forgotten something, but unable to connect to what it
was. Something important had happened last night, but as for what
it was... I was saved the trouble of figuring it out, and the
embarrassment of asking. Pierce’s next words brought it all
    “It really freaked her out when you started
screaming, ‘get it off me.’ She couldn’t handle that. I thought she
was going to drop the baby right there on the porch.”
    It all came back to me in a jumbled rush. My
brain, in its frantic attempt to put things together confused the
actual vision with the nightmare from earlier in the night. I saw
glowing eyes in that hateful face, a hungry smile stretched across
too long, too sharp fangs. I felt the place where the initial
vision’s bite began to sting and burn and I sucked in a gasp of
    “Stace?” Pierce’s voice was flat, and I knew
he was angry with himself. “You’d forgotten hadn’t you?” he asked.
“You’d completely forgotten and I reminded you.”
    “It’s okay,” I lied. “It’s better that I
don’t forget.” I realized I believed that only after I’d already
said it, but Pierce changed the subject.
    “Petrice didn’t want me to tell you. She
doesn’t want you to feel bad, especially after last night, but you
missed her doctor’s appointment.”
    “That’s impossible,” I told him. “Her
appointment isn’t until one thirty.”
    “I know.”
    I sat up in the bed. “Pierce, what time is
    “Almost two.”
    “Don’t worry about it.”
    “Damn, damn!”
    “LeKrista, listen. It’s no big deal. She’s
already rescheduled for next week on a day she knows you’re off.
She understands. You needed your rest after what happened.”
    “But that’s no excuse for me to sleep until
two o’clock in the afternoon!” I exclaimed appalled. Why had I
slept so late?
    “You were tired.”
    "Baby, listen,” he interrupted. “It’s no big
deal. I know you feel bad. I shouldn’t have told you. But no one is
worried about it. Everyone involved understands. Okay?”
    “Okay,” I agreed, but I racked my brain for
a reason for my slothfulness.
    “ I’ll see you soon, love. And don’t worry
about it,” he told me again.
    “I won’t.”
    I’ll just have to set an alarm next
    I showered quickly. Amazingly, it was
sunshiny outside. The sky was blue with no trace of clouds
anywhere. I love rainy days, but I love beautiful winter days just
as much. I threw on some clothes that I found on the floor. They
weren’t dirty enough to wash yet, but they weren’t clean enough to
put back in the drawer. Just right for today. I could smell what I
hoped to be bacon, which was usually accompanied by eggs and French
toast or pancakes.
    I lucked out. Chocolate chip pancakes,
scrambled eggs, and bacon. My aunt was busy making a special batch
just for me at two fifteen in the afternoon.
    “Well, look who’s up,” she smiled when I
walked out of my room, and I couldn’t help but smile back.
    “Good afternoon,” I told her and took a seat
as she set a plate in front of me.
    “I cooked for everyone else, so it’s only
fair that I cook for you too.”
    “Thank you.” I squirted syrup all over my
pancakes, said a silent prayer, and dug in.
    “We heard you up last night,” she told me,
her curious tone of voice rearing its ugly head. “Did you have to
take Bermy out?”
    I frowned. Did I? “I can’t remember,” I told
her. “Did I?”
    She smiled sweetly at me. “He must have
woken you up. He was barking at something.”
    Be quiet, dog.
    An image flashed in my head. Beer,
cardboard, and my feet were suddenly cold.
    “It’s not a big deal,” she was telling
    But it was a big deal, because once again, I
couldn’t remember anything and it was important.
    Go inside now.
    Zing! And I remembered everything;
Roman, the rubbery strength in my spine, my frozen toes, the dirt
in my bed. I remembered what happened last night, and I didn’t
think I

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