She wanted it to hurt. Isla had told her to take it easy, but Ellie was a pro at blocking out good advice. Yesterday, she'd been certain that it was alcohol that had taken an ax to her head, splitting synapses with searing hot-white pain.
It was an easy explanation. New Year's Eve parties and shady dwellings thereafter. At least...she assumed. Ellie remembered the Wallace party, remembered the ball dropping and kissing one too many strangers on her way out.
She'd stumbled in her high heels and had taken them off. The gravel of the road dug into her bare feet as she cursed at the lost GPS connection on her phone. Why had it seemed like a good idea to walk home with that much alcohol and weed in her system?
Per her MO, she'd squinted at the screen, flipping through her contacts until she found the familiar name. A picture of the street sign and a quick text of 'help' were the last she remembered.
The next morning, she'd woken up to broken memories and a bump on the back of her head. Adam, her roommate and knight in shining armor, dutifully ignored her. Ellie wondered how bad it had gotten when 12 hours and two meals passed by and he showed no sign of forgiveness.
It had been a while since she'd blacked out so badly. Had she even drunk that much? As the handful of aspirins she swallowed dulled the pain receivers, Ellie began to focus on the events of the night before.
The more she focused, the more slippery the memories became. Images flashed in silvery waves, fading away the moment she took a closer look. The only thing that she could distinguish was a sign. It stood in front of an old mansion that Ellie felt like she'd seen a thousand times, but couldn't place.
By 11PM on Friday, all she could tell was that the word 'Blood' was on the sign. She'd given up in frustration then, resigned to waiting for the silent treatment of her roommate to end, so she could get a clue on what had happened.
When noon clocked by on Saturday, Ellie was certain her New Year's headache would last forever. A box of painkillers had been little help and Adam still wasn't talking to her. So by the time she got to the gym for her first workout of the year, Ellie wanted it to hurt. Luckily for her, she was just the girl for the job.