five. Don't Talk to Strangers

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Of course.

Of course that this would happen. This was the cherry on top of the joke of a cake that was my life.

I couldn't quite wrap my mind around the gravity of the situation. All I could do was to stare at the small plastic package, completely transfixed by it. I should've been prepared for this. Knowing my luck, I should have made some sort of emergency procedure for this sort of situation –but I hadn't. Was this my karma punishing me for sleeping with Alexei? Did karma have something against one night stands?

I considered my options. My first idea was to throw the thing out the window and pretend like none of this ever happened –but I couldn't do that. I did not want to kill some poor passerby –although it would make quite an interesting epitaph on their grave –"death by head injury caused by a bag of cocaine".

My second idea was to drive back all the way to that godforsaken mansion and to put the money and the cocaine back in its original place, but the idea of walking into a house full of potentially pissed criminals –they definitely wouldn't be in a good mood if they discovered that their merchandise and profit was gone – was making me rather nervous.

And my final idea was to hide the drugs and the money and to try to think everything through later –after a good night of sleep and some coffee.

I hoped that this was something I could laugh about in thirty years years –if I lived to tell about it.

In the meantime, I stuffed the cocaine into the brown paper bags and the paper bags back into Tina's purse, which I unceremoniously threw into my closet –out of sight, out of mind. To change my mind and to take it off the incriminating illicit substance that was hidden behind a backpack inside of my closet, I took a second shower -to hell with the power bill -which made me feel about ten times better. For a moment, as the sound of the rushing water drowned out my thoughts, I was completely oblivious to everything that had happened in the last 24 hours. As soon as the water was cut off though, everything rushed back at me at once and the beginning of a headache pounded behind my eyes. What the hell had I gotten myself into?

I was on the verge of hyperventilating when I heard the ring of my cellphone coming from the confines of my bedroom. Gathering what was left of my composure I jogged to my room and picked it up from my dresser, answering it without checking the caller ID, which I immediately regretted.

"Hello?" I tried to coach my voice into a calm and confident tone, but it still sounded shaky and meek at best.

"What the fuck, Isis?!" I had to pull my flip phone away from my ear and I glanced at the small screen to check if the volume of Tina's outcry hadn't cracked it. It had jolted me awake from my despair and made me infinitely more alert.

I decided to act clueless. "What?" I asked, pouring every bit of innocence I possessed (if I had any left after my nightly adventures in Alexei's company) into my tone. But Tina was not buying any of it.

"Oh don't you dare try to get away with this," she spat, her voice still shrill. "You know damn well why I'm calling you. Now explain." She sounded like a queen addressing a common villager and I sighed heavily.

"I just... I'm sorry for not responding, but I really didn't hear or feel my phone vibrating." My voice sounded pathetic even to my own ears. It was shaky and feeble, barely louder than a whisper.

"And it didn't occur to you to check your phone from time to time?" Her voice dripped with anger and sarcasm. "I even thought about calling your father! You scared the living fuck outta me, Isis. Don't you dare do this to me ever again."

"I got a bit drunk and I kind of passed out, actually," I lied, almost startled at the ease with which the lie rolled off my tongue. There was a moment of silence on Tina's side and for once I was completely unable to guess what her reaction would be.

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