I decided to bring all the best available girls I had to the party that dear ol’ Derek and his friends were hosting at his place. The last appearance I made wasn’t a good one, which is why I wanted this time to be monitored, sort of like neighbourhood watch. Douche-watch, if you will; and because I had so much going on with Daniel I was on high alert. Wary of any tricksters interpreting my vulnerability as an opportunity to hop, skip, and take me to the bedroom. Especially drunk!
After the girls and I had taken care of some dress shopping for tonight, we took up a late lunch. The mall seemed only full of people stocking up on drinks and party outfits to either go out or stay home and get blasted (or both, like Derek and his friends). I was in the middle of nibbling on a string of cheese into my mouth from a pizza when Jodie’s face changed.
“Anna, don’t look, but Sandy is right behind you,” Jodie said.
I had stopped sucking the cheese into my mouth and froze when she spoke, but when she named the person, I shrugged and carried on.
“That’s an interesting reaction,” Chloe said incredulously. She knew most of Sandy from all the things I’ve told her.
I wiped my chin of the sauce with the back of my hand. “I’m too stunned and too caught up on other issues to care about the most irrelevant person in, or I should say out, of my life right now. Had it been Tanya or Mr. Dick-less, then that’s another story.”
Janet snickered. “Mr. Dick-less.”
I smiled. “The only good thing to come out of this whole situation is his nickname.”
“He should introduce himself that way so everyone can have a prelude to his personality,” Jodie said.
I nodded. “Indeed.”
“Or maybe he should have one of those stickers,” Janet said. “’Hello, my name is Mr. Dick-less’, so people can avoid him altogether.”
Chloe pointed at me. “Take notes for future references.”
I laughed and it felt weird, and then it was weird for feeling weird. Weird, huh?
All of us were too lazy to do any other errands besides shopping (even though it was just for dresses) and eating (even though that’s not really an errand), so by the time we got back to our place, all four of us just lounged on the sofa and put on a movie. I barely had a hand in the choosing of the movie, but when the opening credits started, I felt my phone start buzzing in my pocket. It was Daniel.
“Hey,” I answered on my way to my bedroom.
“Hey, how are you?”
I shrugged. “Fine. You?”
“Good, good,” I imagined him nodding on the other line. “So listen, I know this is last minute and everything but I was wondering if you wanted to spend St. Patrick’s Day with me. Anything you want. We can hit the city or you can lounge at my place. I’m sure Stanley will be out tonight; it’s like hunting season for him,” he laughed and then stopped short, “I don’t mean that in a creepy way though. Roofies is not involved is what I’m getting at,” he chuckled faintly this time. It almost sounded nervous, as if he was asking me out on a first date or something.
I considered his offer and then sighed. “I already have plans.”
“Oh,” he said, sounding disappointed. “With the girls?”
“Yeah, something like that.”
It was quiet for a moment. I think this was the second time I blew Daniel off for Derek and his stupid party, but I don’t know, I just…I don’t know. I would have invited him, or I would have gone to Daniel’s instead of Derek’s, I knew I would have done something that involved Daniel, or at least told him everything, but I was holding back. It was unlike me. I never thought holding back in a relationship was a good idea, and yet here I am, holding back. Here I am, blowing Daniel off for Derek. Through my own devices and hypocrisy I started getting annoyed with Derek, as if he was the one holding me back even though he really had nothing to do with this.
“Okay,” Daniel said, “well, I’m here if you ever change your mind.”
I nodded. “Cool. Well, I have to get ready so…”
“Sure.” He said it so politely that it made my treatment of him feel worse, so I decided to justify blowing him off by other means. I considered the girls who went shopping with me and are getting dressed up to accompany me to the party. I was doing it for them now. Ugh, gosh, I’m being shifty to myself! Ladies and gentleman, welcome to rock bottom.
On our way to the party, the streets were lined up with people coming from every which way. Some, mostly the girls, colour coordinated in skimpy green outfits. I almost felt like we overdressed. The music was obvious from the outside, but it was when we entered that it was palpable to an extreme degree. I wondered how we were going to talk in here.
“Chloe and I are going to grab us some drinks,” Jodie yelled over the music, “want anything?”
“Whatever’s strong!” I yelled back.
Janet and I began perusing the place, it was truly a miracle how everyone could fit inside. I guess it wasn’t as small as I thought. I must have not paid any attention beyond Derek last time.
Janet nudged on my arm and I looked in the direction she was gesturing towards. Derek was in a conversation with Nikki and some friends when he noticed me. He dragged Nikki along with him to greet us.
“Hi,” Nikki chimed, pulling me into a bear hug that I was unprepared for. “So glad you guys could make it. Derek couldn’t stop yapping away about you,” then she tried a man’s voice, “’is she going to come? Do you think she’ll come?’ yap, yap, yap!”
Derek grabbed her hand that opened and closed on each ‘yap’ she said and then pulled it down beside her. His cheeks rosing up. “She’s exaggerating. Don’t listen to her, she’s drunk.”
“She’s a way nicer drunk than me,” Janet said. “For some reason I go ghetto, and everyone thinks that’s like, the real me,” she rolled her eyes. I laughed.
“I hope you don’t mind,” I said to Derek, “I invited Janet and two other girlfriends.”
“Of course not,” Derek said, “it would be too weird to send all of you packing isn’t it.”
Janet and I nodded. Nikki watched our bobble heads and, without even realising, started mimicking us in dramatic slow motions. Derek rolled his eyes and smiled. “I’ll be back. By the way, you’ll be glad to know I’ve kept up my part of the bargain.”
“Well get ready for your second drink because Jodie and Chloe are getting us some drinks.”
“Cheers,” Derek winked, grinning. He let Nikki lean on him as he walked away and back to the group with her.
A couple seconds after he left the girls came back with the drinks and holy mother of a holy mo’fo was my drink strong. Jodie shrugged. “You said you wanted something strong.”
The party hadn’t died down even after a few more drinks; I mean, I know it won’t end within the two hours or whatever it started, but the noise level remained staggeringly high the entire time. I wanted two seconds to myself so I excused myself to stumble into the bathroom, because the other rooms were a little preoccupied if you know what I mean, and just chillax for a bit. I may have been a teensy tipsy, but I wasn’t that drunk, so I managed to carry myself there well. It was amazing how much sound the little bathroom was drowning out. I closed the toilet seat fully and sat on the cold surface. The cool rushed through my thighs and up my body, making me shiver.
Daniel, I thought. Daniel, I whispered. Just thinking and muttering his name was like a lullaby. Now I didn’t know if it were the drinks or his name, but suddenly I started feeling very calm and sleepy. I was taxiing for the moment and just about to drift off when suddenly the door of the bathroom flew open.
“Shit,” Derek said, “I didn’t know you were in here. The door was unlocked so—”
I waved my hand and shook my head. Very slowly, I might add. “Forget it.”
He closed the door and sat down on the bathtub opposite me. “Are you okay?”
I nodded. “Oh yeah, I’m great. Everything’s just peachy here in wonderland.”
Derek laughed. “Want to talk about it?”
“With you?” I snickered. “No.”
Derek seemed offended. He shifted his weight from one leg to the other and folded his arms over his chest. “Now that was mean. Come on, promise I’ll be a good sport.”
I held up my finger in warning. “Promise not to make fun of my relationship, or make some snippy, negative comment either?”
“Ah, so it’s about Daniel.”
I give up. “Yeah.”
“Hate to say it but I told you so.”
I pointed at the door. “Get out.”
Derek laughed and held his hands palm up in surrender. “Okay, okay, okay. I’m sorry. Go on.”
I pushed back my hair from hugging the sides of my face. “I’m just worried about us, in the long run.”
“Mmm,” Derek nodded.
“I just don’t know what to do.”
Derek got onto his knees on the floor and came closer towards me. From this angle there was no avoiding his eyes. “Sometimes you just have to take a step back and ask yourself if this is right for you. I don’t think relationships should be so hard. If two people are right for each other, then everything will come naturally, if they’re wrong for each other, well, then you’ll probably just start worrying about the future.”
“But I love Daniel,” I whispered.
“He’s not the only guy in the world, Anna.”
My eyes were starting to well up when he said that and he turned out to be a blur at this point. Which was why it came as a shock to me when he cupped my face in his hands and kissed me. It was a light quick kiss. I blinked quite a few times afterwards, and the droplets started coming out. I saw him perfectly now, he was proud of himself. The chips may have fallen where they may, but they have not fallen your way, mister!
I stood and turned to properly face him. “What the hell was that?”
Derek stood. “What?”
“You kissed me.”
The nerve! “So I have a boyfriend, Derek.”
“Well what’s the deal? You guys are breaking up,” he was starting to get angry.
“Just because two people are breaking up doesn’t mean they’re broken up. And I didn’t say anything about Daniel and I breaking up. What’s the matter with you?”
“What’s the matter with me? What’s the matter with you!?”
“Excuse me?” Oh, no he didn’t.
“Girls are so confusing. They’re chasing up a guy one minute but the moment he shows any interest she runs away.”
“Next time, tell the girl you’re interested, don’t just kiss her because you think we have a connection or something.”
Derek suddenly smiled, oddly enough. “So you agree, we have a connection?” he walked forwards.
For some reason I felt like I was about to burst out laughing. I think the combination of the alcohol and his hypnotic smile were starting to get to me and I tried stifling my laugh (even just my smile) as much as I could.
“Derek…” I said, in warning. The closer he got the more annoyed I was starting to feel and the quicker my giddiness was dissipating.
“I love hearing you say my name,” he said. And before I knew it, his lips were on mine before I even had a chance to get out of the tiny bathroom.
He pressed me up against the bathroom door and for a minute there I felt like I was being consumed by the kiss. But every nerve and fibre of my being were telling me this should stop. So I pushed him off me immediately. I thought it would stop there, that he’d finally get the hint, but he just kept on grinning with that stupid smile of his, so I took it one step further. I slapped him! I then started laughing because he looked so taken aback and confused that it was outright comical. Like a freakin’ cartoon. Derek’s smile was about to make a comeback, but then it disappeared as quickly as a fraction of it came, as if he finally took my hint. Neither of us had anything more to say to each other so, awkwardly, I turned around as if discovering the door behind me for the first time, and hopped, skipped, and skedaddled out of there.
When I met up with Jodie, the first girl I saw, I asked her to drive me to Daniel’s since they would need the car to get back home. Now I come to think of it, Jodie was a good choice because she never drinks. She keeps in incredible shape, and to do that she diets and exercises like crazy. When it came to health, Jodie was more uptight than Vladimir Putin at Gay Pride!
I arrived at Daniel’s place pretty late and without actual notice, or even a hint, that I would be here. I doubted myself that he’d actually answer and hoped that Jodie wasn’t too far out when the door opened. I threw myself onto him, kissing him when I got the chance to actually hold myself up well.
“I’m sorry,” I said, crying, out of happiness and of sadness.
Daniel laughed into my kiss. “I know, don’t worry about it.”
“No,” I pulled away, “I want you to know how sorry I am. I shouldn’t be acting like a pouty little brat.”
“You heard something pretty fucked up, I think we’re passed pouty.”
I smiled at his light-heartedness. And just when he was about to come in for a kiss I told him about what happened only a few minutes ago. I thought that even though I felt like I had done nothing wrong, I didn’t want it hanging over my head.
“I went to a party at Derek’s place and he kissed me,” I said, my words stumbling out. Daniel seemed unchanged, he was still just smiling politely. “I promise nothing more than a kiss happened.”
Daniel sighed. “Okay, that’s never a good thing to hear.”
“I made it clear that I wanted nothing to do with him in that way,” I quickly said.
“Well I slapped him so, yeah, I think so.”
We laughed together, and even though I felt like this wasn’t the end of Derek making an appearance into our conversation just yet, we started spilling into his room and onto his bed.
“I love you, Daniel,” I said.
Daniel smiled. “I love you, too, Anna.”
We kissed each other, and it was probably the sweetest kiss we’ve ever had in the entire relationship. It started getting more heated and passionate as we went on. He was grinding into me, making me feel how excited he was. I may have hit rock bottom before, but tonight was going to end on a definite, unbreakable, sensational, (and a little tipsy) high!