Discover more from BadFiction
HOTEL — a fiction
Waking up in a strange bed and wondering if she is still there
Waking up in a stranger’s bed makes me feel uncomfortable. The sheets still feel fresh, despite the tossing and turning in the night. I always tend to move a lot — kicking out at the bed covers. I’m not the most amiable bed-companion.
She is still asleep, head buried beneath the covers. Somehow we survived the night together. I somehow retain a fear of waking up in an empty bed — proof of my rejection — and imagine the lonely exodus from the room, trying not to disturb the house’s other occupants. After all these years, I can’t seem to shake it.
The curtains are closed. I test them but the runner is stuck. I don’t think it’s a fault. I think it’s meant to be like that. The fabric is a synthetic satin. An ugly choice, I think to myself.
The headboard is made of the same material. I catch a hangnail on a thread and suck my teeth.
She stirs. I prepare myself.
‘Hey,’ she whispers. I notice the edge of a smile at the corner of her mouth, her eyes still closed. I smile back and resolve to commit myself once again.
‘Hey,’ I whisper back. I breathe again as she moves over, places a hand across my chest. There are other stirrings in the room, noises from the sofa and pull-out mattress.
‘Did you sleep?’ she asks me.
‘A little,’ I reply, feeling her fingers move across my chest. The noises from the other side of the room grow louder. Other smaller lungs pull in the first breaths of the morning.
‘What time is check out?’ she asks.
Movement now. The inevitable energy of the day begins to surface.
‘Do you want to get the kids ready?’ she asks.
We lay there and our others crawl over us, squeeze in between us. She giggles with them. Looks over at me. Mouths the words I love to hear.
‘I love you too,’ I say, the words as water to my burning soul and the light of the day breaching the edges of the curtains.
‘Let’s go home,’ she says. And I smile.
Originally published on Tumblr
New fictions every day at www.olliefrancis.co.uk
Support my work by buying my ebook, Good Fortune