So sorry, it's a brief, slow chapter, but I think it's important to set a big part of Bitter's character - her voluntary isolation. Please, tell me what you think about it in the reviews.
It’s probably not a testament to the kind of life you have led when you have a modus operandi for kicking strangers out of your bed in the morning. Well, I have never pretended I was a saint.
First step. First step actually didn’t require any action on my part. I just woke up. Usually, it didn’t take much effort: I didn’t sleep well with other people and I kept coming to, then falling back asleep all the time. Around dawn, it got to be too annoying, and I just started wishing the person would leave.
Second step. I suppose my second step could be shaking the bugger awake and throwing them out, but I was just not that rude – not this early in the morning, anyway. So, second step was slipping out of bed as quietly as possible. I shut myself into the bathroom to shower and slip into whatever was currently hanging on the drying rack.
Third step was breakfast. Too early to make something elaborate. I took a cup of cold tea and an apple onto the window ledge. I could live someplace less shabby – it’s not a rent issue, but I loved the view on the river I had from my kitchen. It was especially beautiful in the morning. It was a palette of soft pinks, pale purples and light blue-grays.
Fourth step. Fourth step was just that – watching the sun rise over my city. I basked in the quiet and loneliness. Maybe I was strange, but a night of togetherness was all I could handle. Once I felt like I could deal with someone else again, I moved on to the fifth step.
Fifth step. I went back into the bedroom and I knelt on the bed. One-night-stands were rarely as attractive in the morning. There were snores, unruly tufts of hair and panda eyes. It wasn’t often that I felt like going back for seconds. At this stage, I limited physical contact to a hand on the shoulder and a shake.
“Hey, sorry,” I whispered. “I’ve got to run. You want something to eat? Coffee? Tea? Cereals? Toasts?”
Sometimes, it took a couple of repetitions to get them awake and moving.
Sixth step. Sixth step was pure avoidance. Getting the person under the shower while I cooked breakfast. Busying myself with chores while they ate.
Seventh step. Seventh step was inevitably awkward. My “guests” never saw themselves out. I had to escort them to the door. My hallway had seen countless tense conversations like, “Well, I guess I should go…”
Titter. “I don’t even know your name.”
“Don’t sweat it. “Brownie” is fine.”
“It’d look strange on my phone.”
“I imagine it would.”
Usually, it was enough disinterest to get the door slammed into my face.
“Sorry,” I often wanted to say. “Believe me, you don’t want to care about me.”
That was one conversation Bitter was in a hurry to get away from. To find out what she might say if she wished to participate in a conversation, read Chapter 6.