thirty-one ~ reality

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thirty-one ~ reality

I've never had a one-night-stand. I've never experienced that awkward situation of waking up alongside someone and not knowing whether to stay or leave. Brent slept silently beside me, still clothed—just as I was. Briefly, I wondered whether we'd both fallen asleep during the film or if he'd stayed dressed out of courtesy.

Fumbling around on the floor, I tried to make contact with my phone to find out the time.

05:45.

I also had two messages from Mia, one asking how my evening had been, and another which simply said: Sounds like it went well!

As quietly as I could, I began to tap out a reply asking for advice, before remembering that she wouldn't be awake at this time in the morning. I suppose I could try to go back to sleep, and then wake up again later on so it wasn't as awkward...

I shuffled further down the bed, pulling the sheet higher up my body. Then Brent stirred. I froze, not wanting to wake him; this was such an awkward time for us both to acknowledge the fact I'd stayed the night. Would I have to leave at this time? Or would he just tell me to go back to sleep, hence making it a perfectly acceptable arrangement? Maybe staying the night didn't have such a stigma here... Maybe Brent didn't care either way. Maybe he liked the company. Maybe—

"You awake?"

His soft, husky voice interrupted my train of thought.

"Yeah," I whispered back. "Sorry, I think I fell asleep."

Stupid thing to do, pointing out the obvious. Everything felt a lot more real now we weren't drunk and using the excuse of alcohol to kiss each other. Not that there'd be any chance of me kissing him now, anyway, having just woken up...

He rubbed at his eyes and rolled over to face me. "The movie had barely started before you fell asleep."

"Sorry."

"Don't apologise. What's the time?"

"Just before six. Do you, erm, do you want me to leave?"

"No, of course not. Do you want some more sleep?"

"I'm not really tired anymore."

"Okay, well, can I get you anything? More water? Something to eat?"

It was a toss up between not wanting to inconvenience him and make a pest of myself, or having something to actually do to fill the awkward time and satisfy my grumbling stomach.

"I might have some toast, or something," I said. "I don't mind...whatever you've got in."

Brent padded over towards the kitchen, the occasional floorboard creaking under his feet as he did so, and soon disappeared around the corner where I heard the odd clatter of pans or creaking of cupboard doors. Now alone, I stretched my limbs and dared to check my appearance in my phone's camera. My eye make-up was now doing a fantastic job of ensuring I resembled a panda, so I frantically rubbed away at it, attempting to at least tidy up my face a little. Within the depths of my bag, I managed to source a bobble, and scraped my tangled hair back into a high ponytail, already feeling a little more alive and refreshed.

When Brent returned with my toast, he did a double take at my sudden change.

"You look so different with your hair back," he commented. Before he could expand on that, he jerked his head towards the door. "The sun should be rising soon. Do you want to eat outside?"

I nodded. "Sure."

With every day that passed, I noted something else that I'd end up missing when I left. Money could buy holidays to exotic destinations where I could watch the sun set as much as I liked, but it wasn't the same as having it on your doorstep—which is exactly where Brent and I sat as we ate our toast and gazed across the calm surface of the ocean, towards the vanishing horizon in the distance where just the tiniest glow of orange was visible.

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