As is evident in every Nancy Drew book or thriller-genre movie ever made, mysterious things happen at night. Every weird plot twist is always committed under the dark veil of night, then discovered in the daylight. It often feels like I'm an aspiring detective majoring in forensics with how frequently my college career requires me to solve my own mysteries. More often than I'd like to give a self-abasing number to, I find myself waking up in a mysterious location with enigmatic clues as to what happened the night before in my purse. The detective within me investigates further by finding texts from unknown numbers, and deciphering cryptic texts from my own outbox. Normally I'm able to crack the case by midafternoon, but this past weekend I was met with the most difficult case of my forensic career.
I woke up feeling like I'd been through a war against myself. Head pounding, body aching, tally marks all over my arms, and bruises all over my legs. I knew where I'd started my night, and I could safely theorize that I ended my night in my room since that's where I woke up, but everything in between desperately needed solving. The sheer pain of my hangover lead me to believe that last night had not been a standard beer and vodka night. I looked at the tallies on my arm to see how much I'd drank, but my tallies stopped after the first few drinks then turned into roman numerals and dirty drawings extending up my forearm. But as I tried to make sense of the cryptic scribbles on my arm, I found my first clue. The area of my hand between my thumb and pointer finger was red and chafed.
"Tequila shots!" I gasped. That was why my night was a perplexing blur. But knowing that I'd done tequila shots gave me a vague recollection of the pregame. I remembered going salt, shot, lime with a sexy stranger that I'd seen around campus but hadn't seen at any parties until last night. This clue gave me a sneaking suspicion that I'd done something stupid. My salted hand reached onto the floor for my purse and I checked to see if anything was missing; I had my phone and room key, but my dignity was missing! My phone was out of battery, so I plugged it in to see if I'd taken any pictures or sent any texts that would help me crack this case. My phone revived itself, but there was no evidence which led me to believe that it had died before I could send any drunk texts. While it was dead I'd missed texts from my friend who I'd gone out with.
The first one read"Where are you?" Then five minutes later "I lost you again, where'd you go?", then "?", and finally "Taylor!! Are you dead?!" This was not going to be good. I needed to call her.
"Hmphgn... hello?" I'd woken her up.
"What happened last night?" The first rule of being a good detective is always ask questions.
"Haha I have no idea. I hardly even saw you at the party, you totally disappeared! When I finally found you, you were crying and kept on saying 'I got kicked out, I got kicked out' which clearly wasn't true because you were still at the party. Then you started asking me to draw on you."
"I'm never drinking tequila again," I lied to myself.
"You don't remember?"
"Not a thing!"
"I wish I could tell you more. Ugh, I should start getting ready for class."
"Rough, good luck remembering your night."
I made the arduous trek from my bed to my bathroom sink and started getting ready for class. But once I put in my contacts, I looked in the mirror and found another clue all over my neck. Either I'd been violently strangled or someone had given me hickies. I ruled out the first possibility and came to the conclusion that I'd kissed someone or something the night before. But I didn't have the gift of time to test a DNA sample from my neck and match it to the perpetrator, so I rubbed some concealer on my neck and ran off to class.
The walk across campus was ridden with the anxiety that any passerby could potentially be the perpetrator. It was the most frustrated I'd ever been; it was already midafternoon and I still had no theory as to my dignity's whereabouts! I'd reached a serious block in my case and was starting to think that I'd never break through it. It was then at my lowest that I ran into my friend from freshman year.
"Hey girl, how are you feeling?" She asked me with sympathetic eyes.
"What do you mean?" Was my despair that obvious?
"Do you remember seeing me last night?"
"No!" I exclaimed happily, "you saw me last night??"
"Yeah, you were crying to me," she was clearly confused by my reaction, "are you okay now?"
"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine, what was I saying to you?"
"Uhh, well, you told me you had been making out with some guy in the bathroom of the bar, but then the security guard told you guys to get out of the bathroom, then you were just crying and saying 'I got kicked out' over and over."
I finally knew where my lost dignity was. But there was still one critical part of the mystery that needed unraveling. I grabbed my friend by the shoulders, seeking the final piece of information.
"I need you to tell me who the boy from the bathroom was," I had a crazy look in my eyes. My dignity was definitely a thing of the past.
"I don't know his name, but earlier that night before you were crying I'd seen you making out with some tall guy with kind of longish brown hair."
The sexy stranger from the pregame! I sputtered out a "thanks" to my friend and ran off. I had a bizarre peace of mind knowing that the sexy stranger had been the perpetrator of my hickey. On the one hand, I could rest assured that my hickey was not from someone hideously disfigured, but someone I'd wanted to hook up with since the first time I stalker-esquely saw them from afar. On the other hand, I'd inevitably made a Lindsay Lohan out of myself in front of one of the most attractive people I've ever seen in person. Regardless, I finally knew where my dignity had gone, though in no way did I have my dignity back.