Bobby Halfway 23, slowly waking on Sunday morning wearing a face that doesn’t belong to him in a room he doesn’t recognise lying next to a woman he’s never seen before. His eyes gradually pushing his shuttered eyelids open. A couple of blinks to greet the light coming from the slightly parted curtains and then a full wide eye opener that ignites the first waking thought;
‘That ceiling is not mine, this not my bed where the fuck am I?’
His confusion was building as he slowly moved his sore eyes around the rest of the room. The woman was still asleep so he had time to look at her whilst mentally placing last night’s events in chronological order in the hope that he could remember how he got here. It had to be the late night bar with its loud relentless Ibiza music (he just made that up because he couldn’t think of another word to describe the shit sound) and the flailing bodies bumping and grinding into each other.
The vague drunken conversations and definitely a car involved probably a taxi (he reminded himself to check if he had any cash left in his wallet). He studied this sleeping statue next to him and admired the long ruffled brown hair which was spread across her pillow. He lowered his eyes to her freckles on her shoulders before tracing her spine until he interrupted himself with a boyish thought of a naked woman in a strange bed with him, which made him smile.
The woman moved from her side to her back exposing full rounded playfully inviting breasts which Bobby almost without thinking was about to caress before he stopped himself. He was considering what to do next when his stomach interrupted and he leapt up, sprinted to the bathroom – which he found after opening two other doors first and just got to the toilet before throwing up. ‘Fucking drink, I’m not drinking that shit again’ he thought to himself knowing it was bollocks.
Besides he couldn’t remember what he drank although it definitely had blackcurrant in it and he hated that stuff which was an indication of just how drunk he must have been.
The leaping out of bed and the sound of choking coming from the bathroom was enough to startle the unnamed woman and she sat bolt upright and covered her nakedness with the sheet and asking herself
‘Oh god! Am I being burgled, oh no have I slept with a pig, is he choking?’
She accepted that it was not a burglar because she can remember a man in her kitchen last night and presumed that he must have ended up in her bed. She was clutching at mental pictures trying to imagine this stranger’s face but pictures were not hurtling towards her.
‘Oh shit I don’t know even know his name’ she said to herself whilst mentally chasing through the alphabet for clues. She got up as she heard the toilet flushing and threw on a long t shirt and went into the kitchen just as Bobby came out of the bathroom looking whiter than the sheet that lay crumpled on the bed.
‘Morning’ she said and smiled with a coyness that seduced the moment (thinking oh thank god he’s not too bad and he’s wearing clean underpants’)
‘Morning’ said Bobby (thinking oh god if I wasn’t so hung over I’d like to have sex with her- admitting to himself that her protruding nipples helped him think about sex but his thumping head didn’t) and he smiled back.
God was watching and preparing an invoice for naming rights at this point..
‘Fancy some coffee’ she asked as her confidence dressed itself
‘Love some thanks’ as he thought of how he could get into a conversation without making it obvious he didn’t know her name.
He hauled himself back to the bedroom to put on the rest of his clothes and as he was putting his jeans on he noticed a card on the bedside table which said
‘To my best friend Katrina for all your kindness, love Deborah’
‘Fuck, this isn’t helping is she Katrina or Deborah?’ he asked himself before coming to the conclusion that it had to be Katrina because who would write a card praising themselves? He was proud of his detective work and headed into the kitchen excitedly prepared to use this valuable information. The coffee was sitting on the small kitchen table and the woman about to be named was sitting down sipping her drink. Bobby sat down opposite her and said;
‘I like your flat Katrina’ (victory was his!)
She gave him a teasing look broke into a smile and said
‘Katrina is my sister, my name’s Martina’
Bobby’s pale hung over face was quickly changing to a reddish glow. He stuttered
‘oh I’m sorry I just saw a card in the bedroom and assumed your name was Katrina’
‘actually it is Katrina, I was just pulling your leg’ she beamed
Bobby laughed whilst thinking funny bastard.
‘So Bobby’, said Katrina, ‘can you remember much about last night?’
Bobby tried to keep an unsurprised look on his face but couldn’t help wondering how she knew his name given the two of them were pretty drunk last night.
‘I remember being in some club and lot’s of shit music being played’ he answered honestly.
‘I was fine in the club it was the cold air that took away my memory’ she replied wistfully.
The conversation tailed off and to avoid any awkwardness Bobby made his excuses and headed for the front door. Katrina gave him a kiss on his cheek and said ‘oh by the way this is yours’ as she passed him his driving licence, ‘it must have fallen out of your jeans’ He gave her a kiss on her cheek and said thanks as he closed the door. Neither would see each other again, it was the protocol of one night stands.
‘fuck so that’s how she knew my name, clever bastard’ he admired.
Bobby walked out into a bright sun on a cold December day wondering what time it was though it seemed as if the early morning was squeezing itself out of last nights skin. Sunday morning traffic always seemed sparse and slow like the pedestrians picking up their own debris of the night before. The staggered unthinking slow walk home as the silence of your suffering is broken by the sound of a few birds singing soberly as if reminding you of a healthier existence. Sunday was an exercise in human behaviour, the bored in search of the tedious being discovered by the fed up and everybody waiting for the life changing moment to burst into view and whisk them away.
He didn’t know why today became one of philosophical thought – not a deep one though as he liked to skim surfaces not swim underneath them. He stopped himself thinking as he had something to say;
‘What the fuck am I doing?’
He uttered as he arched his head back far enough to wonder if it might fall off his shoulders. He checked himself to see if he had actually said that out loud. He had, if the elderly woman walking past with an open mouth and a look of shock was used as evidence. He was drifting into one of his daft analogies and found himself lying on a couch discussing his issues with a pensive academic looking therapist which then triggered a thought about his view of the patients; if you split the word therapist into two it spells the rapist, is that what they do tear into you and fuck up your head leaving it in a mess for the rest of your life? And they get paid for that? He astounded himself.
He opened the front door of the small three bedroom terraced house that he shared with two girls of a similar age. Both girls were students and had headed home for the holidays which suited him as he liked a breather from the student life he had to witness. He yawned as he shuffled towards the kitchen at the back of the house to put the kettle on. He wandered into to the living room and tried to disrobe his hangover by closing his eyes and pretending to feel better. Last night wasn’t a conquest and this morning wasn’t a victory parade. He was overcome with a feeling of disappointment that had once again landed late to remind him of the futility of it all.