This is based off a writing prompt “They were all together in one room and she felt tired and claustrophobic.” I took that and ran with it.

Becoming a Writer – Week Six

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After the wake everyone came back to Laramie’s flat. She wanted nothing more than to fall into bed for the next few days, but she plastered a solemn smile on her face, greeting person after person as they entered her home. The line seemed never-ending; soon they would have to start stacking people on top of each other. Finally she welcomed the last person and got to go sit down. But the room was too full. There were too many bodies pushing on her, not enough air for them all in that little room.

Laramie jumped to her feet; “I have to go.” Her voice was much too loud for the room full of whispers. She ran from the press of people, ignoring her aching feet, until she couldn’t go any further. Not caring that she was wearing her nicest dress, black was such a horrid colour anyway, she sat on the grass and stared at her hands. She felt numb, but not particularly sad that Greg had died. Even though they had been together for six years, they had grown apart. He got mean and drank too much alcohol. She became more and more dedicated to her work. They were planning to split up anyway, but not like this.

A hand on her shoulder jolted Laramie from her reverie. It was Sam, Laramie’s best friend. Laramie could see the pity in his eyes; he was the only person who knew why Laramie couldn’t cry. Everyone else thought that she had cried herself out in the four days since Greg’s death, that she just didn’t have any more tears in her. But Sam had been there through all the rough patches. He didn’t say anything when they became more and more frequent. He was her best friend and he didn’t judge her for anything.

“I told them that you needed to be alone for a little while,” Sam said, pulling Laramie to her feet.

She started back towards her flat. “Thanks.” She assumed he would leave too, but he followed her and started cleaning up. He told her to go relax for a bit, he could handle the clean-up. Eventually Laramie gave in and went to take a quick shower. She threw on some sweat pants and an old jumper before joining Sam in the living room again. He had cleaned the entire room while she was in the shower, and was now working on the dishes. She grabbed a towel and started drying them as he washed.

Laramie picked up a plate. “Sam, I… Thank you.” She could feel Sam’s eyes on her but she carefully dried the plate and put it away. They finished the dishes together and she grabbed the last of Greg’s alcohol from the freezer: a full bottle of Tequila.

Sam stopped her as she went towards the couch. “Laramie, maybe that’s not such a good idea for you tonight…” Laramie looked him squarely in the eyes. She could see the worry in his eyes along, with something else – protectiveness, maybe? But right then she didn’t care.

“Sam, you’re my best friend. But I feel like a piece of shit right now, and I need to get this alcohol out of the flat. You can stay with me if you want, but I am drinking this damn bottle!” Sam sighed, grabbed two glasses, and met Laramie at the couch.

She curled up in the corner of the couch, facing him, whilst he sprawled across the middle. They talked for hours about nothing in particular; the new film at the cinema, whether or not white is a colour, why it was getting dark. All the while Laramie was drinking to forget, and Sam was drinking to make sure Laramie didn’t drink the whole bottle herself.

 —

Laramie woke up the next morning in her bed, with absolutely no memory of how she got there. She couldn’t remember much from the previous night, other than that she and Sam had been talking. She vaguely realized that there had been some retching on her part. Had Sam had to hold her hair? She groaned and immediately wished she hadn’t. She was very suddenly aware of how awful she felt. Her head seemed to be stuffed with cotton and her body ached all over. She shifted, trying to decide if she needed to head towards the toilet, and saw two bottles of water and a few Advil tablets on her bedside table. Sam was always trying to take care of her.

There was a quiet tap on Laramie’s bedroom door. Sam inched open the door and saw her awake. “How’re you feeling Laramie?” She shook her head and pulled the blanket up to block out the light. Her day was going to be very interesting.

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