The light was fading on George as he fidgeted with a fold in his khakis. He was remembering Amelie, the way he’d not so much seen her as felt her presence as she entered his room in the near-darkness. Barely conscious, he’d watched her move over to him in silence. Realizing her mistake, she’d whispered, “Oh! Wrong room!” and her presence faded out like the last glow of weed in a spent bowl.
Harry and Dominick, the co-residents of the apartment, were laughing over some humiliation they had inflicted. “Oh God, man, it was great,” Dominick was saying. He slapped George on the shoulder, causing him to start. “Hey, what is it?”
“The girl,” interjected Harry, grinning.
“Yeah, what’s up with her? What’d she slip in your drink?”
“Man, I don’t know.” George seemed serious, unsettling his roommates. “I can’t predict the future, but….” He shrugged, looking thoughtful. Harry and Dominick exchanged a look that George caught, and all three snickered with varying degrees of sincerity.
“She’s a crazy one and you know it,” Dominick shot at his friend. “She’s hot.”
“She’s a little freshman whore,” agreed Harry. He compulsively glanced at the nearest door, as though Amelie might still be lurking in the recently vacated bedroom. George tossed his hair as he was inclined to do when anything unsettled him.
“I know,” he said finally. His eyes were fixed on the beer ad on the wall, but he thinking about the soft sigh she made when she exhaled.
“Hello, boys!” Amelie sang, throwing open the door and skipping forth into the apartment. Her dress bounced up and inflated with air with each leap, revealing the quiet curves of her thighs. She was followed by three other honey-toned freshmen, big empty grins spread across their lips. Playful fist bumps were exchanged, and Crystal Light and vodkas were distributed among the girls. “Pink! Oh, you boys,” Amelie exclaimed as she took her cup. Her cheeks were already rosy. George marveled at how clean and girlish she was.
“How’s it going,” he said, inflecting it as a statement rather than a question.
“It’s going,” she replied, flicking the switch between brazen and coy. She smoothed her hair, flattening it across her collarbone. “How’s lacrosse? Still got Dominick chasing after you?” George winced a little, but his teammate Dominick was deep in conversation with Drew, that thin brunette. “It’s got to be better now, that Kevin—“ George’s shoulder jerked involuntarily at the mention of his absent fourth roommate, and Amelie cut off abruptly. She observed him with her big blue eyes for a moment, then said, “Microecon is kicking my ass.”
How could she just toss his name out like that? They had hooked up for months, before Kevin got kicked out. He took another gulp from his beer. “Yeah, it really depends on the professor though. You got to get Levides. He’s really chill.”
Some time later they were alone in the cramped living room.
“Hey,” George leaned in and whispered into Amelie’s ear. “You good?”
Amelie grinned. He thought she was a living doll, all blinking eyes and even limbs formed around the curves of the couch.
“Do you ever think about space?” The question caught George off guard. “Not really,” he admitted warily. Was she high? He could only smell her perfume.
“Oh. More drinks?” she asked. Before George could say anything, she got up and meandered towards the kitchen. Heaving himself from the couch, he followed and caught her focusing intently on the last few drops of cocktail as they dangled from the pitcher, grew weighty and then dropped.
“I can make more,” George said, but she ignored him. He moved in closer. There was a small pink mole just at the edge of her mouth.
“This isn’t even strong, you know.” The last word was muffled as George pressed his mouth to her still vibrating lips. They kissed for a long moment before Amelie pulled away. Harry had entered the kitchen and his mouth was stretched into a grin too large for his face.
“Getting beers,” he explained. He removed the tops with two pops in quick procession and pressed a cold bottle into George’s hand. “My boy.” George couldn’t suppress a low laugh. Harry got it, after all. And Amelie was as soft as he’d imagined. Beneath the floral notes of her scent, there was something musky and sexual, the way the lacrosse field smelled after it rained.
Harry turned, knowing when to leave, then spun back around. “Hey, George.” Amelie had grabbed her half-filled cup and was pouring its contents down her throat. Chugging ever so daintily. “I put a little Xany in there,” he murmured from the side of his mouth. George stiffened. “Just a tiny, tiny bit.”
“Damn, man, really?” He ran his hands through his hair, but Amelie seemed alright. Besides, he had heard she was into stuff like that.
“Ohmigod!” she said suddenly, raising her hands like she had forgotten something. Her eyes scanned the cabinets, quickly settling on what she wanted. Shakily she put one bare foot on the countertop, just catching the hem of her seersucker dress as it threatened to fall back, and then more surely she pulled herself up, sidestepping to catch her balance. George and Harry watched with laconic amusement, beers in hand. “Watch yourself,” George muttered, too quiet for Amelie to hear. His eyes lingered on her sandy hair as she tossed it back over her bare shoulders.
Amelie grabbed an old bag of flour purposefully and froze in a half-turn, eyes wide. She clutched the bag to her chest with both hands like a child clinging to a teddy bear. Then she sprung into motion, leaping to the floor like a cat and creating a surprisingly loud bang for her small frame. Combined with the way her knees almost buckled when she landed, this almost ruined her gracefulness but then she caught herself with a dancer’s skill and spun and pulled open the fridge with a raucous clinking. Flour still dangling from one hand, she searched the fridge, shoving aside bottles.
“There’s no milk. There’s no eggs,” she murmured. Suddenly deeming the owners of the apartment worth her attention, she glanced at them without focus and said, “There’s only alcohol.” There was no accusation in her tone, just regret. Harry was grinning but the owner of those big, blank eyes confused George. Her mood had changed so quickly.
“It’s okay, baby,” he said. “We’ll get some later.” But even as he spoke Amelie was preheating the oven, the buttons beeping in response to the urgent motions of her fingers. George wrapped an arm around her waist and gently tugged her out of the kitchen. Her feet slid and stumbled over the tiles. “I’m making cookies,” she whispered. “Shh,” he replied, and he laid her down on the couch. He watched as her lashes dipped once, twice, and on the third time they stayed down. He wondered briefly if he could do it. Really, Kevin had just been dumb to get caught. Then he remembered the crying girl and his roommate’s anger the next morning. No, he thought. Not tonight. Her eyes are closed.