I should be hurrying up, but I allow myself to stand under the water and think of all the different ways this could play out when I step out, assuming that he is still there. I thought I had heard the hotel room door open and close at some point but I couldn’t be too sure. I wonder if I am sure about thinking that he had been as interesting and wonderful as I had in my drunken state the earlier night. That’s the thing about going to these affairs that make you acutely aware of how few really truly interesting people you actually meet in life. Interesting to you, interested in you. I had met Josh at just the beginning of what would turn out to be my most drunken night in months, so I had enough clarity to remember that I thought he was really funny and we had laughed and talked endlessly over the bottles of champagne we had stolen from the bar. I remember being amazed by the level of comfort I found myself in in his company. I smile to myself, slightly embarrassed when I think of the way we had rushed into his hotel room tearing at each other in the hallway. God I really hope none of the hotel staff remember seeing me come in with Josh last night. I think it’s strange that I wouldn’t have worried about being seen and that for once, I was able to forget about what people might say or think. I smile thinking about the ease. This gives me enough courage to step out of the shower, hoping Josh is still there. I would like to see what he is like, without the champagne haze.
I dry myself, put on the bathroom again, pull my wet hair up in a bun on the top of my head and slowly unlock the bathroom door. A strange sensation of hope and fear flutter about in my chest and settle in the pit of my stomach. All knotted nerves, I inhale a deep breath and step out.
I see Madilyn from behind the translucent curtains leading out to the balcony where I am standing. She’s in the fluffy white hotel bathrobe and I immediately think about the alabaster skin underneath. Barefeet she steps forward looking around curiously with searching eyes. She is beautiful, just as I think I remember her. I almost want to step forward and loosen the bun on her head to unravel her long raven locks. I remember her hair distinctly from the night before. The obscure gleam of the blackness a stark contrast to her fair skin all the same time making her less noticeable and the most attractive in the room. I had stood by the bar glancing around the room full of people all dressed up and polished, and it wasn’t until my second glance around the room when I noticed her. She was laughing at something someone at her table had said and I could notice the flush of having had a little too much wine spreading across the nape of her neck. When she’d thrown her head back to laugh and glanced forward to make eye contact with me, I had been struck by her beauty. Not just in the way that her physical appearance had attracted me but in a way where I knew I needed to spend more time with her, to know a little more about her, to make sure I would have some shared memories with this girl. Funny how that happens and now that she is here, standing in my room, waiting to be discovered if need be and yet I fumble in my judgment. Nervous about interacting, nervous about not interacting, nervous I might have made a big mistake, but even more nervous that it might not infact be the familiar morning after regret.
His coat is still lying on the chair by the end of the bed so I know he’s still here but I don’t see him anywhere. I wonder if he’s stepped out of the room for something. Maybe to make a phonecall……to his friends? His girlfriend? His wife? I start to psych myself out again, as I always do. I know for a fact that there was no wedding ring, but really how many married men who show up to destination weddings by themselves really use that opportunity to hook up with random women? Could he be married and have conveniently slipped off the gold circle for the few days he is here? Whatever, either way, I am going to get out of here and that is it. I don’t need to deal with the enraged wife or girlfriend. I find myself getting unnecessarily flustered at the thought.
“Hey,” Josh calls out from behind me as I bend down to collect a few articles discarded around the bed. I snap up straight and turn around. He’s standing in front of the door leading to the balcony in his blue and white boxers and a plain white T. The light coming in from behind creating a blurry silhouette around his figure against the light. It almost looks like a halo for his entire body. I smile at him and say hey.