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Haze of Oblivion - second excerpt

"Haze of Oblivion", by Bloodwitch Luz Oscuria
"Haze of Oblivion", by Bloodwitch Luz Oscuria

This is the second excerpt from my novel, "Haze of Oblivion", in its version translated by Andreea Mirică.

Julien wakes me up on this Wednesday that I can already picture as a sunny one, given the rays of sunshine which are already coming through the window. The day is breaking earlier and earlier now; spring is here. Summer is fast approaching, and with it the vacation awaiting me. I decided to go away for at least two weeks somewhere, anywhere far from the hubbubs of Paris. It’s always at the last moment that I decide where I’m going, the place being shaped up by my momentary caprice.

Like all those evenings when I don't go directly to pick up my son before returning home, it’s always because of some fleeting fancy. Even though Dr Tullier explains to me at length that I should plan these kinds of trips, rather than let myself go with the flow, and although I know he’s absolutely right, I never do. I just have to see him tonight after work.

Suddenly, I realize that Julien doesn’t seem to be in the room. I sit up in bed, and look around. No, he's not here. What time is it anyway? I retrieve the phone from my bag, which Julien took care to put right next to the bed. 7 am. I should be able to get to work by 8.00 am if I leave in half an hour. Especially as, this time, I don't have to drop William off at Claire's, since he's already there.

My clothes are all on a chair a few feet from the bed. I still look around, making sure I'm on my own, before deciding to get up and get dressed quickly. I don't remember taking my clothes off last night. Would Julien have done that while I was asleep? No, he wouldn't have dared. Still, I can't ask him because I don't know where he is.

I’m now up and dressed, ready to grab my bag and leave for work. I will call Julien back later today to thank him for being so welcoming the day before, and for taking care of me. I wish I could have waited for him, but I didn't want to be late. I haven't forgotten that the day before I didn’t get back to work all afternoon.

Trouble is, the door is locked. I’m a prisoner! How am I going to get out of here? Panic quickly takes hold of me, at a surprising speed, even if I'm supposed to be used to this sort of awkward situation. I hope Dr Tullier can give me some advice on how to deal with this. I have so much to tell him… and still have to be able to make it to my appointment! What if I can't get out of here?

Suddenly, I hear a key turn in the lock. Julien is surely coming back. It makes me want to go and hide somewhere, yet that's silly since there is no hiding place here, and I'm not going to hide under the bed, I would look ridiculous. So I remain standing, frozen, and can’t help but wait for the door to open, and my slayer to find me standing right in the middle of the room.

- Hey, you’re awake? I went to get some croissants.

He had gone to buy something for breakfast. I wasn't expecting that, so much that I couldn't think of anything to say and just stood there, with my mouth half open, facing him motionless. He starts to laugh. I imagine the expression on my face says it all. I really feel stupid. Fortunately, he doesn't leave me in this awkward situation for long, and invites me to sit down at the coffee table, which I do without hesitating. What a curious waking up…

- Did you sleep well?

I nod before taking the croissant which he gently hands me and biting into it. I'm so hungry. On the other hand, it’s impossible to remember what we did last night. I don’t dare to ask him, for fear of learning what may have happened. I was hoping I could make a friend of him. I'm afraid things have gone further than they should have.

We talk a little while we eat, and the time to leave arrives so fast. It’s already 7.20, and I have to be at work in 40 minutes. I apologize to Julien and quickly take my leave, explaining to him that I can't afford to be late this morning.

He asks me to call him back when I finish work this evening. I tell him I will, although deep down I'm not sure I want to. I’m a little taken aback by the fact that I can’t remember what happened during the night. And I blame myself for the probable slippage that must have taken place. I’m decidedly unable to control myself. Having said that, if he asks me to call him, it just means that he must like me. But this is not the kind of relationship I would have wanted. And I wish I hadn't forgotten the night I just spent, just to know what to expect.

Now I must hurry, because I’m almost late. The tube finally arrives at the platform. I get on, the doors closing in front of me before I sit down into one of the few free folding seats, the classic seats all being occupied by people who, like me, are commuting to work. I dread the moment when I’ll have to go to my employer's office to justify my absence for the whole afternoon of the day before. ‘Come on Cat’, I tell myself, ‘take a deep breath, you’re seeing Doctor Tullier tonight; it’s going to do you the greatest of goods.’

When the tube stops at the platform of the station where I have to get off, I rush outside. It's past 8, and I'm late. And what’s more, I'm not going to be able to stay in the office until 7.00 this evening to catch up on yesterday's work, because I have my appointment with Dr Tullier at that time. My boss knows that, so technically he won't bother me about it.

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