The alarm shakes her awake, dried drool and morning breath her first unpleasant sensations of the day. Cherry bedsheets and strangers’ blankets are haphazardly wrapped around her chilly body. She sits up, the open curtains spilling sunlight into the cramped space. Blistering sunlight catches onto her raw neck, as she scratches it absent mindedly. A pair of manhandled trainers are hanging out of the window, rocking ever so gently to and fro in the breeze.
The music is still playing from his phone, but he doesn’t budge. She turns to him, but his face is hidden under a mass of auburn locks. Laboured breathing tells her that he’s starting to awaken, twitching his toes up and down.
She observes him for some moments, before deciding its best not to think about it. What exactly the ‘it’ was is difficult to determine, we only know that she cannot help but think back to another situation, not so different from this, which happened once so long ago, yet she cannot forget it.
The sweet tones of bird chirrups spur her into action, picking up her stray socks and underwear off the crowded floor. She thinks she’s fine. But then she remembers something, a vivid memory. A memory which she can smell and taste, one which she hadn’t thought of for a very long time. You can tell she’s deeply affected, but the way she bites her lip ever so slightly and shakes her head to herself silently, taking a deep breath.
No, she whispers to herself, try not to think of it.
Fully dressed, she heads out of the door.
Copyright © 2017 Rebecca Sherratt