He should have known better. That thought rattled around in his rather stunned brain as he simply stood there, thinking he should be somewhere else. Definitely somewhere else. Like not here.
'Here' happened to be the hallway outside the bathroom he had just exited. To be truthful, he'd gone to the bathroom at least half as an escape plan (obviously the other half of the reason was a need to release some of the beer he'd had back into the wild). Clearly, the escape plan had not worked. Not in the least.
To begin at the beginning, he was attending a party at a friend's house. A nice, relaxed evening of alcohol, conversation, and socializing. That was the plan, at least. Or it had been the plan until he realized that yes, she was there. She happened to be a friend of his friend's significant other. A slightly convoluted relationship to describe, but to simplify they were at least nominally part of the same social group and he had met her a few other times, and heard of her before he had met her. He had even enjoyed talking to her, at least for a while.
The problem was actually problems. First off, he had never encountered her when she was sober. Now, one might think that could be a distinct plus. In this case it was not. She tended to get a little argumentative. Secondly, related to the first, she forgot personal space when she was drunk. This could be partially because he was all-too-aware that she had a crush on him. Calling it more than a crush would be a bit silly, really, because she knew almost nothing about him. There is only so much one can learn at a party once alcohol has been added to the equation. No, she hadn't learned anything about that, thanks. She was definitely not his type, not for that.
He knew about the crush from his friend who had found it amusing to share that bit of knowledge. He had explained his lack of interest in the woman in question and had hoped his friend might pass that on in some way. Apparently not. No, his friend had found it funny enough that nothing had been said. Instead the woman sat too close at the next party also, cornering him as his friends smirked at his predicament.
He could have just said he wasn't interested. He'd considered it. But that just seemed so rude, not to mention he had a feeling it could cause a whole bunch of drama he had no interest in dealing with. So ignoring the subject had seemed like the best idea. It wasn't like he saw her that often. Only every few months. She had made no effort to get his number, or find any other way to contact him when they were not both at a party.
Then he heard she was moving. Aha! It would all be at an end. There would be no unpleasantness, no time when he would actually have to admit he had no interest.
Sadly, that appeared not to be the case. She had cornered him the moment he walked in the door and sat down with a drink, hoping to relax and chat with some friends he hadn't seen in a while. Instead, she sat down so close to him that he was nearly falling off the couch just trying to keep from being plastered against her side. As per usual, she was three sheets to the wind. Already. The party had officially started about 15 minutes prior. It did not bode well for the evening, and he began plotting his escape.
Hence the bathroom. He excused himself, feeling rather clever, and headed down the hallway to the bathroom. He sighed in relief as he closed the door with him inside, pleased he'd found a socially acceptable and relatively polite out. His bladder was also thankful.
Flush. The splash of running water, sudsing of hands, wiping them on the towel. Gearing up to go back out.
Then he opened the bathroom door and was confronted with the sight of her standing there. For just a second he stared at her in bafflement. And panic. Do not forget the panic. Definitely weird to have her waiting there to use the bathroom. The hallway was rather narrow and he tried to slip out the door to give her room to get into the bathroom, wanting to get back to the crowd and find a seat that would not give her a spot to come back to his side again.
Except she did not appear to be wanting the bathroom. She didn't move to get around him and into the room, avoiding his eyes as a normal person would do, feeling that self-consciousness about having to perform a bodily function and having probably heard him doing some of the same. Instead she moved to allow him into the hallway but not back to the rest of the people. No, she had come to corner him again! Outside the bathroom, no less. A modicum of privacy with only a few people having a view down the hall from the living room, most of them his friends who should be saving him, not leaving him to such a fate.
No such luck.
He looked vainly over her shoulder, hope shrinking that he was going to get out of this without something bad happening.
"Actually, I wanted to... um... talk to you." She smiled nervously, then looked earnestly into his eyes.
He wanted to be anywhere else at that moment. Could he get back into the bathroom, feign like he had to piss again? Maybe even vomit?
No. Sadly, he couldn't do it. Plus, she would probably just wait.
"Umm," he replied, looking at her nose (not a bad shape, although perhaps a bit long), her ear (that earring looked almost lethal, and heavy!), her hair where it brushed her shoulder (nice colour, and distinctly darker underneath, suggesting maybe it was natural, which was a bit of a surprise). Anywhere but into her eyes.
"I just wanted to say that I think you are amazing. So smart and funny...," and his attention wandered off. He could hear her voice moving along in an uneasy tempo, tight with trepidation.
All he could think was how badly he wanted an exit strategy. Anything. Something!
She stopped talking for a moment, drawing in a breath. "Thanks," he quickly blurted into the pause. It was the best he could manage in reply. Clearly not quite what she'd been hoping, and she just kept looking at him.
Crickets chirped, at least metaphorically. Really it was the sound of people talking, genuine laughter, glasses and bottles from the other area of the apartment.
Then it got worse.
She leaned in to kiss him. Panic hit him and he turned his head, turned his shoulders. He was not overly tall, and she was a good height for a woman, so he couldn't just lean back and know there was no way she'd managed to stretch up enough to connect her lips to his. Nope, this required more bodily movement than that. He twisted, tempted to put up his elbow so she would ram into that. But there wasn't time. Her lips managed to connect with the corner of his jaw and he felt a little shudder run through him. A mix of stickiness from lipgloss and a hint of roughness that was just off-putting; definitely not lips he was wanting to kiss.
To be fair, it was not that he found her altogether unappealing. She was pretty enough, he supposed. She seemed like she had a brain, at least when it wasn't fuzzed by alcohol. All in all, an ok girl. Just not for him. He just could not find her attractive, especially not when she was drunk.
So there he was, standing there looking at her, a little disbelieving that she had actually tried to kiss him. The night before she moved away, no less. What was the point?
"Um." Not elequent, but would anyone really expect him to be eloquent after being trapped this way? Especially outside the bathroom. There was something just so truly off-limits about lying in wait for someone outside the bathroom.
She flashed him an uncomfortable smile, shoving her hands in her pockets, her shoulders up around her ears. Total defensive mode. He returned an equally uncomfortable smile, then finally managed to slip past her, maybe mumbling,"'Scuse me," maybe not. Mostly he was just trying to bolt.
Right back to his friends who had been watching from the couch and who proceeded to laugh at him. Bastards.