, but calm. As the adrenaline blasted through her body, her organs woke up and cranked back into life. Her eyes were drawn to Mr Nobody’s silhouette. Mia blinked hard trying to clear her sight. It appeared that the apparition had horns.
“Nothing. I am not here,” the voice carried an unspoken sinister message.
“Of course you fucking are! You are sitting in my Nan’s chair!” A v-shaped vein bulged in Mia’s forehead.
“Just because you say you can see me sitting here, doesn’t mean that I am actually here.” Nobody sat back in the rocking chair and yet his shadow didn’t move, it remained fixed to the wall as if it were merely decorative. “And, Mia. This isn’t even your rocking chair, it belongs to the dead. Which you aren’t just yet.”
“Are you fucking mental?” Nobody let out a long laugh containing all the warmth of the long dead.
“Me? Mental? How many times have you tried to kill yourself Mia? How many?” asked Nobody gruffly. Mia stared at the wall angrily, her fists tightly clenched squashing the duvet between her fingers. “You think you can die and be reborn?”
“Who are you?” screamed Mia.
“I am Nobody”
“Who are you?”
“I am Family”
“Who are you?”
“I’m your Friend,” said Nobody coldly. Mia let go of her duvet and screamed her lungs out. She pulled at her hair frantically and screamed once more. “Nobody is going to come and save you Mia. This is why I am here. To save you. From yourself,” said Nobody brazenly.
A banging on the front door interrupted the moment. Mia looked towards the rocking chair. It was empty and appeared to be rocking on its own. She froze, unable to remove her gaze from the chair.
“Mia… Mia…” her name echoed through her front door. Mia grabbed the duvet, pulled it over her shoulders and leapt off of her bed. Mia sprinted barefooted to her front door, pulled it open before the chain ran out of tether. Three male faces peer through the crack in her door.
“Is everything okay, Mia?” asked the first man.
“Yes, everything is fine,” said Nobody with a smirk. Mia feels Nobody’s breath on her neck and glances behind her . Nobody is standing behind her, pressing himself against her. He is shirtless and pale.
“Who are you?” demands the man, pointing at Nobody. Mia waves frantically trying to get the men’s attention. She repeatedly mouths the word ‘Help’ to no avail.
“I am Nobody,” insists the apparition, “I am not even here.”
“Help me,” screams Mia.
“So as long as everything is okay, then erm, good” the man turns away from the door and tells the others “Don’t worry, it’s all sorted. Just a misunderstanding.”
Nobody slams the door shut and shakes his head. Mia panics and sprints to the toilet and locks herself in. She leans back against the door and closes her eyes.
“Oh Mia,” calls Nobody merrily, “we are destined to be together. There is no escaping fate.” Mia opens her eyes and stifles a scream. In her panic Mia turns to unlock the door. She feels Nobody grab her wrist and pin her against the bathroom door. The duvet drops to the floor.
“Are you going to kill me?” Mia asks weakly. Nobody stands back and admires her.
“First,” says Nobody as he begins to kiss her neck. “I am going to come inside of you.”
“Then?” whispers Mia fearfully. She stands frozen in horror.
“Then after our union you shall cease to exist,” says Nobody as he yanks her hair and pulls her face towards his. He notices Mia’s lip quivering and touches it with his fingers. “Don’t fret my sweet, you will live on through me.”
“I don’t want to die,” Mia whispers, terrified by the moment.
“I am afraid you don’t have a choice. You can’t live and die my sweet. You can only do one or the other,” Nobody smiles before he kisses her on the mouth. “So what are you going to do, cry Mia?”