“Never again” he said coldly, glaring at her with angry eyes. Quickly the girl who had just screamed in his ear replaced her smile with a look of fear. The look was justified, for his head was pounding and he was in a bad mood besides.
After she left, he slumped to the floor, his back against the wall, letting show the anguish that before was hidden. The headaches were getting worse. When they started, it was just a few hours every day after school. It was only a pressure in his head, like sitting at the bottom of the pool. Now, things were much worse. Instead of light pressure, more of a background annoyance, now the constant throbbing was all he could think about. His concentration was gone; always the pain was there. They lasted longer, too, until now he could not tell where one ended and the other began. Someone dropped a glass bottle in the hall, and the resulting cacophony escalated the pain almost to the limit of his tolerance. His vision began to pulsate, the walls of the room beating in and out, the light dimming and brightening in beat with his heart. He didn’t remember it ever being as bad as this. It was getting to be too much. A dull yet urgent moan escaped his throat, but nobody heard. After that, his breathing quickened to such a rate that speech was impossible. If someone had been looking, they would have seen the veins in his temples pulsating violently. He began to sweat, writhing on the floor, until he curled up into the fetal position. His heart was pounding, and he was long past the threshold of hyperventilation. All his muscles clenched, and a blood vessel in his brain hemorrhaged. His body began to shut down. Soon, all that functioned were his mind and his eyes. The pain was still there, but it was an echo, an afterimage. Except for vision, all contact with his body had been cut off. He was outwardly dead; there were no signs of his mind’s strife.
He watched helplessly as his corpse was discovered, watched the hands of the paramedic come down to check his pulse. He could imagine everything they were saying, talking about his chances. Only when he saw the black bag being zippered over his head did he realize he was dead. His mind began to race, panicking now, and he realized the truth. According to his biology class, the brain was among the first to die, but that did not account for the mind. He was trapped here, in a dead body.
He knew what was to come next, cremation. It was his family’s tradition to cremate their dead. He didn’t care, he wouldn’t feel it. He knew that then it would end, and only then. How long would he have to wait? His eyes had been closed; he had no senses to tell him of the passage of time. In a futile attempt, he began to count, to track the time, but how fast was he counting? The speed of thought was…he didn’t remember. This was unbearable. No longer could he take these thoughts, he knew he was going insane. An ironic thought, he decided to reason with himself how that could be possible, to pass the time. Finally, the answer was near, he knew it was close, and then…