Morning came slow and quiet, breathing daylight into this yet another stranger’s bedroom. I found myself alone with a slight hangover and decided to stay in bed a little longer. The digital bedside clock read 8:06, late for my usual departure for one night stands. I must have taken too many shots from last night’s party. For many months now, my mornings usually comprised of waking up in someone else’s bed, sneaking out, and making my way home from a strange neighborhood. Every once in a while, I’d find myself in a squalid tenement apartment in a locality of dubious reputation. Sometimes I’d be surprised to wake up beside a naked man; fortunate to discover that I don’t suffer a sore behind. But just like every morning, I normally see myself out with the sole intention of keeping my anonymity.
Today was different. The sun beat me to my game and my host was up. I looked around the room to remember who it was. To my left was the bedside table where the digital clock sat and next to it was a photo frame. I picked it up and saw a picture of a straight-haired brunette girl with dark brown eyes and light brown cheeks, smiling happily beside a dark-haired man with beautiful curly locks, caramel eyes and same healthy shade of brown as her cheeks. I couldn’t remember meeting her so I replaced the photo on the table and continued exploring the room with my eyes: two abstract paintings on the wall on this side of the room, a thick wooden door across the bed, a huge sleek wooden wardrobe with sliding doors just beside the door, another painting, and a desk full of books and neatly stacked notes and documents facing a huge window. It was probably one of the most decent places I have ever crashed into.
Outside, the sky was blue with fine cottony strips of clouds. I decided to take a look and realized that my clothes were missing. I searched under the bed and sheets to no avail. Then I noticed a folded blue towel on the chair by the desk. I got out of bed and walked towards it in stark nakedness. I reached the chair and saw that the view from the window was beautiful. I could see the port, the luxury hotels, the malls, and other establishments from up there. I was in the thirty second floor of a decent condominium in the fancy part of the city and the scenery was refreshing from the usual nondescript view out of my own apartment.
I raised my arms to stretch and rested my hands on each side of the window, quietly admiring the view and enjoying the idyllic moment. I didn’t know how long she had been standing by the door but I realized that I wasn’t alone when the smell of honey and pancakes wafted into the room. I turned towards her, still naked, and greeted her a good morning. She laughed when I bantered about her stealing my clothes. She had a nice laugh and I immediately liked her. I quickly covered myself with the ignored towel and followed her to breakfast. Her place was spacious with windows charitably letting in soft light. I saw my clothes neatly folded on the leather sofa. But she ushered my to the table before I even turned to reach them.
Breakfast was fun. She was very jocular and insouciant and I’ve never laughed that much for so long without the help of alcohol. We were still eating breakfast and I was still sitting half naked in her dining table when it was time for lunch. I told her that I’d just take a quick shower and head right out. She reached out for my hand and asked if I wanted to stay until the New Year because she’d be all alone in this beautiful place. I asked about the guy in the photo. She said it was her boyfriend and that he was working in another country and wouldn’t be back for seven months.
I declined her offer and went off to the shower where she followed me. The one quick shower I intended to do immediately turned into two long rounds of intercourse with warm water raining down on us. I knew she was lonely but I’d never make that mistake again of being someone else’s escape.
Towelled and fully clothed, I knocked on her bedroom door before going in and caught her sitting on the chair, staring off into the distant horizon. I thanked her for being a good host and bid my farewell. She smiled wanly and offered to see me to the elevator. I gladly accepted and we walked in silence on the way out. When the elevator came, she awkwardly asked if she could see me again. I held the elevator door and thought for a second. She quickly followed it with a request to know my name. I let go of the elevator doors and smiled forlornly. I watched her as she waited for my answer. Then the doors closed and the elevator started its descent, never to take me back up.