The warm wool blanket clings to my cold flesh. There is no noise. No sound. Just silence. Silence consuming me. I hold my arms under the cover and scrape my fingernails against my flesh, my raw, scarred flesh. I can't feel anything. Numbness is the feeling, the emotion, the comfort. I cling to it as a small child clings to it's mother's skirts.
A hand is placed on my shoulder. It is comforting and safe. I stare back into a kind elderly face, a woman's face that seems to be a beam of sunlight. She sits down at the small wooden kitchen table. The table has scratches and indents as a result of the various years of use. The scratches are like birthmarks and scars over the dark wooden surface. I place my cold, sweating hands on the exterior of the table. I lift my hands to see my fingerprints still remaining, and then they slowly fade away. Just like me, into a dream world. I'm no longer here. Just like those evaporating fingerprints, simple smudges that were only meant to last for a short amount of time. The kitchen is small and cozy. The table where I sit slouching is positioned under a large window. The curtains are white with navy stripes running vertically to the floor. Beyond the table are light wooden cabinets. The counters are an ivory white and cleaned to a dim glitter. Not one crumb, not one sign of a human presence except for a steaming pot of hot coffee. The refrigerator is barely viewable with all the posted notes and little messages attached to its exterior. Magnets of all color, shape, and size stick to the metal. I drift off into the whirl of colors and images. I'm not here.
"Dear? Are you okay?"
A small, crippled hand waves slowly in front of my ashen face, bringing me reluctantly back to reality where this old woman sits in a wooden chair facing me. A look of concern fills in her wrinkles and dampens her frown. An old man, I'm guessing the old woman's husband, steps over next to his wife. He's holds a cup of steaming coffee in his hand. He hands it gently to me. I look into the navy blue cup filled to the rim with coffee. I bring the cup to my mouth and sip ever so slowly so as not to get burnt. The elderly couple watches me in silence. When I've drained half the cup and place it on the table they begin to ask me questions.
"Do you have a place to stay?"
I shook my head slowly yet firmly. "I live with my dad. I'll call him to pick me up. Is it alright if I use your phone?"
The woman shakes her head at me granting me permission to use their phone. I step into the hallway leaving the couple in the kitchen to make my phone call. I pick up the receiver and listen to the dial tone for what seems like eternity. I cautiously dial the six-digit number and the area code that will send me back to hell. The phone rings five times before my father picks up. His voice is groggy and full of sleep. I woke him up. Big surprise. He probably didn't even notice I wasn't home last night.
"Hello?" He asks after a couple of minutes.
"It's me, Iavine. I need...you to pick me up."
My father groans with frustration but quickly asks, "Where are you at? What's the address?"
Thankfully just as my father asks, the old woman comes into the hallway holding a white slip of paper with the address on it.