Author's Note: This story was inspired to me by Ellie's story 'The Turning'. My version is softer but still I wrote something completely different from what I usually write. Hope you enjoy it!
I wake up, disturbed by the low sunrays of the early morning hitting my closed eyelids. I slowly open my eyes. A throbbing headache is hammering inside my skull and a queasy unsettling sensation is inside my stomach. I have no idea of where I'm. In the dim light I can make out the unknown furniture of a hotel room.
"What the heck did I do last night?" I wonder, starting to worry.
I rise on my elbows to take a better look at the room, hoping that will help me remember. The sheets slip down and the chill air hits my bare chest.
"Am I naked?!" my heart begins to beat faster. In that moment I realize there's an arm, a male arm, leaning across my middle. "And a man is in bed with me??"
My first thought is that I slept with Kid, and I mentally curse myself for doing something so foolish. Things are more than difficult between us, making love is the last thing we both need.
I try gently to move away the arm, so that I can slip out of the bed without waking him. I cowardly hope that if he doesn't find me when he wakes up, he wouldn't remember what we did. Actually I don't have any recollection of yesterday, so maybe neither will Kid .
Looking at the arm, I realize there's something strange, it is smoother than Kid's, and the skin has a different colour. Fear creeps inside my heart. If I didn't spend the night with Kid, then who was with me?
I turn my head to look at the other occupant of the bed and, to my horror, I see Jimmy Hickock sleeping soundly with his face buried in the pillow. My friend Jimmy, my confidant, the one I talked to about my problems with Kid, is now lying naked in my bed.
My heart starts to beat furiously in my chest. I jump out of the bed and look for my clothes, my dress and bloomers laid tangled in a heap of my and Jimmy's clothes on the floor. My hands tremble while I rummage among the Jimmy's shirt and trousers to find my underclothes and I feel a rush of shame warming my cheeks. I got drunk and I slept with a man who isn't even my boyfriend.
I would be lying if I said that I never noticed how hot Jimmy is, but I never considered this such a big deal. The boys keep ogling the pretty girls all the time, even Kid couldn't tear his eyes away from Rachel the first night she came to work for us. So I never gave too much importance to those harmless fantasies.
But maybe a nice and proper girl isn't supposed to have "fantasies". A nice girl isn't supposed to sleep with her boyfriend before marriage and then have sex with his best friend once she breaks up with him. I never considered what I did with Kid wrong, because I did it out of love. But this thing with Jimmy… I don't even remember how we ended up like this!
I pull up my dress and hastily button the front of it. I can't bear the sight of my nakedness right now. I sit on the end of the dishevelled bed; with my head in my hands and a even worse turmoil raging in my heart.
I press my palm against my eyes, against my temples, trying to remember what we did. Slowly the events of the previous day start to come into my confused mind.
Jimmy and I were assigned to a double run in Willow Spring. I was sad and hurt by Kid's words as well as by his interest in the new schoolteacher. Jimmy consoled me, raised my spirit, was so kind and thoughtful as to buy me a pretty dress and to offer me dinner.
We ate and joked, drank a sparkling wine and even flirted a bit. And I had not felt so good in a long time. Jimmy has been a wonderful friend, he soothed my fears and insecurities and he showed his hidden - kinder - side that I have always found terribly sweet.
For this reason I let him flirt and dance with me, I paid him compliments and, well, I entertained myself with the idea we were having a date. After all, somebody else already had caught Kid's eye so I was free to enjoy my time with someone who seemed to understand me better than him.
Those feelings of hurt and vulnerability, the way Jimmy made me feel loved and accepted, but also the fact I'm not completely immune to his charm, made me kiss him goodnight in front of our hotel room's door.
I wasn't thinking very clearly in that moment, my mind was still dizzy from the wine and my heart was still sore. So I let him return my kiss and when Jimmy heatedly claimed my lips I surrendered to the passion.
And now I'm here, with my friend naked in bed and a horrible feeling of guilt and wrongness inside of me. The sex was good, at least for what I can remember; it wasn't as if Jimmy forced me or anything, but I feel rotten and dirty all the same.
How will I be able to look Jimmy in the face without thinking about what we did? He saw me naked, vulnerable and completely out of control.
What will he think of me now? I was the one who kissed him first, and I didn't back off when things started to become heated. I did it because I desired him, because he could help to numb my pain, to take my revenge over Kid's hurtful words. I feel like I used him, I used my friend Jimmy, and that's horrible.
I don't want to lose the special friendship we have, the mere thought terrifies me. Maybe I led him on and now he expects something more from me, and I'll end up hurting him because he'll ask something more than I can give. Or, worse, maybe he'll look down on me from now on, how can he think otherwise? I cried over Kid for the entire trip but then, at the first chance I got, I kissed and slept with him.
"Why have I been so stupid?" I chide myself.
For a night of sex I put my friendship with my best friend at stake. And this isn't the worst thing that could happen. Because there is also Kid to consider.
I don't have to answer to him for my actions because Kid doesn't have any rights over me anymore. But, when I think about him, I can't help to imagine how what we did would hurt him. I keep reminding myself that he has a new love interest so he shouldn't care about what I do; but deep down I know that Kid isn't like that.
"How long am I supposed to brood over something that wasn't meant to be?"
Kid said that to the boys. He acted as he was ready to move on and to put our past behind him; but I know that his heart would break if he ever finds out what happened between me and Jimmy. He would think that I was lying to him when I got angry at him for being so jealous about Jimmy and me. I called him irrational and possessive and I was hurt by the fact he didn't trust me when I kept saying there wasn't anything but friendship between us. But it was true that I didn't have any romantic feelings for Jimmy! I was always faithful to Kid, even when the problems between us started.
I rake my hands through my hair; he would lose his trust in me and in Jimmy, he would think that we had something going on the side all the time. I can't allow that!
Kid was the first man I truly loved, the first one I gave myself to, we broke up and we hurt each other but I can't bear the thought of losing him. Even if the only kind of relationship still possible between us is friendship.
I slide on the floor. The jumble of emotions raging inside my heart is so strong I feel like crying, like shouting, like riding away from everyone so I won't risk hurting or getting hurt by anyone.
"How could have I done this?" I sob.
Jimmy stirs in his sleep, in a few minutes he will wake up and I will have to face him. I fear the encounter but I wish with all my heart to be able to fix things with him, and that we can agree on not telling Kid anything. But one thing is sure, I won't make the mistake of letting my emotions and feelings rule my life ever again.
Author's Note: I owe a lot to Ellie for this story because she took the time to read and review all the attemps I wrote. Thank you very much Ellie for your help!