Names changed to protect the innocent
A dream I had about Elizabeth.
In an enormous house with her, her boyfriend, and his friends.
I went into the large bathroom--dark wood walls, ceilings and floors, like the rest of the house--to relieve myself, and to my surprise, she was in there. In a towel.
"Eep," I say, and attempt retreat.
"No, it's okay! Stay," she says.
"Did you get my text?"
I check my phone, and the text from her reads, "Hiding out in the bathroom. Join me?"
I say, "I came here to pee."
"Well... go ahead."
So, oddly, enough, I think 'Fine, I will.' And I do. I pee, and she watches me the entire time.
"No stage fright at all," she notes.
"I've been practicing," which is true. I can even pee at urinals now, probably.
I've finished, barely put the thing away, and she hugs me, like a warrior falling victoriously upon his prey in the tide of war. Her towel is slipping a little. At first, I hug her back as if it was the most natural thing in the world, and maybe like I'd been waiting for it all my life. Our open mouths are nearly touching, and I pull back and stammer, "Whoa, whoa, hey, wait. Let go. Please please please!"
"Jeez, okay," she says, adjusting her towel, and I wrest some desperate distance between us.
"What about Jimmy?" You know, your frigging boyfriend? "I can't do this to him!" But then...--"Wait."--...I remember hearing all kinds of rumors. "Does he cheat on you?" It's like I'm seeking the holy grail of excuses to continue this, but I believe there is truth to it.
Matter of factly, she says, "He's got a girlfriend." Yeah, you! "Yufo is back from Japan."
"I don't get it. He--"
"Dumped me for her."
Apparently this is satisfactory; apparently I do not feel I'm just a rebound, or maybe I don't care, because I resume hugging her. I begin picturing all the possibilities--no, not the sexual ones!--of a life with Elizabeth. Actually, it's as if my life were flashing before my eyes, but it's a life I haven't yet lived. I like this feeling, of her, a few inches shorter than me with her head on my shoulder, in a towel, crushed into my chest.
I notice I haven't been breathing.
As the door bursts open.
And a drunken boy piles into one corner as Elizabeth scurries into another and I zip up my fly in the middle of the room; there are no corners left. Why are we in such a nice house, anyway, when this is the company Jimmy keeps?
Elizabeth has dressed discretely while I poked at the teenager and left the room, bewildered. What's happened? There was something there, something in between, but it's gone now.
I don't see Jimmy anywhere, and who the hell is Yufo? That's not even a Japanese name.
And it's the only name I didn't change to protect the innocent, because I don't know anyone named Yufo. And if anyone is, I'm sorry. Sorry you've been given or chosen such an unfortunate name, sorry I dreamed it, and sorry it appears here.
Someone asks me something, and I say, "I haven't shaved my head in three days." I'm not sure what their question was.
And as I wander around the house, only stragglers remain--How long was I in the bathroom? What time is it?--, and I want to see Elizabeth again. Already. I read the text a second time, "Hiding out in the bathroom. Join me?", and I hear her voice behind me, saying my name, quietly, but it might as well be thunder.