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Smudged Part 1

The Morning After

I looked into the mirror, my eyeliner was smudged. Smudged was an understatement, it had crumbled all over my face and my eyes were rimmed black. Of course I hadn't cleaned my face last night. I don't think I even left the bed until now, after we fell into it yesterday night.

I wasn't exactly late for work, but also not exactly on time. I should get going, otherwise I would run late and my boss would be pissed. And I never knew if I get a metro on the spot or have to wait several minutes.

Am I seriously thinking about the metro intervals while I hide my bathroom from this guy who is still sleeping in my bed? Of course I do. I'm weird. But he doesn't know that.

It was a good thing I had taken him home to my place, because otherwise I would need to get back into my slutty attire from last night. That outfit always looked better when it's dark. In the sunlight, riding on public transport, it's just tacky and somehow wrong. But my clothes were in my closet in my bedroom and for that I would have needed to leave the bathroom and face the man in my bed. And I wasn't ready for that. I probably wouldn't be ready for a long time. I was contemplating hiding out here, but I knew that as soon as he woke up, he would probably try to get in here. I just wanted him to disappear, leave without washing his face and never see him again. Because that hadn't been my plan. In fact, I try to always have a plan – otherwise I get nervous. But him, well, that wasn't planned. And now I needed a new plan and get back into my life. I've had enough adventures, really. I was content with the way things were now. I had a pretty good job in a hotel, which made my life so much easier than it had been all those years before. I was living from month to month, never knowing if next month I could afford my rent, desperately trying to be an artist myself, while falling over myself to admire other, real artists. People that somehow made it. They had put in time, effort, sweat and tears and now I could connect to their beautiful music or literature – I just wasn't there yet. And now things were easier, I would write my terrible poems late at night, or early in the morning, depending on what shift I was working, I wasn't seeing many concerts anymore, because I had to work the next morning.

And now this.

After work drinks, she had said. It would be fun, she said. But it ended in sheer disaster. I had never had a one night stand before and here I was, my makeup all over my face, feeling as slutty and chaotic as ever.

Okay. I could do this, I told myself over and over again, as I was washing off my makeup and brushing my teeth. I would get dressed, go to work, and he would have the decency of leaving and never calling and never showing up ever again, so when I came home I would have my old life back. No, not exactly my old life. My old life had been chaotic, leading to nothing, days and nights wasted away, writing too much, drinking too much, dancing too much. That had been youth and I enjoyed it. Now I was old enough to finally grow up, have a job, be a responsible lady, behave myself around men and alcohol. I owed this to myself and to my family. My parents had their hopes up for their daughter. Would she be a lawyer? A doctor? Instead, they had brought up a little doe-eyed something that daydreams too much. But hey, here's to things looking up. I scored a job in one of London's most luxurious hotels, it could only get better from here, right? Right? Right?! I felt tears burn in the back of my eyes, my throat getting tight, my fingers gripping the sink. I would not cry now, would not, could not. I shook my head.

I heard the door open behind me and when I looked up, my sight was blurry by uncried tears, but I knew it was him. Shit. He had woken up and now he was here, with me.

He didn't say a word, he just slid his arms around my waist, cradling my body against his. He still wasn't wearing a shirt. Shit.

I felt his lips on my neck, and I shivered. I couldn't do this. I needed to go.

I turned around, because I had nowhere else to go: In my front was the sink, on both my sides were his arms. I needed to get away from him, but now I was facing him. He was far too pretty, even now, when I was all sobered up. Or maybe my tiredness did that to his face?

“I can't. I need to go to work,” I said, my own voice sounded strange, distant.

“I see. Why?” His voice was so beautiful. I wanted to hear him talk all the time, even if he talked nonsense like he did last night. Or was it me who was talking nonsense? I couldn't remember. But what did he mean, why?

“Because some people have responsibilities and actual jobs,” I said and I hope the words stung, like they had stung back when I had been the disappointment in my mother's life.

“A job you hate,” he said, like he could see right through me.

“It's not so bad...,” I mumbled, trying to find a diplomatic way to get out of his arms without having to use force. “Could you please...”

“Hey,” he said, again. “Just call in sick and spend the day with me.”

“No, I really...” Whatever I wanted to say, it came apart in my mouth and I couldn't speak anymore. His lips came closer and we touched, the whole line of our bodies melted against each other and his lips found mine. It was just a chaste kiss, closed lips, but sweet, oh so sweet. This could have been so romantic if only I would be wearing something more appropriate than a sleeping shirt and he would have brushed his teeth. His shoulder length hair looked okay, disheveled as it was.

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