god, does she feel tired.
but it's the kind of tired that can't be cured with a little bit of sleep. she's not sure any amount of rest will rid her bones of the heavy feeling that's taken hold, the overwhelming sensation that keeps creeping back and weighing on her no matter what she does to try and shed it.
she knows she needs to pull herself together. she knows her mother will worry, that her brothers already are. she knows that pasting a smile on and fake laughing her way through endless lines of photographers and fashion shows and dinner parties is wearing her thin. she knows, she knows, she knows. but knowing and knowing what to do about it are two very different things and frankly she's entirely lost.
"CJ, we've got to go," Mike insists, hurrying around the room with a flurry of movement, only coming to a standstill when he's right in front of her, stopping short. She's seen that look before, slightly wide eyed concern, and she wants to roll her eyes but finds she can't work up the energy for the effort. "You look really pale. Like, really pale," her brother adds, an uncharacteristically serious tone coloring his voice.
It takes a moment for the words to truly register, and when they do they don't particularly make sense. she feels absolutely flushed, like her cheeks must be flaming from the inside out, but when she brings up her hand to check, brushing her fingers against her chilled skin, her brow furrows in even more confusion. "I really don't feel very well," she says, finally admitting it after saying nothing to anyone but her brother back in Texas, after spending days trying to simply make it through. And as if muttering the words aloud have cemented the reality, all at once it feels to cari as if the room is closing in, her head light and swimming, her chest practically too tight to breathe. "I think i need to just sit," she gets out, stepping forward toward the couch, though as soon as she moves she can feel the shaking of her hands and the weakness that spreads through her knees.
And then there's black.