The Morning After

We got home late from our date so I drunk-texted my mom that I would pick up Zoe in the morning. She messaged back that Zoe was already asleep in her bed after 3 stories….”Goodnight Moon“, “Each Peach Pear Plum“, and “Goodnight Gorilla“. I was amazed that she could text with the speed of a teenager, quotation marks and all. That is what was stuck in my head at midnight as Chris carried me to our spinning room…how could she do that? How could she answer so fast? Maybe she had the text all ready to go then just sent it after she got mine? That would make more sense.

The rest of the night was a bit of a blur but I remember laughing a lot and loosing a contact-lens in the sheets. I woke up in Chris’s arms, which felt familiar and safe. I practically forgot how old we were, this was such a throwback to the old days…waking up happy together…a cereal box scene with the sun streaming in through the window . But then as my head ached and I realized I would throw up if I stopped concentrating on not throwing up, it was apparent that we were our today-selves. Only, Chris was fine of course, jumped up happy as a lark, showered with the door open. I lay on our crumpled sheets and thought that we needed to get Zoe back here so she could say goodbye to her Daddy before Dave came to pick him up.

When I was able to sit up I  pulled the sheets up to my chin and realized I was sending seriously mixed messages. Did this date + blurred drunk sex, negate our separation conversation? Probably. I wondered if I should remind him. Or should I? Then I was suddenly insecure…what if a separation was what he wanted now? He didn’t fight back the last time I mentioned it.

I wrapped some hair around my finger and watched the tip turn red. What if Chris was getting used to the idea of being free on tour and just having a bit of fun with me on his last night at home? No, that didn’t make sense. This was Chris here…and he had gone to such trouble to make the date special, that he must be trying to get us back on track right? Only, why on earth would he want me back after everything I put him through? I was so confused. I unwound the hair from my throbbing finger and decided to just not say anything at all about the separation. I would let time figure it out.

I lay down again and looked at the glitter on the ceiling. Who thought to put glitter in the paint? I thought about what kind of girl Chris would like, probably a brunette…someone really sharp and grounded. Not scattered and conflicted. But those kind of girls didn’t come to see his band play. I smiled to myself. There were a lot of very young girls at their shows. That drove the guys nuts, especially Dave, that they were playing mostly for 15-year-olds. Before they got popular their audience was always their peers. After the one-hit-wonder and then the car commercial, their fan-base completely transformed to tweens. But girls seemed to find him anyway. I saw them looking at him a bit too long when he paid in line at Starbucks or when they were taking his order at a restaurant. I knew our relationship was getting numb when I completely stopped caring about that. But would I care now? Were things really different after one fun date?

The ceiling fan spun madly upon the sparkling ceiling and the sheets were lovely and cool but I was still feeling a bit flushed. Chris walked in glistening and grinning with a towel around his waist and he said, “breakfast?” I nodded, smiling, figuring that was the appropriate reaction.

Pretty soon there were pots and pans clanging and bacon sizzling. I realized that it might be a bit much for my stomach so I shut the door to keep the smell out then went and got in the shower myself. I put the shower head on “massage” and the burning hot water hit my scalp, pounding out the headache, thumping in that things were supposed to be good right now. I was supposed to be happy. I just had fun, with my husband. I didn’t do anything to hurt anyone last night, except maybe Jake, but he knew what he was getting into from the beginning. I pictured Jake’s eyes, piercing, looking at me like only he did. Was he missing me still? Did he find a distraction yet? I wondered how long it would take for him to forget me completely. I imagined him walking Milo past me on our street and barely saying hi, giving me a nod to be polite. I let the water trickle into my mouth then I watched it pool around my red toenails. I thought about him smoothing my hair with his hand as I fell asleep in his truck. I missed him. I put my hand on the wall to hold myself up and watched the water pour from the ends of my hair.

Suddenly the bathroom door opened and Chris poked his head in. He said loudly, “Do you want your eggs scrambled or poached or fried?”

“I’m not hungry” I said.

His mouth dropped open. Then he quickly recovered and said, “I’m making scrambled with cheese. Get it together girl”. Slam.

Get it together girl? I couldn’t help but laugh. Yeah right. I turned the water off , squeezed it out of my hair into the drain and decided that if I saw Jake anywhere,  I wouldn’t talk to him or look at him. I would cut him off completely. Partially because that way it would be easier for me to forget about him. But mostly because I couldn’t bare for him to forget about me.

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About Odette

Odette's character is written by Emmerson Grace Hayes. email: ungratefulbliss@gmail.com If only small talk could be replaced by dancing...
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