Hearing all kinds of sounds while hungover just makes everything seem louder, sharper, scratchier and all around horrifyingly painful. Anything but silence is a nightmare. As a matter of fact, the real nightmare is last night. I kept my eyes closed and repeated the sentiment: what kind of grown ass drunk woman splits her skin on some glass at a bar? It’s not that I was drunk that annoyed me—being drunk, at the time, was a blessing—it was that I acted in such a way in which I even I wasn’t proud of. That I even think wasn’t justified.
“What happened?” one voice whispered.
“I don’t know,” another replied.
Then a silence. I wanted to keep my eyes shut and somehow slip into a deep slumber again, but I just couldn’t force. And I was thirsty as hell!
I groaned when I turned onto my back, clutching my forehead and moaning even more. Footsteps sounded louder and louder.
A blurry figure stood at the foot of the bed and remained still and silent as I took in my surroundings. Feather boas, muted colourful silk sheets of purple, flowers in a small vase on the bedside table, Liza Minelli printed curtains pulled back to reveal an overcast dawn. My eyes blurred until it settled on the figure before me.
“Heeeeeeeeeeyyy,” Paul breathed softly, smiling. Looking as if I were a dangerous suspect with a weapon.
“Mm,” I groaned again as footsteps sounded once more. Heavier than Paul’s.
“How are you feeling?” Johnny asked.
“Like I’ve been scrunched up and spread out like paper.”
“With all the crinkles?” Paul chuckled.
“Yup. And they hurt.” Every piece of me. “Where am I?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” Paul asked, looking around his room proudly.
A third set of footsteps made me flinch. Johnny and Paul moved aside to make way for Daniel. He stood there quietly, with big, round eyes, a softness to his mouth, plump instead of sharply shut. He walked beside the bed towards me and sat down.
“Sorry,” I mumbled, ready to cry. I mean, I felt so ashamed and I never wanted Daniel to see me this way.
Johnny and Paul stole a wide-eyed glance from each other. The both of them waiting for Daniel’s reaction in as much anticipation as me.
Daniel laid a hand on mine. “Let’s go home.”
By the time we arrived home, the sun was high up in the sky. Proud and showy. The opposite of me. I hopped into the shower and tried avoiding the crash of water on my head for long periods of time. When I came out of the shower I heard Daniel making breakfast.
“Oh shit, what day is it?” I asked Daniel.
Daniel half-smiled. “It’s fine. No work today.”
“Oh, okay,” I breathed out in relief.
I sat at the dining table and consumed the large quantities of food that I, at first, thought was too much.
“Aren’t you going to eat?” I asked Daniel through a full mouth, pointing my fork at him.
Daniel shook his head. “I already ate.”
“Before you left?” I swallowed.
I gulped again, nothing going down this time. “Were you worried?”
“To get a call from your phone? With Paul on the other end? Telling me what happened?”
Daniel sighed and looked down. “I don’t know if I’m a bad guy for worrying about you so much or not. I wonder that sometimes. Did you know? If I’m ever a controlling boyfriend. I wonder about that. I’ve always wanted to ask you that. Because I don’t want to be. But last night—” he shook his head and shrugged— “this morning, I didn’t care about that. All I wanted to know was that you were safe and to bring you back home with me. That was my only goal and I was going to do whatever it took.”
“That’s not being controlling. That’s being a good boyfriend to a bad girlfriend.” Daniel tilted his head in confusion. I breathed in shakily, ready to explain. “I’m sorry about the way I reacted to everything—” I fidgeted with a loose string of the bandage on my hand Johnny strung around superficial wounds, nothing too deep— “I shouldn’t have…I was childish…I’m not proud of…” I sighed and placed my hand on his arm, “I’m proud of you. And…if you want to take the job, I’d be happy for you.”
Daniel smiled, and then chuckled. “This is some kind of pity we’re having.” It was my turn to stare in confusion. “I was going to apologise myself. Look, I don’t know what my father’s end game is but I know it wouldn’t end with being an editor and getting that job. I know there’s always a hidden agenda with him. And I hate him. I hate him for doing this to me again. Putting a rift between us. I’m sorry I acted so foolish. And I’m definitely not taking that job.”
“I don’t want to take it away from you.”
Daniel shook his head. “I never had it in the first place.”
“For not taking the job?”
“For being the amazing boyfriend you are.”
Daniel smiled. “Thank you.”
“For being an amazing boyfriend?”
Daniel laughed and I joined him. He leaned in and kissed me. I wanted more but he pulled back just before I could throw myself at him.
“Just do me a favour?” he asked. I nodded. “Talk to your boss. This is more about you than me.”
“I don’t want him to think I’m just a little girl complaining. He’ll look at me differently. And I don’t want to be that girl that complains all the time.”
The feeling at work where you feel like you can’t talk to the manager\boss\superior about a matter that is troubling to one person and not the superior is the driving factor for me to keep it all in. I never think that my work problems are much of a problem to anyone else and therefore need talking about. But, I think I need to know where I stand with David, where Richard stands in the scheme of things, for me to decide what to do with my career. And that’s scary as hell. I don’t want to think of losing a job but at the end of the day…it’s just a job. If it doesn’t work out, I can always look for another. And with some effort, I’m sure I’ll be able to find something. Let’s not think that far ahead, shall we?
Daniel’s right, I just need to talk to David.
I went straight back to sleep, feeling like an old man that needs a century of shut-eye. When I woke up again, Daniel was out leaving me a note that said he would be back soon. I opened Daniel’s closet to get changed but noticed I barely had any clothes of mine here. I was making a mental note to go back to my apartment and sort things out as I was closing the closet door when I noticed a corner of an envelope on the bottom of some of Daniel’s clothes, slightly hanging out. I’m not one to peek around my boyfriend’s things, but I thought he wasn’t the one to hide things from me. My heart skipped as I bit my lip, wondering if pulling that envelope out was doing the right thing.
I couldn’t ignore it either way. I reached out my hand and pulled the envelope. It slipped out with ease. I so hope I’m not doing the wrong thing.
Opening the flap and pulling my hand inside, I felt for cardboard-paper and pulled that out. Two cardboard-papers. Both flight tickets to Venice, Italy.