Brendan Clark doesn’t know I exist. But tonight, I’m going to change that. For the first time in four painfully long years, he’s single. I’ve been waiting for this, my heart racing every time I see him. I finally have a chance and I’m going to take it. Tonight I will touch those kissable lips… and he’ll see it, too – that we’re meant for each other. If only I can stop shaking…
Totally over stupidity-saturated college parties like this one. Wishing I was back in bed. Still heavy, heavy, heavy in my Goth phase. If you don’t like it you can fuck right off.
I ask Corrine, “Why did I come to this stupid thing again?” as she snakes her way through too many faces I pretend not to know. These people are all friends (ish) with her, but with me? Not so much.
“You came because I made you! You can’t stay stuck behind a computer every night, Annie! How are you ever going to get laid?” She throws a look my way that says I should know these things.
“You mean fall in love. How am I ever going to fall in love,” I correct her. Even with the dyed black hair, black lipstick, black wardrobe – I’m a hopeless romantic.
She snorts disapproval and stands up on the toes of her already high-heels so she can peek over the mass of stupid. “I see booze! Come on!”
“I can’t wait.”
My hand gets encased in hers and I am dragged by force. Corinne is the sitting-on-the-back-of-a-motorcycle kind of beautiful. No tiaras for this one. She’ll wear pink, but it’s gotta be hot pink. Her hair isn’t just dyed blonde, it’s platinum. Her jewelry is a little too heavily applied, as is her red lipstick. Makeup around her green eyes is the only thing she keeps low-key. She’s a little bit on the trashy side and I really like that about her. You wouldn’t catch me dead around a pastel-wearing girlie-girl. Corinne’s not afraid to swear, get dirty, and be maybe a lot slutty. Vicariously, I live through her wild side. She’s fine with that, because everyone needs a cheerleader and I’m her biggest. I just cheer from behind a sarcastic grin and dry witticisms, that’s all.
When we get to the multitude of inebriation materials, she turns to me. “Falling in love is an antiquated notion. We don’t need men. They need us. We center them. And from them, we get sex. Hot sex, if we’re lucky. And if we’re not lucky, we move on.”
I watch her grab the gin bottle, and I almost scream, “No! No gin. I can’t even think of gin without vomiting up the last three years of my life.”
She drops it back to the table. “Oh yeah. That was a fun night. If fun equals a nightmare. How ‘bout this?” She holds up a bottle that says Chopin. I lean in closer and see that it’s some highfalutin vodka. “This good?”
I shrug. “Let’s give it a shot.”
“Uh oh.” My tone is as dry as a scone left out for five days and then two more. “We’re doing shots. Great.”
Corinne pours while talking. “Look, you. You’re making Marilyn Manson jealous with that outfit. Your social skills are bested by mutes. We need to loosen you up if we’re going to get you any action – like EVER.”
My tongue plays with the roof of my mouth as I suck on her game plan. “Why do you even hang out with me?”
“Because I love you, Squid. And you make me feel good when I’m around you. You get me, and you don’t judge. Do you know how rare that is?” She calls me squid because of the black hair dye I’m addicted to. I’m naturally strawberry blonde and even though the lowest percentage of the population is born strawberry blonde – I could give a fuck. It’s too puppies, kittens and roses for me.
“That’s very sweet. I may throw up.” We tap our cups together with no celebratory clink bouncing back, thanks to the plastic. Very low end, this party. I vow that when I’m all grown up and have got my own place, I will have enough glassware to throw a party without red plastic cups sullying the classy festivities. I drink the vodka and wince. “Blech… add some cranberry or something?”
With her hand, Corinne shakes her platinum hair and musses it up all sexy style like she’s readying herself for battle against the weaker sex, and I don’t mean women. “Hello. Shots aren’t supposed to taste good. Drink up.”
“Eesh.” I drink it back and cough once. Just once because her laser-beam eyeballs stop me from making a scene. “Sorry.”
“You’re not a lost cause!” She chuckles. “You’ve still got these.” She points to my eyes, which – I have to admit – are probably my best feature. They’re bright cotton candy blue. I am fond of them. Why do you think I smudge so much eyeliner around them? “And these!” She reaches out and grabs my boobs, which are cleverly hidden behind a baggy shirt and jacket, not to mention several silver stone-pendant necklaces. Each stone has a different healing property: protection, communication and love. I fancy myself a bit of a witch. Or spiritual. Or whatever.
“Anybody besides you touches my boobs and I’ll punch them in the face. And you can let them go now, too.” She laughs and obeys. I’m not into girls. Neither is Corinne. But I don’t really mind her grabbing them. Someone’s got to.
“Hey!” she barks at a girl pushing through to the booze-table. The girl eyeballs her and a silent war is won by neither. Corinne looks back to me. “Does that include Brendan Clark? Would you punch him in the face if he did this?” She grabs them again and giggles.
My heart jumps out and kisses her for saying his name. But then it goes dead all over again and I swat her hands away. “Brendan’s got a girlfriend, remember?”
Corinne leans in and whispers, “Not anymore. Word is, he dumped her right before they were supposed to go away and celebrate their graduation with a good boinking.” She eyes me. “Interesting news, isn’t it?”
See this is the problem with friends. They see things you don’t want them to see. Which means you can’t live in happy denial. I’ve not told anyone how I feel about Brendan Clark, not even her. But somehow she spotted me staring at him with my mouth open one too many times. Ever since, it’s been like dragging Lindsey Lohan to rehab to get her to drop it.
But still my heart pirouettes throughout my insides at the news.
I blink at Corinne, stunned and speechless. Though, Brendan has all of my heart, he has no idea who I am. He is beyond out of my league. I’ve only said “hey” to him once and it was a disaster. I said it because he said it first. But then it turned out he was talking to his buddy Mark who was walking up behind me. Needless to say, I slinked back into the shadows where it’s nice and quiet… and dark enough for me to cry.
I shrug and look away so she can’t see me lying. “I don’t know how many times I have to tell you this, Marilyn, but I really don’t care what Brendan does.” She calls me Squid. I call her Marilyn after Marilyn Monroe, thanks to her hair and sexy goddess style. I may have gotten the short end of the nickname stick.
Her eyes narrow and she leans in to see if she can decipher my code. “Really?”
Avoiding her, I mutter without care, “Yeah. I’m not interested.”
“Not at all?”
“Not in the slightest.”
“He’s walking up behind you.”
“Let’s do another shot.”
Corinne laughs hard and turns to shove that girl out of the way. Successful, she starts singing “Shots shots shots shots” by the band LMFAO, and pours way too generously.
I don’t dare look around, but I don’t need to. Before I even lay eyes on Brendan, I hear his voice, low and deeper than most other guys and already my knees feel like noodles. His voice boasts his advanced levels of testosterone, and the place that aches for him between my legs moistens instantly. He’s here. He’s walking up behind me. Now is my chance to talk to him! To let him know I exist. I eavesdrop and hear him talking about Mendocino, something about a…
“Here you go.” Corinne slides a half-full cup back in my hand and I lose the last part of what was being said.
I take it from her, head down, focusing hard on the red plastic. I know that when I turn around, I will be face to face with the man I plan to have babies with. First I should probably tell him my name.
“Thanks.” I drink it before she even has a chance to toast or join me.
She stares at my speed, reads correctly into it, and whoops loudly, “Now it’s a party! Here, have another!”
I don’t argue, holding my cup out. I turn my head, say nothing, and stare at the man I have every intention of marrying. He’s exchanging words with jerkoff Mark and that asshole Tommy, but all I can see is Brendan’s mouth moving like the world just slowed down to make me the happiest girl in it. His lips are so full and pouty, and his teeth are straight from the braces he still had on during the beginning of his sophomore year, the I first time I saw him, three years ago. I was a freshman, and apparently invisible.
Sabrina Lacey is like many women in modern times – she’s been a lot of things to a lot of people. A wife, ex-wife, daughter, teacher, stand-up comedienne, wackadoo, loyal friend, fed-up bartender, fashion photographer, lazy bones, bitch, and sweetheart (though less often than bitch). She lives in way too dry Los Angeles where she wishes there was more thunderstorms. Who doesn’t love a good thunderstorm…
Pour a nice glass of wine, and enjoy the ride. 😉 Cheers!