This is only part of the story! Read The Job Interview, First Day at Work and At Last They Meet first to find out what happens before this.
Ow my head. I wake up in a daze. Blinking a few times before the room gets into focus. This place does not look familiar at all. A TV, Xbox and a stack of DVDs at eye height in a dark teak finish cabinet with a bunch of black candles in a holder on top. This is definitely someone’s living room, but whose and how did I get here. I try to move, my head feels like it weighs a ton. Wherever I have fallen asleep last night, it’s warm, comfortable. And moving?!
I lift myself up and come face to face with the most beautiful thing ever. Cath’s eyes are still closed but she’s stretching. Well no wonder, she must be totally numb after having me fall asleep on her lap for… Well, not sure for how long.
She blinks a few times and smiles at me.
“Morning,” she says.
I’m dumbfounded and just stare at her. This can’t be real, am I even awake?
“Umm, do you remember anything?”
I shake my head, slowly, trying not to upset my sense of balance too much.
“You came by last night, I guess you found my note after having a bit much to drink…”
Flashes of last night are coming back to me, god how embarrassing. I was pretty angry and vaguely recall yelling at her. I rub the side of my head with my finger tips.
“Oh fuck. I actually said all those things? I’m so sorry…” I whisper, with my head in my hands.
I just sit still trying to remember what else happened when I feel her warm hand momentarily burning into my shoulder. My only hope of trying to disguise the fact that even the slightest touch forces my heartbeat into overdrive is to just hold my breath.
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll be right back,” she says while getting up.
I’m so deep in thought again that I only barely hear the door opening and closing behind me, followed by the sound of running water.
After I accused her of messing me about, what did she say? She was crying, I definitely remember that. Shit I made her cry, I’m such an idiot! And then… she came closer and held me, and… I wish I knew whether I’m remembering last night or a dream.
“No it can’t be…”
“What can’t be?” she says.
I hadn’t even noticed her coming back in. She sits down next to me again, legs folded and facing me. The thin fabric of her t-shirt clings around her just enough to show off her perfect, bra-less body. I force myself to look at her face instead, I wonder why she bothers with make up usually, she’s so beautiful even after just waking up.
“Did we…” I start, not daring to finish the question.
She gives me a wicked smile and says; “What are you hoping that we did?”
I feel blood rushing into my face and just stare at her speechless.
“OK, I’m being unfair,” she lets out a giggle, “we kissed. That’s it. I wouldn’t want to be accused of taking advantage of you while you’re out of it.”
Her face turns serious. “But I need you to be honest. If you don’t feel the same way about me after sobering up, and it was all a silly mistake…”
I’m just shocked. She kissed me. All these images in my head, they’re real, no dream. I can hardly catch my breath. What does it mean? Maybe she was just trying to get me to calm down, after all I was really riled up and might have scared her coming here like that.
She continues, “Look, I was being honest last night. I have wanted you all this time. But it seemed like you weren’t interested and I didn’t want to come off all desperate. I wanted a real chance…”
I’ve got so many questions, I don’t know where to begin.
“I didn’t want to be your rebound girl. I want you to like me for me…” She looks gorgeous even with that worried frown on her face, or perhaps even more so because of it.
It makes no sense to me, she is worried I wouldn’t like her. That she’d be a stand in for Julie. It’s laughable. I just don’t know what to say, none of this makes any sense. But the longer I stay quiet, the worse she’ll feel. I should reach out, make her understand that she has never been the problem.
I hold my breath again and force my hand forward, running my fingertips over her cheek, before putting my other hand on her shoulder. The moment I pull her towards me ever so slightly, she falls into my arms as though that’s where she’s wanted to be all along.
How did I do this? She’s the kindest person I’ve ever met, way out of my league in every way. And she’s hiding her face in my chest, when all I’ve ever done was be grumpy and horrible to her. I yelled at her last night, for what? For being nice to me when noone else even bothers to be polite, for trying to flirt with me. What a moron I am.
“I’m sorry,” I say finally, “I’ve been such a moody git all along. You didn’t deserve any of it.”
I hold her tighter, pressing my face into her soft hair. Her scent is intoxicating. She feels so small in my embrace, so fragile. She has let her defenses down in front of me, it’s obvious that this isn’t just an act. And anyway, why would it be when there is no audience. It’s only the both of us.
“Sure, I’ve been upset over Julie, but things changed the moment you walked into the office on your first day. You’ve been all I could think. I could hardly bear sitting next to you, I thought if I ignored you…” I say, “maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much that I couldn’t have you.”
She pulls back and looks at me, her eyelashes sticky with the remnants of tears as she blinks a few times.
“Well you have me now,” she says. A smile appears on her lips. She looks like an angel when she smiles.
“Are you hungry?” And smart as well.
“Yeah, but you don’t need to make a fuss…” I get up, looking for the bathroom. Luckily there aren’t many doors to choose from and the first I try happens to be the correct one.
I take one look at myself in the mirror and the same feeling of shock from before hits me again. I look and smell like I’ve been hit by an off-license delivery truck. Ugh, and I’ve just had my dream girl pressed into my chest, without showing the slightest hint of disgust. In fact it would seem she rather enjoyed it. Maybe she has a cold and her sense of smell is impaired.
I feel surprisingly OK after last night though, not the same terrible hangovers I’ve been having at work lately. The cold water feels so refreshing against my face.
There’s a knock on the door.
“Fresh towels are in the cupboard if you need them… and you’re welcome to use the bathrobe hanging on the hook behind the door.” Alright, so perhaps she doesn’t have a cold after all. Awkward.