TITLE: The Brevity of Roses
GENRE: Literary Women's Fiction
Jalal prayed the groan that woke him had been his own. He raised his head an inch off the pillow and scanned the room, confirming he was in his bed and alone. That was the last time. No more lost weekends for him. "If it was a weekend." he murmured. Gingerly, he maneuvered himself upright on the side of the bed. It could be midweek for all he knew. Getting wasted was no longer confined to weekends. He ran a hand over his jaw, then sought a second opinion from the bathroom mirror. Stubble length indicated he might have lost only one day this time. That was one day too much. He renewed his vow and stepped into the shower.
Twenty minutes later, dressed in jeans, he walked out of his closet and pulled on a tee. As his eyes cleared the neckband, they focused on a blonde in a tight black dress, standing in the doorway across the room. He blinked. He froze. The rising fear his blackout had progressed to hallucinations dissipated when she spoke.
"Oh, good, you're finally up," she said. "I'm starved. Let's go to Colliano's for lunch."
Jalal glanced at the clock on the bedside table; it read 2:17. He stared dumbly at her, wracking his brain for her name. Her face was familiar. He knew her. Hell, considering she was now disentangling her underwear from his sheets, he apparently knew her intimately.