“Ugh, I don’t know what to wear…” I stared at my reflection in the mirror, wearing a white sweater and a mint green skirt, then at the pile of clothes on my bed.
“It’s just a party,” roommate said, leaning against my bedroom door frame. “Exactly! It’s a party and I don’t have fancy party clothes!”
“Okay, don’t think of it as a party party; think of it as going to a friend’s place, but there are other guests that you don’t know and they serve alcohol.”
“You know I don’t drink.” “That’s not the point,” she rolled her eyes. “The point is, be yourself, and be confident in yourself. I think you look great in these.”
“You think so?” “Yea. C’mon we’re gonna be late!” I gave my reflection one last glance before she grabbed my arm and rushed down the stairs. I hoped I wouldn’t regret this.
“See, it isn’t as bad as you think! No loud music, no drunk fights, no random strangers making out-” “Alright alright, I get your point. I don’t need any more details,” sighing silently as we settled in a corner of the dining room, “I just don’t feel comfortable in these kind of environment.”
“You just need to warm up,” roommate tried to assure me. “Want me to get you any drink?” “Orange juice will be nice, thanks…Why are you looking at me like this?” “Seriously? Orange juice? At a party? I don’t even know if they have- Alright, orange juice it is! No one stands a chance in front of your puppy-dog eyes,” she grumbled. “I’m not making the puppy-dog eyes! This is my default expression,” I protested. “This is why you can be cute but not hot, hon.” “Thanks for reminding me I’m the exact antonym of hot,” this time it was me who grumbled. She chuckled, “stay here; I’ll be right back!”
I watched her went into the kitchen, while silently praying that no one would notice me. Then, I saw him. There he was, standing next to the sofa, talking with his friends. My heart pounded a little louder.
Just when he turned and our eyes met, someone stroked my waist. A person whom I’d never met was on my left now, “did I scare you? You jumped a little,” he smirked. “Yea a bit.” So my prayers didn’t go through. “You here alone?” “No, my friend went to get-” A sudden burst of loud music interrupted me. A few people emerged from another room, which was apparently the “dance floor” of this party. And there she was—my roommate—dancing amongst other guests.
Thanks for ditching me, friend.
“First time here?” He asked. “How’d you know?” “True partiers don’t dress like you.” I looked around: high heels, skin-tight jeans, tank tops, club dresses, smokey eyes. Perhaps the least I could have done was to borrow a lipstick from my roommate, and put on high heels instead of boots. “That obvious, huh,” I lowered my head and started pulling at the hem of my sweater unconsciously.
“You know what you should do? You should kiss me.” “What?” I looked at him in disbelief. “It’d be fun!” “I-I don’t see how it could be fun in any way,” I was starting to regret coming to this party. “Life is short and we should enjoy ourselves! Look, it’s just a kiss. What’s the worst that could happen?” “First of all, I’m gonna hate myself for kissing someone I don’t know,” I desperately tried to distance myself from this person, and when I looked up, he was still there talking to his friends. “Secondly-” “My name is Scott. Now you know me,” he grabbed my wrist and pulled me in. “No I can’t! I can’t kiss someone who isn’t my boyfriend!” I wrestled my wrist to no avail. “It’s not like I’m asking you to make out with me. C’mon!” He wrapped his arm firmly around my waist, to my dislike. “I really can’t. I grow up in a conservative family and I can’t allow myself to do that,” I turned to look at where he and his friends were, but he was nowhere to be found. No one was going to rescue me now.
“There are other girls here who are more willing to have fun,” I pushed as hard as I could, but he was holding my body tightly against his. The more I struggled and the more desperate I was, the more amused and interested he seemed.
Please stop. Please let go of me. Please.
“Hey, I got you some water.” His voice. I thought he had left. Distracted, Scott loosened his grip. I quickly stepped back, and he moved in to stand slightly between me and Scott. “Everything ok?” He asked, without looking at me but Scott. “Yea. This is Scott. He and I just met in this party.” “Nice to meet you, Scott,” expressionlessly, he extended his arm for a handshake. “Nice to meet you too,” Scott shook his hand exasperatedly, “thought you said you came alone,” he turned to me. “I told you my friend was-” “Whatever. Gotta get back to my friends,” Scott walked off, and gave me a last glance of disdain. He stood in to shield me from his scornful look.
“Hey, you okay?” Still in shock by what happened, I didn’t hear his concern. A muffled whimper escaped my lips and I flinched when he held my wrist. “Yea I’m okay,” I tried to conceal it, but he already pulled up my sleeve. And there was the red mark of Scott’s grip. “What is wrong with him!” “H-He probably just had too much to drink…” “Stop defending him.” “I’m not! I just…I don’t want you to get mad…” The sentence trailed off. “Thanks for getting me out of it. I thought you had left,” I couldn’t look at him; those sweet caramel eyes mellowed me every time. “Couldn’t leave you alone with that guy. God knows what he would do to you.”
Please don’t get angry; anger doesn’t suit the tenderness swirling in your eyes.
“I didn’t expect to see you here,” his tone softened. “I didn’t expect myself to be here either,” my bitter smile. “You’re too kind, too innocent. People will take advantage of you,” he gently tucked my hair behind my ear, accidentally brushing the helix. I prayed that he didn’t notice my ears were burning.
“I’m sorry,” unconsciously, I started pulling at my sweater’s hem again, along with biting my lip, unintentionally. “No, it isn’t your fault.”
The lights went out all of a sudden. Then came the blast of dance music. So the dance floor had spilled into the dining room as well, or more precisely, the whole house.
Fright overtook me as the darkness had befallen. He pulled me in, “it’s okay. I’m here.”
And just like that, I was buried in his arms entirely. His warmth enveloped me from the blurry crowd; his scent filled the air I breathed; his voice dispelled the wild noises in the room.
The rest of the world had disappeared. It was just me and him now.
“You shouldn’t go to parties alone.” “My friend was with me…” I felt like I was melting.
Am I getting drunk? No I’m pretty sure I didn’t have any alcohol…
“I meant, you shouldn’t go without me,” he tightened his hug.
He whispered into my ear, “because I need to be there to protect you.”
Inspired by a dream I had last Wednesday night.
For the record, I don’t know anyone named Scott (yet). This name randomly popped up in my mind when I was writing and I just went with it. Apologies to all the good Scott’s out there 😛
I was trying to convey how socially awkward the protagonist was, and how heedful and tender her crush was by him noticing she didn’t have a drink, knowing she didn’t like alcohol and brought her water, in addition to saving her from Scott. I’m not sure if these little details were sufficiently expressed though… Please feel free to comment and tell me if you like or what you think about the short story! ❤