I probably shouldn’t have done that, I think to myself as the first memory of last night pops into my sleep addled brain. And I probably shouldn’t have said that, as the next thought occurs to me. And definitely shouldn’t have drunk quite that much, is my third thought, before I leap out of bed and dash into the bathroom.
All bathroom related activities achieved, I head back to my bedroom, stopping first in the kitchen for some painkillers and a glass of water then second at the coat stand to check my coat for my phone, but upon arrival I find no coat there – so continue to my room.
Ah! There it is! I pick my coat up and check the pockets for the phone. Empty. I go to my pillow and check underneath. Not there either. Sitting to think where I may have put it in my drunken haze, I quickly swallow two paracetamol and glug the glass of water down.
My mind is drawing a blank. Okay, so I remember most of the night – just not where I put my phone. The one thing I need to make sure I didn’t do what I suspect I may have done – the most embarrassing of all. Oh god! What if I have left the phone in the pub? That wouldn’t be a good thing at all. Work is not the best place to have secrets at the best of times, but if they find my phone… then the little miss prim and proper innocent Dannyn image which I have perfected will be instantly shattered.
Uh oh, is my newly formed thought as I slide sideways and let my head hit the pillow and my mind drifts back to the events of the night before…
‘Dan! What you drinking?’ Lillie called to me from the other side of the bar.
I was just finishing up my shift at Jessie’s and quite looking forward to a night of handsome, unobtainable men being the elusive, sexy good men sweeping undeserving heroines off their feet, via the medium of the DVD player.
‘Not for me, Lil,’ I answered. ‘A quiet one beckons I think.’
‘What nonsense!’ Lillie cried in disbelief. ‘Joshua,’ she cooed to my colleague. ‘Get this girl a cosmopolitan! No way is she spending the first Friday night off in aeons to get hot and flustered watching unrealistic romantic comedies! You, my girl,’ she announced turning to me, ‘can stay here with me and get hot and flustered with a real life man or two.’
‘Lil,’ I began coming around the bar and popping my bag on the hook next to her stool. ‘I don’t think that’s such a good idea…’ A glass appeared before me and the chilly, sweet taste of the cosmopolitan hit my taste buds. It tasted good.
‘Now, that look of pure heaven you just gave me, if worth every penny that tonight is going to cost.’ Lillie could be quite persuasive when she wanted to be, and it had been quite a while since I had last kicked back and let my hair down. Not since… well not for a long time. But…
‘I can’t! Not here. I work here.’ I explained.
‘Come on Dan,’ Josh piped up. ‘It’s a bar. Everybody drinks and has a good time. I really do doubt that any of the punters are going to notice if you do the same. Well they might, because they aren’t used to you doing it. But it has to be better than being indoors with a worn out box of DVDs your only company.’
‘Ah, just the one then.’ I said, then looked down to realise my glass was already empty. ‘Perhaps two.’
And that was how last night began. I remember that much clearly. Memories are coming back to me now and I smile to myself. It was fun - I think - but what if I made a fool out of myself? I can’t have been that bad. I woke up home – alone thank god. I can’t quite remember leaving Jessie’s but it must have been around midnight maybe?
I get up again and this time go to my workroom to see if I have somehow put my phone down in there. I open the door and am greeted by Him. His bright green smiling eyes look straight at me his short, dark hair messy and a smile which sends all kinds of messages in one go. Him. The man that has been in my mind and in my dreams ever since… if only he was real. At least then what happened would at least be worth it.
Finding no phone, I kiss my fingers and stroke the lips of the portrait before me then retreat out of the room. I wander in to the lounge and check the sofa. Still no phone. Bugger!
I walk over to the corner table where the handset for my landline rests and just as I am about to pick it up to call work to see if my phone has been handed in, it rings, scaring the living crap out of me.
‘Hello?’ I pick up and answer.
‘Hi!’ A cheerful male voice that I can’t quite place speaks on the other end. ‘You do know that when a guy asks for your phone number, you are meant to just give the number – not run off into the night, dropping your phone on the way, right?’
I search my memory. Nothing.
‘I’m sorry. Who is this?’ I ask.
‘Well if you are a modern day Cinderella, I must surely be your Prince Charming?’