Pete woke-up to the pain of a hangover. He never drank anymore, but last night…
The familiar sound of rain beat against his window.
He sat up and took stock of his room. A complete mess. He never used to mind it, but now the disarray made his bedroom feel like a prison.
He searched through a pile of clothes and pulled on the shirt and pants that smelled the least. He avoided looking in his mirror as he got out of bed. He didn’t need a reminder that his haircut was terrible. He expertly navigated a mess of pens and receipts in his nightstand to grab a lone Tylenol, which he washed down with a stale glass of water.
Pete paused as he reached his apartment’s living room. He didn’t need to hear the light snoring to know Nadine was asleep on the couch. Their argument the night before had taken a vile turn, and he knew if he woke her she would still be mad.
He considered doing it anyways; the fight was so familiar at this point it was almost comforting. Instead quietly grabbed his phone, keys, and wallet in the dark and quietly left the room.
He knew his building’s elevator would be broken, so he took the stairs. On the way down he navigated a minefield of discarded food and dog droppings without looking. He reached under the last flight of stairs and grabbed a well-hidden umbrella.
He opened the umbrella and headed off towards Cafe Ambrosia at a brisk pace. If he got there after 7:05am the waitress always screwed up his order.
This may be the worst day of his life, but no need to make it any worse than necessary. No matter how many times he had to relive it.