I woke up with a raging headache. It was the first thing that I noticed. I stirred feeling the thumping soreness spreading through my head. There was a horrible taste in my mouth and something heavy on my back. The second thing I noticed was that I was in a bed. A duvet was loosely draped over my naked body and my hair was a cold curtain over my head.
I groaned and heard my phone vibrating on the floor. I covered my face with one hand and tentatively opened one eye. I was in a really bright room. I didn’t recognize the dark red curtains spread out on both sides of the window. A potted plant stood on the windowsill and a smoke dish. The room was clean, my clothes were scattered on the floor and a pair of black socks. I stared at them in surprise.
Then I uncovered my eyes and sat up. I was in a clean bedroom, men’s clothes were scattered on the other side of the bed and a few picture frames. I gazed at them. I didn’t recognize the black haired young man in them.
I felt my heart beating frantically in my chest. What the fuck did I get up to last night? I turned around and felt my breath pick up speed. A man was lying on the other side. His head was face down on the bed and his two arms were spread on either side of the bed. The covers were pulled up to the small of his back. His back was extremely muscular and tanned.
I slowly crept out of the bed and grabbed my clothes and phone and sneaked out of the room as quickly as I could. I made my way into the room that I thought was his bathroom. It was also clean; a packet of condoms was thrown in the sink. At least it was protected, I found myself thinking. I pulled on my clothes and with shaky hands picked up my phone and dialed in Terry’s number.
She picked up after two rings.
“Hey hey,” she said, “Are ya well cos yar looking well.”
“Terry!” I said in a whisper.
“Hey Kathryn, what’s up? Why are you whispering?”
“I’m in a bit of a situation.”
I could almost imagine Terry rolling her eyes, “What do you mean you’re in a bit of a situation?”
“I’m in a guy’s house…”
Terry gasped, “No fucking way! You had a one night stand.”
“Yes. Douche bag, would you be able to get your pretty little ass over here and collect me? Please.”
“Where are you?”
“I don’t know!”
“Is he hot?”
“I don’t know! I can’t see his face! I don’t know how it happened! I don’t remember anything.”
Terry laughed, “Oh my God, this is just amazing! How do you expect me to collect you if I don’t know where you are?”
“I don’t have money Terry! I can’t get a taxi or a bus and I’m stranded in the middle of town.”
“It’s town honey, you’ll be able to find your way home.”
“Honey, the whole point of a one night stand is, you fuck him. You run. Now if I know you well enough I know that you are probably hiding out in his house somewhere.”
“I’m in his bathroom.”
“Get out of his bathroom and find your own way back.”
“You can’t just fucking leave me in here, what if I was raped?!”
“I don’t know where you are and I’m about to paint my nails and I know for a fact that you weren’t raped. You wouldn’t be calling me if you were.”
“Can’t you do your nails later?!”
“So how was the sex?”
There was the sound of footsteps in the hallway and I fumbled with my phone hastily. It slipped out of my hands and I nearly screamed when it fell into the toilet with a loud splash. I groaned, not only am I a one night stand that still stayed in his house but I also sounded like a one night stand that takes a dump in his toilet. I stared at the toilet in disgust. My phone was floating at the bottom. This day just couldn’t get any worse now could it?
The door opened and a dark haired young man looked at me, his dark eyes widening in surprise.
“You’re still here?”
I looked apologetic feeling a small blush creeping up my cheeks, “Em yeah…funny story. My phone fell in the toilet and my friend won’t give me a lift back.”
The car journey was awkward. I sat on the front seat holding my jacket close to my chest and gazing at my wet phone regretfully. How many calls have I already missed? What are the chances that one of them is from Isabel? It was at that day that the streets of Dublin chose to be filled with rows and rows of traffic. Rain hammered on the window and the window sweepers made low squeaking sounds as they cleared the windshield.
I snuck glances at the strange man, by the name of Damien, hoping to see something in him that made me realize that I was into guys. Maybe my problem was that where I lived there wasn’t much guys to go for. Everyone was a bit of a bastard and since I did transition year my year was filled with younger, immature guys. Maybe I used to go for the wrong type of guys- maybe that was the problem. I was one of the popular girls in the school- the guys were douche bags and believed that they were the most gorgeous things in the world. They mistreated girls and I found myself being the centre of their abuse. How many times was I cheated on or lied to? Maybe I was just jumping the wagon because I was sick of being mistreated and wanted to find someone that genuinely cared for me- and girls were it. Girls understood my pain? We all went through the same thing… that made sense.
I thought of Isabel. A wave of emotions rushed through me at the thought of her voice, her piercing blue eyes and the intensity at which she gazed at me last night, “I like you! I really like you too!” I felt denial. I couldn’t be into her. It was wrong! Not even a kiss from her could help me figure it all out! Not even last night could help me figure anything out.
I snuck another glance at Damien. He was young, I knew that for sure. I would’ve guessed he was in his early twenties, with windswept dark hair and had the clichéd Irish rugged looks that the American’s loved to interpret in cheesy romance films. His eyes were light green and amused. I tried to find something in him that could be attractive. Was it the way his body looked like that of an athlete? He definitely worked out. Even if I didn’t remember anything that happened last night I’m sure that I didn’t doubt my attraction to this man.
There was the sound of beeping and we turned into another traffic filled street. He sighed then switched on his radio. I recognized the song and turned to look at him in surprise.
“You like Cage the Elephant?” I asked him, forgetting my earlier embarrassment in my surprise.
Damien grinned, “Yeah!” he replied, “Why do you?”
“I am in love with them!” I exclaimed.
He turned on the music louder and we sang along to the lyrics, bouncing in our seats as we waited for the traffic to thin out and the rain to stop. We didn’t talk about last night but instead talked about ourselves.
Damien had just finished college and was currently looking for a job. He loved English and Science. He told me about the stories that he sometimes writes at home. I listened politely, still trying to find stuff about him that I could like. He loved to write! I loved to read! Perfect! He asked me about me and what age I was- he made jokes about underage people. I reassured him that I was eighteen and told him about my life- my party lifestyle and how I was currently trying to figure out what college to go to.
The conversation took us all the way to my estate and I made him drop me off at the entrance. I didn’t want my neighbors to see me getting out of a stranger’s car.
“Well this was a fairly enjoyable trip,” said Damien, giving me a lopsided grin as he cruised to a stop at the path, “its great meeting you.”
“Right back at you,” I said, “Hopefully we’ll bump into each other sometime soon.”
“So no number exchanges or email addresses?” he asked, his eyes twinkled.
I grinned, “No,” I replied, “How about we be cute about it? If we’re meant to bump into each other again- we will, like in those unrealistic romance books that you’re so awfully fond of.”
He thought about it, then leaned back in his seat, “I see nothing wrong with that theory,” he said, “How about we do just that. See where the flow takes us.”
“Good man,” I said and got out of his car, “I’ll see you around.”
Damien waved at me and drove off. I watched his red car drive off around the corner of my estate before flinging my jacket over my shoulder and starting my walk of shame home. I suddenly wished that I had taken his email address or his phone number. What if he will be the guy that keeps me straight? I’m sure Isabel will understand. I’m sure she has been confused before. Then I could be a straight person again! I won’t have to carry this confusion on my shoulders anymore.
As I rounded the corner to my road I felt my heart beating furiously in my chest. Isabel was walking towards me wearing a black leather jacket and black skinny jeans. Her dark hair was messed up around her head with hair gel. I suddenly felt self conscious in my messed up state. She gazed up from her phone and her bright blue eyes instantly found mine.
“Kathryn,” she whispered, her face softening.
“What are you doing here?” I asked her.
“I was just passing through,” she pointed behind her in a resigned way, and then sighed and turned back to look at me, “Where were you? You look like shit.”
“Thanks for that,” I rolled my eyes at her, “I was…just out with friends. Got extremely drunk and now I’m hungover.”
She laughed, “Snapping for you,” she said, when I glared at her, she pulled me into a tight embrace. My skin tingled where she touched me and I felt my cheeks reddening and butterflies fluttering painfully in my stomach. I wanted to kiss her. Her lips found my forehead then she let go of me and smiled, “Do you want me to help you feel better?”
“Will you make me tea and pancakes?” I asked her hopefully.
She laughed, “Whatever you want,” she replied and held out her hand.
I gazed at it hesitantly, before glancing around briefly. The estate was empty. People were still asleep or haven’t gotten out of bed yet. Plus- girls held hands all the time. They wouldn’t think anything of it. I took her hand and she laced her fingers through mine. More butterflies fluttered painfully in my stomach at the touch.
We walked to my house holding hands. I wanted to tell her what happened last night so we could laugh about it, but I refrained from doing so knowing that I will lose what hasn’t yet started with her. The thought of losing her hurt me more than anything else. Shouldn’t that mean something? Shouldn’t that mean I was certain of my identity? I wanted Isabel. I needed Isabel. I liked and possibly loved Isabel. No other girl. Just her.