I’m lying in bed. The room is hot and my mouth feels like a desert. I run my dry tongue over my cracked lips and reach out eyes still closed towards my nightstand for the bottle of water I know should be there. Finally my hand makes contact with the plastic bottle and I open it and hold it over my open mouth in a fluid motion. The warm water cascades into my mouth and I drink until the bottle runs dry.
I can now open my eyes. I have to use my fingers to peel them open and I blink trying to clear my contacts of the typical eye gunk and the makeup from the night before. It is bright even with my curtains shut and I close my eyes again. My head is pounding and I realize I am naked. Once again I open my eyes panicked about my surroundings.
It is my room and my house which I should have realized from finding the water but my brain isn’t thinking in lines but rather dashes. I stretch out my body and a sharp pain runs up my leg. Moving my covers I see the bruise and wonder at its appearance.
Then I hear it. The even sounds of another being’s breathing. Deep slow breathing marking the maker of the sound to be still deeply asleep. I move two pillows and a blanket to reveal a man beside me. His arm is thrown across his face and his mouth is open slightly. He looks peaceful.
I rise from my bed and do a quick scavenger hunt to turn up a pair of enormous sweats and an even bigger hoodie which I quickly pull on to hide my nakedness from the unconscious stranger who in all likely hood is already familiar with the scene.
I wander through my house attempting to avoid stepping on my felines as they weave around my ankles. I seek out my advil and pour four into my hand and dip my head under my kitchen faucet to wet my mouth enough to swallow my headache cure. Too bad the ibuprofen can’t remedy other things that aren’t right on this morning.
I then walk to my bathroom and look in the mirror. My reflection is strange. Transformed by the double gin and tonics I couldn’t put down the night before. My skin is clear and almost translucent with no traces of the redness that typically shows up around my nose and cheeks. My make up has been completely rubbed off but my eyes are bright and clear. My hair is tousled but still presentable and I smile at myself.
Good morning to me.
Then I see my purse on the counter and I rifle through it to find my phone. I open my contacts menu and search for the number I need and soon I hear the ringing as I wait to be answered. The man on the other end asks me where I want to be picked up and I give him my address quickly. I end the call and walk back to my bed and climb in.
The motion of the bed seems to shake the man awake and he rolls on his side and reaches out to hold me. Disappointment flickers in his brown eyes as his hands meet cloth instead of skin. He leans in to kiss my lips and I hold him back with my hand. He looks at me questioningly. Little does he know everything has changed.
I’m not the girl I was the night before when he met me. I am not full of charm and smiles. I don’t find his physical advances appealing. In fact more than anything in the world I wished that the twenty minutes I must wait for rescue could have been twenty seconds.
He opens his beautiful mouth to speak and I cut him off. I tell him he has ten minutes to collect his belongings as I have taken the liberty of arranging for him to make is way back to wherever it is he came from. He looks relieved though he tries to hide it. He didn’t want to do the awkward morning either. Had he been in any condition he might have been one that snuck out while I was asleep.
We hear the horn at the same time and he starts to walk towards the door. He looks back at me nestled in my bed and he grins. We both know that this is it. The end of the stolen time we carved for ourselves and miraculously we are both glad. I hate it when they are sad. I close my eyes and listen as my door closes behind him and the gravel crunches under the tires of the taxi.
I stand and remove my clothes and slide back into my microfiber sheets enjoying the feel of the softness on my bare skin. My stomach is still in knots and my headache, while it has faded, is still right there with me. None of this matters though. I’m finally me again. The girl from last night and all her frivolous ways and actions without thought of consequence has gone with the stranger.
I close my eyes and before I can even give thanks for the return of myself sleep takes me and the world goes blissfully black again.