The morning sun seeped into the room shinning its light on me. Stirring, I slowly opened my eyes and looked around the room. I shot from the bed to a sitting position; my surroundings were very unfamiliar to me. I groaned as I felt a headache hit me.
I slowly turned my head to the side when I heard shuffling beside me; a pair of grey eyes were staring back at me. A scream escaped my lips and I instantly rolled off the bed and onto the neat rugged floor.
What in the world happened? I couldn’t remember anything. How I got here? Who the stranger in bed was? Nothing!
I slowly raised the bedsheet wrapped around me praying I had some article of clothing on and this was all a misunderstanding, but I got the shock of my life. I was as bare as the day I was born.
I felt tears seep through my eyes. I had promised myself and God that I would keep myself till I was married.
I looked up and found those eyes still staring at me with caution like he was waiting to see what my next move would be. I had never prayed to be swallowed by the ground so much in my entire life.
I didn’t even know what to do. Should I just awkwardly pick up my clothes and run out of here before I embarrass myself any more than I already have? Or just simply ask the man sitting across from me who was still staring intently at me. I opted for the latter.
“What happened?” I asked, more like squeaked, as my voice had somehow vanished. Clearing my throat I tried again “Who are you? What am I doing here and where exactly is here? How did I get here?” I rambled.
“You can’t remember anything from last night? We met at the club and we were pretty wasted. We got talking, one thing led to another and here we are” he said as he watched me.
His voice was deep, calm and surprisingly clear for someone who just woke up. I ran my eyes over his physical features; blonde dishevelled hair, chiselled chin line, toned muscles. He looked like he just stepped out of one of those Vogue magazines.
I nodded and slowly got up from my position on the ground, clutching the bedsheet tightly as I picked my clothes which were lying around on the floor and speed walked to a door that I presumed led to the bathroom.
I placed my dress on the counter, stared at my reflection in the mirror and winced. I looked like I was in a brawl, my makeup was smudged, mascara made my eyes look like that of a raccoon, my wig slightly pulled back from my hairline and a huge mess.
Sighing, I grabbed some tissue paper and began to clean the mess called my face. Then moved unto taming the wig, the best I could. Once I looked somewhat presentable, I threw on my dress, rinsed my mouth not bothering to take a bath. I just wanted to be out of here, the sooner the better.
Slowing opening the door, I peeked into the room to find it empty. Throwing it open, I stepped into the room. I glanced around for my purse which was on the floor next to the bedside table.
Grabbing it, I checked for my phone and other stuff that I carry around like my house keys, ID, and the rest. I looked up to find a wad of cash on the table.
What the hell? How dare he?
Did I look like I was some kind of wench?
Fuming, I grabbed my shoes lying next to the door and stormed out of the hotel room. I got some weird stares from people in the hotel and glancing at my entire appearance, I could understand why. I was definitely doing the walk of shame.
Not wanting to waste a second, I dashed out of the hotel which by the way looked very expensive and flagged down a taxi.
On the ride home, I couldn’t help but think about what had just happened. If someone told me that on this day I would be leaving a hotel without my dignity intact, I would have laughed in their face. Why? Because I was not the type to sleep around, I hardly went to clubs.
Yesterday, I had gone to the club with a few of my colleagues to celebrate my first solo surgery as a 2nd-year resident doctor. If I had known the night would turn up like this, I would’ve politely declined the offer and gone home to the apartment that I shared with my best friend Whitney, a resident in another hospital. We would have just popped some champagne, watched a movie, and gone to bed.
It was a Friday and we were both off-duty at our hospitals the following day so we wouldn’t have had to get up early. But no, I just had to say yes to my colleagues and now look at where it landed me.
I was so caught up in my thoughts that I didn’t realize when we arrived at my apartment. I got down from the cab and paid the driver muttering a ’thank you.
I walked into the building and groaned, remembering the flight of stairs I had to climb. The building had an elevator but it was crappy. It made loud, clanking noises like it was going to crash soon. Sometimes, it would stop for minutes before resuming and it scared me to death.
Right now, it was faulty and my shitty landlord had refused to have it fixed. I really didn’t mind because this was the only place Whitney and I could afford and still have enough money to pay off our student loans.
Getting to the door of my apartment, I fished for my keys in my purse and opened the door.
“Hey, you didn’t come back home last night, I was so worried,” Whitney said as she stepped out of the kitchen.
“I was this close to calling the cops,” she said pinching her thumb and her pointing finger in the air. “Where were you? I called you like a million times”.
Sighing, I plopped myself on the couch and narrated everything that happened, the ones I could remember that is.
“Oh my God,” she said as she walked towards me and sat on the couch gently. ”Mandy, are you okay? I mean that was your first time right, did he use protection?” she asked and at that moment, I almost died, I couldn’t remember anything, my eyes bulged out as I stared at her with my mouth open like a fish out of water.
“I don’t know. I can’t remember a single thing from last night after the club,” I said with my voice breaking.
I couldn’t believe how careless I was last night; I didn’t know what got into me. I usually don’t even drink as much as I did; I think I was too excited. I felt her hug me and that was when I realized I had been crying.
She understood why I was this scared. For one, I could be at risk of any sexually transmitted infections. Two, if I got pregnant, it will be a total disaster because we were barely afloat with our student’s loans hanging over our heads, I couldn’t afford to take care of a child right now and lastly, my parents would kill me, I had very strict parents and they were both Nigerians so you could imagine my fear.
I was the third child out of five children; three girls, and two boys. The first two being the boys were already married; one with a child and the other was expecting and for boys, they were quite decent. I wouldn’t be the one to tarnish my family’s name by having a child out of wedlock.
My parents had sent me abroad to study medicine and get a good life. I had always dreamt of going abroad to study medicine, getting a good job in one of the best hospitals, making enough money to build a hospital back in Nigeria and helping millions of people. My parents wanted to bring my dreams to life so they sent me to the US to study, New York, to be precise.
“Calm down, I know you’re scared, I would be petrified if I were in your shoes but let’s be positive okay,” she said rubbing my arm gently.
I know she could understand how scared I was, she had met my mother twice while we were in med school and was scared for her life. She had never met such a strict yet kind and calm person. She said my mother’s eyes were really scary when she watched and studied you like an eagle. We also video-called my family from time to time, she knew every member of the nuclear part of my family and some of my extended ones cause I had one big extended family. She knew how disappointed my family will be in me.
“I’ll just go and shower, take some Advil, cause my body is killing me and just go to sleep. I feel like I was hit by a train,” I said after I had spent the last five minutes staring into space and thinking about my life.
I got up and grabbed my purse and walked towards my room.
“Don’t be too hard on yourself, calm down and take that rest” I heard her say before I shut the door.
I dropped my purse on my reading table and walked towards my bathroom. I felt so dirty and disgusted with myself. I shrugged off my clothing and stepped into the shower.
I heard my door open, “Uhm, I made you some tea and I’ve got morning-after pills, I’ll just leave it on the table for you” she said.
“Thanks” I replied as I continued to scrub my body.
The morning after pills. How could I forget that?
“No problem, just go easy on yourself” I heard her say before she left.
Sighing, I knew she was worried about me, one of the qualities I loved about her.
We met in our first year of med school, I was new in the US because I did my pre-med course back in Nigeria, and so I didn’t know how the system worked. She apparently had a friend who had got in the year before, so she had everything settled. We bumped into each other and I asked for help in finding the administrative building. She directed me and offered to help me with settling in fine. We later met again in one of the classes and we had been close ever since.
She was 5′8, tanned skin with long black silky and curly hair. She had high cheekbones that accentuated her beauty, drawing attention everywhere she went. I, on the other hand, was 5′5, had a skin colour similar to peanut butter, shoulder-length kinky brown hair.
She had a nice figure and she could pass for a Victoria secret model. While I had a nice figure as well, my derriere grabbed more attention than I actually needed.
We both had brown eyes; mine lighter than hers. She was actually mixed, her father being Ghanaian and her mother being White American.
She had moved to America when she was eight years old with her family; her parents and two younger siblings. I think we bonded so well because we were both West Africans and could relate to a certain extent.
I stepped out of the shower and walked over to my closet. I grabbed my favourite grey oversized hoodie and sweatpants. They were really comfy and relaxing which was what I needed right now. I grabbed the tea on the table which was now warm and used it to take the pills.
Exhausted, I sat on my bed and looked around the room. I felt so weird and different like I had lost a part of myself. I felt so detached and I wondered if this was how girls felt after their first times or maybe it was because of the way I lost it. Just a meaningless one nightstand.
I dropped my mug on my bedside table after taking the last drop of the tea and got into bed. Closing my eyes, I hoped to feel better when I opened them again. A couple of minutes later, I felt myself fall into a deep slumber.
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