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On The Stand-A Drink and A Friend

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She reaches out to his side of the bed, only finding it empty. Rubbing her eyes with the back of her hand, she tries to see more clearly, still no trace of him. “Was that a dream?” She rolls over reaching for her phone on the nightstand and tries to recollect what happened last night. Then a blurred figure in the chair next to the window startles her.
“Oh my god, Kurt?” She flinches by the sight of him and sits up to brace her back against the headboard.
“Yes.” He is sitting in the chair, fully dressed, with hands entwined before him.
“What are you doing? What time is it?” She drags the sheet up to cover her bare skin.
“Five.”
“And you’re up, because…” She still feels a bit dizzy.
“I, uh, I apologize for last night. I was too drunk and impertinent.” Dipping his head, he sounds distressful.
“Kurt, you don’t have to. Actually, I’m…” A grin creeps on her face. She intends to tell him that she’s glad he came but is cut off.
“No, Diane. I should. I don’t know why I came here. I don’t even remember what I did to you. I am so sorry. I cannot believe I forced myself on you. I should have respected your space when you wanted it.”
Her growing grin soon vanishes on hearing his repeated apologies. She is even annoyed by his self-condemning inclination and his principles of being appropriate.
“It’s something out of your strict moral standards?” She doesn’t know why but she is so upset on hearing his apology, so she adds “like cheating?”.
“Diane.”
“I presume you didn’t remember what you did the second day either last time you were this drunk.” She satirizes him, yet it doesn’t give her any pleasure.
“Diane, it’s different.”
“Don’t worry about it. Whatever you do doesn’t surprise me.” She fuels up and intends to sound more hurtful, “And blaming the alcohol should be listed in your standards since you did that a lot.”
He stands up.
“I don’t think it’s a good time, Diane. Maybe we should talk later.”
“You mean the next time you barge in?” She can’t help but become more aggressive.
“Again, I apologize for coming here and hurting you. I wasn’t myself. I…I saw this man, and I thought…” He doesn’t continue.
“What?”
He takes a deep breath. “I was at your firm yesterday working on a case with Maia, and I saw this man looking for you. He, well, I shouldn’t have overthought it. It was stupid.”
Diane’s heart sinks. She didn’t expect this is where it would lead to. The idea that he may have known about Tully unnerves her. The former aggression for a fight with him is soon quenched by a chill up her spine. Her sudden silence leaves the air between them awkward.
“Diane? Anything I should know about?”
“Uh, no. He’s a friend.” She lies. Her eyes drift somewhere else and her tone becomes softer.
Kurt remains silent for a while, dipping his head and locking his eyes on the carpet.
“Look, I will leave for New York for the next two weeks. I think we should have a talk but not now. Both of us need to think it through before we tell what we really feel. You have the right reason to be pissed off at me, and I hope we can talk when you feel better.”
Diane doesn’t respond. He makes sense, she thinks.
Kurt steps closer, sits on the bedside and then looks at her.
“I think I should make one thing clear before I leave.” Diane returns his gaze with a nervous look. She is afraid that he will pursue the matter about Tully.
“I ran into Holly three weeks ago. We had an argument, and it didn’t last more than ten minutes. I don’t know how she made it sound different, but this is what happened.” He pauses and the rims of his eyes redden, “Diane, I would break my wrist if I hurt you again.”
She wells up on his words and tightly presses her lips together.
“I’ll contact you when I’m back in town.” He pats her hands softly before he stands up and heads to the door.
“Kurt.”
“Yes?” He turns. She wants him to stay badly. She wants to confess to him about Tully, even though she failed in her first attempt the day he flew back from L.A. She wants to tell him she doesn’t blame him for last night, to tell him that she wants him, always, and to tell him that she doesn’t need any space and all she wants from him is to hold her as tightly as he did last night.
“I’m…uh…” She swallows, “I’m sorry for what I just said. I didn’t mean it.” She says bashfully.
He smiles at her, “I know”, and then walks out.
She feels empty and hollow. Last night, she thought this would be a turn of their relationship. She didn’t expect it to become a turn to an unknowing direction this morning.
Two weeks is long enough for him to weigh whether it is still worth his patience and effort to pay for his mistake and to work so hard on the reconciliation. If he really knows about Tully, maybe it would be a much easier decision to make. She lies on her back and stares at the ceiling for nothing. “This is the worst weekend ever.” She admits.

……

Kurt wakes up by a pain from his back, like a strained muscle. Blinking his eyes, he tries to figure out where he is. The light of the bedside lamp is dim but enough to make her hair shine. Her silk robe drapes down from her arm to her back, wrinkling to a pile on the mattress behind her and exposing her shoulder and chest. The lower part of the robe barely covers her waist and hip, leaving her long legs stretch to the end of the bed. She is basically half-naked. He found himself still in his shirt but jeans unzipped and boxers unkempt. His arm is clinging around her waist, with hers folded on it. His head is aching. He tries to recall how he ended up in her bed but he can’t. He gingerly retrieves his arm from her hold and climbs down from the bed. Every movement makes his back ache. “What the hell did I do?” From where he stands, he sees his jacket on the floor at the other side of the bed. Collecting his clothes, he finds a pair of lilac panties carelessly tossed on his boots. Kurt steps closer to the bed and looks at Diane’s sleeping frame. When he leans closer, he is astonished by so many hickeys spreading from her neck to her chest and a distinctively dark one on the skin between her breasts. Eyes down, he sees a bruise on her hip bone. The sight of her trampled figure makes him feel a lump to his throat. He covers her frame gently with the sheet under her feet.

After tidying himself up, he sits in the chair next to the window. He cannot believe he just came down here and ravaged her when she was not even ready to see him, when she was still working on how to deal with their situation. He cannot imagine how frightened and hurt she was when he did this to her. What would she think of him? How could he face her after this? If she were given more time, maybe they could still work it out. At least, he knew he would do anything to fix what had been damaged, but he screwed it up by injuring her in a different way. He recalls how jealous and angry he felt last night at the idea of Diane being with another man, but what he did might just push her further away from him. Struggling with his own thought, Kurt hears her movements under the sheet. He fidgets by realizing she is about to wake up. He has no idea how to approach her after what he did last night. She rolls over and is startled by the sight of him.
“Oh my god, Kurt?”
“Yes.” He answers.