I’m probably the first woman in the history of mankind to consider using shoe polish as eyeliner. Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if there have been 762,329 women before me that have found themselves in the same situation.
I stare at my naked eyes in the mirror and I will my body to self-dry. I watch my lips curve into a smile as I reflect on the irony of my refusal to use the towel of the stranger that I just spent the night with. Not spent the night but spent the night. My smile disappears as quickly as it appears and I move away from the sink to fetch my clothes. I put them on mechanically but I deliberately leave my underpants on the floor. The black sheerness of it seems to somehow fit into the cream and black modern bathroom.
I move back to the mirror and I once again regret not having any make-up. I turn to my side and I place my hand on the slight bloat of my belly – too much alcohol from last night- that is accentuated by the skin-tight dress. I sigh then I walk into the bedroom.
A quick glance confirms that the man is still asleep. I can’t remember his name although I’m not even sure he ever told me. I proceed to systematically check the pockets of his discarded trousers and blazer and I find his wallet tucked into the back pocket of his trousers. I’m appalled to see that there is hardly any cash in it. I get a flashback from the night before of him paying for drinks with a card and I groan audibly. I move over to the bed, palming the wallet, and I stare down at him.
He’s not a bad looking man overall with his fashionably shaped beard and broad shoulders. His left arm is bent under his head and I admire the flex of his bicep. I look from the black hairs on his chest to the slight paunch of his belly. The white sheets are tangled around his waist. I hold out my hand over his chest and I see that we are almost the same shade of brown. He looks very peaceful in his sleep and I decide not to wake him. A thought does occur to me as I turn away from him and it’s a bad one. It occurs to me that it would be relatively easy to kill him right now.
I pick up my purse and shoes, helping myself to a pair of black leather slippers that I see on the floor beside the dresser. I walk over to the slightly ajar door and I decide at the last moment to leave the wallet. I turn around to look for a suitable spot to toss it and that’s when I see her.
I notice that for the first time, my heart rate has not risen at the sight of her. She is sitting on the bed, on the side where I slept, with her back against the head rest. She is wearing the same thing, she has on the same hairstyle. She is holding a cigarette and I’m curious to see whether there would be real smoke coming out of her mouth. She doesn’t meet my eyes at first and when she does I see that there is a question in her gaze. I wonder what the question is. What are you looking at? Did you miss me? Where are you going? What are you doing here? Who is this man? Who are you? Can I help you?
About thirty seconds pass and then she parts her lips as if to say something. My heart begins to beat loudly then and my mouth is suddenly dry. She cannot speak! I cannot let her speak! I have this knowledge that the moment she speaks to me and I respond is the moment I would have truly gone mad. My breathing returns to normal when she doesn’t say anything but instead puts the cigarette in her mouth. She has a look in her eyes, like she knows that she holds my sanity in her hands. I suddenly realize that I do not in fact want to know whether there would be real smoke coming from her mouth. I turn away from her quickly and I rush out of the room. I dump the wallet on the leather couch in the living room as an afterthought then I let myself out of the apartment.