"Love is the answer, but while you are waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions."
The worst part about waking up after an all-night fraternity party isn't the hangover; it's fighting your memory tooth and nail to remember everything that you did. Or everything that you didn't do. And when you finally figure it out, a lot of the time you wish you hadn't remembered what you fought so hard to remember.
It's an added bonus to try to do it when you wake up in a dorm room that's not your own, with the sun casting its glare right on your face. Or with a radio next door blaring music loud enough to wake the dead, never mind the drums in your OWN head. Oh... and one other small detail. You're in bed, with your best friend.
The one person you're closest to in the whole school. The woman you tease, because she admitted to you that she was still a virgin, because she hadn't found the right person to lose it to. But that's ok, because she can tease you about the same thing. And from the way you two are wrapped up in each other, without clothing, makes it a good bet, if not a certainty, that the two of you remedied each other's condition the night previous, when at least one, if not both of you were too out of it to really stop it. Wrap your mind around that, and see how much coherent thought you're capable of Trust me, you spend some time just hoping that the world ends suddenly, because you're not sure on how to deal with the consequences.
I am NOT a morning person, I joke that my preferred alarm clock setting is to make sure that I get up at the crack of noon. But adrenalin does quite a lot to clear one's head. I very slowly, carefully slide myself from her grasp, drawing a sleepy moan of protest from her lips as she shifts, and I regret leaving her warmth, but decide to soldier on, anyway.
I had been in Kaitlin's room enough that I knew where most of the important stuff was. Fortunately, Kaitlin's roommate had decided to take off-campus housing, so Kaitlin had a double all to her self, and she loved the extra space. She installed one of those plug in coffee pots, saying that she could deal with many things in the morning, but never anything before she had at least one cup of coffee in her. Decaffeinated coffee was one of the most ridiculous inventions of her lifetime, only surpassed by "Instant" coffee. She even made weekly trips down to a nearby grocery store to select the proper types of coffee, and to make sure they were fresh ground. It was one of her little foibles, but right now, I was glad...
As I scrounged a couple mugs from her closet, and set the coffee to percolate, I sighed, and wished I could remember what led us to this situation, I wasn't totally clueless, I remembered the fraternity party. They were an off-campus fraternity, and had connections among the local police, so, basically, if the neighbors didn't complain, and no one drove afterwards, they had no problem with the fraternity having a discreet party every so often.
I don't drink, much, really. But in this case one drink became two... and two become three... and three became a Jagermeister shot... and then it became... "Well, I'm already half way there, why not have one more." And "I'm going to feel it tomorrow anyway, so I might as well do the crime if I'm going to do the time." The last thing I remember was having a "last shot" and seeing what was going on at the pool... After that, it was one big alcohol related blur, no matter how much I tried. That was a pretty good statement on how much alcohol I had consumed.
As the smell of the percolating coffee reached my nose, I realized that the hangover was still there, as the strong smell made me slightly queasy, so I headed into her bathroom and grabbed a couple aspirin from her medicine cabinet.
After I poured the coffee, I realized that it wouldn't be a GOOD thing if Kaitlin woke up, and the first thing she saw was my body au natural, so to speak, so I grabbed my underwear and my shorts from the pile of clothing on the floor. (The items were mixed equally, as if we had undressed at the same time. Another sign, and not a good one). I drank half of the first cup of coffee in one large gulp, letting the hot liquid gush down my throat. A few seconds later, when I recovered from my nerves, screaming at me, I groaned in pain... I forgot how hot the coffee would be, but after a few seconds of doing my best beached fish impersonation, sucking in cool air, the pain subsided, and I awaited the so-called best part of waking up to wake me up fully. The aspirin were duly consumed with another splash of hot coffee, and now, it was time to wait. Kind of like a condemned man on death row, only in this case, not knowing when and if the switch is going to be flipped.
I actually had time to finish the first cup of coffee and pour myself a second, before I finally see Kaitlin stir. Apparently the smell of the coffee was too much for her desire to sleep (As I said, she's a coffee-aholic). As she slowly came to her senses, I heard her mutter. "Oh, my fucking head." to herself, eyes still wired shut against the encroaching sunlight. Deciding that if I was going to face the situation, I might as well face it as quickly as possible, I quietly said, "Hey, you should see the other guy."
Apparently, my sense of humor was not well received. "That's right... laugh it up Thompson..." she muttered... then it hit her. Like a ten-ton sledgehammer. "STEVE?!?!?!!" She shot upright, throwing the blanket forward as she moved. I took a second to appreciate her small, but well formed breasts pointing out at me. Hey, I might have been hung-over and shocked at what happened, but I was still male and heterosexual.
Kaitlin looked like she was going to continue looking about wildly, but the effects of the hangover had hit by then, and she slumped back in the bed with a groan. As her bare skin touched the sheet, she realized she was nude and shrieked again, pulling the blanket over her body. It was quite comical to watch. Somehow, though, I knew that if I was to laugh about it, that they would be picking parts of me off the ground for miles around. She normally had a great sense of humor, but it was quite evident that her sense of humor was non-existent today.
Before she could demand to know what I was doing there. I quickly handed her a cup of coffee and two more aspirin. "Let's kill the worst of the hangover, and then we'll discuss things." She glared at me, but accepted the coffee and the aspirin and just like me, drank half the mug in one gulp, and chased the aspirin, with what's left. She took a few deep breaths, did her best to compose herself, and then went back to glaring at me. Her green eyes were narrow, and she cast glances around the room in between glares, as if she expected to be on Candid Camera or something.
"So... what's this, some kind of prank? How'd you get in... ? Where's my clothes... and why do I feel sore..." she growled at me, before turning ash white as realization set in. She may have had a hangover... but she has no problem in putting 2+2+2 together and getting 6. The hand that wasn't holding the coffee mug disappeared under the spread, apparently checking to see if there was any dampness in the sheets. Her eyes were wide as she looked at me.
"Yeah. I think we..." my voice trailed off, as I sighed, and indicated the pile of discarded clothing. I mean, how the hell are you supposed to tell your best friend... "I think we got drunk and boinked each other". There's no book on how to work that into conversation, is there?
"So, what you're saying is... We got drunk, and decided to take each others cherries, and screw like bunnies, eh?" she exclaimed, disbelievingly. Well... Kaitlin was never one for book learning, anyway.
"Kaitlin... I..." I attempted to get out before she interrupted me.
"Steve... I'm sorry... I just need time to think. I didn't mean to... I didn't want to... I didn't expect to..." She tried to get out, her voice trailing off each time she tried to find a politic way to say she never expected to end up in bed with me.
"It's ok. I think I'm going to get my stuff, head home, and sleep off this hangover, ok?" I said quietly to her. I was a little upset (ok, more then a little upset) that this has apparently changed our relationship, and probably not for the better. I mean, the one thing we always agreed on, was that sex was never going to come between us... and it looks like we blew that up real good, and for something we don't even remember.
Apparently, she was feeling the exact same way I did. "Yeah. Do that. I'll catch up with you later." Kaitlin said, not looking at me, and just lay back, looking at the ceiling as I gathered the rest of my clothing, dressed, and headed towards her door.
The crisp October air helped ameliorate the worst effects of the hangover, as I walked back to my dorm. The leaves had just about finished falling off the trees (we joke that one of the reasons we appreciate the leaves changing color each fall so much is that it makes up for the amount of effort we put up with raking them and bagging them, and all that good stuff.
Luckily, it's only a five minute walk back to my dorm, because the cold air had raised goosebumps on my legs before I could get back to my dorm. I stopped at my room to get a clean set of undressed before I jumped into the shower. Freshly showered and changed into clean clothing, I headed back to my room. I noticed my roomie, Matt, had once again left his side of the room a mess. Thank god he was visiting family this weekend. I did not want him to ask where I had been all hours of the night and day. Or to hear him practice guitar. All I wanted now was to get forty, eighty, or heck, even 120 winks, and try to forget this morning had ever happened.
With most of the dorm either out doing stuff or visiting friends and family for the weekend, it was fairly easy to light proof the room (a shade down and towels stuffed under the door to prevent light from the hallway from spilling in). I've found when my sleeping pattern gets all screwed up by a night out; I can at least relax in complete darkness, and do my best to catch up on sorely needed sleep.
Some time in between ten minutes and ten hours later (I couldn't tell, I even turn the clock away from me and put a towel over it to make sure the light doesn't bother me), I decided that I was fully awake, and sat up. There was a teeny bit of light from the door, and I slowly walked over, and checked the towels. One of the towels had been pushed in slightly, and right next to it, was a neatly folded piece of paper... Turning on the light, I went back and sat on my bed to read it. My explosive breath when I recognized the handwriting seemed to get caught in my chest.
"Steve... I know you like to play Vampire-In-The-Dark when you're wasted after a good party... but we need to talk. Call my room as soon as you're up... Ok?"
Kaitlin's signature was a bit slanted, and it was obvious to me she still felt a little stressed out about the situation. But the fact that she was back to her normal sarcastic self with that vampire comment was a good thing. I sighed, and grabbed the phone. I got the tone that indicated I had a message waiting, but I assumed it was Kait... and I already knew what she had to say. I punched in her phone number, and she picked up after the 2nd ring with a tentative "hello?"
"Hey Kait... I got your note..." Her voice firmed as she interrupted me. "Good. You decent? Actually. I don't care. You can get decent by the time I get there." Her voice was businesslike and brisk, like a CEO speaking to an underling. I was a little startled by how abrupt she was. Normally, we'd chat about this and that for several minutes before getting to the meat of any conversation, and tried to rally with a joke "Wait... don't I get a vote in this?" Her voice was SLIGHTLY less taut and had a little bit of the Kaitlin-sarcasm I knew in it. "Of course not. This isn't a democracy. It's an enlightened dictatorship, and I'm the dictator!"
I grinned, even though she couldn't see it. "Well, I know the fate of people who try to resist dictators, so come on over, Kait. The room isn't too much of a mess." The fact that we were actually going to TALK about it made me a little happier, although I knew it would still be a long and difficult. Well... whatever it was outside. (That's the problem with my cure for a hangover. It can leave you VERY disoriented and out of whack. But its better then suffering, and then trying to catch up on sleep!),
Kaitlin sighed, and there was relief in that sigh, as if she too was glad there was a bit of normalcy after the events of the day. "Great. Be there in about 10. Matt's gone for the weekend, right?"
"Yeah... he's down in Providence visiting his folks." I confirmed, although I wondered what that had to do with anything. I think she, like me, wanted to discuss it between us before the rest of the world knew about it.
"That's good. See you in 10 then." She said, and after we exchanged (temporary) farewells, picked up the place as best as I could. Don't get me wrong, Matt's saved my butt more then once on issues, but his housekeeping leaves a bit to be desired, and god knew I didn't want a copy of Playboy with Miss September showing all when Kait got to my dorm. I had ENOUGH issues already!
I managed to open the shade and uncover the clock (both of which confirmed it was early evening, around 7 PM.) and pull on sweatpants, and a "walk-around" shirt. I was also going to check (and erase) the message on the phone, but before I could do that, there was a buzz from the intercom for me. She had arrived at the entrance, and was waiting for me to let her in.
As I pressed the buzzer to let her in, if you said I had butterflies in my stomach, it would be at least close to the truth, but if they were butterflies, they were the size of grapefruits or watermelons and they wanted OUT! I opened my door, and walked over to the stairway, so I could greet her properly. I guess I kind of caught my breath, because Kaitlin, well... looked DIFFERENT!
Her black hair was tied back in a ponytail, and she wore her favorite sweater (a kelly-green one) that matched her eyes pretty well, and just as important, as least to the male eye, fit her snugly, showing off her assets, such as they were. Her long legs were encased in a pair of beige pants that showed them off. In other words, she wasn't looking like someone who was visiting a close friend, she looked more like she was going out on a date. She half-smiled, half-smirked as she came up to me, and tossed a black bag at me that I caught out of reflex. "Hey, Stevie Wonder... About time you woke up. Figured with the sun gone down, you'd awake from your dirt nap."
Still kind of confused and befuddled, although I think it was in a GOOD way, I led her into my room, and shut the door behind us. "Kaitlin, listen, I'm sorry... I don't know what happened between us, but I promise you, I didn't try to set this up..." I put the bag down next to the door, and turned to face her.
Now that we were finally talking face to face again, the steel that had infused her voice over the phone had seemingly turned to silly putty. But there was still the Kaitlin I knew behind it. "I know. I know. God help me, Steve, I didn't try to do it either. But it happened, and we have to deal with it, ok? Don't flake out on me..."
The butterflies in my stomach all of a sudden froze over, and sunk to my feet as I realized a fact that I hadn't thought about. "Oh my god, Kaitlin... what if you're pregnant... what if..."
She cut me off there before I could babble too much on. "I said DON'T flake out on me, Thompson! And it's a good thing that you've thought about it. Luckily, my mom arranged for me to go on the birth control pill back in high school. So don't worry... there won't be any Little Kaitlin's running around just yet. This is a good thing, cuz my Dad would attempt to hogtie us into a wedding."
Truth be told, I had met Kaitlin's dad at a college orientation thing. Button down, wore a three piece suit where everybody was wearing jeans and t-shirts, kinda the Corporate America type. And she's right. He'd be saying "You're going to do the right thing by my daughter". And her mother would be arranging the wedding. Oh god. They are good folks, don't get me wrong. But like wild tigers, the best place to view them is from a distance. With several inches of armor between you and them.
She smiled, the first real smile I'd seen from her since this whole thing started. "I have to say, "Yay Mom" for exhibiting forethought. Something we seemed to lack last night." The smile wavered a second, but there seemed to be a hidden meaning behind her smile. But I'm not sure I caught the full indications.
I sighed, and grabbed us two Cokes from the mini fridge Matt and I shared. I cracked it open... and kind of pondered what to do next. She did the same, and I looked up, and decided to voice my thoughts. "Ok, Kait, we've decided that what happened last night was nobody's fault, or both of our faults, or whatever. The question is... where do we go from here."
Kaitlin stood up and looked out the window, seemingly lost in thought, before she spoke, "You know, out of all the different ways I imagined my first time to be, I never thought it would be with my best friend, when we're too drunk to stop, let alone REMEMBER what we did."
I stood behind her, and put a hand on her shoulder, and felt her lean back against me, for support and reassurance more then comfort. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and turned to me and said quietly. "That's why I'm hoping that my first time will be with my best friend, we're going to be completely sober, and I'm going to hopefully remember it always."
One of these days, somebody's going to tell me something utterly shocking, like "The moon is made of green cheese" or "Politicians really care about the people who vote for them." And I'll be perfectly fine with that. However, in this case, with my best friend saying not only did we sleep together previously and that's seemingly a bad thing, but she wants to do it again, this time when we're completely sober... I did my fish out of water impersonation again.
She spoke quickly, as if to get it all out. "I know everything you're going to say, Steve, so let me counter every argument now, and save time arguing, and just get straight to the yes or no answer, ok? You're going to say that we apparently did it last night, how did it not happen... and I'll say, because I say it doesn't. Anything you are too drunk or too tired to remember, didn't really happen."
She took a deep breath, and let it out slowly, as if she was gaining confidence. "Then you're going to say if last night didn't happen, why do you want to do it tonight? And I say that even though we're pretending it didn't happen, we can't take back what happened. Let's face it Steve, you and I are apparently no longer virgins, at least in the technical sense. And being virgins is like breathing. Either you are, or you're not. There really isn't a "kind of" setting. There's a yes, and there's a no."
She waited as if I was going to object, but I was still too shocked to speak. "And finally, you want to know why it's you I want to do it with. Well... part of it is what we did last night. It was us before, it should be us now. But more importantly, you're my best friend. I can't count the amount of stuff you and I have been through. I'd rather have my first time be at the hands of someone I really like, if not quite love yet, rather then some person I barely know. So, unless you say no... I say yes."
Well, the good thing about being stunned so repeatedly within one day is that once you hit a certain point of being stunned, nothing more can faze you. In fact, I think the word love would have shocked me so much normally, coming from her that I would have been a gibbering wreck by the end of the day. But my shock-o-meter had burned out from this day... so all that was left was rational thought.
"If you've thought it out that much, Kait, I can't fight it, nor do I really want to. But before we do this... you got to promise me something. Good or bad or indifferent or whatever, we're still friends, ok? I'm not throwing away a year and a half of studying, partying, deep meaningful conversations, and a bunch of random activities for a few seconds of physical pleasure."
She smiled and nodded her head, and pulled me to her... I'm a couple inches taller then her, but all that meant she had to tilt her head slightly as our lips met for the first time. And I could tell it was our first time kissing. I think, somehow, if I was dead and a skeleton, the feeling of her lips touching mine for the first time would get a reaction. Her lips had a slight taste of strawberries, and even though we were both tentative to start, our confidence slowly grew, and as our kiss deepened, I could see her eyes widen from the sensations. I'm sure I was doing the same thing.
After a few more seconds I felt her tongue tentatively seek mine, and our kiss became more... charged. She was almost literally melting into me, and I'm not sure if we wouldn't still be there if we ran low on oxygen. I'm sure that "Stunned-beyond-belief" expression was back on my face. And for once, it was mirrored on her own face. She recovered slightly faster then I did... but only slightly faster. A single solitary, lightly breathed "Wow", escaped her mouth, but that was it. She was as speechless as I was.