“Come back to my place,” he said, a breath in my ear, around midnight.
We were both pretty trashed by that time, and I vaguely remember nodding okay, letting him take me by the hand and lead me back out to the front of the lounge where we got in a cab.
I couldn’t stop touching him. My hands were glued to him as we sat in the back of the cab, moving closer to his house with every passing second. I remember giggling like a school-girl when he kissed my neck and laced his arm around my waist, leaning his mouth in to kiss me on the neck. He was behaving himself; I remember thinking this, in my skewed state of consciousness. He hadn’t tried anything completely out of this stratosphere, not that I would have been able to stop him if he did. He must not have been nearly as wasted as me. That, or he just had a Godly amount of self-control.
Before I knew it, we were stopping and he was getting out of the car, pulling me behind him. I stood on the lawn for what seemed like forever while he paid the cab driver. Then he was grabbing my hand again and pulling me towards the front door of a house, his house, I later realized.
Up the stairs.
Into a bedroom. I felt his lips on my collarbone as my memory failed.
I sat up with a jolt, putting a hand to my head as an angry pulse ripped through it, causing me to lie, more like crash, back down and put the pillow over my head in an attempt to stop the pounding. After about five minutes, the pounding subdued and I poked my head out from under the pillow.
The walls were plastered with hockey memorabilia and were painted a hideous olive green. I slowly sat up to take in the rest of the room. The furniture was a dark cherry color and the comforter under which I was sitting was a dark grey. The sheets were stark white.
“Oh, God,” I mumbled to myself, running a hand through my knotted hair and over my oily face. My makeup came off on my hand.
Why? Why did I ever think that getting wasted with a guy I hardly know was a good idea? Don’t get me wrong, I would never take back that night. It was fantastic. But this whole, waking-up-in-someone-else’s-room-after-a-crazy-night-you-can’t-remember, thing, is not okay.
Did I sleep with him? How far did we get?
Those questions were a scrolling marquee across my brain as I dragged myself out of bed and over to my purse which was lying a few feet away on the ground, discarded, in what I can only imagine was a rushed attempt to get my clothes off considering those too, were also sitting in a rumpled pile within arms reach.
I sat down on the floor next to my purse, crossing my legs, criss-cross applesauce. I was wearing only an unfamiliar T-shirt and my underwear. I dug through my purse for about a minute before producing my cell phone. 23 missed calls; of course. 21 were from my parents, one was from my brother and one was from Kristin, back home in Georgia, probably wondering if I would be available to work today. I had told them I was going to Montreal, but that never really seemed to sink in.
I pushed the send button, bringing up all my recent calls. I highlighted my mom’s cell number and pushed the send button a second time. It only took half a ring for her to answer.
“Isabel! Where in God’s great world have you been!?” she shrieked. I didn’t even have the energy to be snide to her.
“I went out with a friend and by the time we were leaving, it was two in the morning and he said I could just stay at his place for the night. Sorry I didn’t call you.” Yeah, so it was a little white lie. What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.
“Oh, well, just remember to think about your poor old parents once in awhile,” she started, her tone relaxing a bit. I knew she would have some sort of stupid lecture, so I just sat there, my eyes closed, forehead on my free hand, elbow propped up on the inside of my knee, trying to remember what all had happened last night.
“So, just remember, call us if you have a change in plans!” she finished, her voice almost near a cheery exclamation now instead of annoyed.
“Okay Mom,” I said. She continued to talk. “Mom? Mom, I have to go, I’ll see you back at the hotel later.”
“Remember! Call us if anything changes! Love you, bye,” she finished. I heard the click of her phone hanging up and then silence. I threw my phone back in my bag and slowly got up. I had to work my way up to standing. First, from the sitting position to a crawling/kneeling position, then to one knee in the classic “Will you marry me?” pose, and finally to two feet. I was exhausted.
I wandered out of the bedroom door and down a flight of stairs where I could hear the muffled sound of a TV playing. I padded into the room and turned a corner to see Kris watching TV with a bowl of cereal in his lap. I rubbed my eyes at the intense amount of sun coming through the blinds just as he looked up at me.
“Good morning,” he said to me, a little surprised to see me up and walking around, let alone alive. I felt like death. “I was going to let you sleep and bring you some aspirin and water.”
I nodded wordlessly, crossing my arms and grabbing my elbows with the opposite hands as if I were cold. I still stood there, looking around at the cozy living room.
“Do you,” he paused, “remember anything about last night?” His eyes looked almost pleading like he didn’t want to have to explain every excruciating detail to me. As much as I didn’t want him to, I knew he’d have to.
“I remember coming back here, and going upstairs, but then…nothing.” I said, not moving from my spot. “What happened after that?” I asked, nervously, not sure if I wanted to know. “Did we…?”
“Ah, it was that horrible, eh?” he asked, raising an eyebrow at me and smiling. “I was so horrible you can’t even remember it?”
I’m sure my face was priceless. I wanted to punch him.
“Kris! That’s not funny! I was really scared for a minute.” Despite myself, I couldn’t keep from smiling. I walked over to where he was sitting and slowly lowered myself down onto the couch next to him. “So, really, what happened?” I asked again, looking at him.
“Well, like you said, we came back here and we were, you know, kissing and all that,” he said, pausing, as if to collect his thoughts. “We were in my room, and you started taking your own clothes off.”
At this point, I grimaced, thinking about how I get when I’ve had too much to drink. The conserved Isabel is gone and the wild and crazy, let’s-have-sex, Isabel is in her place.
“I couldn’t let you do that,” he said suddenly, staring at me with his mesmerizing eyes. I stared back. I had never met a guy who didn’t take advantage of me while I was wasted. “I couldn’t let myself do that to you,” he said fingering the edge of his cereal bowl, and without warning he leaned in and kissed me. Before I could even comprehend what was happening, he was standing and walking towards the kitchen.
“Now, how about that aspirin and water?” he called back to me. I whipped my head around to follow him with my eyes, which made my head throb even more. I couldn’t believe what he was telling me; that he didn’t sleep with me and that I still, maybe, had some of my dignity.
“Yeah,” I called back, my head swimming. “That sounds amazing right about now."