1 comment

Fiction Gay LGBTQ+

My name is Annalise, and I am NOT happy. My manager told me I needed a vacation, needed a break. “You’re gonna work yourself to the bone, Annalise.” “You’re making yourself crazy, Annalise.” “You’re being a raging bitch and you need to relax, Annalise.” Bullshit, all of it. I was not relaxed. I was not enjoying myself. Sitting across from me on the opposite bed, however, my unsuspecting roommate had no idea she was currently the root of all my problems. 

She didn’t look like the kind of person I’d get along with. Green workout leggings, rose quartz bracelet clinking around her arm, and gold rimmed glasses balanced on the bridge of her nose. She looked the polar opposite of the kind of person I’d spend time with, even though she did smell nice… And her hair was very pretty, blond strands floating around her cheekbones. I wondered how she made it look like that. 

“Okay.” She speaks at last, her voice a higher cadence than I was expecting. “So it looks like every hotel for ten miles is listed ‘no vacancy’ through the weekend, so I guess we’ll be roommates!” She said this far too cheerily for my tastes, and I had to wonder why she wasn’t as upset as I was. After all, when we had both arrived, we had been equally surprised that our ‘super cheap bargain suite’ was in fact a double room. She seemed to have taken to it quite a bit easier than me, and no amount of bargaining with the manager had swayed him from my end. 

“Do you wanna order a pizza?” I sighed. Most pizza did not agree with me, since I was quite partial to spicy food and didn't like much else. “We can get whatever kind you want.” She waved her phone out at me, like she was trying to coax a particularly shy cat. I took it out of her hands, noting her manicured nails. “I like spicy stuff, is that okay?” I asked her, tilting my eyebrows in and trying to seem understanding if she said no. “Spicy food is a-ok!” She throws up a pair of thumbs up, and I feel the corners of my mouth tilt up. “Okay, sounds good.” I quietly order the pizza and pass her phone back to her, retreating to the comfort of my own bed with a book while she watches television.

“Are you okay?” I ask, passing her a water bottle as tears stream down her face. “O-oh yeah! I just have something in my th-throat.” She gulps down water, red-faced and wincing. “You said spicy was okay!" I pass her a tissue and cradle the box in my lap. “No, it’s fine, I just have something in my throat.” She gulps more water and I can’t help but snicker. “You say it’s fine, but you can’t handle spice at all! That was the tiniest bite I’ve ever seen in my life.” She half-heartedly glances up at me through her tears. “I just felt bad for intruding in your room, I wanted to make up for it.” Her voice is hoarse, and for a moment I wonder if I’ve put tears in her eyes for another reason. I hesitate.

“Hey, it’s okay, it’s not your fault.” I do my best to rub her back, but I know it seems robotic. “We didn’t know, I just wanted to save a buck. I’m not mad about having a roommate.” Which is the entire opposite of how I started this experience, but she doesn’t need to know that. She leans into me, and I feel my body stiffen. She smells like peaches and coconut. I do my best to ignore it. “I just feel bad.” She sniffles, and I pat her shoulder. “Don’t feel bad! We’ll make the most of it, it’s a salvageable vacation.” I console. She sniffles again, and the tears in her green eyes are shiny and pretty. I look away and stand. “How about this, I’ll help you pick some of the jalapenos and pepper flakes off, and tomorrow we can get whatever you want for dinner, okay?”

“Is that a date?” I pause and tip my head to look at her, searching for earnesty with a heartbeat like a herd of bison. There’s laughter there, though, so I bite back my disappointment and laugh with her. “I think we’ll just start with fixing this pizza” I reply, reaching for a slice and beginning to peel off the spicy stuff. She wipes her nose. After we’ve both managed to eat, it’s about time to go to sleep. I look up to ask her something, but the question evaporates like a puddle under the hot sun. “I’m just changing into my pajamas, okay?” I jerk my head the other way, tomato cheeks nestled against the prickly comfort of my modest sweater. “Mhmm, sure!” Is all I can manage through a hoarse throat, steadfastly holding my eyes to the ugly motel carpeting. I can feel my heartbeat in my sweaty palms, so I wipe them on my jeans. 

“All done.” Her voice is so chirpy and bright, it takes a second for my brain to reconcile. I turn back and attempt a smile, trying to hide my flush. “I’m gonna put mine on too.” I scurry into the cramped bathroom, clutching my clothes to my chest as if trying to keep my heart in its place. I get dressed slowly, giving myself time to cool off. What was my problem? Yeah, she was pretty, but in the same way a faun was. Soft, sweet, delicate, not my type at all. But here I was, blushing in a hotel bathroom. I put a cold washcloth on my face and shut my eyes tight.

When I’m done, I come out to find her already under the covers and blinking sleepily. “G’night.” She murmurs, comforter pulled up around her ears and her hair splayed like a golden octopus behind her. “Goodnight.” I reply, clicking the lamp between the beds off and climbing between the cotton sheets. They’re scratchy but clean, which I guess is to be expected from this bargain hotel room. They managed to slip in an extra bed, but not nicer sheets? The thought brings me a brief smile. The sound of her breathing is soothing, and I roll over. The air is steady and still, cool enough that I wiggle deeper into my sheets. As my eyes start to close, I decide that this discount vacation can’t really be as bad as I thought it would. 

March 01, 2021 18:24

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

1 comment

Dido Lod
15:38 Sep 22, 2022

Indeed, after such work, it is worth resting. I recently took so much time off that I got fired from my job. Now I work as a security guard. It's good that there is a resource <a href="https://resumewritinglab.com/media-resume-writing-service/">https://resumewritinglab.com/media-resume-writing-service/</a> that helped me with the search. now I can work all day and earn a lot of money.


Show 0 replies

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.