After a couple of hours at the party, I was beginning to feel like I had crashed it. There was none of Shreyas and my mutual friends. Sadly, I had resorted to trailing behind Amanda like a lost, sad puppy. I was all too aware of the depressing amount of cling I was harvesting right then. Finally I spotted someone I knew.
"Shreyas!" I yelled as I unhitched from the conversation with Amanda and her friends. "Oh my god, please save me. I know, literally, no one."
He laughed, my heart fluttered.
"Well, let's—" he started.
"Spin the bottle!" Amanda yelled from the other side of the room, grabbing me by the arm. She tugged me to the living room where she pulled me down to the floor. Shreyas chuckled lightly and sat across from me. Almost immediately more people started to sit down. Soon the circle was complete with almost half of the basketball team, most of the girls that came to the party, and about three gay guys to make it interesting. Amanda started off the game by declaring it Shauna's turn and spinning for her.
The bottle landed on one of the gay guys, Derek, who refused to kiss her. Lucky.
I was next, and as I spun the bottle, I couldn't help but desperately want it to fall on Shreyas. Alas, the universe was plotting against me once again. The merlot bottle chose Jason, the bane of my existence.
"Hell no." He said from across the circle.
I rolled my eyes. "Suck it up, dickweed."
He groaned. "Fine, let's just get it over with."
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Shreyas shift uncomfortably next to Jason. As I leaned closer to his lips, I couldn't shake the image of Shreyas's face distorted in discomfort. So, I pulled away.
"What the fuck. What game are you playing?" said Jason, just as confused as the rest of the circle.
"Fuck off Jason, she doesn't want to kiss you," Shauna said from my said. I looked at her and gave her the girls' universal 'thank you'. She gave me the girls' universal 'I got your back.' Thank the lord for Shauna.
I glanced over at Shreyas again, who had a small smile on his face.
"Pass means your out!" Amanda piped up from next to me. OK, I thought, as long as I don't have to lock lips with Jason.
"Why aren't I out?" Shauna asked, testing her friend.
"'Cause," she responded as if she was stupid, "Derek is gay. That's a free pass."
The girl looked at me and shrugged, going back to inspecting her nails. At least she tried.
It was Amanda's turn, and she was way too excited. She happily spun the bottle with her creepily eager expression, and suddenly the improbable, became probable and blatantly real. The bottle flipped, and it landed on Shreyas.
My heart stopped and the whole room gasped, because we all know what it meant. Seven minutes in heaven. I was snapped back into reality when Amanda took Shreyas's hand and led him into the hall closet. Suddenly, I felt very nauseous, and very dizzy.
I'm not going to lie, it hurt, it hurt like hell, and it wasn't stopping. I wasn't the only one in the room who was shocked by Amanda's behavior, however. Shauna patted my back and pulled me into a side hug, muttering about how much of a skitch she is. Everyone knew about Shreyas and me, and everyone knew that Amanda and me were friends, good friends. The whole room was just as shocked as I was and I was frozen.
The grandfather clock was click-clocking the time away, and I was a bomb ready to blow. The circle stayed perfectly still, watching my every move as sounds I'd rather not describe came from the closet.
Click. Moan. Clock. Grunt. Click. Giggle.
At that point I had had enough. I grabbed my purse and burst into the cool night, with no intention of ever speaking to either of the two culprits again. I walked down the street, making my way towards somewhere, anywhere but there. All kinds of crazy thoughts started to flit through my mind. Amanda and Shreyas kissing, Amanda and Shreyas dating, Amanda and Shreyas getting married, Amanda and Shreyas.
Amanda and Shreyas.
My phone buzzed.
It was Amanda.
It's just a game, Scar it read.
Except it wasn't just a game, it was her game. She had planned it all. Me, Shreyas, the party, the flip, the closet, the kiss. The girl we all once thought was ditzy had been plotting against me since the beginning.
Shauna was right. Amanda was a full-blown, point-of-no-return skitch.
I pulled my phone out again. I was lost and in need of assistance.
Nothing. My phone was black.
Then I started to do something I hadn't done since that day with Shreyas in the hallway. I started to cry. I slid down a random metal fence, pulling my knees to my chest. I was shaking, not just from my fit of ugly crying, but because the temperature was definitely lowering.
I was lost, cold, and crying. The night couldn't get any worse.
Just as I was running out of waterworks and losing all hope in someone finding me, I heard it, the promising sound of sneakers hitting asphalt.
Someone was running, and in my direction. I was too cold to move and my voice was still raspy from all the crying.
So, I did the best I could.
"Help," I said, as loud as could, just above a whisper.
"Scarlett? Scarlett!" I looked up, my vision blurred with tears.
It was Shreyas, looking sweaty and relieved.
"Fuck, your lips are blue." He started to pull off his sweater.
"Like you care," I said, wiping tears (and mascara) off my face, but really all I wanted to do was hug him. For warmth of course.
"What?" He asked.
"You heard me," I snapped. "Why don't you go back to your new girl-toy?"
He looked hurt. Maybe our flirtationship meant more to him than I thought. "You know it's not like that."
I scoffed. I couldn't let him manipulate me like this, not again. "You know, I finally thought we could be friends, like, real friends," I said, standing up. "But I should have known better, that's not what you want. You just want to keep toying with me until I break. Well, congratulations, you got what you wanted, I'm completely broken." Another fit of tears started again. It's not like I've never ugly cried in front of him.
"Scar," he reached for me.
"No, you don't get to call me Scar, or comfort me, or even touch me. You did this," I screamed pointing to myself. A shiver ran through me and remembered how cold I was. "You need to go."
"At least take my sweater." He tried to hand it to me.
"You're not," he pleaded. "I wouldn't be able to sleep if I knew you were out here without a sweater."
"I hope you don't sleep either way," I grumbled, snatching the object of warmth from his hands. To be honest, I was glad he insisted because I was probably wouldn't have lasted out here.
"Goodbye, Shreyas." I started to walk away, and so did he.
I never looked back.
Luckily he left his phone in the pocket of his sweater. I called my mom and asked her to pick me up. She must have noticed something was wrong because she left immediately. I was home by ten.