Role Reversal

So I drunk texted you. It was a Thursday and I was at a house party and I don’t know – I guess I just ran out of people to call. You became the plan. At the time, it seemed like the right thing to do. Because at the time, there was no other woman and no other man. It was just you and me and our past. It was fine, we had fun, right? Had a blast.

My friends were rooms away. I’m not sure they would have stopped me anyway. I’m not the friendliest drunk, but you know that by now. Of course I never struck you, but my words made fists that I’d throw around.

It was only like one or two, not late enough for you to already be asleep. Nah, you’d be awake, right? Or you’d at least wake up for me? I thought so. A challenge to hit the right buttons, yeah a little tough, but I had to because you only answer if I seem sober enough. Or just drunk enough to be trouble. That seemed easier, so I had the boys at the bar pour me a double.

When you didn’t answer at first, I called again right away. You were probably just shocked to even see my name. The second time I thought perhaps you were out somewhere too. Texted “let’s meet up” without skipping a beat, let alone two. Then I realized. Yeah, I realized I wouldn’t have a ride. If you’re gone and I’m gone, I’m stuck at this house with no one patient or sober enough to drive. What to do, what to do.

My friends were streets away. A too-drunk-and-friendly face offered me a place to stay. I turned him down, explained that you were on your way. I called again and still no response. One more time, I thought. Four’s a charm? Maybe, maybe not.

I grew frustrated because you weren’t cooperating and neither was my mind. I was seeing double and running blind. Everyone around me was pairing off for the night, and I was drunk and alone somewhere a little too far from home. Why didn’t you want me? Why was it always a one-sided fight? How come I –

My phone lit up with your face and name. It’d been months since I’d seen you in person. I fumbled, reaction time not so great, and pressed the phone to my ear but didn’t wait to listen. “Thomas, you answered!”

“Are you okay?” you asked, voice dry and flat. It wasn’t at all like I remembered.

“Yeah, of course. I’m great. How are you?”

“Taylor. You have to stop calling me,” he said. “I can’t keep looking after you.”

I shook my head. That wasn’t true. We used to be great sometime back in May. A power couple, the lucky two. Everyone swore we’d last forever and a day.

“Babe, I miss you.”

“Do you need a ride?”

“We, we should give it another chance. I think we’d do good this time.” The words came better in my head, but my mouth twisted them around. I had a bad habit of making the truth rhyme.

“Where are you?” he sighed. “I’ll be there to pick you up.”

“Really, I’m fine. I just want to make up.”

“Okay, just tell me where you are.”

“I don’t know,” I told him. “Meet me at the bars.”

“That’s not safe; stay where you are. I’ll find you if you just stay there.”

“So you do still care?” I asked, a sly smile parting my lips. I ached for his heartbeat and longed for his kiss. But the silence that built threatened to tear me apart. I was too vulnerable, easy to bruise in my state. Like it would only take a nudge to shatter my whole heart.

He finally broke the quiet, “I just want you to be okay.”

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