She was sure she’d forgotten something but she was tired and she just wanted to get moving. She grabbed her keys from the bowl by the door, and with her thumb poised over the light switch, she cast her eye around her apartment, not really seeing it, her mind elsewhere.
She dragged her suitcase over the hallway carpet, shoulder screaming, and hit the button for the elevator. Her ride was apparently dropping off another fare nearby so she had three or four minutes to wait. She scrolled through her phone, contemplating getting her headphones out already. She was excited to be going off on this short weekend getaway, but exhausted at the same time. She was looking forward to seeing her best friend again and hanging out in another country for a few days.
A little message popped up letting her know that her ride was almost with her, so she put her phone away and stepped up to the kerb just as the SUV pulled up. The driver hopped out, smiling broadly, hand outstretched – good morning ma’am how are you – all rolled into one long word it seemed.
He took her suitcase and loaded it into the car while she climbed into the front seat and settled in. The driver jumped back into the car, full of energy and talking constantly as he adjusted his phone, the air conditioning, the radio volume. Honestly, she just wanted to rest her eyes and have a quiet ride, but that was not the case today and she was too polite to say anything against his happy demeanor. At least he wasn’t sullen and uncommunicative like some drivers.
He dug into the console and handed her a box of mints and she took it from him. She didn’t usually like these sugar-free things but for some reason she took one and placed the package back into the centre cup holders.
Popping the mint into her mouth, she bit into the shell, disappointed to discover it was gum. She didn’t like chewing gum, hated having to find somewhere to discard the little ball of grossness when it lost its flavour. She was surprised to notice an acrid taste as she chewed but it soon disappeared to be replaced by the usual mint flavour and she leaned her head back against the head rest and let his words wash over her. He was asking her about her morning – seriously it was 6:30am, it might as well be midnight as far as she was concerned. But she made nice and answered his questions, smiling and, against her own wishes, she leaned forward and began to engage, as was her way.
After a few minutes, she noticed a prickling warmth spreading through her chest and she really started to feel incredibly tired. She’d been working 11 and 12 hour days and she was exhausted. This little holiday couldn’t come at a better time, she just wished it was for a longer time away.
He was quiet now, but she could sense his eyes on her. Her head felt heavy and she couldn’t help but let it fall back against the headrest, her right arm falling to the side as well. She was struggling to keep her eyes open and when she felt his hand on her arm, she started to panic, but there was nothing she could do. Her whole body was heavy and she couldn’t seem to move. She was trying so hard. Her mind was clouded and she couldn’t hold it up as it flopped to the side, hitting the window.
She could feel the car turning off the main road and then there was darkness.