Author: the-lovely-anomaly PM
We all have crosses to bear. DISCONTINUED.Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural/Drama - Cody M. - Chapters: 4 - Words: 9,727 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 06-01-12 - Published: 04-27-12 - id: 8065148
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It was six minutes past midnight and Cody Martin stood naked in front of his bathroom mirror, examining gashes in his forehead—linear grooves etched into his skin, extending from his hairline to his eyebrows, crisscrossing, burning. Bailey was outside the locked bathroom door, rapping on it, twisting the knob that wouldn't budge, yelling at Cody to let her in. Cody applied hydrogen peroxide to the cuts he could see, but the back of his head was stinging also. He touched his fingers to the space right below his crown, feeling warm, goopy blood clumping his hair.
"Cody, come on!" Bailey was getting pissed now. "Open the damn door!"
Cody washed his blood-stained fingers and then did as she said. It took a moment for him to register the sight of her. Her eyes were wide with anger and worry, her face streaked with blood—his blood, the droplets that had fallen from his forehead to hers and had trailed down the side of her nose when she bolted up.
She had put on his shirt when he ran away. She was wearing it now, though her legs were bare. And he highly doubted she'd taken the time to put on panties.
"What the fuck, Cody?" she gasped. "What the fuck just happened?"
Cody backed away from the door, overwhelmed. "I'm not sure," he replied.
She reached for him, her hand aiming for his sliced forehead, and he backed up further. "What is this?" she asked.
"Is there something you're not telling me?"
"No," he said.
"You need to see a doctor."
"And what would I say? That my head just mysteriously started cutting itself while I was in the middle of a fuck? 'Cause that sounds real believable."
"I dunno, but you need to say something."
Cody sighed. "If I see a doctor, you know what he'll think?"
Bailey shook her head but decided to humor him. "What?"
"He'll think I did this to myself, and he'll put me in a nuthouse."
Bailey looked down for a moment, biting her lower lip in contemplation. "I still think you should chance it. Shit ain't been right with you for months. Ever since you came back, you haven't been yourself. I'm not saying you belong in a nuthouse, but I think it's time you stop acting like you're okay and talk to someone."
"I'll be fine." Cody's voice was cold as he turned towards the shower. "You better leave."
Bailey scoffed. "Yeah, figures you'd shut me out," she said bitterly.
"I'm not shutting you out. I just need to be alone right now."
Cody stepped into the shower and closed the curtain. As he turned the faucet on, he could hear Bailey walk out of the bathroom and slam the door behind her.
He only mildly soaped himself. Instead he watched as the blood from his hair swirled down the drain with the water. His whole head was on fire with pain. Tears pooled his eyes. He closed them. Breathed. Breathed again. Then reopened them and bent down to turn the water off.
He pulled back the curtain, grabbed a towel from the towel rack hanging above the toilet, dried himself off, and then wrapped the towel around his wounded head like a turban. He didn't bother getting dressed. His head was throbbing and he felt as though a huge weight had been placed on his shoulders.
He hobbled over to his unmade bed where he and Bailey had been making fast and rough love just moments before, and plopped down. He sprawled out across his sheets, sucking in long, deep breaths. His fingers found their way to his forehead, gliding over the marred skin. It stung, but he ignored the pain. He thought about what Bailey had said, about him not being himself ever since he came back. She'd been right, though she probably thought he was suffering from post traumatic stress. His trip to the Middle East hadn't exactly been pleasurable. But he had never told her about the man with the missing eye—the man who had "blessed" him and then fallen to his knees, sobbing and muttering unintelligible words.
Cody had accepted the blessing out of respect, but now he wondered if he should have. For several nights following it, he had been plagued by a series of nightmares depicting earthquakes, thunderstorms, erected crosses with no one hanging on them, and statues crying blood. He wasn't exactly a superstitious person, but these nightmares were recurrent and vivid, and they left him with an ominous feeling that he couldn't shake.
Drifting off to sleep, his towel turban still encasing his burning head, he experienced one of those nightmares now. In this one he was standing on a grassy hilltop, staring at the horizon, when an invisible force knocked him onto his back. Beneath him, the grass receded into the ground, leaving behind a cracked and dry desert land on which his body burned and burned. The sky above had turned from light blue to blazing red.
Cody woke up panting and sweating, his forehead throbbing even more than before.
It was time for a drink. He forced himself off the bed, shuffled over to the kitchen section of his apartment, and opened his fridge. There was some Vodka left over, as well as some orange juice. Just enough for one substantial drink. He took them both out, mixed them in a glass, and then threw the empty Vodka bottle and orange juice carton away and sat down at his kitchen table.
The phone rang just after his first gulp. He jumped. "Son of a bitch," he said under his breath. He decided to let the answering machine get it. He didn't want to move. Too much work, too much pain. His head felt swelled. A tension headache was on its way.
"Codes, I know you're there. Pick up." It was his brother, Zack. He sounded like he needed something. "I'm gonna keep calling until you pick up. I'll flood your inbox if I have to."
Cody groaned as he pulled himself to his feet and shuffled over to his phone. When he answered, his tone was annoyed. "What do you want, Zack?"
"Well hello to you too, grouch," said Zack.
Cody waited for him to state what he wanted. It wouldn't take long.
"Listen, I'm about to go on a date, and I really gotta ask a favor."
"You need money."
"You know me so well."
Cody rolled his eyes. "How much?"
"You don't have thirty bucks?"
"Nah, I overdrew my account again."
"Jesus Christ, Zack. If we weren't twins, I'd swear we weren't related."
"I love you too, bro." There were kissing sounds on the other end, giggles. Cody faintly heard Zack whisper "Not now, babe" to his latest lady before continuing over the phone. "But, yeah, I'll get the money back to you as soon as I get paid."
"Sure," Cody said. He could have argued, but he wasn't in the mood. Or in the condition.
"Great. So when should I stop by and get it? The date's at seven."
"Whenever you want. I'll leave it on the kitchen counter."
"Are you not going to be there?"
More kissing sounds. More giggles. Zack chuckled. "Hold on a sec," he told his girl. Then over the phone to Cody, "Where're you going?"
"Just take the money."
"Is everything alright?"
There was a long, awkward pause. Cody sensed that Zack didn't believe him, but he didn't say anything. And Zack chose not to say anything either. "So, like, I haven't seen you in ages, man. What gives?" he asked instead. Cody recognized the question as a round-about way of asking him how he was.
He shrugged, even though Zack couldn't see him. "I dunno. Been busy."
"How are things between you and the Hay Bail?"
"But you're not?"
"I'm fine too. We're both fine."
"Look, Zack, I gotta go."
"Is something wrong?"
"No, nothing's wrong. I just gotta go."
"Alright, well, we should hang out sometime, you know?"
"Yeah…we should." Pause. "Have fun on your date."
"You know I will."
Cody was the first to hang up.
After he finished his screwdriver, he went to his room, got dressed, took a twenty-dollar bill and a ten-dollar bill out of his wallet, placed them on the kitchen table under his empty glass, and then locked himself in the bathroom and stared at the gashes on his forehead again.
He was still in the bathroom when Zack came by for the money. He heard the front door open and didn't make a sound. Zack took the cash and left, and Cody continued to stare in the mirror at his disfigured face.
Cody was in bed again. His head didn't throb as much, but he had a fever. The back of his neck was sweltering. He turned his pillow over, and then turned it over again when it got so hot he couldn't stand it. He yanked his blanket off, then pulled it back up when he started shivering. He wanted a cold washcloth but felt too weak to move.
He shifted in and out of sleep. Nightmares disturbed him. In one he was desperately trying to make it out of a massive thorn bush, every move he made sending prickly bursts of pain through his skin; in another he stepped on a long, bent, solid black nail while wandering in a desert and trailed blood as he looked for help; in another he was chased by a talking snake that kept telling him to follow it.
He barely heard the knock on his door, but Bailey's voice was crystal as she shouted his name. He didn't answer. He couldn't. His tongue was heavy and his lips felt glued shut. All he could do was listen and linger somewhere between sleep and wakefulness.
"Is he alright?" she asked after a few moments. Her voice was louder now.
A cold hand touched his forehead. "He's got a fever," declared a male voice he didn't recognize. "But I see those cut marks."
Cody forced his eyes open. A middle-aged man with graying hair and bifocals met his gaze. "Morning," he said. "I'm Dr. Matthew Gorman. Your girlfriend brought me here. You want to tell me how you got those cuts on your forehead?"
Cody clenched his teeth. Bailey had went and gotten a doctor. He'd never forgive her for that.