***Hi all! Here’s BONUS post no. 3! Enjoy!***
Every time Derek spoke my fists rolled into a ball of tension and I had to keep myself from punching the smirks right off his face. To prevent any harm from happening, I sat on the farthest end of the couch, where only Jodie could sit next to me.
To everyone on this couch, Derek was this cool fun-loving type of guy. He had no matter in the world; he acted so well. But I knew the real Derek. I had always been going back and forth with this guy, but tonight, there was no way I was going back. I didn’t care how deep his good terms ran with these people. I didn’t care how many times he apologised or showed me a better side of him. I didn’t care. Derek was still the one guy that managed to make my skin crawl over and over again.
After finishing up a funny story, for which everyone threw their heads back in laughter, Nicholas and his bandmates had to reconvene on stage to play the second half of their set. I was left with Nikki, Derek and Jodie (my one shining light).
“So how’s the new agency?” Nikki asked, leaning in with her elbows on her knees, her forearms crossed over.
I hadn’t been talking much, and this was the first time someone directly addressed me. I simply nodded and smiled. “It’s good.”
“Is it better than this one?” she asked, eyes earnest.
Much better! “It’s alright.”
“It’s not the same without us though is it?” Derek asked.
There goes my fist, rolling into a ball. He better be careful. “Thankfully,” I replied.
Derek narrowed his eyes and my smile grew wider.
“I need to go to the bathroom,” Nikki said, looking at both Jodie and I.
“I was just about to say so, too,” Jodie said.
“Perfect!” Nikki beamed.
They both stood, inching towards the bathroom when I looked at Derek with that same wicked infused smirk he usually had on in my presence.
I shot up. “Wait! I’ll come with.”
“Now that’s not fair,” Derek said, pretending to pout, “you’re going to leave me all alone?”
“You can handle yourself I’m sure,” I said, without looking at him.
“We won’t be long,” Nikki said.
Jodie was at a cross-road. The problem was that they really needed to go to the bathroom, and I didn’t want to be the dickhead that ruins the night for everyone by revealing how much I hated Derek. Only a few minutes in the bathroom, and everyone will be just fine.
I sat back down on the couch, as far away from Derek as I could. But when he inched closer, I had nowhere to go.
“So what’s Daniel got that I don’t, huh?” Derek asked, his breaths laced with alcohol.
I scoffed. “Where do I begin?”
“Begin anywhere, baby,” Derek said, “I’m all ears.” A devilish twinkle flickered in his eyes.
I narrowed my eyes, all traces of politeness washing away. “Don’t call me ‘baby’.”
Derek smiled. “So what is it? What is it that makes a guy like me unable to be found appealing by a girl like you? Haven’t I had my moments?”
I chuckled humourlessly. “Those moments are long gone now. I see the real you. I know who you really are, despite what everyone else may attest.”
Derek leaned in closer. “Oh? And what is that?”
“You’re rude, conniving, and unapproachable. You take what I confide in you and turn it against me, and you’re manipulative. To put it plain and simple, straight between the eyes, you’re a jerk.”
“Who gives a fuck,” Derek said. “It’s just sex. I don’t have to be the most charming guy on the planet.”
“First of all, it would help; and second of all, there’s no way you think I’m going to have sex with you, do you?”
Derek smiled, his eyelids heavy and his eyes glazed over with an uncontrollable cloudiness. “Of course, I do. Come on, Daniel won’t find out. It’s like the unwritten rule of getting cheated on.”
“Just shut up, Derek,” I spat through clenched teeth. I had enough of this fool.
He placed a sloppy hand on my thigh and I eyed it as if it were a spider. “Just once, and no one has to know.” He began running his hand upwards, and my skin lit on fire. I gulped and then pushed his hand away, preparing myself to get up and just leave him.
“You’re drunk,” I said, my voice trembling, “just stop it before you do something you might really regret.”
He quickly laid his claw of a hand around my thigh, steering me closer towards him, completely overturning my chances of a quick and slick getaway. His fingertips hurt. Then, without warning, his hand shot up in between my legs and I gasped. He grabbed my ponytail in an aggressive and iron-clad grasp, and forced me to kiss him. He shoved his tongue into my mouth, and I couldn’t do much but squeak into his mouth. It was supposed to be a scream but I was too taken aback by the whole situation and I could barely breathe. I scurried around, flailing my hands in an attempt at throwing his off me so that there was no way he could grab me when I got up. Thankfully, he was too drunk to get a better grip on me, and I shot up, like a bullet. I knew Derek was an asshole; I just never thought he’d ever stoop so low and react like this. I was utterly shocked that he was so capable; and more in fact, that he welcomed that capability.
Derek threw his head back and started laughing as if it were a game, and that angered me more. Without thought, I stepped once and, with full force, slapped him right across his face. I was hoping the alcohol intensified the pain.
“What the fuck are you doing!?” I heard someone call.
Nikki strode to Derek’s aide, who hunched over with his hand over the same spot Daniel had hit him just a little while ago. I grinned at the resemblance. If there was ever a sign Daniel and I were meant to be, this was is it, however strange it may seem.
“He forced himself onto me and groped me,” I said, breathless at the absurdity of what just happened.
“He’s just drunk, Anna,” Nikki hissed, her tone laden with disapproval, “he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Cut him some slack.”
“I can’t believe you’re defending this creep,” I said with genuine shock.
“Oh, please,” Nikki said, “ever since you moved to another agency you’ve been such a snobby little bitch. Everyone knows you fucked Eddie and that’s why you left, so there’s no reason to put this little charade on.”
“Let’s go, Anna,” Jodie murmured calmly, placing a warm hand on my back.
I ignored Jodie’s touch and stared at Nikki with such shock. “What did you say?”
“You heard me,” Nikki said, “so don’t tell me this bullshit about Derek groping you. It’s not cool to say things like that just for attention.”
“Hey!” Jodie yelled, startling even me, “enough already, Anna is not like that.”
Nikki huffed a little laugh. “Yeah, whatever. Do you have proof he groped you and kissed you, Anna?” I remained silent. “Yeah, didn’t think so.” Nikki smiled, proudly, the same sinister twinkle in her eyes as was in Derek’s just a moment ago. Oh man, that guy could put on one hell of a show!
I chuckled humourlessly, shaking my head. “You know, it’s girls like you,” I eyed Derek, “and guys like you, that make girls like me feel like what happened was our fault. That my words are worthless. You go ahead and believe what you want, Nikki; you and Derek fucking deserve each other.”
I felt my lips quivering and I knew I had to get out of there before they could see my cry. I hunched over to gather my things and began walking through the crowd. Who, mind you, happened to be staring at this little scenario and I had no idea about it until I sifted through curious eyes. My eyes were welling up as Jodie hailed a cab. I saw Nicholas run out of the bar after us, but I didn’t let the cab driver stop. Instead, Jodie called me over and I cried into her shirt. I honestly didn’t want to cry, and I tried so hard to keep myself from letting the tears flow freely. But it was something about Nikki not believing me and Derek playing the victim that made me feel worthless. I don’t think they even realised that within just a few seconds, they managed to make me feel like the whole world was against me just in that one instant.
And although I was grateful for Jodie being here for me, the arms I immensely craved were Daniel’s.