Martin peeled back the sheet so he could run his fingers over the girl’s naked hip. She stirred in her sleep, mumbling, “I love you, Martin.”
It was then that Martin figured he was dreaming and struggled to wake up. But he couldn’t. He tried everything. Finally he looked around; maybe he was conscious but hallucinating again.
The bed was in a room with a huge bay window. The sky outside was blue. The grass he could see on a steep hill was green. The sidewalk wasn’t pink. He heard something roar overhead and spotted not a dragon, but a plane. Nothing was undulating.
Bloody hell! Martin indulged in a long, luxurious stretch. He felt great. All those hallucinations before? It really was just his initial reaction to killing Frank…strictly in self defense!…and the subsequent, understandable-but-chronic lack of sleep. He hadn’t dared to let himself think about it before, but just about the only elephant, pink or otherwise, that he hadn’t acknowledged in the room then was the fear that his hallucinations had been something more. Now, fully rested and hallucination-free, he could remember, and laugh at, the warning his father had once given him about not using too many hallucinogenic drugs for fear of future flashbacks. He’d just been knackered out of his mind, totally and understandably gutted by the experience. Nothing more. Brilliant! Life was sweet once again.
The girl stirred in her sleep again. She wasn’t the Karen of his dreams and hallucinations. It was the girl that had smiled at him from across the aisle on the plane, while struggling with her rolling carry-on case. The girl he hadn’t even noticed being there until after that stop on the way across country he just barely remembered. Funny, he’d thought it was a nonstop and must have been gutted to a point approaching death not to have noticed such a pretty girl immediately.
She stirred again. This time her eyes fluttered open. At first the way she looked at him was sweeter than his sweetest dream of Karen. But then something changed. She looked surprised, then cold. “Really gotta pee…Randolph.” She sprang out of bed, a sight to see naked as she stumbled about a bit, apparently still groggy enough not to remember exactly where her own bathroom was.
Martin laughed and felt himself harden, hoping she’d find that bathroom and return soon. In the meantime he looked around a bit more. No, it wasn’t a hotel room and looked reasonably convincing as a place she’d lived in for a while but… Something made his spider sense tingle; something about the place looked just a bit staged, its very casualness a bit too perfect, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. Too used to seeing pink elephants, he chastised himself.
Anyway he forgot all about it when she finally re-emerged from the bathroom, thankfully still naked.