Fiction: Midnight Stroll, Pt. 3

Author's Note: Still not sure where I am going with this. It seems to be taking a mind of its own, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. It also seems to be turning into your run of the mill fiction with a predictable plot and characters. Must do something to prevent that from happening, but I don't feel like I'm the puppet master, feels like somebody else is pulling the strings. Then again, even if it's some half-arsed attempt at something good, at least I'm writing again. More or less regularly too. We can most definitely build on that.

If you missed it, here's part two.
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“Seriously?”

“Yessh, seriously,” I slur, downing yet another shot of Tequila. I’m not sure how many I’ve had, but I can definitely feel the alcohol so I must have had a good few (too many). I fully expect that Shane will stop me from drinking pretty soon but so far, he’s been the supportive friend, watching me get absolutely plastered on some unknown brand of Tequila. In fact, throughout the last two weeks Shane has been nothing but supportive. He’s patiently listened to all my complaints and hasn’t tried to force any helpful advice down my throat. Mind you, I know he wants to. I can tell by the look on his face. He, however, has nerves of steel and unlike me, knows how to keep it together. Also, why else would he have bothered to fly in from halfway across the world? Most definitely not to declare his undying love to me. He and I, we don’t have that kind of relationship. I’m also decidedly the wrong gender. Shane doesn’t swing the straight way, which is yet another reason why he’s the only one I can call in the middle of the night to complain about my current predicament. Don’t get me wrong, my girlfriends have been nothing short of amazing but none of them offered to fly out to keep me company while I wallow in my misery. They all suggested that I should come home for a few weeks, but somehow that didn’t appeal to me. I suspect they probably ganged up on Shane and forced him to come over here, although he wouldn’t admit to that even if I tried to torture it out of him.

“I really think you’ve had enough,” Shane drags me out of my reverie and I protest heavily when he attempts to pry the half-empty Tequila bottle out of my hands. It’s only a half-arsed attempt, I can tell. He could do so much better than that, in fact, he has done much better than that in the past. “M, come on, enough,” He persists and I glare at him. At least I think I’m glaring at him. I could be glaring at his twin, though I didn’t know he had one.

“Spoilsport,” I mouth but win the fight nevertheless. The bottle is mine for a little while longer. I can’t be bothered to pour another shot, also I don’t feel confident enough to actually hit the glass, so I take a big swig straight from the bottle. I can feel my head spinning but I couldn’t care less. Getting off the barstool, I lean heavily against the table and announce that I’m heading to the loo, all the while taking another swig from the bottle. I’m not exactly sure where the toilet is and kudos to Shane who can sense my predicament. He’s clearly known me way too long. He lifts himself off his stool and with a heavy sigh he walks me to the ladies’ room, at least I hope it’s the ladies’ room. “Thanks doll,” I mumble and pushing the bottle into his hand I vanish inside.

***

“Blurgh,” I mumble, resting my cheek against the cold bathroom tiles. I’ve been throwing up for god knows how long and even though there’s literally nothing left inside of me that could possibly be thrown up, I can’t stop retching. Shane’s tried to give me some cold water and painkillers but even that is coming straight back up. “I wanna die,” I mumble, feeling the tears prick, but I’m too stubborn to let them fall. Up until last night I had it together, at least I think I did. If wandering the streets at all hours of the night can be called having it together that is. Now that Shane’s here, I’ve totally lost it though. “How much did I drink last night?” I ask feebly, not moving from where I’ve curled up on the floor. Anyone would run a mile were they to see me like this, not Shane though.

“More than enough,” Shane laughs and I wince, silently begging him to keep his voice down. My head is pounding and spinning at the same time, my stomach is convulsing and think I’m burning up. My face is sweaty, no, stop, my entire body is sweating, and my clothes reek of alcohol, cigarette smoke and vomit, which doesn’t help with settling my stomach at all. I can feel another wave of nausea hitting me and pushing myself up, I bend over the toilet bowl and retch. “Oh pet,” I can feel Shane stroke my back soothingly and finally lose the battle against the tears, sobbing and retching at the same time. He’s not supposed to feel sorry for me, he’s supposed to be mad at me for doing this to myself. If I had any energy left inside of me, I certainly would be mad at myself. “Your rendition of ‘Somebody I Used to Know’ is probably all over the internet by now, a good bunch of folks had their mobile phones out. I reckon you’ll be Asia’s new superstar before the day is out,” He laughs some more and I bang my head against the toilet seat, screeching so frightfully that I fully expect the guards to show up any time soon. There’s no way my neighbours haven’t called the cops on me by now.

***

“Feeling better, pet?” Shane asks a couple of hours later and trying to sit up on the couch I nod but we both know it’s a lie. I can’t remember the last time I drank myself into oblivion but it was probably some ten years ago when I was much younger and my liver had the ability to easily digest copious amounts of alcohol. Back then I didn’t know what hangovers were, back then drinking was fun because you could continue with it the next day as if nothing had happened. Now it feels like dying, which I’m sure is far less painful than this self-induced torture.

“How about some toast? I made coffee too, but that’s probably a tad too much,” Shane offers me a slice and I take a tentative bite. My stomach turns and shaking my head I hand it back to him.

“Why didn’t you stop me?” I ask for the umpteenth time, despite knowing the answer already.

“I did, well I tried,” He says, stroking my cheek affectionately. “You were a woman on a mission, a mission to get so mind-numbingly pissed I figured it was easier to let you.” He grins and I frown. His touch feels nice. Jamie used to do that too whenever I’d curl up in his lap to join him for a movie. I think half the time he didn’t even notice he was doing it. I pout and Shane presses a kiss against my forehead. “At least you got it out of your system,” He says with a serious expression and I want to scream. I don’t want to get it out of my system, I don’t want to get Jamie out of my system. I’m lost. Now even more than before. I was happy before and then I was blissfully ignorant, living in a strange bubble somewhere between reality and fantasy. After last night that bubble has well and truly burst and reality has come crashing in. He up and left without a word, just vanished, disappeared without a trace.

“I wanna go home,” I mumble, feeling beyond miserable both physically and mentally.

“Your choice, happy to take you home, pet,” Shane’s resumed stroking my cheek and push into the touch, wanting to feel something, anything, even if it’s just my gay best friend being supportive. “But you better be sure about throwing everything here away, regrets are the worst, hun. You know I’m happy to stay for as long as you want me to.”

“Forever?” I ask and Shane laughs. His laughter is infectious and I can’t help but smile, despite feeling beyond miserable.

“I wish I could, but I do have a life back home, you know,”

“Make a new one here with me? Be my fake boyfriend?” I push. We’ve had this conversation many times, it’s one of our inside jokes, though nobody but Shane really gets my bleak humour. Anyone could think I’m a possessive fag hag and don’t want him to be happy, when that’s absolutely and most definitely not the case. Thankfully Shane’s known me long enough to know that I’m just wallowing in self-pity and definitely don’t mean a word of what I’ve just said.

“Sure,” He agrees without hesitation and all of a sudden, I find myself crying again. Shane scoops me into his arms, holding me against his chest as I sob to my heart's content. “There, there, pet,” He soothes me and after a while I fall into a restless slumber. I’m vaguely aware that Shane’s still right next to me and I’m also aware that he’s probably pretty uncomfortable but I couldn’t give a toss. He’s my best friend. He’s supposed to do things like that for me.