Nina drove, her little Garmin, sitting on the dashboard of her mini cooper, spat out directions to their destination. But its efforts in directing were futile as Nina had her MP3 playing over it while she rambled on to Jackie about her week and the latest female to get on her nerves in class or at work. Nina was one of those people who could talk forever about anything and everything so long as there was someone to talk with. She believed that meaningful company could only be achieved through continuous conversation. Whether the conversation itself was meaningful or not was a whole other story. Sometimes she would stumble upon something valuable and worthwhile to discuss but for the most part she simply told jokes and commented on whatever applied. She blamed this and many of her other faults on her low level of internal stimulation. She said she needed to entertain herself ‘cause she had the attention span of a ferret. Once Jackie had gotten over the fact that Nina had an phobia of silence, awkward or not, and would speak to avoid such unfavorable situations she found Nina to be a good companion so long as she wasn’t trying to study in the same room as her.
They pulled up to the address, then circled the block twice looking for available parking and ended up parking a block away. Nina in her dangerously tall wedges soldiered though the walk fairly well. Though she didn’t stop talking, she didn’t complain as they walked to the party.
The music was loud, repetitive and vaguely annoying—scratch that—it was very annoying! thumping through the walls and floor with rhythm-less vibrations. Repetitive beats chopping, crashing, overlapping each other with menial lyrics instructing on which body part was to be moved on the floor. Nina enjoyed it. A Cheshire cat smile lit her face as they entered the packed house and she removed her jacket. The house was dark, with flashing, dim lights, just your average house party lighting, bright enough to make out the silhouette of your dance partner but dark enough so you couldn’t see the person pick pocketing everyone in the room. Hey, it’s just a theory.
“Where’d you want to hit first?” Nina asked Jackie.
Jackie didn’t hear her over the music but she could read her lips fairly well.
“UP TO YOU!” Jackie called.
Nina raised her eyebrows, “Yell much?”
Jackie rolled her eyes and shoulder her way though the dancing couples.
“I say dance.” Nina offered, following Jackie.
“Sorry kid my fear of parties stems for my chronic inability to dance.” Jackie lied.
“Oh you poor thing.” Nina cooed felicitously.
“I’m going get something to drink.” Jackie said trying to find an empty corner to occupy and play Angry Birds.
“K.” Nina said, finding no trouble pushing her way into the dance floor.
Jackie found her corner and pulled out her phone; sitting Indian style on the floor with a soda can on one knee and Angry Birds loading she was ready to enjoy this party. However, her escape into a land of revenge, Kamikaze birds, and endangered green pigs was interrupted by the arrival of Nina and some guy.
“Jacks what are you doing?!” Nina demanded exasperatedly.
“Serving justice.” Jackie replied.
Nina rolled her eyes.
“I brought you a friend his name is Josh he’s in my photography class.” She said pulling Josh into view, he looked bored but waved all the same. “I figured since you’re both really nerdy you’d find something to talk about.” She offered.
“Like how our friends wheedled us into coming?” Josh suggested.
“Be a little more creative Joshster!” Nina said encouragingly, patting him on the back.
“So I’ll let you two chill or whatevs.” Nina said flashing Jackie a smile before disappearing back into the crowd.
“Your name is Jack?” Josh asked.
“Jacklyn but she calls me Jacks, like the game.” Jackie explained, sadly pausing her game.
“Angry Birds.” Jackie answered.
Josh laughed, “I had to delete that from my phone I was spending too much time on it.”
Jackie nodded, “It takes awhile to build up self restraint but I got too far to quit, they need me.”
Josh nodded looking down at his feet.
“You want to dance?” he asked.
“Sorry I was born with an affliction that inhibits me from dancing.”
“Yeah! What is it?”
“Serve lack of rhythm.” She replied.
Josh snorted, “You had me for a sec. C’mon, no one here is actually dancing.” He offered her his hand.
Jackie took his hand and climbed to her feet. She really had to come up with a polite universal way to say ‘no’, one would think the actual word might work. She concluded once she’d have to try just that and discover the true power of words.
She took one last sip of her soda before placing it anywhere with a suitable ledge. The placement didn’t matter as she knew she would never find it again nor would she trust it enough to drink from if she did find it.
Josh led her onto the dance floor where they took up an awkward sort of swaying, far too slow for the beat of the music and far too humiliating to be seen in the light of day.
Josh tried to start a conversation bring up subject after subject. However, conversations imply that each participant can hear each other. Whether they choose to talk over, ignore or interrupt is another subject all together but hearing is key in conversing.
Jackie managed to discern a few words though, smile and nod through half of his—whatever he was saying.