Short Stories: The Morning After

the morning after


It starts with his smile.

As she slowly wakes up, she becomes aware of the presence next to her in bed, somebody lying close to her, the warmth of their body a comfort. Trying not to wake them, she turns slowly, tangled in the sheets, tries to see if they look the same as she remembers them looking last night, in the strobe lights of the club, in the dim lights of the cab, in the soft glow of her bedside lamp.

Her efforts were for nothing; he’s already awake. Barely- but awake enough to sense her movement, and to shoot a sleepy smile in her direction, teeth showing ever so slightly.

It gives her the same nervous, excited feeling it gave her last night and she takes a deep breath.



Then, his eyes.

They don’t stay quite stay the same colour. His hair is tousled as he moves towards her, and he has pillow marks embedded deep into his cheek, and his eyes peer sleepily at her, dark, mossy, green.

When the sun falls through the window and falls on the bed they shine brightly, lighter green now, hints of emerald and orange shining at her. Against the white sheets he’s a contrast of colours; his blond hair against that tan skin, pale pink lips. His lips are chapped, she sees; skin flaking, yet she can’t help but press a kiss to them.

He’s surprised, she can tell. It takes a moment for his to begin to kiss back. But when he does, God.



It carries on with his hands. They don’t stay still as he moves through her kitchen like he belongs there, rummaging through cupboards until he finds the coffee. She watches quietly while he puts the kettle on, listens to the faint sounds of the outside world filtering in, listens to the birds singing to each other, the kids shouting as they play some ball game across the road.

He holds a mug of coffee towards her with a small smile, and it feels like an invitation. She takes the mug, their fingers brushing briefly against each other as she takes it from his hand. It’s somehow more intimate than any other touch they shared last night.

When he sits with his own mug, he places his free hand on the table, another invitation. After a few minutes of them quietly drinking, she takes it.



Then his back. As he gets dressed again, she lies back on her bed, in the messy sheets. He turns away from her, like he’s trying to be modest, but she lets herself watch anyway, trails her eyes up his spine, observes the muscles flexing. She spots something she’d managed to miss last night- a tattoo sits upon his hip.

She asks what it means- it’s a swirl of colours, of red and black. He turns to her again, tugs the shirt down and winks. Tells her it’s a story for another time.

She gets up and goes to him, strokes her hand over the shirt where the mark is hidden. Thinks that another time sounds good.



It finishes with his hair. As he says goodbye he runs his hand through his hair, ruffling it even more, making it even messier than before. She laughs a little, and reaches up to pat it back into place. His hair is soft to the touch, and she playfully curls some in her fingers. He huffs out a laugh, catches her hand and holds it.

Presses a kiss to her lips again.



It starts again when she finds the phone number he left tucked under his empty coffee mug.

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