I swallowed them both; the pills I mean. They were as sour as ever; my lips puckered. It would be a while before my lips returned to normal. I spent that time getting ready for the day ahead. I got in the shower; I didn’t feel the water; a side-effect of the pills. 15 minutes later I got out; the water felt cold which meant the tablet had started kicking in so I was ready to eat breakfast.
I made the mistake of eating before I took my pills once, it was a horrible idea. The food melted in my mouth, literally. Apparently, S.U.P cause my spit to become extremely acidic, meaning I can’t enjoy late night snacks.
I ran to work, remembering to take my pills as I did so. It wasn’t that far only 18k, and I got there in half an hour. I sweated a lot; apparently, sweat helps calm down by the immune system. I got here in time for morning bagels; I had two.
I spent the rest of the morning sorting files. I may look like a gym junkie, but I haven’t been to a gym in my entire life; I was more of the library kind of guy. It doesn’t take long before I was done with most of the workload; I was good at that kind to go stuff.
At 12 o’clock I went to the breakroom to take my pills so that I could have an early lunch. I got out to bottle only to find that that it was empty; I had brought the wrong bottle.
I started panicking; I had never missed taking a pill since I was ten years old. It was a horrible experience; I hallucinated, I heard weird sounds, my head felt like it would explode. I have been avoiding repeating the same mistake ever since. The Sign of Underwhelming Physique (S.U.P) was apparently an immune system issue that I had. It was extremely rare and could not be cured, but there was a way to manage it; I would only manage if I took the pills for the rest of my life. And I was all out of pills.
The only way I could survive was if I managed to get home in the next 30 minutes. I packed my stuff and went to my boss, Bob (yes, that’s his real name). I asked him if I could go home early; I was feeling sick. Bob looked at me with grave concern; in the ten years that I had been working with the company, I had never taken a sick day. He said I could take as long as I needed and I should call him when I started feeling better. I thanked him as I left; I had 15 minutes left.
I hadn’t made it more than five kilometres when I collapsed on the floor. The S.U.P had started kicking in a while ago, but I had been ignoring it. This time it was a lot more painful than when I was ten years old. My eyes went grey as the hallucinations began again. I saw bones loitering the streets; skeletons where there used to be people. The buildings were gone, replaced with water and more skeleton frames floating through the air.
The noises were back as well; they pounded against my ears. Random barking and chirps, the voices of indistinct words, of random conversations; they all assaulted my ears.
I tried to stand up, but I staggered; my body felt extremely light. It didn’t feel too bad, to be honest except that my eyes were suddenly sensitive to the sunlight. I decided to see if I could walk; I wanted to get moving as soon as possible. I managed to take a couple of steps before stumbling and falling off the sidewalk. I felt the wind rush past my hair as the ground hurried to meet me.
Except I wasn’t falling, I was flying; as I opened my eyes, I saw the ground shrink back in the distance. The shock of this discovery (and probably the lack of oxygen) overwhelmed the pain flooding through my other senses.
It was only after a few minutes of staying up in the air with nothing but the winds, clouds and occasional bird flock to keep me company did I realised that I wasn’t hallucinating. The sounds I was hearing were just conversations miles away from where I was. The bones were just the x-rays of the people on the street. I tried focusing in and out; I could control it but just barely.
And of course, I put all the dots together. The pills weren’t there to help me live better; they were there to suppress my full potential.
And I would no longer be stopped.