PART 1: RORY
Sometimes I wondered what would be scarier; remembering or not remembering. As I awake into a pool of strange faces and lights blindingly bright, I find myself wondering where the hell I am. The thing about not remembering is that you can’t quite piece together what happened in the minutes, hours, days, weeks or even years before that have miraculously somehow brought you to the place you are now. So here I am on a hospital bed in god knows what town or state or what day it even is wondering what the hell happened.
“She’s awake! She’s awake!” A petite blonde doctor shouts across the room. I think to myself she looks way too young to be trusted with whatever is happening right now; probably an intern.
I look up at the digital clock on the wall to see its 3 in the morning. Shit. My parents are going to kill me. I probably blacked out again and had to get my stomach pumped. That would explain the aching feeling of bruising on my insides. I vaguely remember stumbling home from a frat party last night but can’t quite piece together how I got from there to here. Maybe I…
My thoughts are interrupted by the loud burst of tears accompanied by my mother into the room I had somehow inhabited this morning.
“Oh my god!” I hear my mother sob as she wraps her arms around me tight enough to choke me. My dad accompanies her with tears of what seem to be relief on his face. As I lay there, half choked by my mother’s tight embrace, I think to myself that this is the first time I have seen my father cry. He must be pretty damn disappointed.
“Rory,” he says as he sits at the edge of my bed, his face coated in the darkness of his melancholy. “Your mother and I searched everywhere, day after day, month after month for you. To think you were right around the corner, and we had just given up. Oh Rory, baby girl, we love you so much.”
I sat there shocked, was this some type of trick? Were they trying to punish me for blacking out again?
“Very funny guys,” I said adding in a sarcastic laugh. “I’m sorry I drank too much, I’ll be more conscious of it in the future.”
As my jokingly toned words slipped out of my mouth my father buried his face into his hands and my mother, freeing me of her embrace, turned her back towards me and let out another whimper of defeat.
“Mr. and Mrs. Carson?” A stout lady says as she enters my room. “May I have a moment with Rory alone?”
My defeated parents exit the room lethargic from what I assume is the hassle of raising a college student. It’s not like I partied that much or did anything really bad. I maintained a good GPA, played on my schools ice hockey team and had a solid relationship with my family. I just had a history of getting too drunk at parties. But I mean that’s college right? You live and you learn; I guess I was just slow at the learning curve.
“Hi Rory.” The stout lady says pulling up a chair to the side of my bed. “My name is Shannon and I’m a social worker here at Albany Med-“
“Look,” I retort, cutting her off mid sentence. “I don’t have a drinking problem, sometimes I just get a little carried away.”
“Rory,” she says again. “Do you know today’s date?”
“May 1st, why?”
I see her face slump into itself as she lets out a sigh of desperation. Her mouth opens as she tries to form some sort of sentence but stops as if the words are super glued to her tongue, unable to escape her lips.
“Rory,” she says yet again, but pauses as if she is unsure what to say next. “Do you know what year it is?”
Her face slumps again in the same manner and she seems as if she is pondering what to say next.
Her mouth opens once again as she blurts out so blatantly, “The date is August 10th, 2016.”
“Nice one,” I retort, with the same sarcastic laugh I gave my parents just 10 minutes before. “Did my parents put you up to this one? Are you even a social worker?”
Before she could stutter another word out of that bewitching mouth of hers, three familiar faces burst through the door to my room.
“RORY!” My two best girl friends Mel and Eva scream as they bust in, both of them wrapping their thin arms around me even tighter than my mother did.
“Hey Ror,” A manly voice says walking in behind Mel and Eva. I turn to look at my next visitor and see Brooks standing in the doorway.