It was not the waking up in a strange bed that surprised me. That had become such a regular occurrence it had become more of a surprise to find myself in my own bed.
Neither was it the immediate realisation I was naked nor the thumping reminder of how much alcohol I had drank. These had all become my usual ritual of the morning after the night before.
I slowly turned around and willed myself to open my eyes and face whoever it was I would be regretting sleeping with this week.
I was already planning my exit strategy as I finally opened my eyes, hoping that whoever it was beside me was still asleep so I could sneak out and avoid the awkwardness of any further encounter with him.
Except it wasn’t a him it was a her.
And it wasn’t just any her; it was Mel, one of my best friends.
And she was just as naked and surprised as I was.
For a moment there was a beautiful sense of normality. I whispered a pleasant ‘Good Morning’ before snuggling into my pillow, closing my eyes pleased I would not have to make an early morning exit.
The brief tranquility was interrupted first by Mel enquiring loudly “Why the fuck are we naked?” followed quickly by the thumping headache, a reminder of the alcohol consumed and likely the answer to Mel’s question.
I opened my eyes, squinting as the morning light, invading through a gap in the curtain, decided it would make my headache feel that little bit worse. Mel was sitting up, completely naked, a perplexed look on her face.
Her impatience to know the answer to the burning question ‘Why the fuck were we naked’ prompted her to shake me. Clearly she thought I could solve this riddle but one look at my confused face showed I was as clueless as she was.
There was nothing unusual with us sleeping together. As one of my best friends we had often shared a bed but it had always been whilst relatively clothed and only ever to sleep. This time it was different.
Mel and I had become a lot closer of late, the only two remaining members of The Feisty Feline Fellowship that still went out on a regular basis. Pixie was often travelling abroad with work and Pru was busy planning her wedding with her Doctor fiancé.
It was Pru’s transformation into Bridezilla that led Mel and I to start taking road trips to avoid her. Pru had told us very clearly that we wouldn’t be part of the bridal party.
“I have lots of sisters you understand” she explained. We were more than happy with this arrangement and pleased we could just turn up at the wedding with zero responsibility and get drunk.
Yet Pru had started feeling guilty about our lack of involvement and was trying to find roles for us. This led to us avoiding her in the hope that our unreliability would preclude us from any part to play in this wedding.
It was during one of these Operation: Avoid Pru road trips that Mel and I had awoken together in the same bed, naked.
“Why the fuck we naked?!” Mel persisted in knowing the answer to this question as if, that riddle alone, would unlock the memory of the night before that was lost in a haze of alcohol.
I looked back at her, our eyes locked in a lingering glance as we silently contemplated the most likely possibility.
By now my attraction to the same sex was firmly established and whilst Mel had never previously shown any such inclination our bond had grown stronger.
We were more flirtatious with each other, sexual innuendo laced our conversation, kisses and hugs became more frequent.
Although I couldn’t recall having any sexual desire towards Mel perhaps it had always been there laying deep in my subconscious. With each road trip maybe we grew closer and closer, our attraction intensifying until neither of us could resist anymore.
The previous night was the culmination of years of repressed desire. Our blissful union confirmed in a budget room at the Travelodge.
As I stared into Mel’s bleary but beautiful eyes I wondered if she felt the same. That a sexual encounter between two friends needn’t be awkward but the start of something even more magical.
“Oh Fuck!! Do you think we had sex?”
Or maybe not.
I took a sip from the previous nights water which tasted stale as I attempted to put my friend’s mind at rest.
“I doubt we had sex sweetie” I replied, trying to sound as certain as I could.
“Really? Cos I can’t remember and you can’t remember and why would we be naked and have each other’s hands on our…” Mel was starting to sound a bit manic and paced around the bed.
“The sheets!” she exclaimed as she pulled back the sheet I was still under.
“Easy tiger! I mean if you want to go again” I joked which was not fully appreciated by Mel “What are you doing sweetie?”
“If we had sex there would be….evidence ” she explained.
And there we were, early in the morning, heads thumping staring intently at the crumpled sheets of a bed.
“We need one of those blue lights” said Mel “Y’know like they use in CSI”
“I don’t think we have one of those sweetie” I replied “But I don’t think we really want to be shining blue lights onto the bed of a budget hotel!”
Mel looked a little disappointed that we did not possess a light that would reveal sexual fluid on sheets; she even checked her phone to see if there was a suitable app.
She seemed obsessed with finding out if we had sex or not. I was unsure if this was because it was something she always wanted to do and now regretted that alcohol will forever prevent her from recalling that special moment. Alternatively, she was just horrified that two best mates appeared to have had drunken lesbian sex.
Either way I concluded that little would be achieved just staring at a bed and suggested we get dressed and go down to get some breakfast, my stomach was threatening to release the previous night’s alcohol if it didn’t get some bacon.
“Where are our clothes?” said Mel , seemingly determined to only communicate in questions.
As with her previous enquiry of whether we had sex I equally had no answer to the location of our clothing.
Our road trips are normally spontaneous and so we travel very light. We had been wearing the only clothes we had with us, which had just vanished. A search round the tiny room showed no trace of us ever possessing any clothing.
“What are we going to do?” More questions from Mel “We are naked and have no clothes!”
It was difficult to think straight having to contend with a panicky Mel and a bacon obsessed stomach threatening to rebel. I offered the only suggestion I could think of.
“Look the car is just outside. I say we checkout from here and make a run for it. There’s probably some old gym clothes in the car, we can wear them”
I smiled at Mel quite happy with the plan I had thought of despite so many distractions.
“Selina we are on the fourth floor!”
I was too busy fumbling the remote to checkout to respond to a clear flaw in my plan. Within a few moments something else was bothering me more than the practicalities of a naked run to the car park.
“Sweetie. When did we order porn?”
Mel joined me and looked at the TV which clearly displayed our bill and the four porn films we apparently ordered. She slowly mouthed the titles of the porn, looking at me after each one; at least it distracted her from our naked-lost-clothes-possibly-also-had-sex predicament.
“You must have ordered them” she concluded.
“How is it me” I replied “I’ve been with you the entire time!”
Whilst the over indulgence on porn was another weird twist it still remained the least of our worries. Yet naked, no clothes and still yearning for bacon I suddenly had an idea.
“Bathroom!” I exclaimed.
Mel smiled “Yes we probably took our clothes off in the bathroom.”
I was going to suggest we just take the towels, wrap them around us and pretend that we’ve been to the swimming pool as we walk through the hotel. My plan did rely on other guests and staff not to realise this hotel did not have pool. Therefore Mel’s suggestion our clothes were located in the bathroom seemed a much better idea. I watched as she padded quickly to the bathroom.
When she opened the door and turned on the light the room was absent of our clothes (although two large towels were clearly there for me to instigate Plan B).
Yet despite the revelation that our clothes were missing Mel was significantly more concerned with the body she found in our bathtub.
“Do you think he’s dead?” she asked , her voice wavering slightly
“Well, he’s laying face down in a bathtub and not moving so it’s a possibility.” I replied
We both stood at the edge of the doorway staring at this lifeless male body. He was about 6ft, scraggily hair and was clothed in a dressy shirt and skinny trousers, his feet were bare and hung over the lip of the bathtub.
We returned to the bedroom and processed this new twist to our strange morning. My stomach frustrated over the lack bacon now conspired with my bladder, but I had no desire to pee next to a dead guy.
“Call your dad” suggested Mel “I bet he knows how to get rid of a body”.
I stared through the crack in the curtain as my brain worked through this new event. Was he dead and if so did we kill him?
There was no blood anywhere and so the only violence that happened in this room is the assault on my brain that thumped hard. I would have mentioned that to Mel but she’d only be wanting to get a new CSI light to scour the room with…just to be sure.
Maybe we strangled him. Perhaps on this eventful road trip not only did Mel and I declare our love for each other but also our burning hatred of all Men. We lured that poor soul to our room before strangling him with our clothes, burning the evidence and then horny with vengeful lust Mel and I had passionate sex.
Or maybe he simply wasn’t dead.
“Go and give him a nudge” I suggested to Mel
“I’m not touching him” Mel protested.
“Just find something to poke him with then” I snapped back, my head and stomach roaring in union.
Mel looked around the room and unable to find anything suitable opted for the collection of tea and coffee sachets which she threw one at a time at the body. Unsurprisingly, an Earl Grey teabag does not raise the dead.
I continued to stare out the window, I needed to think but my head and stomach was making it impossible. A coffee may have helped but presently my ability to make one now lay under a dead body.
Then something caught my eye outside. A possible clue to this mystery we have found ourselves in.
“Hey sweetie” I called out to Mel “I’ve found our clothes.”
Mel joined me at the window as we spotted our clothing on the tarmac four floors below, except my bra which was dangling impressively from a branch of a tree.
“Why are they out there?” asked Mel “What is going on Selina?”
“I may be able to help with that”
We turned to see the dead guy standing in front of us. And he was talking. And he wasn’t dead.
“I met you two at a club” the Not-Dead guy began to explain “You were being very flirty with each other, dancing and….”
“Dude I want to hear this story but our eyes are not down there”
“Sorry” Not-Dead Guy continued “So you two were flirting…..”
“Anyway you saw me looking and you came over and we got talking. We had a few drinks and then you (looking at Mel) asked if I wanted to come back to your room.
You (looking at me) said I would have the greatest night of my life. So we went back to your room and you started kissing each other and made me watch as you did a striptease, throwing your clothes out the window.
Then you said you wanted to make my dreams come true and asked if I watched porn. You turned on the TV and asked me to pick a porn film promising you would recreate every scene, all in this room with me.”
“Dude you ordered FOUR porn films!”
“I couldn’t make my mind up. Anyway once the film started you kinda just said you were sleepy and said I could carry on watching the porn if I wanted.”
I looked at Mel who seemed a little ashamed of our antics. A feeling of regret now joined my hunger and need to urinate. Such events did not faze me, it was who I was. But had I broken a golden rule and dragged my friend into my dangerous, dirty lifestyle?
“Anyway, it was getting late and I couldn’t get a cab so I just went and slept in the bath. Hope that was okay?”
Not-Dead Guy finished his explanation and then lingered in the hope that we may still give him what we had drunkenly promised the night before. However, the look on our faces clearly indicated that would not be happening.
“I guess I’ll be going” he said rather sorrowfully and began to move towards the door.
Not-Dead Guy seemed really nice. He was attractive and respectful, there’s not many guys like that around so just maybe…
“Hey sweetie” I called out after him, he turned with a look of anticipation on his face “You wouldn’t mind going downstairs and getting our clothes would you?”