Kya noticed Mattea trying to check her cell phone as discreetly as possible, with a serene smile on her face, but the light shone brightly through the now darkened living room. Small beads of sweat clung to Mattea’s forehead drawing attention to themselves in the reflected light. Kya felt the warmth in the apartment as well.
“Everything okay?” Sam said, commenting on Mattie checking her phone.
Mattie stood up and Sam followed her lead while Kya continued to sit comfortably and chew her mouthful of cheese.
Mattie smiled wide as she began to step around the coffee table and towards the door. “Oh, it’s just a text from Rory. He wanted to let me know how much he loves me and that he’s thinking about me and the baby.” Mattea rubbed her stomach again, still with a gentle smile on her face.
Kya realized her friend was leaving, got up and walked behind Sam and Mattie towards the darkened entrance to their apartment.
“I should really head home before it gets too late.”
Sam took a coat from the closet and helped Mattie slip it on. The light blue fall jacket fit Mattie well, and Kya grinned behind them at her roommate’s gentlemanly actions.
As Sam stepped back, Kya leaned in and hugged Mattie. “Thanks for coming over.”
“Thank you two for having me over. It was a really nice night. I’ve missed this kind of thing.”
Kya felt a chill rush up her spine as she leaned back from her hug. A pang of guilt over the rarity of their visits made her feel a little sad but she continued to smile back at her friend. “I’m sure we will get together again soon.” Kya paused for a moment taking in the image of her friend. “I mean, if you are going to be a mom, I’ll want to get in as much visiting as I can before your baby’s born.”
“Are you saying we won’t visit once I have a kid?”
Kya laughed uncomfortably as she continued to force a smile.
As Mattie stepped out into the hallway, she waved at Sam and Kya standing near the door. “Good night, you two.”
“It was nice having you over.” Sam replied and as soon as the door shut, Sam turned to Kya. “Well, that was a nice visit.” He said.
Despite it being rather early in the evening, Kya found herself unable to keep her eyes open and wondered if the stress of her job, and entertaining her friend had drained her. “I’m going to head to bed.”
Sam moved to the side of the hallway, and motioned for Kya to pass him. The hallway was wide enough for the both of them to walk side by side, with a little room left between them, so Kya found his action a little humorous and giggled as she passed by Sam and stumbled into her room.
As was normal for Kya, she flopped into her bed, face down, and breathed a deep sigh of relief. Popping open the button on her work pants that she had not had time to change out of before Mattie had arrived, and slipping off her bra while still wearing the tee shirt that she did manage to change into, Kya felt far more comfortable.
She flipped over, and faced her ceiling, Kya pushed off her decorative pillows, leaving only two large, fluffy pillows. One that she used for her head, and the other that she sometimes cuddled with or put her knees up on. It was rare for her to wake up with either of the two pillows both still on her bed.
Kya could hear the television in the living room, and knew that Sam was probably watching something. She had to resist the urge to double check that it wasn’t someone in the apartment taking more of their stuff. It took a few minutes for the anxiety to dissipate. Kya set her phone on her bedside table, where it would charge overnight and closed her eyes, listening to the television as she fell asleep.
As was usual when Kya was stressed, the night passed in what felt like a moment. The alarm surprised her as she rolled over and placed her palm upon her phone. As she slid the phone towards her face, she half opened her eyes. She noticed the time, 5:30am, and the dozen notifications listed.
“Amelia?’ Kya gasped as she sat up and began reading through the thirteen text messages Amelia had sent since midnight.
>Kya, I can’t do it. I’ve tried, but it is TOO MUCH!
They won’t shut up!
Seriously… I need help… You don’t know. You don’t want to know.
Kya where are you? I need you to, like, talk me down or something…
I’m calling you.
Why the hell didn’t you answer?
I can’t even focus my Teleport, I’ve been all over the place!
Can’t even stay in bed.
You know what, K? I can handle this. I’ve got an idea. It’s all good. Don’t worry.
After reading the messages Kya leapt out of her bed. Grabbing some fresh clothing, her mind raced. She knew she wanted to find Amelia, but didn’t even know where to start. Frustrated, she looked at the time again, and felt like each minute was dragging her further from being able to help her friend. The blinking notification reminded her of the waiting voice mail. She pushed frantically on the screen, and retrieved the message. It stared with a sniff, and then words broke through, “Kya?” Amelia’s voice pleaded. “I can’t control my body, I can’t control how I look. I keep jumping all over the place… But worst is the voices. All those thoughts, all that misery, all the criticism… I tried to drown myself… I found myself on the beach, and well you know how I can’t swim? I walked out as far as I could, then walked farther… I totally submerged. But this stupid Waterbreathing! I couldn’t even drown!” Amelia’s voice sounded like she was trying to force a laugh, but instead it turned into small sobs. “Kya. I made a huge mistake and I don’t know what to do.”
The message ended abruptly, and the automated voice prompted Kya to choose what to do with the message, but she just hung up without choosing any of the available options. Kya stopped her frantic preparations to leave, sat on the small throw rug beside her bed, pulled her knees up to her chest and tried to breathe deeply.
She opened the text messaging application on her phone and began crafting her own series of messages in hopes that Amelia’s panic attack had once again passed.
>Amelia, are you okay?
I just saw all your texts and heard your message.
I’m so sorry I wasn’t there for you. I guess my phone was on silent.
Kya waited for a response, but none came. She stood up and started getting ready to leave. After she was dressed she checked her phone again, and was frustrated to see there was still no response.
>Amelia, please respond. I am so sorry I wasn’t there.
I understand if you’re angry and don’t want to talk to me.
Please just tell me you’re okay.
As Kya walked to the bus station, she checked her phone again, and noted that there was still no response. She tried calling her friend, and it went directly to voicemail.
“Amelia, it’s Kya. Please, let me know where you are and how you’re doing.” She sighed deeply, pausing slightly before continuing. “I’m really worried about you.”
A city bus rushed around the corner and slowed near Kya. As it stopped inches from her feet, she was hit with the realization that she had to go to work. The bus that would bring her to Amelia’s apartment wouldn’t arrive for another ten minutes, and by that time, she would be late for work. As she looked at the bus driver, through the open door, she sniffled, trying to hold back her emotions.
Kya struggled to lift her foot and placed it heavily on the first step of the bus. Pulling herself onto the bus took a Hurculean effort as she slid one foot in front of the other until she sat in her regular spot. As soon as the door slammed shut, she felt like she was further abandoning her friend, but a selfish voice inside her mind reminded her that she would lose her job if she called in at the last minute