Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Fever Dreams

Our home was anything but modest. If Nick, my brother, had let anyone know it even existed, it probably would’ve been featured in a magazine. All of our furniture was elegant, modern and clean-cut, with sharp lines and hard angles that made it beautiful in a way. The downstairs was small, only the living room and the kitchen; the lighting was always dim and yellowish-orange. There were two other floors above that, where all the bedrooms and my library were. Despite its frequent emptiness, our house always had the warm and welcoming feeling that made it home.
At this moment, though, my living room was filled with all the people my brother worked with, or, otherwise called by me, “the Group”. They lounged around on couches and chairs, drinking beer and talking loudly.
I crouched at the top of the stairs, hugging my knees to my chest. My flannel pajamas stuck to me with a feverish sweat as tears dripped from my eyes. I felt hot and sick as I listened to the merriment going on below, but I didn’t want to bother Nick. This was the first time since our parents died that he was having a good time, just for himself. I missed my mom and dad.
Downstairs, they laughed about some customer who had stumbled into the store today, how he acted and how one of the girls in the Group handled it. Everything came to me through a veil of flu-like heat. I shivered violently and thought about dragging myself back to bed, though I knew I wouldn’t sleep.
After a few minutes of guffawing and snorting, someone said, “I’ve got to take a leak,” and the conversation shifted to quieter tones. I tried to sit still and breath slower, wanting to move from where I was but not being able to. I rested my forehead on my knees.
“Hey,” a voice whispered softly from the dark. I raised my head out of fear and embarrassment; this was not my brother speaking to me. Once my eyes adjusted to the darkness around him, I saw Levi, one of my brother’s friends. He was the same age as Nick, was always nice to me, and sometimes had a funny accent when he talked.
“What are you doing up here?” he asked me kindly. I couldn’t bring myself to say anything, so I just kept my mouth shut. A few seconds of silence later, he spoke again, “You don’t look like you feel good at all. Let’s get you into bed, huh?”
With that he came forward to take my hand and help me up. When I had gotten unsteadily to my feet, a river of heat and nausea flew threw me. Levi held onto my arm and led me back to my bedroom at a steady pace.
“Is this one yours?” he asked me once we had gotten to my door. I nodded shyly and he opened it for me, going to my bed to fix the covers and leaving me to stand awkwardly in the middle of my own room. A small, sweet smile on his face, he told me, “Get in.”
I climbed in between the sheets sluggishly and lay down, pulling them over my shoulders. Meanwhile, Levi went into the bathroom and was searching the cabinets. I heard him pull the tap and a rushing sound. He came back with a glass of water and a couple of ibuprofen.
“Take these,” he ordered me, and, though I barely knew him, I trusted him. I wondered why this friend of my brother’s was doing things for me that my brother usually did, when Nick was right downstairs. “And get some rest. You’ll feel much better in the morning, lyubimaya.” (*Russian for sweetheart/darling)
Levi patted my shoulder and turned the lights off on his way out. “Goodnight, Adalie.”
Finally, I spoke. “Goodnight, Levi.”

The next morning, when the feverish haze was gone, I tried to remember how I had gotten into my bed the night before. Though I reviewed it time and time again, I couldn’t understand how Levi had gotten upstairs without my seeing him. We had only lived in that house for a little over four months, but I had already explored every nook and cranny of the place. The only way to get to the second floor was from where I had been sitting.

So, that was the prologue to a story I started a while ago. I don't have much written for it and the great news is, I'm practically rich with writer's block. -.-
I would really love detailed feedback for this though. That would be much appreciated.

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