Blood. On the carpet, seeping into the fibres. On my hands, glistening in the low-lighted room. Clumps of my hair coated, each strand slippery and sticky with my inner fluid. Then pain. Throbbing throughout my entire body, so strong I feel numbed by it, unable to move. What happened? Can’t remember? Can I move yet? I try to shift my legs and nothing. No response. I blackout. I’ve no idea how long for, ten minutes, an hour, two hours, who knows? I open my eyes and immediately feel the wash of permeating pain again. My head is throbbing too. I touch the back of my head, matted clumps of red wet. I realise I’m lying on the floor, limbs contorted as if in an awkward happy dance. I mouth out “Help!” with no response from the Sleeping Body. I attempt to shout it out; “Help!” still met with silence. I need to know if I can move. It takes an exerted effort, with ripples of pain travelling at high speed to my hips and pelvis as I lift my torso. Each small movement is a test of resilience. I manage to half sit up, holding onto a chair. Pulling up on the wooden seat I can hardly stand, let alone weight bare, my lower back in agony, muscles in spasm. I shuffle out of the door and make my way to bed. Lifting my legs onto the mattress, I turned sideways to grab the other side, dragging my stiffened body to the middle. A Herculean move. I fall asleep again. A lovely deep black sleep, one content to remain in whilst the cells of my corpse reprogram, muscles heal, bruises marble.
The bedroom door opened, “What’s happened?” The Sleeping Body had awoken, to find patches of blood on the floor and no one to account for why? I struggled to speak, too weak of pain to move, too disorientated to verbalise. I could see shock and concern on Sleeping Body’s face, a look of confusion. As I lifted my head to speak, I caught a look at the blood on the pillow, splashes of ruby on the once-crisp white cotton. One large patch was particularly impressive. I touched the back of my head again, dried blood embedded now in my hair. As I brushed my hand through, dark red powder appeared, macabre magic dust of dried haemoglobin.
“I fell. I think. I don’t remember.”
“You fell? Off the bed? It’s a seven-foot drop! How?!” Sleeping Body was worried.
“I don’t know? I don’t remember. I think I fell forward, over the top.”
“You need the hospital. Can you move?”
“My body is too stiff. Better I stay here in bed. I can rest, sleep to heal. I’m not going to hospital!”
Sleeping Body sat on the side of the bed, reached across and kissed my forehead, “I’m sorry you were by yourself, I didn’t hear you. I love you.” I felt an arm wrap across my leaden lump of a body, squeezing affection, squeezing remorse.
“It’s okay. I’m okay. I can move my legs and arms, there are no broken bones, I don’t think?”
“What do you need? Have you taken any painkillers?” Sleeping Body sat upright and reached under the duvet to hold my hand.
“There’s some in that red NY taxi case, paracetamol and some codeine leftover from last year.” The pain was increasing around my lower back, each minute movement sent shockwaves of hurt. I needed relief.
Sleeping Body fetched the meds and opened up my water bottle.
“No, I need to eat something first.” I motioned to the desk, where a single wrapped, cheap French style, choc pastry lay. It was unwrapped and passed over, I surprisingly devoured it.
“I guess it’s time to rethink the bunk?” Sleeping Body was thinking out aloud.
I managed a small throaty laugh, “Yes, I’ve been bunked for the first and last time!” I took the meds and settled back under the duvet.