Chapter One - Cold Coffee

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You know you're really fucked when the sounds of last night's party still echo in your head when you wake up.

Gabe groaned when he woke up, struggling to open his hungover eyes as the rays of afternoon sunshine battered against them. He pushed the palms of his hands into the sockets and groaned again, attempting weakly to open his eyes. Lifting his head slowly, a cramp threatening to form in his neck, he tried to process the situation - tried to figure out exactly what had happened the night before. He was lying fully clothed on top of his bed, which reeked of beer and sweat. The duvet was flung across the room and lay in a heap in front of his wardrobe, and the pillows sat in a distressed pile under the window.

After a few pathetic attempts at sitting upright, he finally managed to pull himself into a comfortable position, his head still banging. How the hell he even got to his room from a house two streets away, Gabe had no idea. He couldn't imagine himself stumbling home drunk by himself, he fell asleep too easily when he had been drinking, and none of his friends would have let him leave by himself. Although it seemed like the most reasonable answer, Gabe couldn't visualise any of his friends walking him home. He was sure that wasn't what happened, so how had he got home safe? He rolled himself off the bed and trudged downstairs, groaning periodically.

After a few minutes of walking around absent-mindedly, not entirely sure what he was doing, Gabe found himself slouched into his sofa, drinking from a mug half filled with the coffee he must have made while still in his hungover trance. He checked his phone - twelve missed calls, all from the same unknown number. Each one was around twenty minutes apart, with the first one at 10:03am, and the most recent only four minutes ago at 1:52. It must have gone off without Gabe noticing, he had a tendency to zone a lot the day after a lot of heavy drinking. He ignored the calls, tossing his phone aside, and let out a long sigh as he leaned back into the sofa.

He shut his eyes, attempting to replay last night. Even now, twelve hours after the party had ended, he could still hear the exceptionally loud synth music rattling around his eardrums. He could still see the face of the girl he had drunkenly tried to chat up, her features burned onto his wasted memory. He could still feel the intense nausea that came after his seventeenth drink of God knows what. But no matter how hard he tried, Gabe didn't know when he left, or how he managed to get home alive.

A gentle yet persistent tapping on his front door shook Gabe out of his odd state, and he opened his eyes reluctantly. Gabe didn't know anyone who would want to speak to him in person instead of just texting him, especially the day after a hard party. Desperate for the knocking to stop so that he didn't throw up from the noise, he dragged himself out of his chair and towards the door. As he placed his fingertips on the handle to interrogate whoever wanted to see him so desperately, he took a sip of his coffee.

It was already cold.

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