Sunday, 7:15 a.m.
Rachel awoke with a jolt. A low groaning noise had startled her into consciousness, and she was surprised to realize that it was coming from her mouth. Her eyes hurt with the effort of squinting, and she could feel her brain slowly rebooting, running through a checklist of who, what, and where she was. She confirmed that she was indeed herself, a 22-year old girl, but her brain immediately ran into trouble when it got to the “where.”
“Holy shit,” she mumbled to herself. “This isn’t my room.” A loud snore came from the dark shape beside her, and all of a sudden her brain jumped into overdrive. Half-finished memories from the night before flooded her mind while her hands flew to her mouth, covering a silent scream.
“Fuuuuck!” She exclaimed, much to the annoyance of the shirtless guy lying next to her. He rolled over, half-asleep, half-drunk, and blearily gave her a grin and a “Hey, babe.”
“Don’t ‘hey babe’ me,” Rachel said in a panic, jumping out of bed and desperately searching for her top, phone, and shoes, in that order of importance. “I’m sorry, I have to go. We didn’t…we didn’t do anything did we?” Deep down, she knew the likelihood of them not doing “anything” was extremely slim, but she was hoping he would see she was upset and have the decency to lie to her. “It’s just…I have a boyfriend, and I shouldn’t have been in your bed at all and–”
The guy cut her off, partly to ease her mind, partly because he needed her to stop talking so his hangover could begin its healing process. “Woah, woah. Don’t worry. We barely did anything. It’s pretty blurry, but at most maybe some hand stuff. You stopped me and told me you can’t hook up with me, so we just passed out. You’re good.”
Rachel’s mind raced what felt like a mile a minute, but in her hungover state was probably only 35 mph. “I can’t believe I cheated,” she thought as tears started welling up in her eyes. Frantically, she gathered up her top and her phone. Her shoes were a lost cause, and she cared for nothing except getting out of this random guy’s hotel room. She got directions to her hotel (a mile away in the already blazing Arizona heat), and practically ran back to her bed in hopes of sleeping until her shame subsided, or until noon, when they had to leave for the airport. She stumbled in the door of her dark hotel room, dodged questions from her friends who lay motionless on the beds, and curled up in her blanket as if she could sleep away the reality of what she had done.
Sunday, 4:18 p.m.
The following is a whispered conversation between Rachel and Amanda on the flight home.
Amanda: You did what? Oh my God, I’m not judging you, but I’m judging you a little. Biggie, what are you gonna do? Tell Eric?
Rachel: Honestly, I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and, like, what would that even achieve? It would just hurt him, and it’s not like I reallyyy cheated, right?
Amanda: I mean, you cheated, but you didn’t cheat cheat. You’re sure you didn’t have sex, right?
Rachel: I definitely didn’t have sex. I remember telling the guy we couldn’t go any further when he tried to take my shorts off. What does the fact that I even got to that point say about our relationship, though? I know he claims he didn’t hook up with the girl from his snap, but he could be lying too. Are we both just cheaters who lie to each other now? Should we even be together?
Amanda: Girl, take a breath. What are you saying? You guys have been together since forever. Are you saying you should break up with him?
Rachel: I mean, I don’t know. Clearly, our relationship is pretty fucked as evidenced by this fucking weekend. I know the fact that I’m off on spring break without him while he’s stuck working is hard, but it shouldn’t have come to this. Maybe subconsciously I knew something was wrong when I sent that snap of me dancing with another dude, right? I mean that’s a pretty big sign.
Amanda: Shit, I don’t know. Do you still love him? Do you miss being single?
Rachel: I definitely love him. Or at least, I love him as a human, you know? Things have just changed so much since he graduated, and I feel like we’re in different places in my life. This is my last semester of fun before the real world, and I do low-key miss being single and doing whatever I want. Like, when I saw that pic of him and that skank, I almost felt relieved, because I knew I could just ignore him and truly enjoy my break. Is that super fucked up?
Amanda: I don’t know Rach, but it sounds like you need to have a talk with him.
Rachel nodded in agreement, and slowly dropped her hands to her phone, which she had previously connected to the in-flight wi-fi in an attempt to watch episodes of Law & Order: SVU. Her hands moved like molasses and she could feel her emotions bubbling up as she typed out the fateful text.
“Hey Eric, I think we should talk when I get home. I’m assuming you’re not picking me up, but I can grab an Uber to your place. Let me know when you get this.” .
Image via TFM