Friday, September 25, 2015

Morning After

My mouth felt like the Sahara. I felt my head pounding before I could even register the fact that I was hungover.

"Meeughhh," I let out a pathetic groan and, using all of my strength, rolled myself over. My right arm flopped onto a solid body next to me. Fatigued by my hangover, I couldn't even manage a panicked reaction. Slowly, I peeled my mascara-clad eyes open. I knew that exposed brick wall.. and I really knew that bare, bronzed, god-help-me man's chest breathing slowly that my wrist was resting on.

I slowly removed my arm, not wanting to interrupt Dylan's rhythmic breathing. It wasn't lost on me that the first time we had woken up in bed together had been after a blacked-out evening, too. 

I remembered Kara coming in the karaoke bar the night before. I remembered turning to vodka in order to not act on all of the jealous feelings that had been stirring. I remembered Kara staying within 6 inches of Dylan at all times, as if his proximity was the only thing that mattered. I remembered leaving with Laura and some girlfriends, going to a close-by dive bar and doing tequila shots. I remembered Dylan walking in after we had been there for a while, looking angry. And then...nothing. 

I took inventory and was relieved to find that my clothes were still on, even if my crop top had weaseled its way up above my boobs in my sleep. Luckily I had a lace bra on, which was covering most of me. I sat still, staring at the familiar ceiling for another ten minutes before my thirst beat out my desire to postpone the awkwardness.

I was, unfortunately, on the inside of the bed. Which meant my only possible escape routes were either over Dylan's body, or out the foot of the bed. I chose the latter. Peeling myself out from under the warm comforter, I tried to gingerly crawl toward the end of the bed. I was six inches shy of freedom when...

"What, exactly, are you doing?" I heard his amused and raspy voice come from behind me. 

I folded my legs under me and flopped back onto the pillow. "I was in search of water, and I didn't want to wake you up," I said, keeping my face turned away from his. My morning breath was bound to be deadly.

"And you decided the best way to do that was to 007 yourself toward the foot of the bed?" I could hear his smile. My body was dying to rip off my clothes and curl up next to him. It was the weirdest sensation, fighting my brain against my body. My body was telling me: This is Dylan's bed, you should most likely be naked and seducing him right now. But my head, my head was who I had to listen to. 

"I'm not exactly at my peak decision-making capacity right now," I said. "Clearly."

He rolled over to his nightstand and miraculously presented a bottle of water. I lunged at it, chugging half of the bottle in one gulp.

"Thank you," I managed, wiping at my mouth. He took a few sips before placing it back on the nightstand. 

I remained upright, stiff and uncomfortable. "So, last night..." 

"Last night," he said, offering nothing further.

"Look I was really, really drunk to be completely honest, I don't really remember much about coming here. So I'm sorry if I was ridiculous, or came onto you or anything. I know Kara is probably not happy about this, and I'll head out right now but-" I stopped talking, because he was looking at me with a shit-eating grin. 

"What?" I demanded.

"I'm not dating Kara," he said, as if this was so apparent. "I'm sorry that you thought that, but I can promise you, I'm not."

I gave him a skeptical glare. "She kissed you on the mouth by way of greeting. Apologies if that threw me off."

He rolled his eyes. "She knew you would be there."

"That doesn't explain it," I replied. "But whatever, you don't need to explain yourself to me anymore." 

With that, I slid down the bed and stood up, searching for my bag. 

"Dani, relax," he said. I was about to reply with a sharp remark before he spoke again. "Look nothing happened last night, which I'm sure you know already anyway. You were drunk and Laura had already left, so I told you you could sleep at my place. I offered to stay on the couch but you said, and I quote 'Oh, don't be such a prude. This isn't 1940.', so I slept in the bed. That's all that happened, you seemed preoccupied by your phone all night for the most part."

Oh, shit. What the hell happened on my phone? This is why I don't drink this way anymore.

"Okay,"  I said, relaxing out of my defensive state. "I should be going though."

He swung his legs out of bed, wearing only a pair of old football shorts. Either I had misremebered his body in an attempt to get over him, or he had gotten way, way more chiseled. I tried not to stare. 

"Let me take you to your car," he said, digging in his closet for a shirt. A wave of disappointment washed over me as he slid the plain white tshirt over his body.

"I can take an Uber," I said. "Just as soon as I find my phone."

"Under the bed," he said. "You kicked it there last night."

"Charming," I said, rolling my eyes at my drunken self. I bent over and sure enough, my crossbody bag was slumped underneath his bed. I pulled it out and pressed the round button on my iPhone. I had a text from Jon at 3:44. Good. God. What had I done. Instead of checking it, I shoved the phone deep back into the bag.

"Fine," I said.

"Fine what?" he replied. I could see him biting his cheek to keep from smiling. If he found hungover, defiant me amusing, so be it. 

"I'll let you drive me," I said, raking a hand through my knotty hair. 

"How kind of you Ms. Fitzgerald," he said, giving me a mock bow. I rolled my eyes again and headed toward his bathroom in search of Listerine. 

Ten minutes later, after I had done the best patch job I could on my appearance using only mouth wash and the meager contents of my purse, we were heading towards Laura's and my since-abandoned car. We were quiet during the one-mile trip, and in just minutes he had pulled up behind my sedan. 

"Thanks," I said, digging for my keys.

"It was really, really good seeing you Dani," he said. I could hear the emotion in his voice. 

I raised my gaze to his, feeling the stomach flip that always accompanied a glance at those blue eyes. "I know, it was great to see you too," I replied. His hand reached over and rested on my shoulder, before moving up my neck into my hair. My entire body was tingling, yet he wasn't leaning in to kiss me. His thumb traced the outline of my ear, and I involuntarily bit my lip. I could feel my heart throwing itself against my rib cage. The kid still had it.

He removed his hand, and I watched it retreat back to his lap. It took everything in me not to lunge across the passenger seat and kiss him. Instead, I turned away and reached for the door handle.

"D?" he said, and I turned back to face him, leaving one hand on the door handle. 

"I...I've really missed you." 

I took a deep, audible breath. "I know, me too," I managed. The lust for him I had felt just moments ago was replaced by a sad, longing feeling for who had once been my best friend. I gave him a half smile, not trusting myself to say anything else, and got out of the car. 

Instead of going into Laura's to say a proper goodbye, I decided to just get in my car and head home. My hangover and sense of confusion over Dylan was too much to handle right now. I slid into my car, and leaned back against the seat. Finding the courage to pull my phone out, I slid open the text from Jon. I quickly scrolled up, reading the entire conversation, relieved that he had started it.

Jon 12:34 AM
Hey you, I'm on in the LES with some friends, you around?

Danielle 12:48 AM
Not unless you could Philly as around! 

Jon 12:51 AM
Hmm.. 90 or so miles, not too far.

Danielle 12:53 AM
Haha, yeah, here for a friend's birthday. Who are you out with?

Jon 12:59 AM
Just a few buddies from college.

Danielle 1:04 AM
The wife?

Jon 1:06 AM
No, no wife 

Danielle 1:08 AM
Well, enjoy your evening

Jon 1:10 AM
It'd be a lot more entertaining if you were here

Danielle 1:17 AM 
You can't say things like that, not to me.

Jon 1:28 AM
I meant as friends, sheesh.

Jon 3:44 AM
Okay, maybe not just as friends.

Aside from the wife comment, I was fairly proud of myself for not being totally embarrassing. I decided not answering was probably the best policy, and tucked my phone back into my bag. This weekend had turned out to be a hell of a lot more eventful than I had bargained for. 


  1. That man is bad news. Stay away, Dani!

    1. Clarification: I meant stay away from
      Jon, not Dylan. I actually want her to do the exact opposit with Dylan... She should be as close to him as humanly possible. :-)

  2. Oh Dylan!!! I've missed you too!!

  3. I know she should start fresh and all but I want Dylan! I've always been on his team. Make his job transfer him to NYC so they can be together without horrible Kara

  4. I agree with all the above comments! Dylan...le sigh!

  5. Ohhhh Dylan, you give me all the feels!

  6. This whole thing with Jon is very bad and in poor taste.


  7. Thanks for this post Queader! Now I've got to get on and implement more thank you.

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