Midnight Pub

11. The Stomachache


I lay back in bed, staring at the ceiling.

The pain came in waves, each one reminding me of how humane and weak I was. I hated weakness. But the pain was breaking me down. I'd lost all motivation to go out and do something. I hadn't even gone downstairs.

Suddenly, the door flung open, I jumped up, startled, then doubled over as the sharp pain shot through my intestines. Claire strode in in her usual no-nonsense manner. "Where have you been?" She demanded. "Jesus! Couldn't you knock at least?" I muttered. "No! And what the hell is wrong with you?" "My stomach's paining," I said.

"Lay back down. Let me see," she said as she helped me back down and lifted my tshirt.

"What are you doing?" I asked. "Checking your stomach," she answered, prodding my soft belly with her pudgy fingers. "Does it hurt? Tell me when it hurts." "Of course it hurts!" I wailed, "it was hurting before you starting kneading it!"

She hit my arm. "Oh stop it! You're such a big baby!" "I'm a baby?! It feels like I'm a pregnant woman having contractions!" I cried. "Okay, do you want to go to the hospital?" she asked, showing a little concern. "No. I've had these on and off for a while now. Could you hold me please?" I asked.

"What?" "Could you hold me please? A little comfort could go a long way." I looked up to her, hoping she would budge. And boy, was I wrong! "Krsnah," she straightened up," I don't know what game it is you're playing. But I'm not playing it. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got work to do." And she was gone.

I'd messed it up. Again. And this time, it was entirely my fault.

I skipped lunch. I didn't feel like going downstairs and stuffing myself. Perhaps my stomach needed a break. I wondered if fasting would help it recover.

I stared at my laptop on the table. I wasn't even feeling motivated enough to turn it on. Perhaps I should look out the window, I thought. I grabbed my pillow and propped it on the opposite end of the bed, and lay my head back, watching the blue sky outside. It was unusually sunny and bright today. Way to make me feel even more depressed. Now I'd be stuck indoors with this pain while the beauty in the world outside drifted away.

I thought about my newly acquired headquarters. I couldn't wait to open up some offices and get the ball rolling. The Mayor had taken us to a new apartment building on the other end of the city. Anne and I loved the place and reserved an apartment each, on the top floor, where we got to enjoy a breathtaking view of the waterfalls, and the jungle beyond. As exciting as the place was, it just didn't feel quite like home, yet. The apartments were great and all, but there was something missing. But I just couldn't figure it out, yet.

The Midnight Pub was lovely, and I had settled in quite comfortably. I didn't want to lose the room. But judging from the way things were going with Claire, I didn't think she'd let me stay permanently. Besides, she would've heard of my new property acquisitions in Nightfall City. Word spread fast around here. But we hadn't had a chance to talk since I returned from the city.

God! I wish this pain would stop! I thought. I was feeling miserable and lonely and needy. I wished someone could comfort me. Was I asking for too much? I wondered.