AUTHOR OF "WHERE WE BELONG ' - COMING FRIDAY April 7pm PST. EXCERPT: HARRY: POV
Coming Friday, April
I woke to star- and heart-shaped glow-in-the-dark stickers radiating in neon green from the ceiling. A ceiling I’d never seen before in my life—typically, I wasn’t the sort of man to befriend the fancy sticker type of person.
It was pre-dawn, barely so, the sun a tiny orb just under the horizon through the crack in the curtains.
My world swayed as I tilted my head. I held my ears in my palms, and my fingers weaved through the messy state of my bed hair. Under the purple sheets, my stomach churned, and farther down, morning glory unstuck from the aforementioned undelightful purple sheets. I crawled out of the bed.
What the fuck was this? I thought. And where the fuck was I?
I remembered flashes from the previous night. A club, a slime party, and breathy kisses with the girl who lay splayed under these purple sheets beneath her stars and hearts glow-in-the-dark ceiling.
Viol … Vick … no, it was Vivienne. No, wait, Vivienna.
I smiled, proud of my achievement. But that dropped into a wobbly set of lips. My stomach churned again. I lurched into the attached bathroom and retched, wiping myself clean with water.
Even though I was ninety-nine-point-nine per cent certain I fucked Vicky (or Vivienna), I shivered at the thought of sharing her toothbrush, so I used the handy finger-stick in lieu and then the mouthwash beside the basin.
Feeling somewhat refreshed, I let out a deep breath and looked around the bathroom, not much of a better sight than the bedroom. The towels were white and pale purple, the soap purple, and more stickers dotted along the corners of the mirror above the basin.
I stared at my reflection, disgusted.
My hair Mohawked, askew to one side, a chunk plastered across my forehead in a teenage boy-crush style. I fussed it around with my hands. It looked as if I just had sex, which was better than it had moments prior.
I stepped back into her bedroom, peering amongst the sheets and all her hair. I sighed upon seeing her, confirming one thing. She had the youthful expression of someone I hoped was legal. I was twenty-eight, she perhaps twenty or twenty-one. I hoped.
Since she was still asleep, I returned to the bathroom and looked around for supplies to make myself appear more human. But I caught my reflection in the mirror and stalled. My tan skin and dark hair vividly contrasted against my steel-blue eyes. Most noticeably, a bloodshot glare, lined with purple bags, rolled lazily at the reflection.
I didn’t suspect my pick-up techniques from last night would have worked if I’d looked like this.
Just twelve or so hours ago, one look at Vivienna and she was under my arm, my lips near her ear telling her things she wanted to hear.
I wished I’d had the foresight to stop drinking and pick up her nuisances: the squeals I thought made her sound cute, the frilly neckline of her dress more girly than sweet, and the bright purple shoes. The poor woman had a young girl trapped inside her body.
I looked through the doorway and whispered, “You’re a little crazy, Purple Vivienna.”
I never should have—
Stop, Harry. I told myself. Find some deodorant, get some clothes on, and get out of here.
So I did just that. Then I walked out of her bedroom without a note or text. I didn’t have her number, plus she didn’t care for me.
The others didn’t, either. They thought they cared.
But they wanted the thrill of a night with the Harry Jamieson.
A night of passion and drinking with the idea of love.
One of us had to have our heads screwed on.
With mine teetering on the right side of sanity, I dashed out and found my car parked by the kerb outside her house, hoping she’d been sober enough by the end of the night to drive it. I knew with absolute certainty I wouldn’t have gotten behind the wheel.
I didn’t drive after drinking. Not anymore.
I travelled home, which took an hour—a long way for pussy, even by my standards—and did the whole routine: shower, force down some hangover-cure food, spend the rest of the day watching TV like a zombie. Late afternoon, I got onto all my emails, responding to meetings, questions and other ad hoc business, then prepared some training sessions for my swimmers.
When I woke the next morning, I stumbled drowsily onto my front lawn in just a pair of sleeping pants and retrieved the delivered roll of newspaper. My neighbour, having noticed my exit, darted her eyes away and scurried inside her house.
I never claimed to be a sight for sore eyes in the morning. But what the hell was that about?
Five minutes later, as I tipped a steaming cup of coffee to my lips, I saw the headline and cursed, spraying coffee all over my granite countertop.
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