I was fried, hanging on by a thread. And then the thread was cut.
We were out to dinner, a group of nine of us, sitting around a large table in a pub about a fifteen minute walk from the Flying Dutchman.
We were all tired, the rush of the Grue slamming to a halt as the event had just ended about an hour ago.
It was all I had in me to not curl up into a ball and start crying. Having experienced another Grue, I knew this was normal. The intense event followed by the sudden end caused me physical exhaustion and emotional havoc. I knew this was to be expected. I was just barely hanging on.
We ordered drinks. I decided I needed a beer. Just one beer. My pint arrived and I took one sip. Then two other drinks arrived, one of them being Gray’s. Because he sat next to me, of course I was going to reach over and pass the drinks to him.
And then my hand clipped my pint glass. And all of my beer, save my one sip, spilled onto the table and onto Gryphon. Gryphon, who sat on my other side. Gryphon, who offered to share his french fries with me. Gryphon, who had made me smile even though I was feeling like crap.
As soon as the glass hit the table, we both jumped up. I grabbed it, but it was already too late. His pants and half his shirt were soaked.
I had to get away. I quickly slipped from the booth and rushed to the bathroom. One of the two stalls was free. I got inside and started crying.
I had been hanging on by a thread. And then the thread was cut.
All the horrible thoughts came to me in a rush.
You’re so clumsy. You’re so stupid. He won’t like you now. You’ve ruined dinner. They’ll all hate you now. Why did you even bother coming? No one wants you here.
CherryBondage soon came into the restroom and knocked on my stall’s door. I let her in and she held me as I wept. Hugging me tight, she asked me what was wrong.
“I was hanging on by a thread. And then that happened and I just couldn’t hold on any more. And the bad thoughts came and I know logically Gryphon doesn’t hate me and the table is probably laughing about this right now, but yeah. I just… I needed to cry.
“I’ll be okay. I just needed to cry.”
And then I was okay. I actually laughed, knowing this would be yet another inside joke directed my way.
When I returned to the table, I apologized profusely to Gryphon. Gray gave me a big hug.
And waiting for me was another pint. The bar had spotted me the loss.
But now I found myself in a new dilemma: I feared picking up my beer.
I feared touching it even. When I went to drink my beer, I used both hands to lift the pint. When the next round of drinks came, I held my arms in tight to my chest and sat back in my seat.
To make matters worse (or hilarious, depending on how you saw it), Gray and Gryphon taunted me for the rest of our dinner with my new found fear.
Asking one to refill my water glass (since he could more easily reach the pitcher), he filled my cup all the way to the top. I stood up and leaned over, sipping the top off just so I wouldn’t spill my water when I lifted it.
Then the other, the next to refill my glass, held the pitcher high in the air as the water flowed out. I was visibly nervous that the liquid would spill all over the table. Of course it didn’t, but the boys enjoyed egging me all the same.
Gryphon smelled of beer for the rest of the night; he didn’t have time to go home and change before the After Grue. I kept apologizing; he kept telling me it was okay.
Eventually, I believed him.
The night was not ruined. No one hated. I was okay again.