This is a work of fiction.
I spend the weekend helping Dad clean the house thoroughly, moving my things to my house, visiting Mom and Mona, and shopping for groceries and other important things.
Once Mom and Mona are home, I go to my house. Mom and Dad ask me to stay, but I think they need time together, and I have a lot of painting and studying to do. Mom ended up lending me her computer, so I have access to my online classes again.
Before I know it, it’s Saturday night, and I go to bed.
A sound wakes me.
What was that?
It’s not the phone.
I look at the clock.
It’s 4:01 a.m.
I get up and stand in my dark bedroom, listening.
Maybe it was a sound in a dream.
What was I dreaming about?
I don’t remember.
Who’s at the door this early in the morning?
It must be Mom or Dad. They must need my help.
I run down the stairs and to the door.
I look out but can’t see anything in the darkness.
I turn on the porch light.
The person standing there is about the same size as Mom, but a lot thinner, and wearing clothes that Mom wouldn’t be caught dead in: a pink dress with a low neckline, pink fake leather shoes, and a frilly pink scarf. Her outfit is both childish and too adult. Her face is pale and smeared with makeup. Her eyes are blue, confused, and frightened.
“Who are you? Where am I?”
Her voice is little more than a dry croak.
“I’m Billy. You’re standing on my porch.”
She coughs and looks bewildered.
“Would you like to use my phone and call somebody to take you home?”
“It’s so hot.”
It definitely isn’t hot.
What’s going on?
I don’t smell any alcohol, so I’m pretty sure she’s not drunk.
“Can I call somebody for you?”
She steps into my house, and when she pushes past me, I feel how hot her skin is in the cool night air.
“Would you like me to call somebody to come take you home?”
“Is Eva here?”
“No, this is Billy’s house. Would you like a glass of water?”
“Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink.”
Her voice is so dry and cracked, she’s hard to understand.
I walk slowly toward the kitchen, and she follows me.
“What’s your name?” I ask, as I fill a glass.
“Mercy,” she says.
“That’s a nice name.”
She sits down on the floor.
“I’m going to bed. Eva, can you wake me up when it’s time?”
She closes her eyes.
“It’s Billy. I don’t know who Eva is.”
Should I call her an ambulance?
“Would you like to drink this glass of water?”
She opens her eyes, and there’s awareness in them.
I hold the glass out to her, and she takes it with a hot, dry hand.