May 22nd 2015
After dinner with my family, halfway on the east end of Chicago, I finally got my mother’s blessing to take my little brothers to their first REAL party. After, piling everyone into my Camry, we set off across the field of neon lights and rows of people to the main event. Sean was absolutely giddy, while Zach seemed nervous. He shifted uncomfortably while Sean bid me go faster so we’d get there sooner.
“There gonna be hot girls Austin?” Sean asked with a smirk.
“Not any that’d go for you.” Zach responded with an eye roll. Sean scowled and punched him in the arm, muttering something about how EVERY girl wanted him.
“Now kids,” I said in a mocking tone, waving a finger in the rearview, “Stop hitting, there’s plenty of nice young women for both of you.”
They giggled at this as I hit a stoplight, already you could hear the bass pumping from almost a block away, and cars crowded in herds on each side of the street. Sean began bouncing like a kid headed into the candy shop while Zach clung desperately to the seat. I parked behind what I assumed was Lily’s car, and unbuckled, opening the door with a dull clunk.
My brothers were on either side of me when I walked into the door, and the stereotype of every party involving booze and drugs turned out to be completely true. The entire senior class, of over 200 and more somehow managed to jam into this house without much of a problem, with more than enough illegal products to probably get the whole school as high as a blimp. Booze flowed from the bottle, the cup, the keg, a waterfall that killed the liver and brain cells at the same time.
The rich kid who was throwing this party had hired a DJ, who was at the top of the balcony overlooking the place, headphones on and a computer to make everyone’s favorite song blare through the house. The front parlor had been made into a makeshift dance floor, with couches and chairs still occupied, but every available space was filled with people grinding and jerking everywhere.
Lily was in close proximity to the door, with a group of girls who all held either a cup or joint. Lily’s hands were completely empty, and she seemed content to stand there and enjoy the show.
“Good, you and the kids are here,” She remarked as she turned her head, “I finally have some company.”
Sean moved eagerly next to her, immediately introducing himself to the girls with an air of confidence, which was easily confused cockiness (Or maybe it was cockiness confused with confidence?). One, a tall hour glassed shaped with maroon colored hair took an immediate liking to him, pulling him by the hand to go get another drink.
“I’m sure he can handle himself.” I muttered when Lily raised an eyebrow at me.
“Of course,” She said, “Let’s just hope he has condoms in his wallet, wouldn’t want to become an uncle too soon now, would you?”
Zach gave a shy laugh at this and Lily gave him a smile. There were two more girls in the group with Lily, One was tall and skinny with blonde hair, feline looking eyes and short cut off jeans that revealed plenty. The other was fairly shorter, a little bit thicker, but by no means obese, with a milk chocolate skin tone and dark black hair.
The blonde one looked me over with a sly smile and offered me a puff of her joint, which I gladly accepted. The smoke volcanoed out of my mouth with a small cough, I offered it to Lily who frowned and shook her head without a word. I turned to Zach with it outstretched invitingly.
“Are you sure Austin?” He asked timidly, “I mean, what if-”
“Oh just take the fucking thing.” I snapped irritably, he took it obediently and puffed a little before coughing and hacking for a good 30 seconds.
“Good shit, isn’t it?” The blonde asked, her voice thick and creamy sounding, she moved towards me and placed a hand on my hip.
“Yeah it is,” I said stupidly, my mind wandering off due to the effects, “Where’d you get it from?”
“Where all the good weed comes from,” She said with a wink ,“Maybe sometime you can come with me and we can smoke some more?”
I nodded with a silly grin, knowing good and well my eyes were red like cherries, and my mind would continue to misinterpret time and look like a bumbling idiot. She shook me from this thought as she took my hand and led me out on to the dance floor, I looked back at Zach, who winked and gave me a grin. I caught Lily’s eye, she gave a forced smile and turned back to my little brother, apparently not interested in the change of my situation.
“I’m Rosalyn,” My guide said, over the noise of the music and people, “But people call me Rose.”
“I’m Austin.” I said, then regretting it afterwards for sounding so dull.
We were in the middle of the dance floor now, and she wrapped her arms around my shoulders and I placed mine around her waist. A slow song was playing now, and she gave me a wry grin, having me follow in time with her steps, and leaning in next to my cheek to where I could smell the booze and cannabis on her breath.
“You know Austin,” She whispered, yet seemed louder than the whole room, “You’re pretty damn handsome.”
“You’re really beautiful yourself ,” I said, whispering back as her lips touched my neck, “Rose.”
She stopped the slow attack on me and instead began to force her lips on to mine. I accepted them happily and returned her affection, moving my hands from her hips to lower on her body. Her hands searched longingly for the back of my jeans and then grabbed greedily once she found my butt.
She pressed herself against me, tightly weaving her body into my own and moving her lips down onto my neck again and using suction force to mark what she deemed as her territory now. She stopped then, looking up at me and pulled away, looking behind her and becoming interested elsewhere.
“I’ll be back in just a second baby.” She said, breaking away from me and slinking through the crowd.
I stood there for what seemed like hours but was only really about 10 minutes or so. I scanned the crowd but she was nowhere to be seen. I finally decided maybe looking for her was the best idea at the moment, so I pushed through people, seeing Sean and his lady friend laying on the couch nearly attached to the hip, but Rose was nowhere to be seen.
“Looks like your friend ran off,” I heard Lily chime in behind me, “Not that I expected different really.”
“What do you mean Lily?” I said, growing a little tired of her matter of fact tone.
“You really don’t know, do you?” She said, a light of surprise in her eyes, “Austin, Rose is known for selling herself for money and… other things. She's also known to jump from guy-to-guy at any party she's at.”
I stopped for a minute and looked at her, hoping maybe she would say she was joking, or bust out laughing, but her eyes simply held mine with a pitying yet deathly serious light.
“No, you’re wrong,” I said in disbelief, “She, she just went for a drink.” I turned and ran, scanning the crowd desperately, a weight in my throat like I had chosen to swallow stones that were slowly choking me.
Then, I finally found Rose, and I cursed Lily for having to always be right. She was with a different boy, plastered against both him and the wall, with pure ecstasy painted on her face. I felt a part of myself crushed, while a part of myself realized I was just getting my hopes up for nothing. I turned away from them, and stumbled through the kitchen, pushing past people and finding myself on the back porch, looking out on the city skyline.
I plopped down on the wooden deck and just sat there, looking at the lights that had replaced the stars. That’s when it finally hit me, I was going to have to find something to do with myself now, school was out, I was an adult. I needed to find my purpose.
The pressure hit me and I lost my breath for a moment until I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned to see Darrian with an outstretched arm on my shoulder and Michael Needleman standing behind him with a look of quiet worry.
“Lily told us what happened,” Michael said, “Told us we should probably check on you.”
“Rose is a bitch, Austin,” Darrian spoke slowly, “Don’t take anything she did to heart, besides, you’re too good for her anyways.”
I sniffled a little as they sat on either side of me, Michael looked out over the city and Darrian stared blankly at the small woods coating the edge of the skyscrapers.
“I’m sorry about your parents,” I said, looking over at Darrian, “They should’ve been there for you.”
He looked over and nodded at me, and I patted his shoulder and returned to staring out over the blinding horizon. Footsteps clacked behind us and I turned to see Lily and Zach standing in the doorway. Zach fidgeted nervously and Lily had a sour look on her face.
“Darrian, your sister is here,” Lily said with an ounce of venom in her voice, “She’s with her friends right now, I figured you should probably keep an eye on her so she doesn’t do anything stupid.”
“Fuck,” Darrian muttered, getting up, “Guys I’ll be back in a bit, I need to make sure Layla isn’t fucked up already…”
He followed Lily and Zach, who turned to me with a grim look and shook his head without a word. This left Michael and I alone, on the deck, in the dark. Michael and I weren’t really as close as I was to Lily or Darrian, but I still considered him a friend.
He pulled a bottle of UV Blue out of his coat and took a long swig of it. He turned to me and offered the bottle, which I took welcomingly. I chugged for a good two seconds and then handed it back to him, a nice warmth flowing through my chest. I ran a hand through my hair again and then let it lay on my thigh.
“Fuck girls dude,” Michael said, “They bitch and whine about guys all the time, yet they can be just as bad.”
“I doubt you have as many problems with them as I do,” I responded, “I mean, you’re a lot more popular and handsome.”
“That didn’t stop Jessica from cheating though now did it?” He said, raising an eyebrow at me, “Nah, she still cheated on me, my social status didn’t mean that much.”
“Oh,” I said, a bit surprised at this revelation, “I’m sorry, I never heard that, you didn’t deserve that.”
We sat in silence for a minute before he took another couple swigs of the UV and set it on the wood of the deck. He turned towards me with a smile and offered the bottle to me one more time, and I took it, solidifying the dizziness and slight nausea I was feeling. I coughed a bit and leaned over, feeling semi sick.
“You cool?” Michael asked solemnly. I nodded before I finally managed to get back up and looked up. I tried holding my head up, but failed and nearly fell over until Michael pulled me into him and sat my head on his shoulder.
“Sorry.” I muttered quietly, feeling awkward against his muscular chest.
“Don’t worry about it man,” He sighed quietly, “This is actually fairly comfortable.”
“Yeah, it is.” I chuckled a little.
Maybe it was the weed, and the booze, or maybe it was the hormones and the loneliness, maybe it was some long buried instinct and urge, but when Michael ran his arms around my waist, and leaned into a kiss, I didn’t fight it.