It was a perfect afternoon. I had a pedicure, went for a run, and then to yoga. When I got home I made myself some kraft dinner and ate in front of the television, periodically tapping at the computer. When I finished I took off my clothes, turned on the shower and stepped in. I slipped, catching myself at the last minute, the lotion left over from the pedicure my assailant. I steadied myself with one hand on the tile and the other to my chest. And I saw the aftermath:
Me, naked, in an unnatural position at the bottom of the shower, the water beating down, the lights glaring. Like this I would stay until sometime tomorrow. A friend I work with would worry, except she's slow to act. Where I would have been on it by 10:30 AM at the latest, she would wait, not sure if she should say something, call someone. She's never sure. Perhaps by the end of the day she would think to look in my contact list on the computer, call a few of my friends, my mother. Has anyone heard from Rachel?
"I know she's been sick.", she would tell them. "Maybe she decided to stay home and forgot to call in... "
Someone would call my friend who lives in my building, who keeps a set of my keys, to ask him to check in on me, only he's on holiday in Cuba. Someone would have to find the building superintendant and convince him to open the door for them. Upon entering my apartment they would find the television on, wads of kleenex on the coffee table, next to blisterpacs of Sudafed. My ibook would be waiting open to my ongoing word files. There would be my notebooks and journals filled with illegible handwriting and a pair of dirty underwear on the floor, crotch up.
They would hear the shower running and sigh with momentary relief and maybe even a hint of frustration.
"Rachel", they would call out to me, knocking on the bathroom door. "Rachel it's me, I was worried about you."
Only then they would find me in the bathroom, broken and bloated from the water.
And to think, it was such a nice afternoon.