Just a word of warning, this part of the story is sillier and far more meta than the previous three parts. I will be posting this story in parts as they are finished, so I appreciate any and all feedback. Also, there’s probably a typo or five hiding here somewhere, so if you find any, please let me know.
If you haven’t read the previous three chapters, you might want to do that first.
Maggie - Index thread
The Voices in my Head
Maggie woke up feeling miserable. The duvet felt like a heavy hand pinning her to the mattress. She pushed it aside, slowly sat up and brushed her damp hair away from her face. Every joint ached, the sunlight streaming through her window stabbed at her brain through her eyes and the cool air felt freezing on her sweaty skin. She sat on the edge of the bed for a while before coming to the inevitable conclusion: She had the flu.
“Oh wonderful,” Maggie mumbled. She wanted nothing more than to crawl back under her duvet again, but that was not an option. She had missed too many days of school already.
Maggie got up and pulled the sweat-soaked sheets off the bed before shuffling out the door. She tossed the sheets down the stairs before entering the bathroom.
God, I look like a mess.
Maggie tried to scowl at her own face in the mirror, but had trouble finding the energy. She found a couple ibuprofen and swallowed them with some lukewarm water.
Damn, even swallowing hurts.
She peeled off her panties and stepped into the shower. A few minutes later she realised that it would probably be a good idea to turn on the water. The warm water felt wonderful as it rinsed off the old sweat and Maggie seriously considered just sitting down in the shower and staying there the rest of the day.
As the ibuprofen took effect, Maggie made her way back to the bedroom to get dressed. The damp sheet was hung on a line in the basement to dry before Maggie shuffled to the kitchen. She needed… something; not food. Tea, maybe.
When she put the kettle on, Maggie thought she heard something.
“Did you say something Charlotte? Just let me get the glasses.” Maggie looked around and found the VR-glasses on the kitchen table. She put them on and looked around. There was no sign of Charlotte anywhere.
“I could have sworn I heard something,” Maggie mumbled and took the glasses off, putting them back on the table.
Maggie only managed to finish half a cup of tea before it was too cold. She emptied it in the sink and reluctantly grabbed her backpack. With a deep sigh, walked out the door.
“You look like shit,” Christopher whispered. He and Maggie were sitting in the back row of the auditorium. The lecturer was droning on and on about how median income was a better indicator of a population’s financial state than average income.
“I feel worse.” Maggie groaned. The ibuprofen had begun to wear off and she was resting her head on her arms on the desk in from of her. She was sweating profusely even though she felt ice cold.
“Tell me something I don’t know,” Maggie mumbled.
“Why the hell didn’t you stay at home?”
Maggie turned her head and looked at Christopher. He actually looked worried.
I must really look bad. It’s not like him to be this way.
“I’ve missed too many days already.” Maggie buried her face in her arms.
Christopher reached over and placed his hand on her neck, gently stroking it with his thumb.
“You’re burning up. Come on, I’m taking you home.” Christopher closed his books and put them back in his bag.
“I can do it myself,” Maggie said grumpily as Christopher pulled her books out from under her arms to put them away too.
“Bullshit. You can’t even sit up straight. Come on now.” Christopher took Maggie’s arm and helped her up. The lecturer was so lost in his own world of wages and windfall gains that he didn’t notice them slipping out the door at the back of the room.
The cold air outside felt absolutely arctic to Maggie and she found herself snuggling closer to Christopher in a vain attempt to stay warm. The three-minute walk to Christopher’s car felt like an polar trek and Maggie was shivering by the time they reached it. Maggie got in and as soon as Christopher turned the key, she turned the heaters to full blast.
“Keys?” Christopher asked and held out his hand.
“Your car keys. I’ll check with Anita and see if she can drop your car off later. I mean, you can’t leave it here overnight.”
Maggie dug around in her jacket pockets and fished out the keychain with the keys for the car and the garage. She handed them to Christopher before pulling the collar of her jacket all the way up to her nose.
Ten minutes later, they stopped outside the pet shop where Anita worked. Christopher left the engine running as he dashed inside to give Anita the keys. Maggie stayed in the car, shivering despite the warm air blasting from the vents. Her head felt so heavy that she had to rest it against the side window. It felt like the car was moving even though her eyes clearly told her it was stationary. She felt a little woozy, so she closed her eyes; just to rest them for a little while.
When the door closed, Maggie woke with a start. “OK, Anita’s going to drop off your car after work today, so now we just have to get you home and into bed,” Christopher said.
Maggie mumbled something that she didn’t even understand herself and sank back in the seat as the car drove off. She was shivering and sweating and the movement of the car and the sunlight flickering between buildings and trees made her head hurt. She wanted to throw up.
“No I don’t,” Maggie mumbled and pulled her cap down to cover her eyes.
“What?” Christopher glanced over at her before returning his attention to the road.
“Don’t wanna throw up,” Maggie said from inside her jacket.
“OK? That’s good, I guess.” Christopher said and looked back at Maggie again.
“And stop talking. My head is killing me.”
Christopher rolled his eyes and shook his he-
“Still talking,” Maggie said grumpily. “And I’m not grumpy.”
Forty-five minutes later, Christopher’s car rolled to a stop outside Maggie’s house. Christopher walked around the car to open the passenger side door. He gently shook Maggie to wake her.
“Come on Maggie,” he said. “I can’t carry you.”
“Why not? I’m a dainty, little princess,” Maggie slurred, sounding drunk.
“I’m not drunk,” she protested as Christopher helped her out of the car.
“I didn’t say you were,” he said.
“Yeah you did.”
They made their way up the stairs and Christopher helped Maggie sit down on her bed. Next he kneeled in front of her to take off the shoes.
“Mmmm, I have you right where I want you,” Maggie said and patted Christopher’s head. “Are you going to be a good, little boy for me?”
Christopher sighed and rolled his eyes. He got up and helped Maggie get her jacket off. Leaving it on the floor, he picked up the duvet and wrapped it around Maggie.
“Try to get some sleep,” he whispered.
Maggie only grunted something unintelligible in reply and Christopher quietly closed the door and left.