A holiday party leads to a steamy conclusion.
And when at last the song had peaked, the alien voice shouted out its bleak nihilistic chorus, starkly at odds with the uplifting pulse of the music- 'Turns out you never existed at all, turns out you never existed at all...'
...and the club went crazy.
At the time it had felt fantastic. Like snowboarding down the face of the apocalypse, sharing the moment and laughing in the face of every possible disaster as they went.
Somehow it didn't seem quite so funny now though, and she couldn't get it out of her fucking head no matter how hard she tried. Around and around and around it went. Turns out you never existed at all...
She had noticed, after a while, that she was crying and that it was inexplicably the afternoon already. So she'd gone to see Sarah because she knew Sarah didn't work on Mondays and she didn't want to stay at home any more. And more than anything else because base instinct was the last shred of rationality she had left to hang on to; and it was screaming its insistence that this was the best thing she could be doing right now.
When Sarah heard the key in the door she looked up from her book, glancing across at Lizzie to make sure she hadn't been disturbed by the sound. Lizzie had fallen asleep a couple of hours ago, nestled on the sofa after they had run out of things to talk about. Toward the end they had turned to practicalities.
"What do you want to happen next?"
Lizzie had considered her words carefully before answering which was a good sign Sarah thought. It would have been all too easy for her to have just taken the opportunity to lash out in her unhappiness, but instead she had taken the question seriously and given it a proper reply.
"Well I can't go back, so I'll need to find somewhere else to live. And I suppose I'll have to start by telling Amy it's over."
"And you're absolutely sure about this. That there's no fixing it."
Again Lizzie gathered her thoughts. It sounded like a simple enough question but there was more to it than there seemed.
"No I don't think so. I don't think there's really anything there to be fixed. Maybe you had to be there Sarah but the message was fairly clear."
So Lizzie had accepted the offer of their spare room for a while, and Sarah had cleared out the mishmash of clothes, sports equipment, and other odds and ends which had been piling up in there, and she'd made up the bed. While she was doing that Lizzie had fixed them another round of tea. Then they'd returned to the sofa and laid back together.
Sarah had put some daytime television on in the background - an earnest couple approaching retirement age were being shown around some houses which they supposedly might want to buy, but which neither of them actually liked. It didn't really matter what was on - it wasn't there to be watched. It was only something to help fill Lizzie's head and stop her having to think so much. Eventually it had done its job - she had drifted off and Sarah had held her for a while as she snored.
Once she was deeply asleep Sarah had carefully extracted herself, and even in spite of her best attempts not to disturb her, the sleeping woman had muttered greedy noises of protest as she did so. Sarah placed a blanket over Lizzie to make sure she stayed cosy before turning the TV down to a quiet murmur. Then she had returned to her chair in the corner, tucked her legs under her like a cat, and settled down to read while keeping her watch over her sleeping charge.
And now Sarah put her book aside and stood.