Another Changed Life Ch. 01

byingarlm©

The one good thing I was focussing on was the next staff night out. Tess usually came along because Mark was her best friend, and I would have the opportunity to speak to her face to face, and persuade her to come home with me. At least, that was my plan, and I must have gone over the idea a million times in my head, trying to come up with the right words, imagining what she would say in response, preparing for every eventuality, or so I thought.

As things wound down in the kitchen and the restaurant customers started to leave, I kept an eye out for Tess, meaning to charm her as soon as I saw her, but she didn't arrive as usual before we locked up. It took me a while to pluck up the courage to ask Mark about it.

"Is Tess meeting us at the pub?"

"She's not coming tonight. She's got a hot date," he replied, like it was nothing.

I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach, it contracted so violently. I started to wonder how she could do that to me, and then I realised, this was my fault. I'd spent so long chasing her for one night of sex, and I'd had it. She had no idea how that one night had left me wanting so much more, or how I felt about her, and suddenly, I knew that too. I knew why she was so different, why I'd continued to chase her even after I had lucked out so many times, why that one night with her had felt so much better than anything else I had ever done, and why I couldn't get her out of my head. I was in love with her. I was in love with her and now I had lost her because I was too stupid to realise it.

I dealt with my sudden realisations like a true man. I got hideously drunk and tried to block the pain out with alcohol. I blocked most things out, but as drunk as I got, even though the room span and I had no control over myself, I still saw her face in my mind. I couldn't hold a conversation, didn't know where I was, could barely walk, but still, she was there, reminding me of what an idiot I was and what I was never going to have because of it. I might have got angry, or cried, but anything like that was way beyond me in my drunken state, so I just drank a bit more, getting cross with Mark or Charlie when they tried to take my drinks off me. By the end of the night, well, the last part I could remember, the alcohol induced depression had me sure I had screwed up forever and would never be happy -- so much for forgetting.

* * * * * *

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