What did I do?
I asked myself this question many times in the privacy of my own mind, but I coud get no answers. I was tired and was having a headache. I felt as if my body had been thrown across the room multiple times and I thought of the cadaver. What was the lesson in death that it wanted to teach me? Was this it? Had I died and been resuscitated by the Rabbi, or the Vice Rector, as I should call him? He was a doctor after all. Had he performed a miracle last night?
I couldn’t understand the day either. Vivienne told me that it was Sunday, and I was mortified to consider the possibility that I had spent the week passed out or in a drunken coma or something. I was afraid of what I would have to tell my father. I had sworn to the old man that I wouldn’t drink, but here I was, probably a week into a drunken sin.
I couldn’t get anything out of Vivienne either. She sat in a corner by the window and watched the rain ( it was raining again). Every time I caught her eye, she just smiled benignly like some nun attending a charity of lepers. I wondered what she knew and I wanted to know what she did. Whenever I looked into her eyes, (green and a little large, but mesmerizing all the same), I felt a twinge of pity and humour. I felt my sense of shame rise. What had this girl seen me do?
An hour passes in uncomfortable silence. I have lost a week of my life, drunk and like an alcoholic, I can’t even remember anything. I would have to write a letter excusing my absence from the University, and I would have to apologize to my father, get shouted at by my mother and swallow it all. The shame would live with me for ever.
The bell rang and Vivienne went to open the door. A few seconds later the landlord entered followed by a large man, dressed in a black overcoat and black hat. He wore a benign smile on his face and walked over. I rose to shake the Vice-Rector’s hand. He grasped it firmly “Well, your grasp is still firm, so there’s nothing to worry”, he said, motioning me to sit on the bed. He carried out some routine inspections, and then straightened up.
“I’m sure you’re upset with a few things. You need to be told a few things, Vivienne and her father will fill you in with the details. Don’t take so hard on yourself.”
“Vice-Rector, I’ve missed a week’s worth of classes, how am I going to excuse myself?”, I ask. I was ashamed to no end.
“I wouldn’t worry about that m’boy. You haven’t missed anything. It’s only been a day.”, The Vice Rector rose and left the room. A few seconds later the door slammed shut. Vivienne and her father returned to the room. I was handed a bowl of soup by Vivienne, which I took gratefully. I was famished.
The landlord settled himself and motioned for Vivienne to sit. I was going to be told a story in which I was the protagonist, but not the narrator.