Below is another excerpt from the book I am currently working on...
For the record, I am the first person to declare that I’m a hypochondriac. My Mother, an oncology nurse will be the next person to confirm this. There have been numerous moments in my life where I have truly and utterly believed that I am dying due to an unknown illness. I’ve lay in bed (in the midst of death) questioning how this can be it for me. Wasn’t there more? Don’t I deserve a few more decades? Don’t I? Don’t I? But, it wasn’t until my second day in Ios that I convinced myself I was a hundred per cent on my way out. And no, I was not just dying from any old cause – I was dying from a severe hangover.
I awoke early in the morning in his bedroom. It was 7am – how long did I sleep for? When did I go to sleep? Rick was still curled up in bed, looking far less attractive from the night before. I quietly found my clothes, slipped on my shoes and snuck out. As I made my way out of the hostel vicinity I realised I had no idea where I was. I didn’t have my phone on me (not that I even knew how to work Google maps) or my wallet. A minor headache was brewing, but I realised that at this time my cause of death would be from being lost in a Greek forest.
An hour later and I was still lost in bum fuck nowhere. There had been minor human interaction which partially nullified the possibility of dying alone in a Greek woodland – so that was comforting. However, the headache that had been developing was now in full force. Not only that, it was now being matched by a gurgly stomach and a general feeling of faintness. That’s it – the next person I see I will ask where the fuck I am.
Unfortunately, that didn’t occur for another 45 minutes when the sun had fully risen and was beaming down on me.
“Whe am I?” the words could hardly come out as I shuffled over to a stick thin blonde woman. She wore purple sandals and a backpack – the way she looked at me was how I felt yesterday with the other girls: fresh looking at the drunken plebs.
“Sorry?” It was an American accent.
“Where… are we?” I was puffing, I could hardly breathe. My brain was screaming HELP ME!
“Well, we’re in Ios of course!”
For fucks sake.
“I… am aware…” I was hanging on by a thread, “but where?”
“Oh!!! Sorry sweetie! I was a little confused by your question to begin with. We are… hang on… wait, where are we?” She was looking around, basically spinning in circles which did nothing but made me dizzy. She then did the smartest thing she had done in the past five minutes and pull out her phone, “okay, okay. The main strip is only 400 metres away. Head straight, then at the first right – turn there. That’ll get you on the main street.”
“Thank you,” I said. My body now heaving over and mouth dry.
“You’re very welcome, sweetie. God Bless!” She turned on her feet and went on her jolly way, disappearing into the glary sun.
25 minutes later, two wrong turns (her directions weren’t exactly accurate to be perfectly honest) I arrived outside mine and El’s room. Sweat was dripping down my face, my knees were weak and my breath was out of whack. I was dying.
I tried with the little energy I had to bash on the door and wake El up. But nothing. After ten minutes of patting the door and whispering “El”, she finally came and let me in. Bed! Dear, dear bed! I walked straight to it and collapsed without exchanging any words with El.
I awoke to complete blackness. Great, now I’d lost the ability of sight. I couldn’t hear any other person in the room, that’s when I checked the time and saw it was 3pm. I still felt weak and exhausted aka still convinced I was checking out of planet earth. I opened our bedroom door to see what was going on outside. It was warm, there was a nice breeze, it was a perfect day for a swim. I suppose I had to treat myself one final time. So, I slowly put my cossie on and went upstairs to the hostel exit to make my way slowly down to the beach for my last ever swim.
“Eh! Eh!” I turn around and a small woman was chasing me.
“Your friend – they at beach. They say me to say you that you meet.”
“Just down at this beach?” I asked. I wasn’t intending on getting a quad bike anywhere - I’d walk.
“Yes. Here I drive.”
Before I knew it, I was riding upfront in a white van speeding around the bends, almost falling entirely off the seat.
“You no look good. You look bad,” the woman turned to me. How could I tell that she probably wouldn’t see me again? And that her driving was indeed making everything worse. I couldn’t say that to someone who was doing me a favour.
“I’m fine”, I forced a smile.
We pulled up and from a distance I could see the five girls lying together on banana chairs. Realising I’d forgotten any form of footwear, the sand burnt the soles of my feet as I hopped along the beach to where they were.
“Here she is!” Annie laughed as I greeted them, “we were wondering if you were alive!”
I shrugged – she had no idea. “I honestly think I might be dying,” I said, speaking a little softer than usual (for effect).
“Oh shut up!” El piped up from her banana chair, “you’re just hungover! Get over yourself, babe!”
^^^ El to a tee.
I sat down on the extra banana chair (“you owe me 5 euros for the chair” – El) and closed my eyes, listening to the hum of the girls chatting. Five minutes in and a good looking waiter came up and offered me a drink. I shook my head. He didn’t know that he was talking to a near corpse (me) and the cause of death was from what he was holding in his hands – no, he wouldn’t understand.
“Okay, well I am going for a swim,” I said to the others as I walked down to the ocean.
“You haven’t even told us about last night!” Lunchy shouted as I walked away.
I dived into the ocean and swam and splashed around. Maybe I wasn’t dying? As I floated in the crystal sea, my hangover/cause of death dwindled and my appetite appeared. That’s another my nurse Mum tells me when I claim to her I am dying – “if you were dying you’d have no appetite and be gaunt little thing. You’re fine.” I went back up to the banana chair hanging out for the waiter to return for a second time so I could order food. Finally, on his arrival we all looked at the menu – the girls ordering a mixture of beer, chips, or ice blocks. But, never been one to go with crowd and naturally as one would when they are sitting on the beach in a bikini – I ordered a giant bowl of Spaghetti Bolognese with extra parmesan and scoffed it all up, dropping bits of mince on down my top.
Three hours later we returned to the hostel. Everyone began getting ready for another big night out. Me? What did I do, you ask? I did it all again, of course (besides, I was celebrating the fact that I hadn’t died!)