Ciara strained to see past the bright, blinding light. The sun beamed into the room and seemed to focus directly on her face. She squinted and moaned before turning to her side to avoid the harshness.
The temporary relief was lost in an instant. It was replaced with an immense feeling of pain between her eyes. Her brain was threatening to break free of its prison.
She forced her eyes closed and grumbled. Despite it, she felt dizzy. Her stomach did dances and flips that threatened to spill what contents remained in it.
She breathed and swallowed trying to overcome the overwhelming nausea. Her body tried to expel the sickening sensation, but she overcame it and pushed herself up.
Still unable to lift her eyes, she sat at the edge of the cushion-y surface. Her feet dangled off the edge. Her hands touched the fabric. It was coarse and patterned, and she could smell alcohol in the air. Uncertain if it was her or something else, she slowly blinked to get her bearings. Her body swayed from side to side from the effort, and she was forced to swallow acid again.
Somehow she was in her living room and had been sleeping on her couch, she realized. But she didn’t understand how that could be. She scrunched her eyes and brought herself forward to put her feet firmly on the ground. A squish erupted from the impact, and she gagged before raising her feet off the ground.
The smell wasn’t just alcohol. It was much more. But worse yet is she couldn’t remember anything, and she was starting to realize that she was completely nude.
Why was she so hungover? She didn’t remember drinking anything the night before. In fact, she had been designated driver for the work party. She refused drinks all night.
The last thing she remembered was drinking her Diet Coke whilst watching some of the Finance department nerds sing “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
Her clothes were strewn across the floor and the puddle below her proved that alcohol had been at play.
To her horror, though, she looked down and noticed teeth marks across her nipples.
Ciara gasped and held her stomach. The seasick sensation returned and she swooned. The drink. The drink had sat beside her the whole night, but it hadn’t always been in sight.
Her body convulsed, and she released the barrier she had put up, expunging everything onto the floor in front of her. Her hands and arms shook, and she fell back, tears streaming. Sobs took their place as the realization overwhelmed her.
How could this happen to her? Why did it happen? Who did it to her? Could she ever trust again?
Panic consumed her.
Unable to overcome the pain and sickness in her body and soul, she just laid back on the couch and wept until her husband returned home the following day.
It was at that point that life got very complicated.