This is for the ten minute Daily Post free-write (I forgot to time it, so take ya best guess!) and for the 3 Word prompt. It was inspired by the fact that, for the last two weeks, I have skipped Thursday, waking up convinced it was Friday on both occasions *grin*
Naomi sat up, instantly wishing she hadn’t, pain exploding behind her eyes. Gingerly, she swung her legs over the side of the bed, recoiling when her feet hit the cold stone floor. Why had she let Olly convince her that stone flooring was ‘the’ thing? Moving with extreme care, she peered down, trying to locate her slippers. Her feet looked far too blue and her heart began to beat just a little too fast, realising the blue came from multiple bruises; bruises which hadn’t been there when she slipped under the duvet eight hours ago.
Her partner failed to respond. Settling back, drawing her feet up for closer inspection, Naomi’s palm came down on Olly’s side of the bed. It was untouched, no turned back cover or head dent in the pillow. Not possible. Olly didn’t go out of town until Friday mornings, regular as clockwork; a flight to the big smoke, a day of business speak and be-suited people, then home by Saturday morning. Why hadn’t he slept in their bed on a Wednesday night?
Her progress to the study was a ballet performed on broken glass, every footfall a crescendo across her soles and she fell into the desk chair with gratitude, slightly breathless with incipient panic. She booted up the computer, listening to the silent apartment, hoping to hear Olly; maybe he went for a paper, or milk, any number of reasons and he’d be back in a second. Her brain overrode her heart the moment the welcome screen flashed up. Olly had installed a programme which initiated as soon as the computer was switched on. The on-screen calendar was all that kept Naomi straight; her inability to keep track of dates and appointments was legendary, but this was ridiculous. It had to be a glitch.
Friday October 10th – Olly in town. You have the dentist at 11am
She stared at the words but they slid around the screen, jumbled like her thoughts until one overwrote the rest. What the hell had happened to Thursday? Naomi had watched her favourite tv programme, the one which run every Wednesday evening before going to bed. Wednesday evening, with Olly right beside her, spooning up to her when they settled to sleep, solid and real and there… on Wednesday evening. How could she go to sleep on Wednesday and wake up on Friday morning? Olly wouldn’t have let her sleep for 24 hours. She wasn’t sick. She hadn’t been roaring drunk. There was no reason for a lost day.
She reached for her phone, punched Olly’s number and got his voice mail. Of course, Olly was in meetings all day… because it was Friday. She waited for his voice, felt an instant of calm and wished for his solid, sensible presence beside her before speaking:
“Hey, Olly, I know you’re busy, I know I’m not supposed to disturb you on Friday’s, but I need to talk to you. It’s sort of urgent. Ring me, please?”
She snapped the phone shut, shuffled to the bedroom to don thick socks, hoping to cushion the floor’s touch on her battered feet, before heading to the kitchen. The sound of sucking and gurgling as coffee brewed failed to fill her with happy anticipation. Instead she perched on a stool and stared at her nails. She was proud of them, always beautifully manicured and French polished. This morning, this Friday morning, three nails were broken and a thin layer of what looked like earth lay beneath the rest. Shaking now, Naomi headed to the bathroom in tottering steps and washed her hands, scrubbing and scrubbing as if the act could erase her fears along with the dirt. It didn’t and she almost fumbled the phone when it rang, unable to keep the tremor from her voice when she answered.
“Hey, doll, I’ve got a couple of minutes, literally, so make it quick. What’s up?”
“What did I do yesterday?”
He paused for a second and she knew what was going through his mind; a stream of images connected to her breakdown last year, of her screaming and thrashing and being sedated, being incarcerated, of her doped to the eyeballs, rocking, of her weak, thin, listless, coming home, the rehab still a fresh memory… almost as clear as the face of the man she’d hit and killed. He’d been drunk, reeling, walking in front of her with no time for her to stop, but she’d blamed herself, still did in the locked up corner of her mind the tablets kept at bay.
“Everything good, girly?”
“Please, Olly, just tell me. What did I do yesterday?”
“You were asleep when I left for work, and asleep when I got home. I didn’t want to wake you this morning. Look at your schedule, Naomi; it’ll tell you what you did. Do you want me to call Doc Fisher?”
Her shrink whom she loathed with an abiding passion. Even the thought of him peering into her fragile Friday mind threatened to topple her over the edge and she hurried to reply.
“No, no, it’s fine. I’m just a bit woolly this morning. I’m sorry I bothered you.”
“No problem, babes. But I gots ta go now.”
She heard the smile in his voice, wished once more that he were by her side and let him go. Returning to the computer she flipped open her schedule. Doc Fisher at 10am. She had zero recall of going to his office, or what they had discussed. She grabbed her phone and rang the surgery. The receptionist was polite but firm. Naomi had rung to cancel her morning appointment and had rebooked for the 12th. She worked her way through the times and appointments, gradually discovering that she had either missed or cancelled all four, including a standing lunch date with her mother.
“Where did Thursday go?”
She mumbled the words over and over, rooting through her closet for clean clothes, coming up with a jumper capable of silencing her. One of her favourites, roomy, comfortable and comforting as it was Olly’s. She always felt him close when she wrapped herself in it. She walked slowly to the window, no longer aware of the pain in her feet, fixated on the dark stain in the deep brown wool. A stain which turned out reddish, almost maroon in the harsh daylight. A stain the size of a dinner plate. A stain which could so easily say ‘I’m blood.’
She dropped the jumper and fled to the shower, stripping and turning in circles before the full-length mirror, grateful for once that Olly was on the vain side. Her skin was clean, no sign of injury. She sank to the floor, shivering in cold and horror; who did the blood belong to? Was it Thursday blood? Overwhelmed with the need to know, she began a tour, moving room to room, discovering more and more.
Her boots, the soles dirt-engrained, fresh earth. Her jeans, crumpled in a knot in the bottom of the laundry basket, stained with more blood. A pair of towels dyed pink and scrunched into the washer. Opening the medicine cabinet, needing one of her tablets to try and calm her racing mind, she let loose a gasping shriek. One of the knives from her butcher block tumbled out, clattering into the sink in metallic accusation, brownish, dried blood flaking onto the pristine white porcelain on impact.
An hour later, Naomi, slumped on the sofa with the tv news blaring, anything to keep her mind from chasing her lost Thursday, began to understand. She’d been doing so well, but the bottle of tablets in her hand told her a story she didn’t recognise, as did the other three which she’d lined up on the table. Four months of medication she hadn’t taken, didn’t remember deciding not to take. Four months of gaps she couldn’t fill in now she tried to find them. Four months of actions she could not recall. A missing watch. A watch Olly had gifted her on her release from the institution. A watch inscribed ‘For Naomi. Time to start afresh’.
Half her attention was taken by the news anchor who was reporting on the brutal slaying of one Doctor Thomas Fisher, stabbed multiple times through the heart by person or persons unknown. The other half was taken by the cop who stood in the open front door. She’d known they would come, her dazed eyes now fixed on the gold watch he dangled from an index finger, the gold stained red.
“Miss, can you confirm this is your watch, found on the body of Doctor Fisher?”