I found myself awake and shivering under the blankets. The room was black, and absolutely freezing. My mouth felt thick and dry. I lay there and tried to ignore the cold and the thirst but before long frustration got the better of me and I slammed my fist into the wall.
I planted my hand in the direction of the lamp, but when I groped my way to the switch, but it didn’t work. The alarm clock was dead too. I hit the wall again, twice.
I pulled myself up until I was seating, and the cold moved through layers of duvets, stealing the warmth. There still wasn’t any response from the other room.
I found the side of the background and grabbed it, managed to move my leg across to the side of the bed and paused and considered. I moved my foot to the floor, and gently lowered the weight of my legs onto my toes.
The pain wasn’t so bad. I could ignore it. I put more of my weight onto the leg. I put the heel down. The stiffness made that difficult. Eased into it. The pain of the stretch grew less. I tried to lift myself.
I quickly retracted as the sharp, sudden pain shot up the side of my leg and up into my hip.
I took a breath; I tried again. This time more slowly. Toes, leg, heel, engage a forward motion with the torso, then the pain. Same result. I was starting to freeze up. I tried the other leg and again, the pain. Fuck it. I pushed myself up with my arms and forced my legs to take the weight but the pain and weakness in my left leg was too much, I collapsed to my side as my thighs and willpower gave way and slammed into the floor.
I lay there for a while, blood throbbing about my jaw and that odd taste coursing about my teeth. My legs burned. I grabbed the bed and pulled myself across the carpet, my legs trailing uselessly behind, dragged myself up at the at the door frame and scrambled at the handle until it opened and hauled myself onto the landing.
I made it outside her room and punched her door. There was a frantic, startled rustling, then she came bursting out wrapped in her blankets. ‘Christ James! The hell are you doing! It’s freezing!’