I woke up with a splitting headache. I know, that’s a cliche, but I really did. I’d say I took time to gather my thoughts, but it wasn’t really like that. It was almost the reverse, as if I was descending from some level of clarity I hadn’t experienced before, but which fled my mind as I tried to seize onto it.
I only knew it had a rightness to it, then I was awake, with a splitting headache, and lying in a bed which smelled faintly of cats. No, actually, what smelled of cats was the weight on my stomach, which was now regarding me with one yellow eye and one blue and a distinct “are you awake yet?” expression on its face.
“I’m awake,” I told the cat. “Gerroff.” I didn’t have the energy, though, or maybe the heart, to actually evict the creature. A moment later, Bruce came in and lifted it off me.
“Sorry. It’s hard to keep track of them all. Drink this.” He offered me a glass of water.
I realized how thirsty I was and drank most of it in a gulp. “I think…”
“Mild concussion. You hit your head when it knocked you over, but we got it.”
“Worth a headache, then.” It was. I wasn’t sure it was worth more than that, but I’d gotten off lightly. I wasn’t going to forget it in a hurry.
“Anyone else I know would have been killed. Who…no, you don’t remember. You still don’t, right?”
I shook my head. Regretted it. “No. Sorry.” In stories, sometimes, a knock on the head restored lost memories. It hadn’t worked this time.
“Drat. Would have been handy…don’t move right away. You might be dizzy.”
I sat up slightly to test that. “No…I don’t think I’m dizzy. Just a headache.”
He handed me an aspirin. I took it with the rest of the water, waiting for it to take effect.
We’d got it. That was all that really mattered.