|01| - "It's just for one night." -
It's just for one night.
Those were the words that Jasmine—my fiery flatmate—probably said more often than any others. She was very much a one night kind of girl, not looking back at it and certainly not looking beyond it, either.
Unlike me, Jasmine was a spontaneous risk-taker; she craved the unknown and thrived off the unexpected. Confident and captivating, flirtatious and fearless: Jasmine's personality was as bold as her bright red hair. In fact, near enough everything about Jasmine was bright, from her hair to her personality to her fashion sense. She lit up the room with both her sparkling character and her beaming smile.
"Has he left?" I asked her on a bright Tuesday morning as I passed through the living room on my way to the kitchen.
"Of course he's left," she replied. "It's—"
"Just for one night," I finished with a smile. "I know."
She shot me a sweet smile in return, probably very similar to the one she'd used to persuade the guy to leave, and then tilted her head back down towards her iPad as she lifted a steaming mug of coffee to her lips. Despite the fact that she was a social butterfly, Jasmine was also one of the most fiercely independent girls I'd ever met. She didn't depend on a man to please her; she already knew what made her happy and that happiness shone through as visibly as the stars on a clear night.
I bustled about in the kitchen, making myself a cup of tea with the water that was still hot in the kettle and pouring some cereal into a bowl. When I returned to the living room and took a seat opposite Jasmine at our small dining table, I continued with the interrogation.
"So did you kick this one out last night, then?"
"Yeah," she said, not looking up from her iPad. "I didn't have enough cereal."
"You can always borrow my cereal, you know."
She looked up at this point and rolled her eyes good-heartedly at me. "No, Izzy. That's what I told him: I don't have enough cereal."
I laughed softly. "Right. Is that your standard excuse?"
She shrugged and let her eyes drift back to the iPad. "One of them. They're less likely to stay the night if they realise they won't be getting breakfast in the morning."
"And so what about the guy the other morning?" I couldn't help but ask, my lips twitching in amusement.
When I'd got up one morning last week, a lanky brown-haired boy had been hunched over a bowl of cereal at the dining table. He'd lifted his eyes upon noticing me and offered a polite nod but nothing else. Whether she tended to pick the quiet ones, or whether this one didn't speak English, remained to be seen.
"Well, it was throwing it down with rain that night," she explained. "I didn't have the heart to make him walk home..."
Jasmine's regular hook-ups didn't really bother me. She never hid her love of sex and that was refreshing. She always checked with me before inviting boys over and, when they were here, I never heard a sound from her nor the boy.
"Speaking of men," she said, "how many days is it now?"
I frowned. "I'm not counting the days, you know."
I totally was.
"Okay, a rough estimate, then," she said, but from her small smile I could tell she was just humouring me.
"About a week and three days," I replied.
"Oh, yeah? About, huh?"
"I'm excited," I said in my defence.