I started writing this in my head several months ago and eventually got around to getting the words down somewhere. Then I got it finished and have been sitting on it for a few weeks. I don’t know why I’m more nervous about posting this than I was about The Night I Lost My Cherries, posting pictures of my hair throughout the years or even about the time my guts nearly exploded. Anyway, here goes nothing…
He opened his eyes and blinked until everything came into focus as he ran his tongue over his dry, cracked lips.
It took a few seconds for him to realize the ceiling he was staring at wasn’t his own. He slowly turned his head toward the person lying next to him. All he could see was long, blond hair and a bare shoulder from the woman facing away from him.
He lifted the covers, saw they were both naked and tried to figure out how he got in this situation. Although he had a pretty good idea about what they had done, he had no clue where they met or who she was.
Just the thought of what he may have done made him sick to his stomach as he began sliding toward the edge of the bed, scanning the floor for his clothes. When he stood up he noticed the pounding inside his head, but continued scooping up his belongings and found his way to the door.
He had his jeans pulled on and was buttoning the fly as he walked out of the bedroom into the hallway, trying to find the exit route. He made his way down the hallway, picking up his t-shirt along the way, past a bathroom and into the living room where he found his boots. He could tell this was a girl’s apartment by all of the candles and decorating.
“Where the hell are my damn keys?” he muttered to himself while scanning the bar separating the kitchen and living room.
He saw an empty bottle of Jack Daniels on the counter and vaguely remembered drinking in a parking lot, but for the life of him he couldn’t remember where.
He started looking on the counter, careful not to move anything because he didn’t want the blonde to awaken. He shuffled his feet and felt something against his toes. When he looked down he saw his keys.
He almost lost his balance just bending over to pick them up and briefly thought he probably shouldn’t be driving now, but there was no way he was staying here, wherever that was.
After quietly unlocking and opening the door he was greeted with what was the brightest sun he ever remembered. It felt as the light was actually piercing the backs of his eyes. He squinted, scanned his surroundings and quickly found what he was looking for.
Holding his hand over his eyes to block the sun as he walked toward his Jeep, which was parked partially in the driveway and the lawn. He climbed inside where he saw an empty fifth of Jack in the floorboard and a red thong around the gear shift. He tossed them both out into the yard.
He racked his brain to try to remember how he ended up in this situation, but the sunlight and throbbing headache kept him from recalling any details. He had never been so happy to find his sunglasses, which were sitting on the dash, and slid them on as he started the engine. He threw it in reverse and started backing out of the driveway, hoping the sounds of the engine didn’t awake his new blonde friend.
“Please don’t let her be standing in the doorway,” he thought.
If she was he never knew it because he wouldn’t let himself look back.
It felt like it took forever for him to navigate his way out of that neighborhood, but he eventually found himself on familiar roads. He briefly thought about heading back to the last place he remembered being before he woke up, but decided to head to the last place he wanted to go, home.
As he pulled into the driveway he realized it had been at least 48 hours since he had been inside and he wished it could be 48 more.
He sat in the driveway looking at the house, wondering if things had miraculously changed while he’d be gone. His heart wanted to believe that was possible, but his head knew the truth.
As the minutes ticked by, he wasn’t sure what was worse, his hangover or the dread of walking back into the place where he was last happy… and sober.