Tale of Souls Chapter Nineteen
Head’s still pounding, we’re finally in the car. I’ve wanted to start or pick a joke fight with anyone in the car for the last five minutes – but I’ve got the blackest sunglasses I own right now, and I’ve already taken the maximum amount of ibuprofen you’re allowed. Just so we’re clear, that’s double the human amount for some reason, and it still doesn’t solve what feels like a screwdriver through each eyeball. We’re almost at the freeway, we passed everything in my old neighborhood – I mean that’s because the Haven’s built inside an old Recreation center.
“Penny for your thoughts.” Rana bent over through the space between the front seats and placed a penny on my shoulder. “I mean, you won’t get far on a penny but it’s a penny!”
“I’m in pain, and I have no clue besides being that I feel like I haven’t slept in years.” I sighed and grabbed the penny. I looked at it, it kept getting blurry and clear every time I looked at it. Either i’m gonna go, or i’m gonna die – or some sick bastard’s just toying with my pain tolerance.
“We’re all grieving. How do you think you’re gonna feel? Like a magical princess from another sparkly faerie land?” Kristoff was staring out the window, and unlike Rana who occasionally childishly looks out and points at stuff – Kristoff’s as cranky as I am. He’s got his bandana on, and he’s hiding his ears again – and he’s hiding his red eye with a contact lens. We’re both tired. Of course, right before I’d dealt with watching Lily kick the bucket – I was shunted around several versions of time.
“I expect exhaustion, but I don’t expect to feel like someone’s murdering me.”
“That’s your memories coming back, that’s not the shunting.”
“Meh, whatever it is – painkillers won’t touch it.”
“It’s your memories, painkillers can’t solve good and bad and the regretfully bonkers.”
Kristoff quipped back, and looked at me through the rearview mirror and raised his eyebrow. He hit the nail on the head, I just didn’t want to actually acknowledge how much I was starting to remember. I mean if I can sit in a car and feel like I know what’s going on for once, that’s a start right?
“I’m not sure I want to admit to that.” I smirked and noticed we were just about to hit the freeway. I don’t know why, but my anxiety level hit up through the roof. “Sai, are you going to be ok driving on the freeway”
“Ahem, as OK as i’ll ever be.” Saitou hated driving the freeway, and preferred to find a backroad or less stressful way of getting to places. “We’re taking this next exit right?”
“Wait what direction do you think we’re taking?” I noticed we were taking the “less stressful” but still stressful route which would end up taking us around the long way – several minutes off the schedule I promised we’d keep to.
“Just text your contact, tell her we’re going to be late because I AM NOT GETTING STUCK IN THE GODDAMN TRAFFIC ON i94 again!” Saitou growled and turned off on the exit that would get us to our destination – but honestly wasn’t the right way to get there. “I am TRYING TO MANAGE your anxiety, my anger and anxiety and going into deadly mid day traffic is a bad idea for me.”
“Then why not have Kristoff drive.”
“BECAUSE ITS YOUR CAR.”
“And we’ve obviously been through this, you’re being possessive.”
Kristoff and Rana started laughing from the backseat. The more my memories come back the more I’m not even sure I want to know what possessed Saitou to be this anxious about driving. It’s just a stupid freeway drive, neither way is easier than the other – and we’re lucky he’s just not taking the slowest way possible. The laughter got louder the more Saitou clenched the steering wheel and snarled loudly.
“You’re being possessive over what, people that are related to me, could’ve been me and trip your hornball filter so hard that you think they’re me?” I’m tired, so sue me. There’s not much more to it than what I just said. We’re all stemming from the exact same human being we were born as – and sometimes it trips up Saitou’s brain and that is all it boils down to. Nobody expects perfection, and nobody expects it’s easy. Sad thing is, he applies the possessive nature to like everything I own some days. Kristoff or Rana or even Ryan need to borrow a pen? NOPE.
“IT IS NOT POSSESSIVE to want to be protective of things that aren’t for someone else to use. He doesn’t have his fucking liscence anyways. Only you and Ryan do, I checked.” Saitou slammed his hand on the wheel and started growling as he stopped at the next set of lights and pulled over.
“Excuse me, how the hell did you figure out I didn’t? And theoretically wouldn’t it count if I looked like the one in the front seat, and I knew how to drive?” Kristoff raised his eyebrow, not realizing he answered his own question. “Shit, sorry – I keep forgetting how behind I am at times on this.”
“Don’t stress yourself out, Sai’s just an asshole and you’re recovering just as much as Justin is.” Rana rolled his eyes and pushed Kristoff back towards the seat. “What’s the plan?”
“The plan? IF SOMEONE WANTS ME TO DRIVE SOMEWHERE stressy he better warn me first ” Saitou said as he opened the driver’s door and turned around and opened my door motioning for me to swap seats. “You drive. I’m done dealing with your irreverence when i’m trying to protect you.”
“Wait. Hold on, didn’t – I didn’t, I”m in no fucking shape to drive why are you doing this?” I clearly am not, but i’ve also done more for the lesser amount of energy so I guess this is no surprise.
“Because you know how much I hate driving the American freeway system, including the less messy ones. “
“BUT YOU KNEW OUR DESTINATION, you KNEW Sai that we were going downtown minneapolis. You knew this and you’re still asking me to swap seats.” I growled, and tried to get out of my seat and noticed I was getting dizzier. “Hold up a second.”
“Goddamnit, DO NOT shunt or walk on me.” Saitou, trying to play the parental husband, wasn’t helping me in this situation. We’re late getting to our destination, and we’re facing issues if he’s not going to drive us there. “If I have to call us a cab, I will.”
“But, hold up. I can’t think it’s … dizzy around here.”
This didn’t feel like shunting, walking or losing it to a regular vision. This was other shit, this was my brain opening itself up to everything around me.
“Yea, let’s – let’s call a cab, as far as I can tell I’m not leaving, it’s just sharp pains and dizzy moments from new things I keep remembering. “ I may have spoken too soon, the dizziness was getting worse and my vision was now getting blurry. We’re so fucking close to losing the battle before we’ve even gotten anywhere it’s not funny.
“What’s wrong?” Rana peeked from the backseat, “Kristoff, go see what’s up” He started sounding concerned, as Kristoff wasn’t responding either.
I gasped for air for a second, grabbing at Saitou’s arm and failing at that – falling out of the car and onto the ground. My vision was going from blurry to vignetting to absolutely black.
“KRISTOFF WAKE UP.” Rana yelled as he heard me fall, and darted to look at Saitou.. Both Kristoff and I were out for the count.