Never Have I Ever
We were three hours into the lock in and I had already consumed my whole nights worth of snacks, way to go self control. Everyone seemed to be doing their own thing. Harris floated between Tia & I as well as his basket ball teammates, the nerds sat studying, the choir club kept singing in some kind of battle of the bands, the jocks were very loud and giggly - I assume from the cheeky swigs of alcohol and I was starting to get a little bored and restless.
“I could braid your hair” Tia asked but I think my face already told her the answer.
Jordan practically skipped over, he looked unusually happy and I came to the conclusion that he was tipsy, merry from whatever he chose as his poison.
“Olive, you and your friends come play ‘Never Have I Ever’ we need more people.” Jordan spoke with a slight slur and I screwed my face up with his distasteful suggestion.
“We don’t have any drink?” Tia replied in a tone that implied Jordan was dumb.
“I have booze” Harris spoke up, surprising us all.
Jeez what is with these athletes and sneaking in alcohol. Tia looked at me with questioning eyes “We are bored.” She pointed out and I reluctantly nodded in agreement knowing it would at least get me closer to Liam. We followed Jordan over to his circle of friends and I felt the nerves bubbling up inside me.
“Nah man he ate all the burgers and won free burgers there for a year but now he doesn’t wanna touch one.” I caught the tail end of Liams conversation with his team mate, they both started laughing hysterically but then Liam noticed me as I sat down opposite and his smile dipped a little making me feel like I was intruding.
“Olive wants to play Never Have I Ever.” Jordan announced to everybody but looking specifically at Liam who glowered back through narrowed eyes.
I wasn’t sure what had just happened but the air around the circle dropped a few degrees colder and I felt like I had been tricked into something. Discomfort raced through my body as the cheerleaders joined, each one looking at me with voluminous hatred.
“I’ll start. Never have I ever secretly made out with someone.” Jordan burnt his eyes into Liam, making it seem like a personal attack.
Liam drank, keeping his own eyes attached to Jordan.
In fact almost everyone around the circle drank.
The person to the left of Jordan went next, making people drink if they got caught high in school, obviously I didn’t drink but Liam did. Ben went next.
“Never have I ever cheated on my girlfriend.” He gazed at Zak, silently daring him to drink.
“Ben you’ve never even had a girlfriend you pussy!” Jordan mocked and the circle erupted with laughter, Ben’s irritating face glowed like a tomato in response.
Zak drank. So did a few others.
We passed two more people who I didn’t know but they challenged everyone to drink if they had stood someone up on a date or cat-fished someone. I didn’t drink to either, Liam drank to cat fishing and Ben drank to the date one, making me cringe inside. Liam was next.
“Never have I ever been friend zoned.” His was kind of lame but he stared at Harris through tense eyes until he raised his cup to drink. I rolled my eyes knowing Liam doesn’t like H or trust him. Zak was next.
“Never have I ever been turned on by a car.” I chuckled to myself knowing he was directing his question to Jordan. A few girls drank and I rolled my eyes at them. Shallow, shallow people.
“My car doesn’t turn me on.” He exclaimed causing more laughter to break out among his friends. ‘Take a drink’ they all started chanting until he finally admitted defeat and downed his shot. Tia was next.
“Never have I ever physically hurt one of my friends.” The scowl on her face was enough to intimidate anyone and it was directed at Liam. Seems she caught onto the aim of the game fast. I could feel the blood rushing to my head at how tense this moment was.
Liams friends glanced at Liam but then took sips of their own drinks in support, I think. Liam held Tia’s gaze for a long time, he looked lost and empty but eventually he brought the cup to his lips and drank. Harris was up next.
“Never have I ever thought about someone else when having sex.”
I could see the fear filling in Liams face, I knew he was on edge about what I was going to come out with and that hurt me a little. As if I would say anything personal toward him, though ‘personal’ seemed to be the aim of the game. I wasn’t about to pass up that opportunity. “Never have I ever loved someone so obsessively when they couldn’t give two hoots about me.” I dug my eyes into Ruby’s sole and she threw me a disgusted look back but refused to drink.
Liam visibly relaxed.
“Meow” Jordan teased, watching the showdown of all stares and waving his hands through the air to mimic cat claws.
The cheerleaders took their turns, they attempted to get back at me by uttering thrift shop and virginal questions but I didn’t give them the reaction they wanted and that seemed to annoy them. Some guy challenged anyone to drink if they had slept with a teacher, all of the jocks around the table drunk. They then shot each other knowing smiles and nods as if reliving a great memory. The circle had come back round to Jordan.
“Okay, last one now. We started on me so we’ll end on me. Never have I ever developed romantic feelings for one of my friends.” Jordan raised his eyebrows in a cocky manner as the question left his lips.
My heart raced, threatening to fall out of my chest, I could hear the blood rushing between my ears and I held my breath, secretly watching Liam out of the corner of my eye. Jordan kept flicking his eyes around the circle, lingering a little longer on Liam & I.
This was it. The point of the game, he wanted to ask this question.
With a shaky hand I slowly started to raise my cup. I could see the clear liquid bouncing off the edges as I trembled. Liam kept completely still. I couldn’t fully allow myself to look at him so I didn’t know what was running through his mind, I just knew he wasn’t bringing his cup up to meet his mouth. Mine however, was getting higher as the eyes watched me in a apprehensive way.
The warm, chemically taste of vodka hit my tongue as I gulped down my confession leaving my throat burning in the aftermath it left a simple buzz in my brain from the strong alcohol percentage.
As I swallowed down the last drop Liam stood up and all eyes turned to him, he said nothing. He just rubbed the back of his head with two hands and walked out of the gym. Leaving me fixated on the door that swung shut behind him.
The group disbanded and went off to do their own thing I hugged my knees into my chest and sat feeling dejection. “Well played on being so brave Olive.” Jordan said like he was consoling a small child. “Bravery clearly isn’t Liams strong suit.” he finished.
But it was. Liam was the bravest person I knew, Jordan had no idea just how brave he really was and I think that is why my spirits felt so low. I basically just admitted I had feelings for him and his reply to that was to walk off. Even if he didn’t reciprocate the feelings he could of addressed them. Walking out was a shitty thing to do and I felt the need to confront him.
“Ruby it’s not going to happen, okay?”
I heard voices from outside on the soccer pitch so I sheepishly approached. Liam and Ruby came into my view, she was practically throwing herself at him trying to kiss him and he awkwardly moved his head to dodge her. She kept grabbing him on the arms and touching his chest in attempt to hold him still, I could see it was making him uncomfortable and I knew he was going to lose it with her if I didn’t intervene.
“Am I interrupting something?” I said, offering a distraction.
“Yes.” Ruby turned to me with an exasperated stance.
I looked at Liam who had switched us out while he tried to regain control and pull himself out of his emotional turmoil. He pulled out a cigarette and lit it up, the tip glowed amber in the darkness. Ruby flicked her hair back and shoved into my shoulder as she stormed off back inside. I was alone with Liam who was looking a little easier now that Ruby had disappeared. He leaned back against the brick wall and eyed me with caution.
“You shouldn’t smoke.” I say, breaking the silence.
“I’m trying to quit.” He replied. I looked down at the cigarette and then up at him.
“You need to try harder.” he laughed but didn’t reply with words.
“So that just happened.” I say, directing it kind of like a question.
Liam exhales a gust of smoke into the air and nods his head “Don’t agree to play that game with Jordan.” he warned, a little too late.
“You walked out.” I say, almost like a question again.
“Yeah, the game was over.” he shut me down, polluting his lungs with another inhale.
I hated that he was being so obtuse right now but sometimes he just closes himself off and doesn’t give any answers. His pink tongue slowly trails the width of his lips, starting with the bottom one and then moving to the top. I can’t tear my eyes away from it as a growing familiar sensation wakes up between my legs. I bite into my bottom lip, keeping them busy so they don’t find their way onto his. The distraction of his lips are enough to make me forget what I was even mad at, this is going to be a long night.