New York City: February 1999

The noise kept going in her ears. It was as though a swarm of bees were flying around her, drowning everything else out.

Shapes and figures kept flying in and out of focus. Shadows and sounds swam around her, but it was like every sense was dulled; her vision was blurry and her ears were full of buzzing. She felt completely numb all over. She knew people were talking about her, peering at her, telling her to sit or stand, shoving her, shaking her and, guiding her in one direction or another. Yes, she knew all of it was happening, at least, on some level. Still, none of it seemed real. Nothing fit. Nothing was okay.

"Zoe." She heard a voice directed at her. She did not know what it had said, but she felt her body turn to respond. "Zoe, it's time for us to get going."

She felt herself nodding, and then she knew she was moving. Still she felt stationary and numb. In short, she felt nothing.