I’ve never liked parties. I’ve always thought that they’re too loud, too crowded, and too unsanitary. I mean, who would want to dance in the midst of dozens of other sweaty people? Not me, that’s for sure.
That’s why when my best friend in the whole world, Julie, asked me to go to a party with her, I immediately declined.
“No way,” I said strictly. “You know I hate parties.”
“Come on!” Julie complained. “It’s our freshman year of college, this is the best part of school!” she begged.
I looked at her with clear annoyance. “That isn’t true at all.”
Julie ignored my comment and kept talking while leaning over the table and putting on some mascara. “I promise, this party will be fun. We can meet some new people, new friends, and if we’re lucky we’ll meet hot football players.” She turned in my direction and winked.
I rolled my eyes, then brought them back to the computer on my desk. “I can meet people during class.”
Julie closed the cap of her mascara and turned to me, placing a hand of her waist. She was wearing a short sparkly grey dress. It looked really good on her – it hugged her curves well – but it was way too tight for my taste. “You need to chill a little. You’re too uptight and stiff.” She put down the mascara, came closer and started massaging my shoulders from behind. She leaned in and whispered in my ear. “Relax. You need this.”
I was enjoying the massage, and I could feel myself give in to the temptation. Finally, I sighed, “I need to borrow something to wear.”
Julie immediately detached from me and started clapping her hands joyfully. “Yes! Okay, you look about my size. Do you have any preferences?”
“Just not too tight and not too short,” I said simply.
Julie scanned her dresser. “I don’t think I have anything like that,” she said.
I covered my mouth and whispered loud enough for her to hear. “Slut alert.”
Either she didn’t hear me, or she didn’t care, because she showed no reaction to my comment. After a few seconds, she pulled out a beautiful pink dress and cheered. “I think this is the one! Try it on.”
I’ll admit, it wasn’t half bad. It was a little short – I always had to pull it down to cover my butt – but it fitted me well. “When does the party start?
“Oh, it started an hour ago,” Julie said, to which I scrunched my eyebrows. “So, we’re late?”
“Nobody goes to a party when they say the party is going to start. You always go a little later so it’s right in the middle of the fun,” Julie explained. It sounded a bit confusing to me, but what do I know?
“So, when are we leaving?” I asked. I glanced at my watch. “It’s already nine-thirty.”
“Already? Seriously girl, you have a lot to learn.” Julie looked at me up and down. “You look good, but don’t you want to put on some makeup?”
“I don’t know how to put makeup on. I never do.”
Julie looked at me in fright. “Who are you?” she said jokingly. I chuckled, while she kept talking. “Let me just curl your eyelashes and put on some mascara, okay? Please?”
I sighed. “Fine.”
I sat at my desk chair as Julie stood inches from my face, torturing my eyelashes. In the end, though, it looked pretty good. My eyes were the first things you would see of me, even though they were a little covered by my hair, which I had left falling onto my shoulders.
“Okay, I think we’re ready,” Julie announced. “Let’s go.”
Julie had forced me to wear high heels, but fortunately, the party was just a few minutes away on foot. I had decided to bring my phone and my wallet in a small clutch, but it was already getting uncomfortable. I kept moving it from one hand to the other.
Suddenly we turned a corner and saw a truly remarkable scene. Flashing lights, blaring music, and people all hanging out, having fun. I was actually changing my mind about this when we walked closer. Beers all over the lawn, people making out with others cheering around them, drunken idiots picking a fight with anyone in front of their faces.
I would have turned around and left right then and there, but Julie must have read my thoughts. She grabbed hold of my wrist and refused to let go until we were inside the house.
It was – if possible – worse than the outside. People dancing uncontrollably spilling their drinks everywhere, guys making out with girls in every corner, and lamps breaking every second. I was shocked, but apparently, Julie didn’t notice. “Come on!” she had to yell in my ear.
She dragged me to the kitchen, where a guy was serving drinks. He was probably the owner of the house because he seemed to know where everything was exactly. As soon as he spotted us, he grinned and asked what we wanted. I asked for a bottle of water, but of course, Julie complained. “Water? Seriously? Come on, be wild!” Then, to the bartender. “Beer, please!”
I didn’t want to explain it to Julie, but I had no intention of getting drunk tonight. Tonight, I was just trying to loosen up, preferably without waking up with a hangover the next morning.
Julie and I then moved to the living room, where we were able to find empty seats for us to sit in. I kept sipping my water awkwardly, while Julie would flirt with every guy she could. After only ten minutes, she had gotten three different phone numbers. “This is awesome!” she exclaimed. I nodded, then went back to sipping my water.
I glanced at the people dancing, and something told me that I should go. What better way to loosen up that dance in the middle of strangers?
With courage I didn’t know I had, I stood up and asked Julie if she wanted to dance. When she said yes, I practically ran onto the dance floor, forcefully forgetting about the spilling drinks or the sweat.
I started moving to the rhythm of the song, raising my hands in the air. I surprised myself by moving my butt a lot, a quality I didn’t know I had. I instinctively tried to be as seductive as possible, although I don’t know why. With my hands raised, I pushed out my chest and curved my back to show off my butt.
Not five seconds later, a hand was groping me from the back. I turned around in a flash to look at my aggressor, only to find a guy, probably a year older than me, smiling down at me sexily. He was actually very attractive, but grabbing my ass wasn’t a way to get me. I pushed him away. “Don’t put your hands on me.”
He didn’t even flinch. “You’re a feisty one. I like it.” Suddenly he had his arms wrapped around my waist, pulling me closer. Without even thinking about it, I curled down attempting to escape his grasp, but apparently, he got the wrong idea. “Going for the prize, aren’t we? I think we need a room for that.”
He didn’t even have time to react that – filled with adrenaline – I kicked him in the crotch. As he doubled over, I whispered in his ear. “That is no way to treat a lady.” Then I walked away without looking back.
Adrenaline was pumping through my veins, but it was slowly receding, and I was realizing what had happened. Did a guy really grope my ass? Did he really think I would give him a blowjob? What kind of people do I go to school with?
Suddenly bursting with fear, I found Julie and told her I had to go to the bathroom before running down a hallway. I didn’t know where I was going, but I was hoping it would lead me to the bathroom. It did.
I opened the door, then closed it behind me. I locked it before leaning against it, letting my head fall back against the door. I sighed loudly, then approached the sink and looked at myself in the mirror. I looked exactly like before, but that outside covered up what was really going on.
I turned on the water, filled my hands in it and splashed it in my face, ignoring the fact that I might ruin my makeup. I looked back at my reflection, anticipating smeared mascara marks, but I guess it was waterproof because my eyes were as perfect as ever. I ripped off a few squares of toilet paper, then dabbed it all over my face, trying to absorb the leftover water droplets.
Suddenly someone sneezed, and it wasn’t me. I turned in the direction of the sound and noticed that the shower curtain was open, covering what was inside the tub.
“Who’s there?” I asked.
Nobody answered, but I heard some shuffling, so I knew that someone was there with me.
“I can hear you, you know,” I said. “I’ll open the curtain myself if you don’t.”
The curtain swiftly moved to the side revealing a handsome guy with short light brown hair, green eyes, smooth skin, and thin pink lips. He was wearing a simple white shirt and black jeans, but he wore them really well.
“Hi,” he said awkwardly.
I ignored his greeting and asked, “What are you doing hiding in the bathroom?”
“I am not hiding,” the guy said sternly. “I’m… thinking.”
“In a bathroom.”
“Well, I can’t exactly think out there with people dancing around me, can I?” he said sarcastically, and I couldn’t help but sense a bit of playfulness in his words.
“No. You can’t,” I said. “But what if I had come here to pee? Would you have stayed there silently as if nothing was happening?”
“That happened twice already,” he said with a smirk.
I scrunched up my nose. “Ew.”
He raised his arm to scratch his neck, making his shirt lift up a little. Hello, six-pack. “Yeah. Ew.” He awkwardly places his hands in his pants pockets. “So, why are you here?”
“Let’s just say that a guy groped me and expected me to do the same,” I explained.
The guy shook his head. “What a dick.”
I crossed my arms and raised an eyebrow at him. “Because you wouldn’t have done the same? You wouldn’t have cheered him on?”
He looked offended by that. “I’m not that kind of guy.”
“Oh, please,” I said exasperated. “I know your kind. You’re the guy that doesn’t pay attention in class, you’re the guy that flirts with every girl in the school, and you’re the guy on the football team. Probably the quarterback, or something.”
I know it may seem harsh, but I’ve had enough experience with jocks to know what they look like. Jocks have been making fun of me my whole life, I wasn’t going to let another one pile on.
The guy stood silent for a second, then he answered. “Okay, you’ve got the football thing right, but the rest isn’t true.” He stepped out of the bathtub, but I barely noticed.
“Then tell me, what’s the square root of two-thousand nine-hundred and sixteen?” I interrogated.
He thought for a second. “Fifty-four.”
I was honestly surprised. But knowing one thing didn’t mean anything. “Okay. What is the proliferative phase?”
“It’s a phase of the menstrual cycle where the follicles inside the ovaries develop,” he explained, before adding, “Seriously? Why are you asking me that?”
“Because I want to see if you’re smart.”
“And the menstrual cycle is what you’re going with?” he asked jokingly. “And even so, why does being smart mean I’m not a dick?”
“Because smart people should know better than to take advantage of girls at parties.”
He nodded. “True.”
“Next question. In what year was the Glorious Revolution?” I asked.
“It was two years, sixteen-eighty-eight and sixteen-eighty-nine.” He raised his eyebrow. “Are you trying to trick me?”
I ignored his question. “What kind of radiation – ”
“I think it’s my turn to ask questions,” the guy interrupted, taking a step towards me. Then he did something I wasn’t expecting: he sat down on the floor against the tub, crossed his legs and gestured me to do the same.
I had nothing better to do, so I sat down and leaned back on the wall, waiting for him to ask me some questions.
“How many football players are there on the field during a game?” he asked evilly.
“That’s not fair, why should I know that?” I complained.
“I’m not a girl, but I still know about your period,” he countered. I gaped at him with my mouth open, trying to find an answer to that, but he had gotten me good.
I sighed. “Fine. I don’t know… five?”
“Five? Really? Have you ever even seen a football game?” he asked with a mocking smile on his face.
“No,” I said firmly. “I don’t care about football.”
“Weirdo,” he say loudly enough for me to hear. I chuckled, realizing that I was actually having a good time.
“Okay, um… what are the four nitrogenous bases in the DNA?”
I smirked. “That’s easy. Adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine.”
He nodded. “Okay then. What’s your name?”
I laughed. “Good question. I’m Jessica Williams.”
“Ryan Rogers, nice to meet you.”
We shook hands, then went back to asking each other questions. But instead of doing general trivia, we started asking stuff about each other. I told him about my family, about my crazy best friend, about my passion for studying and getting good grades.
He told me about his trips around the world, about the different messes his brothers did around the house when they were young, and about how he loves sports.
We talked and talked, forgetting about everything else that had happened that night. And by the end of the night, I was in love.
At midnight, Ryan told me he had to bring his roommate back to the dorm, so we stood up and looked into each other’s eyes. He leaned in, bringing our lips together. Little did we know, it was the first kiss of many.