Title: Skip this morning
Sam is saying nonsense. I remember all of this clearly.
Sam is on his way out. I am on my way awake. I am lucky to not go outside. I don’t go anywhere too quickly.
Sam was there. Here, I mean. A week ago. He knows more than I do. All I know for sure is that the apartment was soaked and he hit his head.
When he sees me, he asks what I want from the grocery store.
I remind him that he hit his head. He shouldn’t be going out at all at this point. Beyond everything outside.
Sam straightens his shoulders, struts in place. “I can move just fine. And I’m going out.”
I ask him if he liked the takeout in the fridge.
Did you try it?
“Yes. It smells.”
I was trying to say sorry for spilling coffee in the bedroom.
“Well, my bedroom is clean, so it’s fine.”
Will you let me apologize?
“I don’t know. I’m not your parent.”
I don’t remember what he says after that. He’s not listening. Please listen to me.
There’s a humming noise.
Sam walks besides me and smiles. He’s not paying attention. “You’re not apologizing. You won’t help me.” Sam grabs my hand and I feel a few folded bills pressed in. “For gas,” he mutters.
Does he remember he’s the one going out?
The noise isn’t any louder, but everything else goes quiet.
I say nothing. No point. He’s too drowsy to know what he’s saying.
He shouldn’t leave.
I start going back to the couch when Sam’s knees buckle. I catch him right away. Something I have practice with now.
Then he shushes me. I don’t believe this guy. He’s still drowsy. I knew it.
He says there’s a noise. I don’t hear anything except the air conditioner...
I check the couch while Sam checks the kitchen. Still nothing.
I get closer to the bedroom. Sam steps in front of me and goes in. Still nothing. Still, nothing I can do.
My back hunches as I peek over the corner. I miss the stupid noise again.
Sam won’t read this, so I can say this:
Sam doesn’t move for the next full minute. I yell. I wave. I tap him on the shoulder. Nothing works. When I back away, he takes one step forward.
When I walk backwards to the couch, he moves no problem.
What were you doing?
“I was just walking over here. Did something happen?”
Yeah. I tried getting your attention for the past minute.
“That was five seconds ago,” he corrects me.
No. You were pulling some stupid trick.
“No, I’m not.” His voice sharpens. “I’m not being weird. I’m still here. You’re still who knows where.”
You blanked out.
“I was here the whole time. Where did you go?”
I didn’t go anywhere.
Sam’s head still hurts. He goes into the kitchen, following my gaze.
Sam doesn’t want to talk to me. “You disappeared again, like the flood.”
This has nothing to do with that.
“I think it does. You can’t just ignore this like it’s nothing.”
As far as I can tell, it is nothing. I don’t know what interests you so much about hitting your head, but I don’t care. You need to rest and recover and get on with your life.
“I know I saw more than the flood that night. I wasn’t safe.” His voice shakes.
Let’s take a step back.
I’m keeping track of everything I can. If anything else happens, I’ll see it. Happy?
“No. You still don’t believe me.”
You need my help now. You say anything more about it…
I tell him to drop it.
“Time to leave. You’re not here when it matters either.”
Sam tells me to lock the door. The door locks automatically.
I go back to sleep and don’t quite make it to the couch.