startled, she sat upright, instantly noticing a disparity with where she was, and where she should have been.
panic flooded through her and onto the floor, where her clothes lay in a heap. her hand flew to her chest and she realized she was wearing a shirt not her own.
hesitantly, she turned her head and eyeballed the guy sleeping beside her. her body ached with a delayed hangover.
"oh," she breathed, feeling a tightness in her chest, "oh, no."
derek lay sleeping, arms overtop his head, mouth slightly gaping. he was shirtless, but not naked, yet she knew immediately that they both had been not long ago.
fuck. fuck fuck fuck. she thought. what have i done?
eight years and a collection of strange conversations had sparked a great friendship between audrey and derek. their relationship had always been a solid one, full of shameless commiserating and genuine concern for one another. a recent slew of mutual loneliness had even led to a "my best friend's wedding" style marriage pact between them. they were each other's 'backup plan' and good friend.
they hadn't lived within close proximity of each other since high school, and so their reunions were far and few between. however, as audrey had returned for the weekend to visit her parents, who lived relatively close to derek's new place, the two had decided to get together. it was "as-friends" alone, and they both knew in their heads that it was always supposed to be that way.
but, with a few too many drinks in both of them, and the kind of love that only an eight year opposite-sex friendship could offer (platonic, but curious), they fell out of their right minds and into derek's bed.
now, in the morning light, there she sat, frozen like a deer in headlights, contemplating her next move in the wake of all that had happened.
i could run now.. avoid this.. we could not ever talk about it again. she glanced over at her friend, sleeping away his own guilt and awkward thoughts. but it's been eight years, and eight years from now, i want us to still be friends. i can't run out, no matter how weird it is. we'll deal with the weirdness later.
with that thought, she sighed, and settled back down into the sheets. still sleeping, derek sidled up next to her, his chin resting on her head, and slipped his arm around her.
and she knew he'd still want to be friends too.