She rolls over. Bleary eyed, dry throated she surveys a room she knows is not her own. A room she should not be in. She smiles idly at the weight of his hand gripping onto her hip. She feels awful. She feels brilliant. Beside her, he breathes slowly. She turns her head to him as her eyes trace the shape of his darkly decorated shoulder, his neck, his torso - his face. She thinks that he is beautiful in his abandon, this man, this long lost friend-turned stranger, who knows her so intimately. A badly buried twang of conscious pricks behind her eyes and she flinches at its sharp attack, pulls his beige duvet closer towards her and swallows her guilt back down. This is not who she is. This is not what she intended. Oh God, she hopes his flat mates didn’t hear them. She tells herself, she is not ‘that sort of girl’ and tries not to picture what’s waiting at home. She wonders what would happen if she never left this bed. She wonders what would happen if she weren’t such a coward. She wishes life were simpler.
Besides her, he pretends to sleep. He keeps his breathing slow and even, he feels her watching him, yet still he keeps his eyes closed. He cannot face the inevitable breezy conversation that will unfold should he open his eyes and look down into hers. Mornin’. Yeah yeah, great night, it was fun. Hangin’ now though - haha. Great yeah. No, it’s not weird – both adults. We were just drunk. Probably should steer clear of each other though, yeah? He shudders – fucking ridiculous. His hangover throbs behind his eyes as he remembers. Last night they sat and put art, music, their friends, the entire fucking world to rights until there was nothing left to do but put their own pitiful worlds into chaos and fall frantically into bed together. He wonders about this faceless man she has at home – who he is? Why he doesn’t notice, or care that his girlfriend hasn’t come home? He grips her hip bone possessively. For now, at least, she belongs here. He wishes he knew what to say.
The alarm clock screams into the silence. They smile up at each other awkwardly. Strangers again. Unwilling. They roll out of bed in guilty silence. He picks up his phone and checks his Facebook as she dresses. They exchange the stilted words they were both dreading. Peck on the cheek. Unbrushed hair. Wrinkled t-shirts. Tired eyes. Off to face the next 12 hours. Weeks. Years.
The day starts – real life resumes.