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'Mouth, Meet Foot' or 'The Nyquil Effect'
Part 2

For part 1 of this rousing story, go HERE.

So we left off with I Mistake #3, when I said, "You never know. I could be a terrible kisser."

No response came, and I'm not the type to send follow-up texts (i.e. Helloooooo?, Did you get my last text, yo??, etc.), so I just assumed he fell asleep and decided to follow suit.

A couple of hours later - around 4am - I was awakened by the cheerful little chirp that is my phone's text message alert sound. Thankfully, I wasn't in full REM cycle, so I wasn't tempted to chuck it against the nearest wall. I looked at my phone with sleep-blurred eyes, my lids protesting against the light given off by the all-too-bright display.

It was a text from Ephraim. 
Ephraim: Sorry! I had a really long and crazy night!
Stefers: No worries. I figured you were being all sociable.
With that, we traded New Year's stories: my night of drugging myself to sleep and his of partying out on the town. He eventually ended up at a hotel with friends which eased my mind a bit (Nashvillians tend to get a bit reckless when it comes to holidays that involve drinking). He was waiting for food, and I expressed my jealousy at the thought of food since I hadn't eaten since earlier that day, had absolutely no food at my house, and was completely opposed to stepping a single foot out of my door.
Ephraim: I'm sorry! :( I'll make it up to you. Will a kiss do?
Damn it all to Hell... Are we really back on the kiss??? I'll never escape it!
Stefers: hahaha You're just itching for that kiss, huh? Silly, silly, silly.
See what I did there? Turn it into a joke. Divert, divert, divert!!!!
Ephraim: Yes... I may be. But I'm also serious!

Stefers: Like I said, I could be the worst kisser ever. And then the intrigue would be gone. ;)

Ephraim: If you couldn't kiss well, I'd take the time to teach you. :)

Stefers: HAHA You are absolutely ridiculous.
Now, this is where another round of the NyQuil took over my brain. Or at least I'm saying it did... because what follows is just... stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

You've been warned.
Stefers: Fortunately for me, however, I've been told that kissing is one of my strong points. So :-P. I have no need for practice.
 Really, Stefanie? Really? There was no need for that. You couldn't just let it lie, could you?
 Ephraim: Perfect! Then it should be a flawless effort! :)
Stefers: I reiterate my ridiculous comment. I won't lie, though. You're incredibly confusing. :-P
Ephraim: So you tell me...
It's at this point that our conversation went back to the New Year's festivities: the silly antics, the alcohol, the college kids ralphing in the streets...

[Side note: Where did the term "ralph" come from? I feel bad for anyone named Ralph, because their name will forever be synonymous with vomit and retching.]

But somehow - and even going back through the texts, I can't quite make heads or tails of it - we ended up talking about how I like to keep myself safe by thoroughly assessing risks and consequences. From there, we applied this topic to our friendship, but I hadn't quite caught on at the time that we were talking about us.
Stefers: If the possible circumstances of taking a risk are a complete shit-storm, I usually won't mess with it.
Oops... That might not have been the gentlest wording possible, Stef. Note to self: add 'Practice tact more often' to my list of New Year's Resolutions.
 Ephraim: So, am I a shit-storm waiting to happen?
 Stefers: Wait. What? When did this turn to you being the subject of our conversation? But actually, yes. Too many bad variables to even consider it.
Ephraim: Because this all started with me offering a kiss and you stating no.
Stefers:  Oh. Well, that was simply because a kiss, to me, means something completely different than it does to you.
Ephraim: Thank you for being honest. It took a while to get you to say it, but I understand now.
Stefers: Honest about what? I didn't even really think we were talking about all that. haha
Ephraim: Honest with me about the fact that I would most likely be a shit-storm waiting to happen... and that there are too many negative variables. I get it. It's all good.
Crap. He's pissed. Damn it, damn it, damn it!

I proceeded to send him a dizzying flurry of texts trying to better explain myself, to apologize, to make it all right.
Stefers Damage Control Text #1: ... Crap. Now I've gone and hurt your feelings. See? This is when being honest is a bad thing. I didn't mean it in a bad way. You don't really get it.
Stefers Damage Control Text #2: I would rather be friends with you than even think about possibly messing that up. And with our differing viewpoints on relationships and where we both are in our lives... It would just be a shit-storm. So I'd rather not risk your friendship by adding that extra level.
Stefers Damage Control Text #3: Honest-to-God, I didn't intend for that to be a hurtful comment. Just being practical is all. I'm sorry.
Stefers Damage Control Text #4: Please don't be angry with me.
And that's where I found myself last night before I went to sleep.

Thankfully, there have been developments today, but... that's for another post! Don't worry! I'll post it tomorrow.

I'm even making a writing exercise out of it (Oh, the cleverness of me!)!! And you're welcome to take part!

Here are the rules:
Take a story from your life. It can be anything, from the mundane to the extraordinary.
Take this story and write it out from beginning to finish with as much literary prowess as you can muster.
Use language to make it exciting (even if the story is mundane, the use of the simplest literary devices can put your readers on the edge of their seats with anticipation), and give it momentum.
Don't tell the story as if you're telling your best friend.
Tell it as if you're writing it to send in to a publisher.

And that's the plan.

Tune in tomorrow for Part 3 of this saga.

[Side note 2: Why is it that all of my life stories have multiple parts? I guess it's one of the side effects of being a writer.]



CarrieMarie said…
oh, i know that backpedalling-from-the-hurtful-truth all too well. *wince* good story-telling, tho! hoping for a happy ending! : )
Yvonne said…
Awww, you have no idea how much I can relate to this post!!! Oh and is there a word count limit to the excersise?
Stef Howerton said…
There is no word count limit. Just write. It would probably be most helpful if you wrote for over 5 or 10 minutes, but just as long as you get the story out and on paper it's all good. :)
Anonymous said…
I'm not positive about the exact source of the term "ralphing" , but I was told by my brother once that it was because it is funny to have whoever is "ralphing" to say the word "ralph" while in the midst of doing what they are doing. If you want, try it. It is actually pretty funny.

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