Mauve (5)

I woke up with a post-it stuck to my forehead and a glaze over my eyes that you would not believe. I swam around in the bunched up sheets and pounding headache for about a full minute just to dislodge an arm. In Bobbi’s flowery handwriting over the neon pink, I gathered the information to take a few aspirin, drink lots of water, and call for Justine if I needed to throw up.
In a wave of nausea, I crumpled it and ran a hand over my forehead. It was sweaty and the post-it adhesive had made a faint sticky stripe across it.
Pulling down the blinds to darken the belligerent onslaught of sunlight, I flopped back down into the bed that was both my respite and tormentor.
An hour and seventeen minutes later, I padded slowly into the kitchen. My size nine feet kept sticking to the tile and making that schlip, schlip sound as I walked which alerted Justine to my presence.
My roommate was perched on the couch with the TV tuned to the Food Network at a barely decipherable volume. She had one of her four-inch, stuffed to the gills binder out in front of her and a yellow highlighter poised in her left hand. Grad school always kept her busy as hell.
“Hey,” she said as I reached for a bowl out of the cabinet.
I barely grumbled out a responsorial ‘hey’ back as I watched the Captain Crunch cascade from its packaging.
“You okay?” she asked, shifting herself to face me more directly. I wished she hadn’t because I probably looked damn awful.
“Fine,” I said. I wasn’t going to bother with the milk. Just collecting the combination of bowl, cereal, and spoon was enough activity for the present moment.
“Okay well tell me if you need anything. I’ll be around.”
I nodded but she didn’t see it because she was already absorbed once more into the world of advanced journalism and Paula Deen’s latest heart attack.
I brought the bowl back to my room and sat on my bed once more, careful not to tip it and spill all over my daisy patterned comforter.
Feeling a little better thanks to all the ‘essential nutrients’ I was spooning into myself, I reached up for the blinds to pull them back up now that I was slightly more normalized. As I meddled with the intricate dance that is handling classic blinds, I caught sight of ballpoint scrawlings across my forearm. Pulling it closer for further inspection I could see that it read Levi Brandt 3252878818. Still images of laughter and sidewalks and a parking lot full of Hondas began to emerge from my subconscious.
As I held this newfound information up to the sunlight, I heard my phone jostle to life on the nightstand, cranking out the lyrics to my favorite Journey song as it vibrated violently. Reaching for it, I saw the screen flashing the same number that was inscribed on my skin.
It took me a moment of staring at the inordinate number of eights on the screen to gather the courage to answer.
“Hello?” I grogged.
I bit my lip and tapped my fingers against my thigh.
“I know it’s not cool to call a girl before a twenty-four hour period or whatever, but I’ve been feeling like hell for the last hour and couldn’t help but think that you probably were too.”
“You’re probably right.”
He sighed as if he were slightly disgusted with himself.
“Look, I’m real sorry about that.”
I tugged at the neckline of my tee shirt, suddenly aware of the fact that Bobbi probably had to dress me last night. It probably wasn’t the first time or anything, but it was still embarrassing.
“Don’t be.” The words seemed to come out of my mouth with no mental intervention whatsoever. “I’m pretty sure it was more my fault than yours.”
He groaned in pain through the phone connection. “Let’s call it a tie or else I might never forgive you.”
I smiled into the receiver.
“Hey,” I started, “Where’s your British accent?” I asked, noticing that there was a distinctive Americaness to his speech. He hadn’t called me ‘love’ once.
“Oh god,” he said, “Did I have an accent? Really?”
“You claimed to hail from ‘the great land of Essex.’ Your words not mine.”
He gurgled incoherently.
“Yeah… This is really embarrassing but I sometimes speak in accents after drinking to excess. It’s this inexplicable habit I have. I should be psychoanalyzed. Truly.”
“Well I was completely convinced if that helps.” I was a little disappointed, I’ll admit it.
He groaned again in pain.
There was a throbbing ache in my brain stem. I flopped onto the covers with the phone still pressed to my ear.
“Is this a thing that people do?” he asked, “Meet someone over a drink and then call them to share in the misery of their hangovers?”
I chuckled, feeling a little loopy still. “It’s pretty funny when you think about it,” I said.
We sat in silence for the next three minutes. I heard his breathing through the connection. It mixed with my own and the sound of a commercial for a new episode of Rachael Ray sifting through the walls.
“Okay, this might be a weird thing to ask you,” he started.
I shifted and pulled a pillow under my head. “What?”
“Can I, I mean, Would you let me… paint you?”
“Paint me?”
“No, I don’t mean like paint you. Your portrait. A portrait of you.”
No one had ever asked me anything like that.
“I mean I know I just met you and everything but when I told you I though you were cute, I meant it. I could help but adore the shape of your face and how it complements your eyes and neck.”
“My neck?”
“I find it funny that you remember my face so well but you couldn’t even remember you spoke in an accent all night.”
I heard sharp intake of air as he winced from his headache. “Call it an artist’s memory.”
I paused, sifting through this new information.
“I don’t want to sound pushy or anything, so you don’t have to do it of you don’t want to.”
“Sure, I guess. I’ll let you paint me.”
I could hear the smile in his voice. “Okay, just please don’t wear the pink dress.”


~ by Jade Elizabeth on December 7, 2011.

2 Responses to “Mauve (5)”

  1. This is pointless, why am I even reading it and not enjoying ? I should learn to spend my time better.

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