He just gave up on it. At least I was dressed. He scooped me into his arms, and my head lolled into his shoulder. The rest of me just hung limply.
There was the sense of motion, and the next thing I knew, we were downstairs, and he was trying to get me to stand up again. The hardwood floors felt too cold and slippery, and I couldn’t do it.
“Alice, you’re not even trying,” he sighed. His arm was around me, but my legs weren’t doing anything productive, so my weight was entirely on him. “Alice! Come on.”
“Just let me sit down.” I decided that would fix everything somehow, if I could just sit down that instant. I was trying to push away from him, so I could just drop to wherever I was at and sit down.
“We’re in the dining room. Why don’t you wait until I take you to the living room?” Jack said but I just kept pushing on him.
He was much stronger than me, especially considering my extreme state of weakness, but he must’ve decided that fighting me on this was a moot point. He helped lower me down. Once on the floor, I sat up for about a second and fell backwards. He caught me before I cracked the back of my head, and carefully set me down until I was lying.
“You’re just gonna sleep in the middle of the dining room floor?” He crouched over me, and I looked up at him blearily for a minute.
“I guess so. Since you wouldn’t let me sleep upstairs like a normal person. Why can’t I ever just be a normal person? Like… for once. I just wanna sleep when I’m tired. Why is that such a crime?” My eyelids were too heavy, and as soon as they fell shut, so did my mouth.
“Alice! I just want you awake long enough to talk to Mae.” He shook me, and while I was still awake, I was too tired to speak or move. “Alice!”
“You bit her.” I heard Mae’s voice coming from somewhere behind Jack, and it startled him. It would’ve me too, if I hadn’t mostly passed out already. “You finally did it. Is she okay?”
“That’s what I’m trying to find out,” he said nervously.
“I’m fine,” I mumbled, but I heard Mae’s footsteps and felt her next to me, pushing Jack out of the way. Her hands went to my forehead and my neck, and she made a clicking sound with her tongue.
“This happened awhile ago, Jack. Why are you just bringing her down now?” Mae asked.
“I don’t know. I fell asleep. I don’t know what I was thinking,” Jack told her apologetically.
“How is she?” That was Ezra, his deep accent rolling out. I couldn’t place where he was at. His voice almost sounded like it was coming from inside my head.
“She pale and cool and her heart’s beating fast, but I think she’s okay. We could give her a transfusion, but I don’t really think she needs it.” Mae started lifting me up off the floor, and my eyelids fluttered and I tried to push her off.
“No! Just leave me here. I don’t want to move anymore,” I said weakly.
“You’re on the kitchen floor,” she said.
“She’s really big into the floor apparently,” Jack muttered.
“Just leave her if that’s what she wants,” Ezra said, and I tried to tell him thank you, but I couldn’t.
Mae stood up and moved away from me. Jack asked Ezra what was going to happen now, and I heard the wonderful, deep boom of his voice but I couldn’t understand the answer. It was like listening to the adults talk on Charlie Brown.
I was quickly fading out, unable to concentrate enough to hear the most important conversation of my life. The lull of their voices put me to sleep.
Milo yelled, and that’s what woke me up. My whole body felt stiff and ached when I opened my eyes. Ezra had his arms around Milo, holding him back, and Mae stood in between Milo and Jack, trying to reason with him.
He kept screaming at Jack, demanding to know what he did to me and why he thought it was alright. Jack wasn’t saying anything. He just stood behind Mae, looking remorseful.
“Why would you even think that was okay?” Milo shouted, futilely fighting against Ezra’s arms.
“Milo, she’s alright,” Mae said. Her hand was on his chest, more to calm him down than to hold him back. He couldn’t break from Ezra’s grip. “She’s just weak and this is where she wanted to lay.”
“When Peter finds out, she’s as good as dead,” Milo said, and tears streamed down his cheeks. “You’re supposed to care about her so much and you just killed her!” Jack flinched and looked at the floor.
“Stop yelling,” I grimaced. Sitting up was difficult, and I saw Jack move to help me, but then he stopped and took a step back. Mae ended up leaving her post in front of Milo and helped me into sitting up. “My head hurts. And so does my neck. And every part of my body.”
“That’s from sleeping on a hardwood floor.” Mae rubbed my back. “Other than being sore, how are you feeling?”
“Tired. And a little a dizzy.” I ran a hand through my hair.
Milo stopped fighting against Ezra, but he kept an arm on him. Sniffling, Milo wiped at his face with the back of his arm and tried to pretend like he hadn’t been crying.
“Jack, go in the medicine cabinet in the main bathroom and get the vitamins,” Mae instructed, pointing down the hallway. “There should be some iron and B12.” He nodded without looking at me and went down the hall. “Milo, why don’t you get her something to take it with? Something with sugar. We have some Mountain Dew, don’t we?”
“I’ll check.” Milo took a step towards the kitchen, but Ezra held onto his arm.
“Can I trust you?” Ezra looked at him, and Milo nodded sheepishly. “Good.” He let go, and Milo hurried over to the fridge to get me a pop.
Jack appeared back with the vitamins and handed them to Mae. As soon as she took them, he took several steps back from us. He stood all the way on the other side of the room, crossing his arms over his chest and staring at the floor.
Milo came back in with a Mountain Dew, glaring at Jack as he handed it to me. I couldn’t open the can because I could barely do anything, so Mae did it.
Crouched next to me, she actually held me up with her hand on my back. She handed me a couple pills, and I greedily drank the soda. It tasted better than I remembered it tasting, which I thought was odd.
“Feeling a little better?” Mae pushed the hair behind my ear and watched me closely.
“I guess,” I shrugged, but I only felt slightly more alert. “Why did you guys even have vitamins? You don’t eat.”