The Morning After


The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was orange. The curtains were open, and the sun burned a hole in the sheets next to me. But then I remembered last night and wondered why the right side of my bed was empty. I am usually a light sleeper so I don’t know how he walked out without waking me.

My head suddenly throbbed in pain. I hated myself for drinking too much last night and bringing a stranger home. I said I would stop doing this to myself. I can’t even remember his name, but I can trace the constellation of freckles on his chest from memory. I remember that as soon as he eased himself out of me, how devastatingly empty I felt as he turned his back to me to go to sleep. I cried silently; the ache of loneliness consumed me like the darkness.

Today was Sunday. I didn’t really feel like getting out of bed. So I lied there watching the world keep turning outside my window. I wrapped myself in my comforter like it was a cocoon. I was a caterpillar preparing for transformation. But it was no use; my wings were broken.

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