Fiction: In a Strangers Bed
by Justin Jones
You open your eyes to see an empty wine glass.
Where am I?
The wine glass is on a table. The table is beside a window. On the window sill… are those my underwear? Around the room you look as your vision adjusts to the cold, dark, almost-empty room.
Whose bed am I in?
You’re at first in a state of confusion. You know your head hurts. Your body aches. And you know you were out last night. The last thing you remember was the fog pumping into the dance floor. You remember sweat beading on your brow, and you remember wiping it away. That’s it.
And then you recall a car ride and a hand on your leg. You’re laughing and a man in the driver’s seat is too. Who was he?
A rush of adrenaline. What happened?! Terrifying scenarios run through your mind. You check yourself to see if you’ve been violated. No. It doesn’t seem so.
But you suddenly feel like you need to leave.
Phone! You need your phone. You jump out of bed and scan the room to find it. Your jeans. Your shirt. Anything.
Why don’t I remember anything?
And you see your jeans on the other side of the room. You run to them, search the pockets for your phone and wallet, and you find neither. Dammit.
You are in the wrong place. This isn’t right. What’s going on?
You are unsafe here, you resolve. And you must leave. You remember nothing. Someone has taken your phone and wallet. The man, the one in the car, must’ve done something to you.
You chastise yourself. Going out so hard last night was a bad idea. And leaving your friends at the first bar was a really bad idea. But no time to think of that now. You must leave.
Floorboards creak. Someone’s coming.
You feel like hiding, but he knows you’re here. And you smell something burning. The footsteps are louder and faster. Your heart races. Your breath shortens. You have no idea what to do, so you cower, look around the room as if you’ll find something to protect yourself. Anything! You jump back in bed and try best you can to recreate the position in which you woke up.
And the door opens. The smell of burning is overwhelming. You have no idea who’s behind you or why. You just want to be home. You want to… breathe. You feel like crying and then…
“Hey sunshine!” A voice calls behind you. “You were a little drunk last night, mister.”
Huh? You turn and focus on the face of the man in the car. He’s holding a plate with bacon and hash browns on it.
“I made you some breakfast,” he says with a smile, “but I burned it all to hell. Hope you like your bacon crispy.” He’s cute.
Relief consumes you and you slump into the bed.
“What happened?” you ask.
“You don’t remember me, do you?” he laughs.
“Sorry, but no.”
“Well, we met at the bar, and I told you I’d take you home, and you stripped naked, tried to come onto me, and I put you to bed in my guest room.” He’s humorous but matter-of-fact. “Thought some food might help what I knew would be a massive hangover.”
And you laugh. You’re a pity, you reckon. And you’re lucky. This man could’ve been a creep. You keep doing this to yourself and something bad will happen, you know.
But you’ll sit in his bed and eat his bacon. And there will be no end.
…until your prediction becomes reality.
Justin Jones is a columnist for Lavender Magazine, Guy Magazine, and Florida Agenda Newspaper. He writes about things like being alive, being in love, and drinking too much. Facebook.com/JustinJonesWriter.
The beauty of this production is that this new resonance is allowed to develop on its own without drawing attention to itself.September 23, 2016
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