Change of routine

She woke up before he did, and shook the bed frame with one of her feet which was hanging off the edge. Clearly, this bed was not designed for a tall person, let alone two people. But that was the way things went in student housing.

Drinking an off-campus cougar bar, just blocks away from a notorious party school, chances are you end up stumbling home with someone who lives like this. Lumpy old furniture, nothing in the fridge, crusty coffee cup on the milk crate which served as a bedside table.

Her stirrings did not wake him. She hoped to escape without being noticed. Were there roommates? She was going to be late to work, and of course she had no toothbrush, hairbrush, or a change of clothes. Yesterday’s outfit would have to do. Where did I leave my underwear? Oh.

She eased up in bed without a single creak, and left him lying there, snoring. She retraced their steps from the night before and found a pile of clothes in the hallway, some of which were hers. Hard to tell at this hour. She grabbed her best guess at what she’d been wearing.

No idea where the light switch was; wouldn’t turn it on anyway. Didn’t want to anyone else in this house to see her like this. She’d look out of place even with clothes on and makeup still intact. It’d been twenty years since her last one-nighter. Not her proudest moment.

Holding her breath, she tiptoed the rest of the way down the hall and found the bathroom. Slipped inside, shut the door, turned on the lights. Please let there be a clean towel. A survey of racks, cabinets, drawers, nothing, nothing, nothing — then, victory. She glimpsed a bit of navy blue terrycloth peeking out from underneath a plastic-wrapped bushel of Costco toilet paper.

It turned out to be a hand towel, but it was better than nothing. She ran the water in the shower and waited for it to get hot before stepping in. Just as she was about to set foot onto the shower pan, she noticed a spider near the drain. She waited longer, aimed the spray head in its direction, and watched it drown in a tiny whirlpool.

Ah! Murder before sunrise. It was going to be a productive day. She got dressed, found her shoes in the hallway, and let herself out without making a peep.