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One Thing That You Must Know



What did you learn today?

An 'Emo' is...

You will have seen these types around the place. Now you have a name for them.

And here is the last section of my story. After this bit, I stopped. It's a shame I couldn't show you any of that because the plot of the story is that the main character goes into a coma - which, it turns out, is a city like and unlike her own. That's the interesting part.

Anyway, I've got to think of a better story to write this year. I'm not very good with ideas.

5

Rowena’s feet were covered in blisters. She was hung-over, and hadn’t slept, and figured she must look pretty awful. In one hand she carried those strictly ornamental shoes and in the other her purse: she was hoping to flag down a taxi and be home before her husband got back from that business trip to Hong Kong and realized she’d spent the night in a luxurious hotel with his lawyer. There weren’t any taxis around, and her mobile was flat. Rowena realized she’d need to find a public phone, though the prospect of wandering around the city at three in the morning wasn’t particularly attractive. There was a train station a few blocks down, she remembered that, and there would definitely be a phone in the area.

6

When Rowena first saw Viv she assumed that the young woman was homeless and had decided to sleep here. It wasn’t until she spotted the stagnant lightning-bolt of blood running down the inside of Viv’s arm, and the needle in her lap, that she realized the girl had taken heroin. Her nerves began to fire, and it felt as if someone had grabbed the back of her stomach and turned it inside out like a doggy-bag. She’s taken heroin but she’s just sleeping. Rowena crouched down to look at Viv’s slouching body, hair was covering most of her face and she couldn’t be sure if she was breathing or not. “Hey, are you all right? Are you OK?’” There was no response. Rowena hesitated a moment and shook the young girl’s shoulder, but her muscles were lax and her head merely tilted more to one side. Maybe she’s dead. The thought that she might have stumbled upon someone freshly overdosed on heroin turned her stomach further and made her feel like she might throw up. She put two shaking fingers to the top of Viv’s neck and felt for a pulse, and waited and tried to calm the pounding of her own heart so as to hear better and finally detected a weak throb against her fingers and when she held her fingers under the girl’s nose felt the faint flow of air and realized she was still alive. She took her hand away and tried to think what you were supposed to do next. People who’ve overdosed can die by choking on their own vomit, she remembered. You were supposed to put them on their side in a certain way so that if they did vomit it would go out and not in. Rowena picked up the butt end of the needle and cast it aside and became really worried about contracting AIDS somewhere in this whole ordeal but overcame those thoughts and moved the rest of Viv’s things aside and laid her on her side and wondered how you were supposed to keep her from always flopping onto her back again. There was nobody else around and she would have loved some help, someone who knew all about this kind of thing and would share the responsibility, but it was just her and this person who may very-well be about to die.

Rowena managed to keep her on her side by making the leg that was directly on the ground crooked so it acted as a support. She stepped back and everything was as right as she could get it and rushed to the pay-phone, not to call a taxi but to call an ambulance.

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