19 | The Morning After the Sh*tstorm Before

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I woke up expecting a headache

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I woke up expecting a headache. I hadn't touched a drop of alcohol, but the previous night felt like such a blur that when I gently stirred awake at around nine o'clock the next morning, my lack of hangover momentarily threw me. The apartment was shrouded in a still silence, no doubt due to Harriet, Alex, and Dharsheni nursing their actual hangovers. With a sigh, I flipped my duvet over to stumble out of bed, then made my way through to the living room.

The place looked as though a hurricane had hit the British Isles. Discarded paper straws and glasses, some empty while others contained suspicious looking liquids, were splayed around the apartment. Empty plates provided the only indication that I'd made food for the event, and there was an indistinct stuffy smell circling the air. I reached over my sofa to lift open the living room windows for some fresh air, then collapsed onto it with a long sigh.

Once I'd completed that strenuous activity, I quietly shuffled back into the hallway to pretend the mess didn't exist. With a soft knock, I carefully opened Dharsheni's bedroom door. Her big, brown eyes peeped at me from the double bed, and she lowered her duvet to shoot me a gentle smile before lifting it in invitation.

I treaded a few feet into the spotlessly clean room to fall into the empty space on her mattress, then wiggled myself under her white duvet until I was fully immersed within it. I took it from her hands, and dropped it over my face to hide like some small child, or perhaps a shy woodland creature. A squirrel, maybe, although not a London-based ones because those things were vicious.

I could feel her eyes on me, boring into the side of my skull through the material of her duvet with expectation, but I wasn't going to take the bait. Dharsheni, realising this, bit the bullet.

'Any South Korean Irishmen in your bed this morning?' she taunted.

'It's called method acting, Sheni,' I scoffed, my voice muffled by the material covering my face. 'Google it.'

'Yikes, you're so in love that you're morphing into him.'

I ragged the duvet off my face to look at my friend, then exclaimed, 'I can assure you I feel nothing of the kind towards Finn.'

'Rosie,' she groaned as she tugged at the messy, curled ponytail she'd slept in. 'Hon, in all seriousness, when are you going to admit to yourself that you like him?'

'It's not—I—' I closed my eyes for a few seconds, then sighed. 'Look, I've never denied that I find him offensively attractive—hello, he literally started off as the guy I pined over during my morning commute—and okay, yeah, I maybe don't find him as annoying as I like to make out, but I don't like him like him. Even if I did—which I absolutely don't—he's not exactly boyfriend material, is he?'

'Oh, yeah, you're not even slightly invested in him emotionally, you're right.' Her tone was so sarcastic that it might well have killed her if she continued. 'What does that even mean, anyway? Why is he not boyfriend material?'

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