Conversations Over Waffles
by Kaylynn Dresch
I had my duffel bag, a single outfit, and an excessive amount of toiletries slung over my shoulder. I was overly anxious about smelling bad. I let out a pitiful fake yawn when the clerk looked up at me to make it appear as if I'd been traveling all day. I already had this whole intricate story made up in my head. If she asked, I would tell her I was in town visiting family, which wasn't exactly a lie; my parents were comfortably nestled 15 minutes away in the house we've lived in for around seven years now, blissfully unaware of my location. I lied and said I was at my best friend's house for the night. And I had a plan B; in true Home Alone fashion, I would tell her I was in town because my mom was on business and had an important conference. Whichever nervously sputtered out of my mouth first. But she didn't ask.
You were still out in the car, waiting for me to check in to the hotel and let you in through the side door. I don't know why I felt the need to make it like a top-secret mission as if the clerk would see me let you in, and the whole jig would be up. We were just here to have sex. After unintentionally building tension with countless romantic picnics, movie dates, and late-night conversations, and the impending doom of you returning to Kansas and me starting college here in Iowa, time was not in our favor. I wish I could say it was romantic. All I remember is putting on Wipeout and sitting nervously beside each other. Watching strangers slam their bodies into gigantic red orbs, laughing and swearing that we could do it better. It actually made me calmer about the whole situation, bringing me back to that night on your porch in the hammock when we were laughing until we were blue about some of the stupidest jokes we could tell. But I still told you I had changed my mind, and you were okay with it. We went to sleep.
I woke up and glanced over at the hotel alarm clock; 4:26 AM. The carpet in the room was plaid with different shades of green; we had both commented earlier on how horrible it was; it looked even stranger now, with the small amount of moonlight demanding entrance into the room. I turned my head to look at you; you weren't where I thought you'd be. My pajama pants were at my ankles, and I didn't put them there.
The next morning there was hotel breakfast on cheap styrofoam plates. I hate the smell of waffles now. You said one sentence all morning while chewing your food, just audibly enough for me to hear: I hope last night was okay.
Whenever my new partners imminently ask me about my first time, I lie. I weave stories about tender moments and sweet nothings. And live my life forever wishing I told you that it wasn't.
Kaylynn Dresch (she/her) is an Iowa State University student born and raised in Des Moines Iowa. She is a queer writer and has aspirations to be an established author one day and this is her very first publication.