How the night really ended (inquiring minds wanted to know)

We exited the club around 1 a.m. — early by clubbing standards, but almost 12 hours had passed since we first met. In my mind, it was time to part. We walked up Nob Hill on Taylor Street to where we had left his vintage 1993 forest green Jeep Cherokee. As we climbed into the jeep, he asked “What do you want to do next,” eying the city with all its lights and its possibilities that lied below.

“Mmm…I was sort of thinking it’s time to go home. But what do you want to do?”

Below us, lied countless boutique hotels and the name-brand Westins, Marriots and Hyatts. Above us were the posh Fairmont, Ritz-Carlton, and Mark Hopkins. My Ukrainian was also thinking it was time to retire for the evening…but not to his student rental in the Outer Sunset.

“We don’t have to go,” he said. “We could stay here.”

“Stay here? You mean get another drink? I think the bars are closing soon…and besides…it’s late.” I wasn’t sure my ears had heard his implication right. Perhaps he meant something else. After all, he had been in the States for less than two months. His English was nowhere near fluency.

“No, no. We could stay here. Downtown. We can stay in any room we like. I am tired. Let’s sleep here.”

Was this man crazy? Did he think that just because we had just spent 12 fun-filled hours together that I was going to sleep with him in some hotel? We hadn’t so much as kissed.

“No.” I shook my head. “I have to get home to my dogs. They haven’t been out in hours. I need to walk them. You need to go home.”

Always, the excuse of my dogs for calling a night a day.

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