The awkwardness of the situation was over.
We had met only a few hours earlier and with nothing but the sound of our own breath, the highway through the open window and other peoples luggage being dragged outside our door we had had sex.
I put my boxers and t-shirt back on; pulled my shirt from my stomach so she wouldn’t see that roll of skin everyone has when they’re sitting down. The headboard was uncomfortable so I grabbed a pillow off the floor and tucked it behind me as I leaned back against the bed. My muse for the evening rolled off the bed and took a pack of cigarettes and a lighter from her purse.
I had been with a slew of women and never saw one smoke after sex, I always thought that sort of thing only happened in the movies. Comfortable in only her underwear she lit a cigarette and took a drag.
I stared at her. Bottom to top I looked her over trying to decide what was my favorite part about her, what I could describe best to my friends later. Her legs were covered in tattoos; mainly tree branches traveling upwards, a few leaves floated around the pale skin sky of her thighs and a couple bees also. The bees weren’t cute bees. Complete with a head, thorax, abdomen, mandibles, antenna and a stinger, they looked distressingly life like.
“What?” she said with a playful smile.
“Nothin’,” I told her. “Just checkin’ you out.”
She lowered her head hiding another smile and pretending to be embarrassed as if guys never speak to or look at her with interest.
For the next hour we laid on the bed complimenting each other, sharing stories and watching animal planet.
“This guy is really into his jellyfish,” I said referring to the biologist on TV.
“I know right,” she said laughing, “who dreams of studying jellyfish? Like, when this guy was a little kid I highly doubt he dreamed of studying some slimy ocean creature. He probably had normal dreams, ya know?”
“What are normal dreams?” I asked.
“I don’t know . . . he probably wanted to be a fireman, or a race car driver.”
“A race car driver?”
“I don’t know, whatever you boys dream about.”
“Nascar is fucking stupid.”
“Yea, it really is.”
It was getting early and the simplest things were becoming entertaining.
“You look tired,” I told her.
“Is that your nice way of saying I look like shit?”
“No, no. You look great, I just . . .”
She cut me off.
“I am tired. You must be too.”
“I’m doin’ alright,”
She smiled. Her cheekbones rose so high they made her eyes look Japanese. It was a special smile, warm, but sort of mysterious like she had her own private joke I hadn’t figured out yet.
“Well Mr. I don’t sleep, I’m going to bed,” she said.
There was an awkward moment of silence, like she was expecting something, or maybe I was. I thought about kissing her, but my ego dismissed the thought. You don’t kiss one-night-stands goodnight.
“Goodnight,” she said turning over to her side.
I stayed awake and flipped through the channels but none of them kept me interested. I found myself repeatedly glancing over at the girl. Glancing turned into looking and looking eventually became staring. She had the sheet pulled tightly so the contours of her body were easily traced by my eyes, I seriously thought about laying my hand on her hip or her shoulder.
But I didn’t.
My conscious wishes were telling the universe that I wanted more from this girl, more attention, more affection. I always knew the universe to respond to my wishes, so I waited patiently for my thoughts to manifest reality.
The girl woke up about twenty minutes later. I pretended like I didn’t notice and continued to watch TV. Without question she shifted her body and placed her head in my lap.
“Pretend I’m not here, okay?” she said with her eyes shut.
I draped my arm over her waist and let my hand rest on her stomach.
“Okay,” I told her.
Her head was heavy in my lap, a welcomed pressure keeping me trapped. For some reason it reminded me of when I was a kid and my father would tuck me in on the couch while I watched Saturday morning cartoons. The blanket would be heavy and he would tuck me in so tight that I could barely move, but it was comfortable.
He thought I was gay for a number of years, a dedication to weightlifting and wrestling on my part had undoubtedly put that thought in his head. I often wish that he could see the things I do now that I’m older, the women I see. Although, I doubt he would commend how much I felt for some of them.
And I was feeling a lot for this one.
She didn’t make a sound as she slept; she even maintained the slightest curve on her lips that teased that mysterious smile. I thought it funny that I found myself still attracted to her even though we’d already slept together.
It was a one-night thing and we both knew it, but I argued with myself that it could be more. A girl that young, that bold and eclectic fit my needs easily. Even though there were no words being spoken it was impossible to ignore the bond between us, an affinity for irresponsibility as long as it meant something in the end.
But reality hits hard, especially when night ends and the sun begins to come up.
And just as the sun returned so did my ego, and it was letting me know that I had already put too much thought into this one girl.
One-night stands don’t weigh heavy on your mind.
One-night stands don’t fall asleep in your lap.
But what if this girl was the exception?
My thighs began to go numb and her head in my lap made me uncomfortable. The contours of her body didn’t satisfy me anymore, they just made me hate her. I wondered how many other men had spent a night feeling her curves; those guys were probably smart enough to leave right after.
And me. The fool who almost fell in love with her.
I gently got up from the bed making sure I didn’t disturb her too much. I walked into the bathroom and looked myself over in the mirror. I gave myself a sly grin.
My James Bond grin.
My conscious thoughts had changed and the universe would act accordingly.
I left the bathroom and walked to the empty side of the bed, she was still in the center unaware that the bed had changed.
I turned off the TV and rolled onto my side with my back to her.
Just damaged goods.
It was a one-night thing and we both knew it.