Excerpt of a Book I’ll Probably Never Write VIII

She stared into the darkness. Moonlight streaming through the curtains just stopping shy of her place in the bed. The man lying next to her smelled of gin – it reminded her of him. She felt the knot form in her throat. The tears began to fall down her face. The regret and pain were already coursing its way through her body. It happened every time. She slowly sat up, gathering the sheet around her chest and looked down at the man beside her. His mouth gaped slightly and his shaggy blonde hair covered most of his face. She looked away. Turning her body, she slid from the bed. Her clothes were strewn across the floor. Glancing back toward the man to make sure that he was still passed out, she dropped the sheet back on the bed. Silently she gathered her clothing. Practice made her perfect. She pulled her jeans up over her long tan legs effortlessly. Her shirt still felt cold on her skin as she fixed it, hanging loosely over her right shoulder. She had kicked her heels off by the couch and her purse had fallen to the floor by the coffee table.

Images of the night before flooded her mind. She hadn’t planned to go home with him, then again, she never did. The next few memories passed through her mind as if she was watching from across the room. He had bought her a drink, two, four, five. How many did she have? He had been charming, sitting next to her at the bar. He read her like a book. She knew she should have just left. She knew his intentions. Her mind simply no longer cared. She felt his hand on her lower back as he leaned in and asked if she wanted to go somewhere more private. The gin on his lips wafting through the air and mixing with whiskey on hers. She remembered nodding. Everything else was a blur. It always was. She was just there for one reason. To forget.

She set her belongings on the table by the door and tiptoed to the mirror in the hall. The light from the moon continued to shine as she looked into her reflection. She didn’t recognize the woman in front of her. She had knotted and matted hair. The makeup that she had so carefully applied was everywhere. Her lipstick smeared across her face. Her eyes looked dark and sunken. She blinked, no longer able to look at the face of the woman staring back at her. All of this because of him. She turned away. She collected her things slowly. Gathering herself as she did every time she found herself leaving an unfamiliar apartment in the cover of darkness.

She opened the door and glanced behind her. He hadn’t realized she was gone yet. She straightened her back and stepped out into the night. The tears still staining her cheeks, she pressed the button on the elevator and waited. By the time the elevator doors opened, she had already forgotten the man’s name.


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