The trouble with Nick
The trouble with cocktails is that they always hit you hard and with little warning. One minute you're chatting to your old school mate and the next thing you know you're burying your head under the pillow wishing that who or whatever was hammering its way out would get on with it, rip your skull open and end it all. But what the hell had happened in between? How had the battered and slightly grubby looking hardback copy of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep with a Putney public library sticker ended up in bed with me, and where the hell was my phone?
I rolled over, groaning, hoping that facing away from the window might help, but the late morning sun reflected off the mirror opposite, and was almost worse than looking at it directly. Why hadn't I shut the fucking curtains when I stumbled in after god knows how many pina coladas last night? Well, I sure as hell want going to get out of bed and do it myself, not now. I dragged the duvet over my head and wished, silently and almost sincerely, that I were dead. It was hot and smelt stale and sour, but it was dark, and I allowed unconsciousness to envelop me.
I woke up several hours later, and the library book was gone. The curtains were closed and a tall glass of water waited for me on the chest of drawers at the foot of the bed. What wonderful benefactor had visited while I slept? I peered into the darkness and saw a shape curled up on the papasan chair in the corner, Phillip K Dick on the floor next to it. I got out of bed and quietly approached the chair, who the hell was it? As I neared the shape I recognised the spiky black hair. Shit. Nick. He had been in the bar last night trying to chat me up again. How many times did I have to tell him I wasn’t interested?
I tiptoed away, hoping that I could extricate myself from the unwanted encounter before it began. As I neared the door, my clumsy, bare, hungover foot snagged in my bra strap and I fell. Grabbing for the chest of drawers for support, time slowed down as the pint of water flew, slow motion, through the air, narrowly missing my unwanted guest and emptying its contents instead all over the library book as the glass thudded quietly on the floor beside it. Nick muttered, nuzzled the side of his face deeper into the chair, but did not wake up. Maybe he’d had as much to drink as I had and what I feared might have occurred last night had not. I retrieved my bra and sidled out of the door, thinking only of escape at this point. Avoiding the conflict and more importantly, avoiding having to think about it. Until I saw it. Glistening and gooey, stuck with my own bodily fluids to my glass coffee table and filled with his. Shit.