As soon as I looked over the edge of the Moses Basket and saw her slack, sleep-softened mouth and the gentle rise and fall of her chest—and the fact that someone, probably Richard, had been thoughtful enough to dress her in fuzzy duck-patterned pyjamas I’d bought for her—I was flooded with equal parts contentment and guilt. She was so beautiful, such a sweet baby, such a precious little girl; and I was a bad, horrible, neglectful, abusive mother for walking out on her like that… but even as the thought occurred, I knew it was drunken exaggeration. A bit, anyway. I mean, I agreed with my internal voice that I couldn’t get back into the habit of drunken one-night-stands, but at the same time, maybe there was no use in berating myself after the fact. Or in, say, sneaking downstairs to have another glass or two of wine, to ease my discomfort (I’d say shame, but I haven’t got any).
So, with the unique thought that, yes, having a drink now probably would not make me feel better, I absentmindedly pulled on one of my less mumsy nightgowns. Not that it was slinky or sexy or anything—it was made of jersey, which is practically the only material clothing for new mums is ever made of—but it was the opulent purple of a ripe aubergine, and it left my arms bare. Oooh, what a thrill.
Laughing at myself, or at least smirking, I crawled into bed and expected sleep to come instantly. It always had, more or less, and when it didn’t, I could usually leap up and get some work done, or, if all else failed, go to the 24-hour gym across town. While pregnant, I’d certainly had very little trouble sleeping, after the 1st trimester. Waking up 3 or 4 times a night to pee in the 3rdtrimester was a moot point; I’d simply fallen effortlessly asleep, 3 or 4 times a night.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not one of those people who need 8 hours every night, or whatever it is. My sleeping habits are as unusual as some of my other habits—I can laze in bed for 14 hours, or not feel the need to sleep more than 4 hours in 2 days, depending on what I’m doing and how I’m feeling—but the ability to get to sleep, and sleep for as long as I need to, is one I’ve been blessed with as far back as I can recall. Furthermore, I was still decidedly tipsy, and reasonably drowsy as a result of that, to say nothing of my all-around tiring day. Which is why, after lying in bed for a good half-hour, I was exceptionally puzzled by my inability to, as they say, switch off.
I just kept thinking that maybe I should do something preventative, in some way. Something to stop me from making a mistake like this again (because, pleasant as the actual fucking had been, my reaction afterwards was proof that my brief return to the Land of Casual Sex had been a mistake). But how? I’ve always been a highly sexually charged woman, and it was obvious to me that my libido was up and running again. Now that it was no longer dormant, it would not, could not, be ignored… I’d been thinking with my cunt since I was 14 years old, I couldn’t just stop now, could I? At the risk of sounding melodramatic, I’ll admit I spent a good 10 minutes literally tossing and turning; and then, inspiration hit me, and before I could give anything approaching another turn (or a toss, haha) I was (begging your pardon for the expression) sleeping like a baby, certain that my plan could not fail. I mean, how difficult could it be, to fix this particular problem?
All I needed to do was find myself an actual boyfriend.