I was not drunk, just slightly inebriated. I’m pretty sure of that. I didn’t love to drink but I needed it in social situations like this one. Otherwise, I’d have been sitting in the corner sipping my soda water in silence. Instead, I had two vodka sodas and three shots of tequila.
We were celebrating my friend Becca being published in a big magazine for the first time.
Maybe I was drunk, because there I was stumbling over to some hot guy in a flannel at this gay bar, a place I’d normally never go, keeping hard eye contact to let him know that it was him I was coming towards.
“HEY,” I said or shouted more so.
“Hi,” he replied without even looking my way.
“Oh, uh oh god I didn’t think this through.”
“What?” He asked turning my way. “I can’t hear you the music is so loud.”
“I really like your hairline,” I said, and he shifted uncomfortably. “I mean um, you have really great hair. My hair has been falling out since I was sixteen so I really appreciate a, uh, good hairline.”
He smiled politely and said he needed to use the restroom. I turned and walked back towards Becca, who had sent me his way.
“Awe how’d it go?” She asked.
“Not well,” I said to her then asked the bartender for another shot of tequila. “How is it that I literally do not know how to talk to people? I can’t even have a simple conversation without making a fool of myself.” I tilted the shot into my mouth and bit the lime.
“I think I have to kill him,” I said with a gulp to get rid of the bad taste in my mouth.
“I literally just complimented that beautiful man on his hairline. I have to kill him before he tells everyone how pathetic I am.”
“Ohhh shut up,” Becca said and ordered me another shot of tequila.
“I have to flirt with someone else tonight,” I said after I threw back the shot. “I have to redeem myself from that embarrassment somehow.”
“Well let’s look around and see who we can find for you!”
“No. That’s too much work. I’ll just text David.”
My head spun as I pulled my phone out of my pocket and struggled to make different facial expressions to unlock the device. Becca tried to grab the phone from my hands but I pulled back before she could get it.
“You are not texting David! Or any of your exes for that matter!"
“Awe,” I had hit the wall of how much I could drink before being considered a mess. “Come on, I only have like two - wait three- exes. No biggie."
When I woke the next morning, my head was pounding and the sun was screaming. I sat up and looked around the room that wasn’t mine. Blank white walls, green plants, a desk with a notepad, and a blue and purple flannel hanging on the back of the door that was oddly familiar.
My phone started vibrating in my pocket. I was half thankful I didn’t lose my phone and half thankful that I was still wearing all of my clothes. Becca was calling.
“Hello?” I said softly so that I didn’t make my presence know.
“Hey, where are you? I have called you like a hundred time I have been so worried!”
“I'm okay, I’m okay,” I said to calm her down. “I honestly don’t know where I am. I must have gone home with someone last night.”
I was embarrassed to admit it. Going home with strangers wasn’t something I did. I was by no means a prude, but let’s be honest, I was a prude.
“Oh,” her tone changed from worry to a flirtatious excitement. “And how did that go?”
“Uh, I have no idea. I can’t remember anything. I just woke up in this bed alone a minute ago.”
“Oh my what are you going to do?” I could hear footsteps coming from outside the door.
“I’m not sure yet but I have to go,” I said and hung up.
The doorknob spun and the door opened slowly as if whoever was on the other side knew I might still be sleeping and didn’t want to wake me. I sat there frozen in shock when the guy on the other side of the door was revealed. Now I remember why the flannel was so familiar. It was hairline guy.
“Hey stud,” the words flew from his mouth so casually. He was in nothing but boxers and was carrying two coffee cups, one green, and one purple. “I hope you like hazelnut. It’s the only creamer flavor I like.”
I was stuck, unable to answer because of two reasons: 1) I also can only drink coffee if I have hazelnut creamer, and 2) Abs.
He walked towards the bed and extended the cup in my direction. I took the cup in my hands and considered what to say next. Carefully, as to not spill his own drink, he climbed up onto the bed and sat down relaxed on the other side of me.
“I’m Harrison,” he said. I introduced myself and thanked him for the coffee.
“Hazelnut is my favorite too,” I said and he smiled. “I have to be honest I am not completely sure how I got here.”
“That’s okay,” he said before taking a long sip of his coffee. “You were pretty drunk. Don’t worry though, we didn’t have sex or anything. Just cuddled.”
Somehow after years of being single and going on horrible dates, I had accidentally fallen into the bed of a man that I would never normally even look at twice for fear of being rejected.
“Oh well, that’s good to hear,” I said almost sarcastically. “I mean, not that I don’t find you attractive. I’m just happy we didn’t have sex because…well actually,” I stopped and thought about what to say next before this got too out of hand. All I could come up with was, "You make me really nervous.”
He smiled and said, “I can tell. It’s okay. Maybe I should have made you decaf?” I smiled and took a sip of the hot coffee.
“So,” I started hesitantly. “What are your plans for the day?” He set his coffee down on the nightstand. The way he moved so effortlessly, so confidently, so much better than me. I have some errands to run today, some shopping to do,” he got up and pulled a plain grey t-shirt over his head and down his torso. “But I am free tonight if you want to grab a drink? Or dinner maybe?’
I had to stop and think about it, and when he saw my eyes widen in surprise he giggled. How did I end up in this situation? The guy who last night could barely look me in the eyes, and now I am somehow in his bed, and even further, he wants to spend more time with me?
“How about I give you my number and you can let me know?”
“Sure, that sounds good,” I said hating myself for not being better at this. He walked over to where the flannel he was wearing the night before hung, pulled it down, and threw it towards me.
“Put that on and I’ll drive you home,” He said. “It’s cold this morning and you only have that t-shirt on.”
You can read more of this short story when you purchase i'm slighrtly inebriated and I just texted all my exes, available july 19, 2019
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