Trouble in Paradise

I am sitting in the back of the main cabin drinking some water to avoid the hangover that I know is coming tomorrow morning when Santiago appears.

“Hey, babe. I’ve barely seen you tonight! What have you been up to?” she asks, kissing my forehead.

“Oh, you know… the usual,” I reply evasively. I have a feeling she won’t be thrilled with me when she finds out exactly what I’ve been up to in her absence.

She grins. “The usual, huh? Okay, so, who have you been up to?”

I chew my lip nervously. “Well, I was with Kimberly and, uhh, some others, in the Pillow Room.”

“Which others?” she presses.

“A few guys? I don’t remember. I was really drunk.”

“Katherine!” she says, exasperated. “You don’t remember? And you were with guys? Did you have sex with them? Were you at least safe?”

I avoid her eyes. “I don’t remember,” I say softly.

“WHAT?!”

“I mean, I was really, really drunk. I definitely made out with Kimberly, but I don’t quite remember the rest.” I crack a smile. “On the bright side, I think I was actually too drunk to do anything, so there’s that.”

Santiago doesn’t smile back. She looks upset.

“Look, I’m pretty sure I didn’t. I remember laying down on the cot, and room was spinning a bit. I don’t think I was able to do much of anything,” I say.

“Katherine, that is really dangerous. You know what it’s like out there.” I am silent. I can’t argue. “Are you sure you didn’t do anything?”

I shrug helplessly. “No.”

She sighs again. Without warning, my eyes well up with tears. I hate it when she’s disappointed or angry with me. She’s the only person I could ever allow myself to be this vulnerable with, and I’m suddenly terrified that I’ve ruined it. I clutch her hand and whisper, “Don’t leave me.”

“What?” She rolls her eyes. “Don’t be stupid. I’m not going to leave you.” She sits down next to me. “Katherine.” I look up at her. “I don’t care who you fuck,” she continues. “You know that. I just want you to be safe. It’s scary out there.” I nod miserably, ashamed of myself. “Please just be safe.” She kisses me, smoothing my hair reassuringly. “Do you promise?” I nod silently, still looking down at my lap.

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