It was 7:30 a.m. when she pulled open the curtains of her penthouse hotel room. There before her, sharing the morning sky, were both a huge moon and the bright sun. The sight took her breath away and she… instinctively leant forward as if she could possibly get closer to this phenomenon. It had been a rough couple of weeks, and this sight alone was enough to lift her spirits. From everything that had happened with Danny to her mother and father breaking the news that they were getting a divorce, it was no wonder she had escaped to this hotel room located as far away as possible from her home.
She turned her back to the window and surveyed the room she was staying in. She could see where she had haphazardly dropped her bag, the contents spilling on the floor, and her shoes strewn on the floor right by the bathroom where she had hurtled towards when she first entered the room and proceeded to vomit in the toilet. She knew she shouldn’t have gone for those after work drinks, but sometimes the only way to forget her problems was through alcohol.
Her phone was now vibrating silently, and she gently padded over to the bedside table to check it out. It was a Saturday morning, and she couldn’t think of anyone who would be contacting her this early in the morning. The phone finally silenced but then a split second later it lit up again, this time, it seemed, with more urgency. Her eyebrows furrowed as she picked up the phone to find that it was an ‘Unknown ID’ calling her. She was not going to pick that up. She made it a habit not to answer calls from numbers she didn’t know; majority of the time they turned out to be PPI calls or ‘You’ve been involved in a car accident recently…”, which was ridiculous because she couldn’t even drive.
The phone silenced again so she threw her phone onto the bed before heading to the bathroom to see the damage the night before had done. As predicted, she had mascara trails on her face, eyeliner that had smudged and lipstick that could definitely look better. She rolled her eyes at herself but also chuckled because despite looking like a hot mess she knew she had fun the previous night. Sometimes, she thought, you’ve just got to let yourself loose.
Her heart sped up at the sound of her own name. Who the hell was in her room? She certainly didn’t notice anyone when she woke up. Was it because she was still hungover and in a state of undress that she didn’t notice? She was starting to slightly sweat now, slightly panic, slightly everything. She reached for the closest thing to her, which happened to be a toothbrush, and held it out in front of her as she walked slowly out of the bathroom. What she was going to do with the toothbrush, she had no idea. She knew full well that bristles were the least likely to hurt anyone, yet she felt a modicum of safety in holding it anyway.
“Woah, woah, woah!”
The toothbrush clattered to the floor as she took in the sight before her. It was Charlie. Her damned colleague. What the fuck had happened?
She took in the sight in front of her. Charlie was still wearing his work shirt from yesterday but was only in his boxer briefs. He looked dishevelled as if he hadn’t slept all night. Her mind crept to thoughts about what might have happened but she sent them scuttling away because she wasn’t ready to deal with that just yet.
“Ruth? You alright?”
She snapped out of her reverie and looked at Charlie who was looking at her with amusement. This was probably because she was still holding her arms out in front of her in a karate chop style as if she was actually going to attack him. She dropped her arms to her side and stood up straight. She wasn’t really sure what to do and she felt incredibly awkward standing in front of Charlie with only her underwear and a baggy t-shirt on. Again, her mind wanted to creep but she pushed the thoughts away. Not yet. Not now.
“I mean…” She glanced at Charlie, who was scratching his beard. Strangely enough, she noticed that it looked well kept despite him looking rough. How did he do that? When she woke up in the morning, her hair was sticking up on end and she had the worst case of eye crust every time. Even his hair looked neat. It was only his clothes that looked crumpled. She was starting to get increasingly annoyed, but she wasn’t sure why. Irrational annoyance at someone’s appearance? That’s how she knew it was way too early in the morning, “… nothing happened, if that’s what you’re wondering…”
The elephant in the room ran away.
She was not even aware that there was an elephant in the room until she saw it’s big behind charging away into the distance. She felt a breath, that she didn’t know she had been holding in, leave her. At the end of the day, she was still with Danny and even though they had fought, she could never do that to him. At least this now confirmed it to her. Charlie was now pacing around the room, casually picking up things that had dropped on the floor: a pair of trousers, some keys and a leaflet for discounted pizza from the dirty pizza place around the corner. She watched him, somewhat with affection as she really thought about it. Nothing could ever happen between them, he was her oldest friend and he always had respect when it came to her relationship with Danny. He was always there for her when she needed to cry, rant, drink copious amounts of alcohol and eat all of the dirty food, but he always did it with a distance, so to say.
She wondered why she thought something had happened this time.