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Chapter 13

I spend the remainder of my day studying, trying to catch up on the work I missed from skipping classes. It wasn’t as much as I expected so I decided I would take a short nap. I slept better than I have in a long time last night but I wanted to make sure I am well rested since we are going to a party tonight, which basically means we will be out all night.

“Charlie!” Kelly blurts while entering my room, interrupting my nap.

“What is it?” I groan

“It’s time to get ready for the party!” she shouts.

“What? No, How? What time is it?” I mumble with sleep still prominent in my voice.

“It’s 8:30!” she laughs.

“Already?” I say, jolting myself out of bed.

“Yes.” She replies. “Now let’s do something with that hair.”

I walk over to the mirror and run my brush through my hair while trying to decide on a hairstyle for tonight. I make my decision to straighten it since I haven’t done that in a while. I run the straightener through my hair, smoothing out all the pieces before flipping my head over and back up to give my hair a volumized tousled look. For parties I like to do a little more makeup then I usually would but still less than I did for formal. I add my usual foundation then swipe bronzer over my cheeks to contour, topping the look off with blush. I glide the black eyeline over my lids creating a thin line, followed by mascara.

“I love it!” Kelly says while clapping her hands. “But will you please try this lipstick?”

I look at the lipstick she is holding out to me, it is a deep pinkish shade with a hint of red, it is pretty, but I have never been much of a lipstick person. I just feel like it takes the look over the top and I am used to simple makeup, but I am feeling confident so I take the tube of lipstick from her hand and glide it across my lips, using my fingers to smooth and blend it as best as possible.

“I actually love it.” I say while looking in the mirror.

“I thought you might.” she smiles. “So, what are you planning on wearing?”

“I was thinking about this.” I say while walking to my closet.

I pull out a black and white leopard print jean skirt, with a black tube top and black cropped jacket along with my black booties.

“Yes, one thousand times yes!” she shouts with excitement.

I knew she would approve of my outfit choice tonight since I have chosen something that is a little out of my comfort zone and right in Kelly’s wheelhouse. I just want Jackson to see me tonight and take his breath away like I did the night of formal, having him look at me that way gave me a feeling inside I want to have on repeat. It makes me feel a lot more confident in what is going between us.

“You ready?” she asks

“Yeah! I’ll drive.” I offer.

I only offered to drive because I know Kelly will drink either way and end up wanting to leave with Kyler. She has never been the best designated driver, but it works for us because I don’t drink. I have been drunk twice in my life and both times I ended up vomiting profusely; memories I wish to not relive.

We walk down to my car and head towards Luke’s house. It is about a fifteen-minute drive from our apartment. Luke is captain of the football team and is known to have crazy parties.

“Wow, there are a lot of people here.” Kelly says as we pull into park on the side of the street outside Luke’s house.

The street is lined with cars and the driveway is completely full of them as well. We see people scattered around outside on the lawn and through the window you can tell the house is full. We get out of the car and make our way to the front door and walk in. My eyes scan the room; there is two beer pongs tables in the middle of the living room, music is blaring and practically everyone is holding a drink in their hand.

“Charlie!!!” Jackson yells through the crowd.

I walk towards him with Kelly close by myside as we push our way through the crowd’s people. When we reach where he is standing, he wraps his arm around me and pulls me in for a tight hug and the smell of vodka hits my nostrils leaving a slight burn in my throat from the scent.

“So glad you two made it.” He slurs.

“Oh my gosh, he is completely wasted.” Kelly leans in and whispers in my ear. I look at her giving her a nod to acknowledging that I agree with her.

“You two want a drink?” he offers.

“Sure, that would be great.” I smile.

“Okay stay put, ill be right back.” He slurs again while wobbling off balance towards the kitchen.

“Jesus.” I huff under my breath.

I knew Jackson partied and drank, he always has but I guess I just thought maybe since I was coming tonight he wouldn’t get wasted before I even got here. Logan drank to, that doesn’t bother me, it is the getting belligerently drunk that bothers me.

“I’m going to go find Kyler!” Kelly says while walking away, searching the party.

“Hey!” a tall dark-haired guy says while he approaches me.

“Hi.” I reply.

“Charlie, right?” he asks.

“Yeah, that’s right.” I give a short answer.

“I’m Brandon. I’m on the baseball team here. You used to date Logan, right?” he questions.

“I did.” I answer.

It bothers me that he refers to the fact that I used to date Logan instead of mentioning the fact that I now have some sort of relationship going on with Jackson. I know that this means Jackson hasn’t told people he took me on a date. I can’t help nut wonder if he doesn’t want to lose his reputation.

“Well his loss. You are absolutely gorgeous.” he says, flashing me a smile.

He is a really good-looking guy, I can admit that, just not nearly as good looking as Jackson. I know I should just thank him and try to go find Jackson but the petty voice inside my head is telling me to flirt back since he left me here claiming to be coming right back and has not been seen since.

“Thank you, I appreciate that.” I reply sporting a flirtatious smile across my face.

“Well Charlie, what do you say about being my partner in a round of beer pong?” he smiles.

“Sure.” I answer, scanning the room for Jackson but can’t find him.

I follow Brandon to the beer pong table where a pair of guys are waiting across the table from us. They introduce themselves to me and we start the game. I sink the first ball I threw into a cup, followed by Brandon doing the same. We actually made a pretty good team. We got down to the last cup and it’s my turn to toss the ball, but at this point I am feeling a touch tipsy from all the beer we drank as the other team made their shots. For some reason I close my eyes and toss the ball towards the final cup, opening them just in time to see the ball sink into the cup, splashing the beer inside.

“YES!” I shout and shoot my arms up in the air.

“Let’s go!” Brandon shouts while grabbing me by the waist and pulling me up in the air for a hug.

I latch my arms around him, hugging him back before I throw my arms in the air again. I never knew I could get so excited over a beer pong game, but I am competitive, so it isn’t that surprising. Brandon places me back down on the ground as we continue laughing over how ridiculously happy, we are that we won.

“You got to be kidding me.” Jackson booms with a scowl on his face.

Everyone in the room surrounding the beer pong table stops and looks towards him.

“What’s the problem?” Brandon asks, looking at me then back to him.

“What’s the problem?” Jackson laugh. “You are my problem.”

“Please God, this cannot be happening.” I think to myself but struggle with getting any words to come out.

“Go take a walk man, you’re drunk.” He spits.

“You do not want to tell me what to do right now.” Jackson fires back.

“What is going on right now man?” Brandon booms.

“Something was going on, but it’s nothing now.” Jackson says back with a cold tone to his voice as he looks directly at me then turns his back and walks away.

Everyone in the room turns, including Brandon to look over at me, since Jackson made it obvious this was about me in the first place. I feel my face flush because once again I am right where I don’t want to be, the center of attention. I feel my eyes fill with water and I take a deep breath trying to avoid crying in front of everyone.

It takes a minute after Jackson storming out of the room for people to stop staring at me like I am exhibit at a museum. Anger floods through me when I think about how he just embarrassed me in front of everyone. I can’t even figure out what that was about, I was just playing beer pong. I am assuming he saw the hug between us but that was just a celebration; plus I am not the one who has a track record of being a player.

“Are you okay?” Brandon asks.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” I lie.

“What was that about?” he questions. “It seemed intense.”

“I’m not sure, I guess it was just Jackson being Jackson.” I snarl. “I am going to find my friend, thanks for the game.” I fake a smile before walking off.

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