Previous posts: The Beginning, Crispin Meets Gina, Spilt Milk & Pretty Penny

It was 4am and the sky was a deep blue. A sliver of moon poked out from behind a cloud bank, and Crispin stood mesmerised, eyes fixed on the shadow of a lamppost. He had loosened his tie and popped the top two buttons. Icy air was chilling his skin, raising goose bumps on his neck and arms but the cold hadn’t quite reached his brain yet.

A foggy thump sat in his head as he lurched ever closer to his apartment. Thankgod there is only one flight of stairs to climb, he thought. His feet didn’t seem to understand the dexterity needed for walking, let alone the effort of heaving himself up a staircase.

The headlamp of a passing car blinded him for a second and he closed his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose. He saw stars before he cracked an eyelid open and peered around. Definitely too much wine.

Amanda in her silvery dress had sidled up to him after a round of speed dating and smiled at him. Her lips were lush and she was interested. She had taken his hand, and leaned in.

“Want to get out of here?” Her tongue tripped over the words for a second, and he looked down at his own glass. Empty.

“Another drink?” he offered and she agreed only too willingly. He was hoping she’d get the hint, but she hadn’t caught it. An hour later, Amanda disappeared to the bathroom and didn’t resurface. Oops.

He felt a little bad about it. He knew she was trashed when they reached the bar, but it wasn’t his job to play mother. Maybe the explosions going off in his head was exactly what he deserved.

Crispin was suddenly at his door. He looked down the landing and wondered how he managed it. The stairs wobbled, and the key kept slipping on the lock. Groaning, he tried again, this time using both hands. Almost. Finally, he heard the tumblers and the click of an unlocked door. He turned the handle and stumbled in.

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"We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown."

- T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (1917)

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