Before I Met You

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Chapter Two

AFTER ANOTHER TWO hours of the party all of the freshmen finally decided to go home for the night, and now I’m stuck cleaning up the heaps of plastic cups and stains all over the carpet. I could just wait until tomorrow, but I’d rather get this over and done with.

Rodney went to bed with some random chick over an hour ago, so it’s just Dion and I walking around with the trash bags as Cameron, another member of our frat, is watching TV in the living room. I’m not surprised that he’s choosing not to help us. He never does.

“Tonight was crazy.” Dion chuckles to himself. He makes a disgusted face when he picks up something that’s unrecognizable and throws it into the bag. “Whatever happened to those two girls that were outside earlier?”

“They’re in the guest room you told them to go in. Elena said they were going to sleep in there.”

“Elena is... the brunette?” He asks.

I nod.

“Elena Garcia?” Cameron suddenly seems very interested in this conversation and shuts the TV off.

“I don’t know her last name.” I say.

“Long brown hair, brown eyes and a really fat ass?” He grins when I nod again and rises to his feet. “Shit. I haven’t seen her since last year.”

Cameron isn’t the type to be outspoken like this. He’s a dick like the rest of us, but he never joins us in conversation unless he’s forced to. Ever. So I’m surprised that he seems so apt to talk about this girl.

“She’s a bit of a bitch.” I chuckle. “She’s hot as fuck, but she certainly is a challenge.”

“A challenge?” Cameron snorts and grabs another trash bag to actually help us out. We’ve finally got the living room clear so we head into the kitchen. “Last year after homecoming she was the one to ask me to fuck her at that party. I barely knew her. Easy? Yes. Challenge? No.”

Dion erupts into laughter once he hears Cameron and smacks me on the shoulder. “Don’t feel bad man.” He grins wickedly. “Cam’s just got better game than you do apparently.”

I shrug my shoulders as if it isn’t a big deal, and normally it wouldn’t be, but it’s bothering me that this girl was interested in Cameron and not me. She was okay with having a one night stand with him, but it seemed as if she was in agony just by being in a two foot radius of me. Am I really that bad?

Maybe she likes Cameron because he’s a ginger. His hair is straight and almost to his shoulders, whereas mine is just a bunch of thick, short black curls that go whichever wild way they feel every morning. Maybe that’s why she likes him more. Or maybe it’s the way he dresses like he’s about to go on a fucking boat every day of his life with his polos and khaki shorts. I wear a graphic t-shirt and my black leather jacket almost every single day, so maybe she just thinks that he’s more put together than me. I could see that.

Even though I want to just let it go, a part of me still cares. It’s my ego hurting, I know it is, and I can do nothing but grip this trash bag tighter as I try not to think about him winning this conquest tonight instead of me.

Almost as if reading my mind he says, “I would hit that again, but I’m tired as fuck. I will, however, show up to the party she’ll be at tomorrow.”

“What party?” I ask.

“Are you joking? It’s the welcoming party that Capa throws every year. It’s the biggest party at Florida State.”

Last year I didn’t go to that party for that exact reason. Dion and I had an agreement before we started college that I wouldn’t drink. Because parties lead to drinking, and then drinking leads to things I shouldn’t do. I don’t want to fall back into old habits.

“How are you so sure she’ll be there?” I can’t help but be inquisitive about this girl. She didn’t exactly seem too excited to be here at this party, so what makes him so sure that she’ll be at the one tomorrow?

“Trust me,” He chuckles, wiping off the countertop with a paper towel. “She’s going to be there. That girl never misses a good time.”

“Huh.” I say out loud, both of them turning to look at me. Cameron throws away the paper towel in the trash can and runs a hand through his long hair that I’m suddenly annoyed by.

“Well, I’m going to bed.” He says with a wide grin. It’s a grin that says he knows she chose him and rejected me. “See you guys tomorrow.”

He disappears into the hallway and leaves Dion and I to clean up the kitchen by ourselves. We spend the next twenty minutes or so in silence as he cleans up the spills and I clean up the cups.

“You should go to the party tomorrow.” He says with a reassuring glance. “You’ve been good for a year now, man. I’m sure it’ll be fine if you go.”

He’s right. It could be fine if I go, but it could also be a disaster. As much as I’m proud that Dion has faith in me, I don’t have faith in myself. I’m not sure if I ever will.

“Maybe.” I finally say. I can’t help but still be irritated at the fact that I was rejected tonight, and Dion can sense the irritability. I don’t know why I’m so upset over her rejecting me, it’s stupid, but she slept with Cameron no problem and seemed disgusted by me. I’ve never met a girl like this before. It’s just strange.

Dion gives me space as we finish cleaning the house up. After another hour we both decide to turn in for the night. It’s three in the morning now, my eyes growing heavier by the second.

When I reach the second floor Elena is in the hallway. She quickly shuts the door once she sees me, her eyes growing wide. “Sorry.” She says. “I’m just trying to find a bathroom. I have to pee.”

I can tell she’s slept in her dress. It’s twisted, and part of her red lace bra is poking out of the top. I don’t want to be annoyed with her, but I am. I feel like I’m not good enough, and that’s a feeling I haven’t felt in a long time.

“It’s that one.” I point across the hall.

She follows my hand and stares at the leather bracelets on my wrist. “What’s with all of those?” She questions, tilting her head to the side.

I immediately put my hand back down. Why the fuck does she care? “Nothing.” I snap. “It’s none of your business.”

Why is she suddenly interested in getting to know me? Like she said before, I’m nothing but a grade A asshole, right? So why not treat her like one?

I leave her standing alone in the hallway and roughly hit my shoulder against hers as I pass by.

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