Reckless

You knew all along that by the end of the night, you’d be scrubbing a vomit-stained carpet and spraying Febreze throughout the apartment which reeked of cigarettes and sweat. She waltzed in at eleven, wild hair surrounding her porcelain face like the mane of a lioness, with a bottle of vodka in one hand, a joint in the other. The smooth smoke glistened in the dim lighting as it floated towards the ceiling, billowing against the plaster like a satin curtain in the breeze. I watched her carefully, unsure if small conversation would suffice. She seemed like the kind to ask personal questions, and announce embarrassing answers in a drunken stutter to a crowd. Of course she wouldn’t remember in the morning, her face unrecognizable in the stained mirror above the sink, black smudges underneath her eyes, a sour taste in her mouth. A taste like blood, only it couldn’t be blood…
She controlled the stereo most of the night, jamming to anything loud and sultry, any amount of bass that could shake the floorboards. I watched her from the corner of my eye take three straight shots and hop on a table, dancing as if giving a cheap strip tease to uninterested strangers. That was the thing about her. Despite an attitude of cool and poise during the day, she turned into an attention-craving fiend once the sun was only a slither of butter on a crunchy landscape.
I crept upstairs later in the evening to find an empty bathroom, when people were filing out the front door to bus stops and parallel-parked cars. I found the master bedroom, with red, luscious curtains draping a white bed in the center. I spontaneously hopped into the sheets, but landed on a stiff board, clunking my knee into its side. Adjusting my poor mechanics, I realized I’d landed on her, lying on her side with the white sheets encompassing her like the foam surface of a bath. She only let out a sigh, a stifled utterance of disappointment and regret. Not a word, not an unthoughtful, slurred word escaped her chapped lips. Only the obvious truth that her happiness could only last so long, before reality sank into the hollows of her bones.
I left her alone to fall asleep, quietly closing the door behind me, and found my own place to sleep on the couch. By the time I awoke at eight, coffee had already been brewed and the sheets of the master bedroom had been made. I could imagine her hastily slipping out the front door in morning darkness to drive home as we all snored and spooned. Did she leave out of embarrassment? Out of habit? All I was sure of was that she’d left a note in turkey scrawl on the granite countertop. “Next weekend!” it read, and I tossed it before anyone else awoke.






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