I squinted at the sun peeking through my window. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I had been able to sleep last night, but I hadn’t. I kept tossing and turning over and over again thinking about those damn journals and what to do with them. Maybe I could just start from the beginning to get an idea and go from there. I knew roughly the last time I wrote in it, or that I remembered writing in it. I didn’t write when I was in the hospital, my head just wasn’t in it.
Having a cursory knowledge of the past ten years could be beneficial. I could write a timeline, chart, mural, a venn diagram? I don’t know, I needed to make a decision. Lying in bed all day wasn’t going to help me though it would be easier. I sighed, my past and future couldn’t be ignored, but, maybe, it could be put off a little.
Reluctantly, I got up and showered, dreading the day ahead. The journals sat in my closed ottoman, mocking me and my lack of knowledge. I don’t remember the last time I blow-dried my hair… yeah I made a joke there… so for the hell of it, I did that. Then I put on makeup, because why not? Then I carefully picked out an outfit of a skirt and matching sweater to pair with my hair and makeup. Next, clearly, I needed breakfast, and coffee, and I’m sure there was something else I needed to do before I HAD to read my journals.
I stepped out of my room and my roommates were in the kitchen. Eloise saw me first.
“Damn girl, what’s the occasion?” Eloise exclaimed with a smile.
Claire turned to look and clearly was having trouble hiding a smile. I glared at them a bit as I dragged my feet to the kitchen.
“Is this not how I normally dress?” I asked innocently with a half twirl, knowing damn well unless things changed quite a bit that this was not how I normally dressed on a Sunday morning. I was more of a sweatpants on Sunday girl.
Claire spoke up first, “Well, hun, we all are usually a bit more… casual on Sundays.” gesturing to her own well-worn yoga pants and baggy sweatshirt.
“Are you going to Church? Did you find Jesus?” Eloise asked with a chuckle before getting slightly serious. “Oh wait, ten years ago were you a bible thumper?”
“God no. I’m procrastinating.” I said in response to their questioning amusement. “I plan on reading my journals but also don’t want to read my journals after the few I read last night.”
“Oooo, are there juicy details, lots of gossip? Did you murder someone and hid the body?” Eloise prodded.
“No,” I blushed, “I just realized that clearly a lot has happened in 10 years, and it’s a bit daunting trying to catch up. Also I’m not completely sure I can trust my journals.”
“Didn’t you write them, though?” Claire asked somewhat quizzically.
“Well, yeah, but I realized while reading a little bit that I may have made some stuff up, or exaggerated. I really didn’t recognize the person I wrote about, and it was about me.”
“Well, ya know, darlin, we’re here for you if you have questions about things. We can probably confirm or deny some of the stuff you have in there.” Claire said.
“Actually, yeah there is something you might know. Do I know a Cole? Have I mentioned him to you?”
“OH MY GOD COLE! That’s who it was yesterday!” Eloise yelled as she tilted her head back to laugh. “Oh my god, he is so hot. How did we forget him? If you didn’t have dibs, I’d totally hit that.”
“So, wait, he’s REAL!?” I asked blushed furiously.
“Damn! What did you write about him?” Eloise chuckled.
“Nothing…” I responded quickly and unconvincingly, as I reddened more, neither of the women clearly believing me. “It just seemed a bit weird. Like he was part of a fantasy novel I was writing, and some other entries too… so wait. Was I dating him?” I asked, “because no Cole visited me in the hospital.”
“Fantasy, eh?” Eloise asked as she wiggled her eyebrows suggestively.
“Well you were most definitely close, but not sure if you two were actually dating, though it was pretty clear you wanted to.” Claire responded, “You never told us one way or another if you two had, um, slept together.”
“Trust me, I tried to get that information out of you.” Eloise interjected. Claire laughed and rolled her eyes.
“My goodness, Eloise did try.” Claire confirmed.
“But why if we were so close did he never come to the hospital? Or check on me here? I don’t even have him in my phone or on social media.” I pressed.
“I don’t know why he didn’t visit. Maybe he didn’t know? I seem to recall you complaining he didn’t have a phone or facebook.” Claire replied.
“Pretty sure you told us once he’s a weirdo who tries to live completely off the grid or something. You usually would plan to meet up ahead of time when you saw each other, and if he couldn’t make it he’d leave a note for you. You were kinda shady about Cole most the times, though he did come over a few times.” Eloise answered.
“But I was in the hospital a month, if I saw him often you’d think he would figure it out. And come say hi when he saw us yesterday?”
“I’m sorry, hun, I don’t know what to tell you. I’m as stumped as you.” Claire responded apologetically.
“Do you think it had something to do with the accident?”
They shrugged at me, neither really knowing what happened to me. No one seemed to have anymore details about my accident then I did.
“Do you know how I met him?” I asked looking at both of them.
They both thought for a moment, and at the same time remembered. Claire looked at Eloise and said “The dog attack.”
“Yeah… the dog attack, how could I have forgotten about that, that’s so weird.” Eloise responded.
“Dog attack? I haven’t had much luck these past ten years” I muttered.
“It was, what? Three years ago?” Eloise asked Claire.
“Yeah that sounds about right, it’s strange I don’t remember exactly. It was definitely spring time because the snow had melted and it was a rainy night.” Claire answered.
“So yeah three years ago,” Eloise continued, “you were walking home from… work? No, a bar, because it was pretty late at night. Some dog, it must have been huge, cornered you and attacked you. You got some scars on your arm,” Eloise pointed to my right arm which was still braced and thinly bandaged from my accident. “Your arm and shoulder were pretty ripped up, from how we heard it, Cole saved you, he was just walking by and scared the dog off and got you to the hospital.”
“You, may… have started, um, stalking him after that,” Claire added with an innocent smile.
“Wait, I what?” I asked skeptically.
“Oh yeah, that’s right! Oh my god, we made fun of you so much, you were kinda obsessed with the guy, I’m surprised he didn’t put a restraining order on you. It was kinda desperate, but from our side it was pretty damn funny.” Eloise told me.
“We never did find out whether Cole just caved to your … stalking… or if you actually won him over to be friends.” Claire added.
“Where did the attack happen?” I asked.
Both Claire and Eloise looked at each other shrugging.
“No idea, I honestly don’t remember,” Claire finally said while Eloise nodded in agreement, “You may have written it in your diary.”
“Journals, I write journals not diaries…” I grumbled.
They rolled their eyes at me. The coffee maker beeped that it was done brewing, and Claire poured me a mug. I took it gratefully and started mulling over this dog attack and Cole.
He was around for an attack years ago, and might have been involved in the accident that made me lose a good chunk of my life. Did I even want to rehash a past that I might not want to remember?