Life Begins At Thirty : Chapter Four


The sunshine from the open window immediately blinded Hannah as she opened her eyes groggily the next morning. It took her a few moments to realise that she wasn’t in her own bed, wasn’t in her own room, wasn’t alone and wasn’t wearing any clothes. Suddenly something moved next to Hannah. It made Hannah jump but she kept herself from screaming. It was a man she had never seen before.

Her eyes wide open now Hannah could see that she had woken up in a reasonably large hotel room. Expensive, white and modern. A suitcase filled with carelessly folded clothes lay open on a two-seat sofa. An iPad lay on a glass and chrome coffee table. Clothes were strewn about the floor, mostly his but she recognised Caroline’s cocktail dress and dangerously high heeled shoes lying together near the door.

Hannah carefully slid out of bed careful not to wake the man. What was his name? She couldn’t remember. Caroline would be proud she thought. Hannah felt like a slut.

Suddenly the sound of a World War Two air raid siren filled the room. Hannah froze. That was her phone. Where was it? Hannah ran silently barefoot around the room. She followed the siren finally finding her phone the second before it automatically switched off. Then she looked to the bed. The guy was still sleeping. Heavy sleeper. Perfect.

Hannah quickly dressed herself in her clothes from the previous night and located her handbag. She was about to do the walk of shame. Her first. She hoped it would be the last. She took a moment to look at the guy who still slept silently in the bed. He looked cute sleeping like that and she wouldn’t have wanted to wake him even if she wasn’t terrified of what might happen if she did so. She thought about leaving a note, but didn’t have a pen or paper. What would she say anyway? She opened the door and left the room.

It took her a few minutes to get her bearings when she finally reached the street after dodging several members of hotel staff. The hotel wasn’t too far from her flat. This would of course make her walk of shame all the more public. People she knew would be walking to class or grabbing a bagel from the university coffee house and see her walking in in the same clothes as last night. People would know she was a slut.

“Where the fuck have you been?” Caroline questioned as Hannah walked through the door. “I looked everywhere for you”

“Sure you did” Hannah sighed. She could feel a hangover coming quickly now she had stepped out of the fresh air. “I had a bite to eat with Assam”

“I know. He didn’t know where you’d fucked off to either” Caroline was actually upset. Hannah didn’t know that was possible. “He saw you talking to some guy and then next thing you were gone. He didn’t rape you did he?”

“No, absolutely not” Hannah defended the stranger whose bed she had woken up in. She didn’t know why but somewhere buried under all that alcohol she knew last night had been consensual, even loving.

‘Oh god’ the thought hit Hannah like an anvil in the face. ‘I actually loved him last night?’

“So what happened then” Caroline was still staring at her.

“That guy, we talked and then” the world started to spin as Hannah sat on her bed. She jumped up and rushed to the bathroom as fast as she could.

“You threw up on him?” Caroline laughed.

“We had sex” Hannah returned to the room. Her defences withered in the face of the almighty hangover which she felt approaching her like a freight train carrying carriages of remorse, regret and regurgitation.

“Consensual sex. I think.” She pre-empted the next question and recounted the morning’s events before attempting to sit down again.

“I’m in shock. I didn’t think you did one night stands” Caroline had been riveted.

“I don’t.” Hannah felt the butterflies begin to do somersaults through her stomach again. “I don’t think it was supposed to be a one night stand.”

“So why are you here and not there with what’s his name”

“I don’t know his name. It didn’t really occur to me until I left. He probably only wanted a one night stand anyway.”

“Don’t say that. You’re not the kind of girl people have one night stands with”

Hannah knew that was supposed to be a compliment but part of her hated that comment.