The Evening After The Night Before

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: December 15, 2017

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Submitted: December 15, 2017

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The Evening After The Night Before.

Alec glared at the clock. It was his enemy, no doubt about it, the time moving so slowly. He’d barely been able to make it in to work after that night. Why could he never learn? At least four drinks past being drunk and he was paying for it big time.

His head still hurt. His mouth felt foul, tongue and teeth coated with some obnoxious substance that tasted like oil-spattered sawdust. And as for his stomach; it was roiling and boiling, heaving in protest at the way he’d treated it.

But that wasn’t the worst of it. He could not remember anything about the last half of the night. He had no idea how he got home....in fact, Alec had to admit, he’d been so far gone he had no idea where he had to get home from. It was all such a void.

The worry that he had made some sort of mistake, persisted, grew stronger throughout the day. But what could he have done? He studied his hands. There were no bruises or grazes, and he just did not feel like he’d got in to any kind of fight. He’d woken up alone, no sign that anyone else had shared his bed. His wallet was in his pocket, a bit light on cash but after the night that was he could hardly be surprised at that.

No! If he had done something stupid he’d no idea what it could have been. The worry kept nagging away, so much so that he even took advantage of a moment alone in the office to check his social media. No clues there, either.

Finally time took sympathy on him and moved forward to let him go home. The train journey was a nightmare. Every single lurch or movement made him sure he was about to vomit up some vile smelling evidence of his drink binge. A combination of deep breaths and mints, and he made it to his station with no embarrassing accidents having taken place.

The walk of a few blocks would do him good; would help to clear his head. Water, that’s what he needed; a lot of it too. That gap in his memory was still bothering him, but he hadn’t been arrested or taken in for questioning.....perhaps it was nothing more than guilt for getting so drunk.

Alec opened the door to his apartment, tossed down his jacket and kicked off his shoes. He’d head off to the kitchen, get some cooled water from the fridge and just relax.

Strange though, that when he walked into the kitchen he could hear running water, quite a lot of it from the sound of it. Not from the sink, so it had to be coming from the bathroom. Surely he’d not gone out and left the shower on? And if he had, wouldn’t it be dripping through the ceiling by now?

The apartment, although small, was on two floors. He made his way towards the stairs as carefully and quietly as he could. Half way up, he heard the water stop then start up again. He’d not left the tap on then, and as far as he knew he was alone. For a moment he considered if he might have got it wrong, that he had accidentally walked into someone else’s place. But no, it was his place, his home. All his belongings were around him.

Which all left one big question: who, exactly, was making use of his shower?

Now Alec was left with a dilemma. Should he go charging in on the offensive, demanding answers; or should he be more sneaky, try to stay undetected until the last moment and have surprise on his side?

In the end he did neither, or a combination of both, depending on how you looked at it. He pushed open the bathroom door. The shower walls were so steamed up he could not even make out a shape. It could be a man or a woman, even an alien in there, for all that he could see.

He coughed. He coughed again, louder this time, and was rewarded by hearing the shower turned off. The door slid open slightly, just enough for a head to pop out. A male head, with blonde spiky hair and a bushy beard. Who.....?

And then it came back to him in a rush, the nagging worry of what he’d done wrong. How was he going to live with this mistake? He’d drunkenly issued the invitation, offering a stranger his spare room. How could he go back on it now?,

Hi, Alec,” Keith said from in the shower. “Thanks for the offer and lending me the key. Glad to take you up on it....I’ll pay my way, of course, as soon as I get a job.”

Okay......Great, err.....”

Keith!”

Alec turned and shut his eyes. Now what was he going to do? Once he’d got this mess sorted out, he swore he’d never drink again.

 


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