It’s Tuesday, and where is Cassie you’re saying – I hope you’re saying anyway. Yesterday I was struggling with a sinus infection and just couldn’t get my mind to produce a single creative thought. Today, thanks to the miracle of antibiotics I’m a much healthier creature and can think again. So, here is Cassie. Last week we left her in a black world after she was knocked out, so I’d better go rescue her from that.
“Cassie, Cassie. Are you with us?”
I groaned and tried to open my eyes. For some reason they were uncooperative, preferring to watch instead the back of my eyelids.
“Cassie, come on, open your eyes.”
Was that Matt’s voice? Wasn’t I out with Saffron? Why was Matt here? Even as I wondered the events of the evening came back and I remembered that thudding sound inside my head, followed by nothing. Where was I now? Curiosity stirring I sent a stern message to my eyes which reluctantly obeyed and opened.
Matt’s face took up most of my vision, concerned brown eyes staring down at me. Behind him was Saffron and what looked like a horde of people, including the handsome man who had unintentionally started this. I put my hand to the side of my head, panicking slightly when I felt moisture. Was I bleeding?
“It’s not blood Cassie, it’s the drink that was in the glass. That girl tried to hit someone with it and missed, hitting you instead. You were knocked out for a few minutes.”
I stared at Matt, not understanding. “A glass knocked me out? What did it have in it, a brick?”
“She’s got a good arm, but you lost your balance and fell, hitting the corner of the table, that’s what knocked you out. Well that or the floor.”
I thought back, the last I remembered was what I now realized was the glass hitting me. I didn’t remember falling. I looked around, realizing that I was lying on the floor with my head in Matt’s lap. Feeling self-conscious I tried to sit up, grateful to grab onto the hand of the handsome stranger when it appeared in front of me.
Once upright the world swirled uncomfortably, making me dizzy. Matt grabbed me from behind just before my knees buckled. Wrapping his arm around me he helped (carried) me to the nearest seat and got me settled before turning his attention to the blonde woman, who I now realized was being restrained by his partner.
“Assault is a serious charge miss. You’re lucky this lady didn’t suffer worse injuries. As it is she will have to go to hospital to check for a concussion.”
Hospital? Concussion? I tried to get Matt’s attention to tell him that I didn’t need to go to hospital, but he was in police officer mode and was staring sternly at the blonde who was staring defiantly back. I looked around the tableau. With my apparent recovery most of the crowd had melted away, leaving the blonde, Matt and his partner, the owner or manager of the restaurant (being unconscious for the previous part of the proceedings I was a bit hazy about which), the very tall woman who still seemed upset about her drink which I supposed was now mostly in my hair, the handsome stranger, Saffron and what I thought must be the barman. And the cute waiter I realized, standing next to Saffron and looking unsure – probably about whether it was ok for him to go I supposed.
Saffron came over to me. “Cassie, are you ok? I’m so sorry about all of this. We should have gone home hours ago.”
“What, and miss all this excitement? Nah, how often do you get to be abused by a random woman about a stranger she believes is her boyfriend?”
“He’s a stranger? You mean she doesn’t even know him?” Saffron stared over at the handsome stranger, who had struck up a conversation with the tall woman.
“Oh they know each other, he said they went out for a while but he broke it off because she was so possessive.”
I looked across to where Matt and his partner were in the process of arresting the woman. The owner/manager/whatever was looking on in satisfaction.
“Yes, I feel sorry for his next girlfriend.”
Saffron was still staring at the handsome stranger. “I think he’s found her.”
I followed her gaze, noticing for the first time how animatedly they were chatting, and how close they were standing to each other. “Oh yes, well then the evening was not totally wasted.” I looked to where the waiter was still standing irresolutely. “You seem to have an admirer as well.”
Saffron sighed. “He’s cute isn’t he? And he was great fun to dance with.”
“I’m sure, and he is very cute.”
She sighed again. “But I’m married so he’s out of bounds.”
Her tone was doleful, causing me to give her my full attention. I noted with alarm the tears about to spill from her eyes and searched the table in vain for a paper napkin to offer. Saffron could be a morose drunk once the manic dancing had worn off. The current events had probably sped up the process. As I searched I noted absently that parts of the table were kind of doubling up in my vision. While weird this was not unusual when I drank too much. Did I say I have very little tolerance to alcohol?
The handsome stranger came over, very tall woman at his side. “Sorry about that, I should have done something about her sooner.”
I shrugged. “Nothing you can do with an obsessed person, she probably needed something like this to bring her to her senses.”
He smiled, a slightly sad smile. “I hope so, for her sake.”
He held out his hand. “I’m Tyler anyway. Nice to meet you, unconventional, but nice.”
I shook his proffered hand. “Cassie, and this is Saffron.”
Tyler and Saffron shook hands and exchanged rueful smiles. The very tall woman meanwhile introduced herself to me as Alison, before exchanging contact details with Saffron. Tyler handed me a business card which prompted me to wonder where my bag was so that I could reciprocate. Looking vaguely around I spotted it lying on the bar. Seeing the direction of my eyes Tyler went to retrieve it for me and I thanked him before reaching into a pocket where I kept a supply of business cards. He studied it with interest before putting it into his wallet while I put his into my purse. I would look at it tomorrow, tonight my eyes did not want to focus.
Tyler and Alison left, I checked Saffron and saw that she seemed to be more cheerful. The cute waiter had gone too, and as I watched Matt’s partner took the blonde woman off, presumably to book her for disturbing the peace, or assault, or whatever. Suddenly, I didn’t care. I was feeling sick, really sick, run to the bathroom sick, but when I tried to stand my legs wouldn’t hold me.
“Cassie, are you ok?” Saffron came over, holding me up when I couldn’t stand on my own.
“I don’t feel so good Saffie, I think I need to throw up. I can’t do that here!” How embarrassing would that be, to barf all over the floor in front of Matt and the others.
“Come on, the bathroom’s just over here, hold it in for a bit longer.”
With no further words Saffron half carried, half dragged me to the bathroom where I was, as they say, thoroughly and comprehensively sick. She held my hair off my face, rubbed my back and murmured soothing words in my ear as I brought up everything I had consumed for the last two months it felt like. When I was finally done she got a damp paper towel and patted my face with it, before proffering a water bottle. I had no idea where that came from but I drank the water with gratitude. This is why she is my best friend.
“Can you walk?”
I pulled myself up from the floor, standing on shaky legs while I assessed the probability of walking unassisted.
“I don’t think so.”
Saffron wrapped her arm around me and helped me out of the bathroom. Matt must have been looking for us as he came straight over.
“Right, hospital for you.”
I waved a hand at him in denial. “No hospital, I just need to go home.”
Matt sighed. “You were knocked out, you can’t walk, you just threw up if I guess correctly, and I bet you have a killer headache. Probably you have double vision too. You’re concussed Cassie, you need hospital.”
I planted my feet as firmly as I could, which was about as firmly as if I was standing on a sliding sand hill. “I couldn’t really walk that well before I was knocked out, and I was having trouble seeing, and I probably would have thrown up. You know I can’t hold my alcohol.”
Matt narrowed his eyes at me. “Actually I didn’t know that, I’ve never seen you really drunk. Well, nonetheless, you need to be checked out. I think your symptoms are from concussion, not from drinking. Or maybe both, but anyway I’m taking you to the hospital.” He looked at Saffron. “Do you want to come with us, or go home?”
“Come with you of course! Let’s go.” Forgetting that she was holding me up Saffron moved away to collect her bag which was sitting on one of the tables. Without her stabilizing arm I slid to the floor before Matt could reach me. He tut tutted, scooped me up into his arms and carried me out. I turned my head to see if Saffron was following and she gave me a thumbs up, a grin and a wink. Clearly, she thought it was a romantic gesture. I rolled my eyes at her, which made my headache worse. Giving up on the whole thing I tucked my head onto Matt’s shoulder, just under his jaw, and focused on not throwing up on his uniform.