October was colder than I expected, but then again, it's just generally colder in New York when compared to Arizona. Tia and I were hanging out on regular basis and spent a majority of our weekends with her girlfriend and her friends. When I wasn't hanging out with them, Chance and I were spending time on research for English or watching classical movies or swapping books and cds. The two of us were getting pretty close.
Halloween was coming up and I still hadn't picked out a costume or decided if I was going to Tia and Melena's sorority party. It's not like I had someone special to go with. I mean Chance still hadn't asked me to do anything relatively romantic. The closest he came was when he asked me to get coffee and all we talked about was our common interest in writing. I definitely felt like there was something on his end, but I couldn't be sure. Why wouldn't he make a move? It's been a long time. Plus, did I really want anything serious or anything at all? Chance was great, but I still had a flame burning for my first love, stinging inside of me, didn't I? It was all too complicated for my liking. It'd be best for me to not get involved.
Unfortunately for me, Chance was the kind of person who makes you get involved. Even if he hadn't asked me on a real date, he still talked to me every day, and we had class together. So in a way, we were halfway to being involved, but did I want to seal the deal?
A few days before Halloween I bought my costume. I chose Beetlejuice, and I RSVP'd for Tia and Melena's party. Both Melena and Tia were pretty popular, so I knew that their sorority house would be jam packed with people. It make nervous just thinking about it. Hundreds of people jammed against each other, drinking and grinding, just trying to find their place in the world. And crammed in a group of people that you barely know is apparently a good substitute.
The party was just as I expected a few older sisters bought booze for all the party-goers. House rules were simple. Don't break anything and be responsible for yourself. Drink as much as you want, but the moment you step off Delta Phi property, you're fair game to the authorities.
"Vi!" Tia squealed as she flung the door open for me. Melena smiled sweetly from behind her, holding a drink out to me.
"Hey guys!" I smiled, trying to be heard over the thumping music. I stepped in and took the drink. "Thanks. Looks like the party's a big hit."
"Yeah, a few people showed up." Melena chuckled.
I stared at the crowd, gulping down a few swigs of liquid courage.
"Slow down there, champ." Tia smiled. "Don't go too fast, you might end up doing something you'll regret, but hey, you're a big girl now."
"Yeah, I'll be fine. Crowds just make me anxious sometimes."
"Well, take another drink, pick a cute guy, or girl, I don't know what you're into and just mingle." Melena jokingly pushed me toward the crowd. I smiled back at them, before submerging myself into the crowd.
An hour or two in, I'd already had about five drinks and, damn, I was feeling good. With every passing moment, life seemed better, easier, happier. The music was moving me in new directions, further from logic, closer to temptation. Confidence was radiating from me in the form of flirtatious conversation with boys I'd never met before and dance moves I'd never seen, let alone used on a boy who was pressed up against me so close that I felt his heart accelerate.
Sliding from one person to the next, I spun around and faced my latest dance partner. Much to my surprise this was no unfamiliar face, but one I knew quite well. Focusing hard, I smiled at Chance.
"Hey!" I laughed over the music. "I didn't expect to see you here!"
He replied with a smile, but I couldn't quite understand it. "I can't hear anything, let's go somewhere quiet."
He leaned in and mumbled into my ear, "Follow me." Chance tugged on my hand, leading me out of the sea of people, up the stairs and out a glass slider door. Paying more attention to not spilling my drink than to where I was putting my feet, I tripped as I stepped onto the balcony.
Chance caught me as I stumbled onto him, laughing. "Sorry." I smiled, staring into his beautiful, happy orbs.
"You okay?" He asked, slipping his hands around my waist as I leaned against him.
I laughed, "Yeah, I'm fine. More than fine, actually, I'm g–great."
"Really? Cause you sound a little drunk."
"I've had a few drinks." I chuckled at his confused smile. "I haven't done anything that I might regret, yet."
"Yet, what do you mean yet?"
"Well, from the looks of it I'm pretty messed up and currently, leaned up against you. Seems like you're in charge now and there's a few paths that could lead to a bad decision or two."
"Well, I wouldn't want you to associate me with regret, dear Violet."
"You haven't done anything that would make me regret you, Chance. Come on, how can you live up to your name if you never take a chance?" I laughed, watching the sparkle of his eyes in the moonlight.
His mouth met mine and I clumsily kissed back. Sliding my arms around him, I let his lips caress mine. Passion, excitement and confusion all spun around in a hurricane inside of me. But he was too damn irresistible for me to waste time with second thoughts. I kissed back, harder and more open, letting myself feel the exhilaration from the adrenaline coursing through my body. Then he pulled back and looked at me, studying me.
"Regret me yet?" He spoke first, smiling down at me.
"No, but I wouldn't mind testing the boundaries." I chuckled, totally drunk. "I mean, wow."
"Wow is right. You're drunk, let's get you home."
"I'm not drunk." I said, stumbling out of his arms. "See?"
"You're gonna hurt yourself. Come on, let's go."
"I'm f–f–fine." I stuttered, as I tripped again.
"Just come with me."
"I'm staying with Tia and Melena tonight anyway. Some of the girls were invited to stay over." I smiled at him.
"That's fine. I want you to see something." He smiled, taking my hand and guiding me through the chaotic inside, out the back door and toward campus. It was funny, I'd never expected that I'd find a suburban school in New York, but I did. A bonus was that the commute between my center-city apartment and my school wasn't treacherous. Standing there, in the moonlit night, Chance holding my hand, balance was achieved. He'd led me to the most secluded spot on campus, where I'd yet to venture.
It was beautiful. Everything glowed in the moonlight. Despite the chilly breeze, I felt the magic in the air. The moon was full and the stars sparkled brightly, covering the earth in a light glow. I smiled at the trees and grass, hugged by the shimmering moonlight.
"Wow. I've never seen this place before." I blinked a few times, letting the walking we'd done and the chill, I was beginning to sober up.
"Yeah, I come here to think at night sometimes."
"What do you like to think about?"
"Life. Writing. People, you know?"
"So, like, everything?"
"Yes. Everything and anything that happens to wander across my mind."
Exhaustion was beginning to nip at my heels. With a yawn, I threw myself down on the ground and stared at the sky. I was taking it all in and breathing in the ecstasy of the moment. Shifting my eyes from the big white moon, to the beautiful face of my new friend, I reached my hand toward him.
"Come here." I smiled, more drunk off emotion than booze. "I want you to tell me about your thoughts, Chance."
He shook his head and sighed. Still, Chance laid next to me, staring at the sky. "What do you want me to tell you, Vi?"
"Tell me what you think about." I rolled over and faced him, running my fingers through the grass.
"I can't just tell you what I think about. It's way too much to explain."
"Well," my eyes met his. "What are you thinking about right now?"
"Just one thing."
"What is it?"
"You." He smiled, breaking eye contact. Slowly, I leaned over and kissed him lightly.
"Wow." He smiled, pulling back, looking at me.
"What?" I chuckled, turning red.
"You just amaze me." He smiled, looking back at the sky.
"Well, thank you, Chance." I chuckled as my eyelids began to flutter. I yawned, beginning to feel the effects of the night.
"Are you tired?" He asked, facing me again. I wasn't used to the interest in my well being.
"Nah." I yawned again. "I'm fine." But the ground was kinda wet and the breeze was picking up. The chill ran down my spine.
"You're shivering. I'm sorry I took you out. Let's get you back to the sorority house."
"I want you to stay out here." I stared at the smiling stars.
"No, we've got to get you back. It's late. You're cold. I really think you should get back."
"Fine." I whined as he stood up and helped me to my feet.
"Come on." He smiled, sliding his hand into mine.
"I'm coming." I smiled, drowsily. Carefully, Chance helped me back to the house. He led me upstairs and said good night at the door, like a true gentleman.
"You're such a sweet guy." I smiled, as I stood at the door.
"Well, you deserve it."
"Again, with the kindness. You are full of surprises."
"Well, thank you, I guess." He smiled. "Just in case this ends in the morning." His lips met mine one last time. I found nothing in his kiss but honest and real care. Chance liked me, but I had no idea what I was going to do. A headache was already forming and my mind's edges were blurred by my alcohol intake. Shit, I was beyond confused, but damn, he did taste good.
"Good night." He pulled back and smiled.
"Good night." I replied and watched him descend the stairs and head for the door. By then, a lot of guests had cleared out and the house was nearly empty. The remaining people were mostly sorority girls and their significant others. Tia and Melena each had separate rooms, but they shared while I stayed in Tia's room. She was the more organized, less cluttered of the two. My eyelids could barely stay open. Soon after I slipped into a tee shirt and shorts, I collapsed on the bed and fell fast asleep. The night had been wild. It'd be long while before I let control escape me again.
Lana had bitched me into filling out an application or two, but I knew it was pointless. I'd gotten fired from the gas station when my boss caught me using in the bathroom. Great idea, right?
You see, after Parker died, I realized I lost my connection to meth. He wassomuch more than that, but never the less, I still hadn't known where I'd get the meth. Then I remembered Lana. Her number was in my phone from when she called me. I had good shit and never fucked Parker over. So, if she was good in his book, then the same applied to me. After Parker's funeral, she met me in the bathroom. And that first exchange marked the beginning of a wonderful disaster.
Sometimes, I like to wonder about what my life could've been without meth. I wonder if Vi would've stayed. If I would've changed anyway. If all of it would've been avoided had I ignored Parker or was it all an inevitable time bomb ticking away since my conception. Are you born a bad egg or do you have to grow in order to rot? I sit and reflect on my introspection and then I realized that I can't remember life without meth. What a hot mess.
With a pile of applications next to my face, I stuck the tube up my nose and snorted a few lines. Leaning back, I waited for the sweet relief. Life was shit. I was shit. Suddenly, I sneezed and blood splattered against my hands.
"Fuckin' sweet." I said, leaning my head back and stumbling into my bathroom. It was my third nosebleed that month. I was getting too dependent on the meth. Well, with a girlfriend you don't give a fuck about, no job, no friends and no family, all you can do is get fucked up and be free.
Wanna know what a real kick in the balls is? Having your girlfriend dump you, and in the same week get kicked out on your ass. Not even four days after Vi broke my heart, my mother and father sat me down at the dinner table. From the moment mother called me to the dinner table, I knew something was up. They wereneverhome together, especially for dinner.
"Son," my father began. "Your mother and I want you to know that we love you."
"And that what we're about to tell you has been very hard on us." Mother chimed in.
"But, over the past several months, we've noticed a severe decline. You're changing, son," my father sighed, "into someone that I don't even recognize."
"What are you saying?"
"I'm saying that it's time for you to get out of the house, live your own life. Keep the car, I don't care, but your mother and I can't be responsible for you anymore." His eyes met mine and all I saw was disappointment .Anger flooded my veins, but I didn't say a word. If it'd been my kid, I'd have throttled him. I wondered if they knew about the meth, or just the pot I'd got busted for once or twice. Wouldn't make a difference. Drugs are drugs. They all fuck up your life. And no matter what they knew or didn't know, they were kicking me out. I thought about calling Vi, but instead I dialed Lana. God knows why, but I called her, hoping that she wouldn't mind letting me crash in her trailer. And so began the next phase of life, living with Lana, snorting crank up my nose on the express way to my brain and forcing memories of Vi out of my brain in anyway possible.
Wow. I found myself drowning in amazement at the recent turn around my life had gone through. Fading fast were my regretful memories of the final months I'd spent with Brady. Replacing them were days spent with Chance. At first, we were both kind of confused by the first night we'd been together, but he quickly moved past it. Chance was the sweetest boy I'd ever met. He was always concerned for me, and trying to take care of me. After the long months I'd spent barely sustaining myself, it was nice to finally have someone want to do it for me. Chance was always talking and smiling, keeping my mind off of Brady. Despite everything that I adored about Chance, he had traits that I didn't like. His constant desire to care for me often times resembled smothering. Sometimes it was annoying and other times it wasn't. Chance was needy. There was no easy way to say it, but he wanted to spend time with me all the time. Sometimes I wondered if it was my perception that was off, because I'd distanced myself from everyone and before that my boyfriend would often times ditch me for drugs. No matter what the reason, it still got on my nerves, but I needed someone and Chance was a nearly shimmering knight and wanted to rescue me.
Two weeks had passed with our ups and downs, but life was good. Despite everything, I was starting to feel good again and quite frequently, genuinely happy. Chance seemed happy too, but I honestly wasn't that concerned I mean, does it make me a bad person? I didn't care about his happiness as long as I was happy? I did like Chance, a lot; I just didn't want to take care of him. I'd taken care of Brady and didn't want a repeat of that.
"Aw." I smiled when I got to my apartment and saw a dozen red roses on my kitchen counter. They were beautiful and filled the entire apartment with their beautiful aroma.
"You like them?" Chance's voice was jumping out at me from behind. I jumped at the sound, gasping.
"Geez, you scared me." I breathed, with a light smile. "But yes, I do like them. They're beautiful."
"Beautiful flowers for a beautiful girl." He kissed my cheek, causing me to blush.
"You're a sweetie." I chuckled, wrapping my arms around his waist. "How'd you get in here, anyway?"
"Your landlord let me in after I told him I was your brother."
"Well, it worked." He kissed me again. "Besides, I was hoping that we could go somewhere tonight."
"Babe, I really can't. I've got this project in Johnston's class. And his class is the one I could use the grade in most. I really should start working on it."
"Oh, well, then I'll stay here and help you. I didn't really wanna go out, just a few friends wanted to get together tonight."
"I don't need any help, honey. Just go hang out with your friends. I'll be alright."
"I wanna spend time with you though. It doesn't seem like we do that much together."
"We hang out like all the time. And we have class together, baby. Just because we're together, doesn't mean that our lives need to revolve around each other."
"I understand that. I don't wanna be your sun, moon and stars. I just don't wanna fall out of your orbit."
"Go out with your friends tonight and come over after, okay?" I smiled, wanting to end the conflict before it began. Compromises always worked with Chance.
"Are you sure you want me to come over?"
"Of course. Just let me get some work done first, alright?" I smiled, kissing him lightly.
"Alright. I'll go now then. See you later, babe."
"Bye, Chance." I chuckled, watching him walk out. I'd totally fabricated the project. I'd just wanted him to leave for a while. As sweet as the roses were, Chance had been irritating me all day. I needed a break.
For four hours, I lazed around my apartment. For a while I wrote, then I took a long bath and read some articles from a local indie magazine. Time slipped by slowly, relaxing me even further. By the time Chance returned, I was so relaxed I was glad to see his happy face in my doorway. So happy in fact, I nearly pulled his face off when I kissed him hello.
"I missed you too." He chuckled, giving me a wary smile.
"Come on in." I smiled, turning around and making sure to swing my hips in my bathrobe. And yes, I knew exactly where his curious little eyes were venturing. The entire time Chance had been gone, I'd toyed with the possibility of us doing it, ya know,it.The more I thought about it, the more the idea appealed to me. Everything needed to be right. For some reason, I wanted it to happen that night.
"Where are you going?" He asked from the doorway as I neared the bedroom.
"Close the door when you come in, dear." I called to him. He stood, dumbfounded with his jaw hanging lower than the floor.
I was already in the bedroom, laying there, waiting for him. On his way, I heard him trip. Boy was he nervous. He wasn't a – no. No way. And I wasn't about to ask. There was no way any high school girls let him escape without doing him.
"Are you in – oh." He smiled, opening the cracked drawer. "Youarein here."
I just smiled, letting him put the pieces together.
"Why do you keep smiling at me?" He asked, slowly approaching the bed. He crawled on top of me and smiled, staring into my eyes. "What is going through your mind, Violet?"
"Shut up and kiss me." I smiled, leaning up and meeting his lips with mine. I met no resistance when the kissing intensified. His lips trailed down my chest, when he pulled back my bathrobe, revealing nothing but smooth skin. My lips also did some exploring when I slipped off his jeans. I heard him pant in desire and pleasure, exciting me. Sliding back up next to him, our lips fused in passion once again. And I was completely submerged in exhilaration. I broke away and stared into his big, inviting orbs, letting my eyes confess my desires. He leaned over me and kissing me, before pulling off his shirt. And for a moment, he looked into my eyes and I back into his, appreciating the excitement and admiring each other's bare bodies.
"Come on." I breathed, as I reached over onto my bedside table, grabbing a condom.
"Wait, Vi, I have to tell you something before we – uh –"
"What is it?" I didn't have much time for words, I wantedhim,not his words.
"I've – uh – I'm – well, this is my first time. I'm kind of nervous." He turned red all over.
Fuck, better late than never, I suppose. "I don't care." I smiled and kissed him again. "Come on, don't be nervous."
With a relaxed smile, he slipped the condom out of my hand. His anxiety had dissipated within seconds and his hidden dominance revealed itself. Chance never ceased to amaze me.