A perfect stranger

I woke up with a throbbing head, feeling slightly dizzy and completely disoriented. Rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, I noticed that I was lying in a king-size bed, surrounded by decorative pillows and a cozy blanket. A check to my left revealed that I was not alone. There was someone lying next to me. The blanket covered his face, thus I couldn't figure out who it was. A humming sound reached my ear. Who was that man and more importantly, why is he lying next to me? I stood up and walked to the bathroom. After splashing my face with cold water, I took a look in the mirror. My make-up was smudged, my hair tousled. All things considered, I made a really lousy impression. I tried to recall last night's event. The party, the drinks and this stranger. ‚Jessie, what did you do? Come on, get a grip!' I scolded myself. I couldn't remember anything, but I was sure that I could follow some clues in this hotel room that would job my memory.

Walking out of the bathroom, I spotted my phone lying on the kitchenette. No missed calls, not even a ‚happy new year'-message from James. I was overcome with a familiar feeling of disappointment. He'd never forgotten me before. ‚Whatever, he might just hang around in a bar, crying over the painful farewell to Weezing'. He wept easily, I've often noticed that, but a second look at my cell phone revealed something more. Someone had created a special playlist. Suitable songs for a merry party. Panic! At the disco, Gloria Gaynor, RIO and U-Jean. One of this songs recalled memories.

I remembered tripping the light fantastic with a nice guy. He was very charming and courteous, but I still couldn't recognize his face in these shreds of memories. I had no idea whether he was blond or brown, whether he had blue or dark eyes, but he had been wooing me, showering me with compliments, making me feel precious. Quickly glancing to the bed, I obviously enjoyed his company. High hopes – the song that was playing in the club. This perfect stranger was standing right behind me. His hands wandering down my hips, I could feel his firm grip around my waist. We rocked to the music, he spread a row of kisses down my neck. I relished it to the fullest. He drove me crazy, we had a good time. My heart was bouncing. I usually keep men at a distance, but he was different. He wasn't demanding or intrusive, but quite decent and a tad shy. A timid smile played around my lips, but I couldn't stop my preservation of evidence yet. I picked up the phone and texted James. ‚Woke up in a hotel room with some stranger. Don't remember a thing. What happened last night?' My roommate snored out loud. I could just walk right up to this king-size bed and uncover this mystery, but I didn't dare. After all, he could be some weirdo with some crooked intentions. Don't wake sleeping dogs, right?

A used wine glass caught my attention. There were lipstick marks along the edge. My lipstick. This was another reminder. I could see myself facing this man. He smiled at me, drunk and frolicsome. He pulled me closer, so close that I could feel his breath on my cheeks. He looked at me silently for a long time and then he finally leaned in, our lips fusing into an intimate kiss. It was overwhelming as if firecrackers were shooting through my body. An elation, I've been waiting so long for this opportunity. It felt right, it was about time someone kissed me so passionately. I left lipstick marks on the corner of his mouth, but he didn't mind. He cupped my face and kissed me again, it was fervent and affectionate. A couple of drinks let us overcome our inhibitions. We made out on the dancefloor, we didn't care about the party guests' prying eyes. I wrappted my arms around his neck. „You're so beautiful," he muttered. I think we left the club shortly afterwards.

James hadn't responded to my message yet. He might have met someone, too. Whatever, I had a Prince Charming all to myself here. This perfect stranger, whose name I didn't even know, had taken the initiative, something James had always been afraid of. There had been so many odds, so many chances to kiss me, but my partner in crime had always been to reluctant and coy due to his past. At some point, I gave up the idea that he had more than amicable feelings for me. Anyways, it was time to uncover the truth. I took all my courage walked to the other side of the bed and pulled the blanket off.

My heart skipped a beat. A lavender mane appeared. ‚No, no. Oh God, no!' my hands started shaking, I got hot and cold at the same time. „James!" I shouted. He turned to the other side, yawning heartily. „Good morning," he murmured, putting on a smile. I threw a pillow in his face. „What are you doing here?" I jumped onto the bed, shaking him up.
„Well, I tried to sleep. What's the matter, Jess?" he sat up, having a stretch. „Why are you lying next to me?" I was completely out of my mind, almost angry. „What a night! That was fun. I really enjoyed spending New Year's Eve with you" he scratched the back of his head. „James! Does that mean you're the perfect stranger? You're the guy who danced with me all night long, and you're the guy who," I stopped for a moment, I looked at him in disbelief. When yesterday's party occurred to him, he blushed to the roots of his hair. „Yes, Jessie," he smiled shyly. „But why? I thought you weren't intrested in me. All those years, you made absolutely no effort to get closer to me. You cloistered yourself, you didn't allow any feelings," I moved closer to him. „I know, Jessie. But look," he pulled a crumpled sheet of paper out of his trousers, handing it to me. I unfolded it. „New Year's resolutions," I read it out loud. „Kiss the most amazing woman. James, that's me," I dropped the sheet of paper.

„Jessie," he reached for my hands. „We've been waiting for so long. This year, I want to make it up to you. I want to overcome my fears and be the man, friend, partner you really deserve," he stroke a strand of hair behind my ear. „It's true, you're the most amazing woman I've ever met and I would be completely off my mind if I didn't take the chance to date you," he took a deep breath. „I mean, if you want to," I was moved to tears. James had never left me in the lurch, he had never taken advantage of me, he had always been obliging and a helping hand. I nodded my head. „Yes, James," he enfolded me in his arms.

„Happy New Year, Jess", he placed a long and fond kiss onto my lips.