The Long Way Back

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Chapter 9

"So Mellie, you comin to the party this weekend ?" Lukas asked. We were all sitting in our usual place in the Cafeteria, a place I was quickly becoming well accustomed to,

"Um...party? Whose party is it?"

My hands were clenched so tightly below the table I was sure circulation was being cut off.

"It's Kyle's birthday so he's throwing one at his house, it's just an excuse to party with a bunch of girls and get drunk but it should be fun." He said, shrugging.

"Oh yeah, sure sounds like great fun." I said dripping with sarcasm.

"I'm sure it won't be, but please come Mels, I need a girlfriend to come with me ." Emma interjected."pleeease?"

She looked over to me with her best puppy dog eyes, doing nothing much to convince me. I hated parties, too much bad music and even worse people.

"Emma I hate parties, like actually with a passion."

"Oh you party pooper, come on please?' She said.

"Yeah pleeeease Mellie?" Lukas butted in.

I'm sure I could just leave early if it was that terrible, right? I didn't want my new friends to think I was boring already.

"Okay fine." I said giving in.

"But fair warning if it's terrible I'm leaving early." I warn them.

"Sure, sure."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Several days later and many outfits later here I am wearing a tight white dress that reached mid thigh and still managed to make me extremely uncomfortable because of how short it felt, along with a black jacket and Doc Martin boots ready to face one of my many fears. People.

I'd been mentally preparing myself for days now, completely obsessing over the party, more like everything that could go wrong at said party.

I actually think i've come up with like 150 bad things that could happen.

With a final check in the mirror and one last mental pep talk I headed out with Blake to the party.

When we arrived to say my expectations were on point would be an understatement, this party was exactly like the many American movie ones I'd seen or pictured in books.

It was a ginormous beach house standing proudly by the water with millions of cars out the front driveway.

People were flocking in the door in herds. I think Kyle must know every single person our age in the entire south of England. No joke.

With my hands buried in the pockets of my jacket I reluctantly headed to the place I most desperately wanted to walk away from.

I had to make a good impression, that's what I was doing here. I can’t come off as a loser from like the very first week. Don't you think that's weird?

Society says be different, unique, do what makes you happy and not what others want you to do. Yet the very second you do so you're an outsider and anomaly. Unfair...huh?

"Mellie you made it!" Carson shouted, pulling me from my cloud of thoughts.

"Oh yeah, I'm here." I replied stupidly. Honestly Mellie, I'm here!? Of course you are, you're right in front of him.

Carson just laughed and pulled me into a hug, "Hey Blake." He nodded to my brother standing at my side.

"Hey man."

"Come on let's get you a drink Mellie." Carson said dragging me away from Blake. "Okay sure."

He dragged me through the masses of people into what looked like the kitchen from what I could see through the hoards. It was just as massive and fancy as the rest of the house.

People were littered all over the house some completely drunk as a door nail, many others clearly tipsy and even more doing extremely stupid things.

I made a note to stay completely 100% sober to avoid all of that.

"I'll just have a water, i don't really drink." I quickly told Carson just as he was reaching for some unknown likely alcoholic drink to give to me.

"Okay...water it is then." Carson said scrunching his face clearly trying to hide a laugh as he handed me a bottle of water from the fridge.

"The rest of the guys are over there, let's go say hi." Carson said.

"Ok."

We sauntered over to the rest of the friend group who were already sitting together huddled on a giant sofa.

"Hey guys, look who's here." Carson introduced.

"Hey. Happy birthday Kyle by the way." I said rolling my heels back and forth with the awkward tension.

"Yea, Thanks." Kyle said with a curt nod.

Me and Carson sat down beside them as they reengaged in their previous conversation.

I simply sat on the edge of the sofa thinking about how stupid my reasoning was for coming here in the first place. I feel stupid. What the heck are people even supposed to do at parties anyway? I think they're stupid. Pointless and a waste of time.

Looking up I saw Blake laughing with another guy I knew was on the football team with him. At least he was having fun anyway, he deserved it.

He caught me looking and shot a reassuring smile my way.

"So Mels, you're not much of a party girl are you?" Emma asked.

"Nope, I'd kinda rather spend my night at home with a book. I'm not much of a ....people person?" I said voice raising in a question at the end.

Honestly books are much better company than people. They never lie or talk behind your back, they simply let you escape reality for a while.

A book a day keeps reality away :)

"Oh the book-y vibe then? Cool." Emma said. "Yea I guess." I agreed with a nod, even though I had no clue what she was on about.

"Guys I'm boooored." Lukas drawled. "Oh i know let's play something. Um...Never have I ever, with shots!" He said with a sudden enthusiasm.

"Sure." Emma and Carson agreed.

"Fine." Kyle said.

They all turned to me expectantly. Oh no.

"Um...okay, i guess."

"Yay." Lukas said. " okay ill go first. Never have I ever...skinny dipped." Kyle, Emma and Carson all took a shot.

I clearly didn't.

"Okay that was an easy one, never have I ever...been arrested." Emma said, smirking at Kyle.

Kyle took a shot. Okay I'd love to hear that story.

"Okay I'm not talking about that." Kyle said, noticing my questioning look.

"Mellie you haven't drank for like any of these. What have you done?" Kyle said harshly.

Geez it's been like 2 questions. I thought, but of course didn't say anything and kept quiet.

The questions went on for a while longer rotating around the ever expanding group of people in the living room.

I still haven't drank once, I seemed to have extreme luck in avoiding the shots. That or i hadn't actually done much.

"Right, never have I ever...drank alcohol." Kyle said, forcing every person at the circle to take a shot. Everyone except me.

"Wait dude, you drank like two minutes ago you can't say that." Someone pointed out.

"Ino, i just wanted to see if i could finally get little Mellie here to take a shot, but she hasn't even done that." Kyle said astonished.

It's not like I was completely against drinking or anything. I just hated most drinks and especially anything fizzy. I genuinely just didn't see the appeal in drinking, so what really was the point?

"What a prude." Someone shouted causing everyone to burst into laughter and me to turn an angry shade of red.

"Right enough of that game." Carson said quickly, coming to my rescue. "How bout we spin the bottle instead?"

How is that any better…?

Several murmurs of agreement passed through the group.

Carson got up and made his way to the kitchen to grab a bottle and placed it directly in the middle of the newly made circle.

"I'll go first!" Emma said, enthusiastic as always.

She spun the bottle and it landed on a boy I'd never seen before. They both quickly got up on their knees and closed the short distance between their lips locking in a quickly escalating make out session.

After about 30 seconds they pulled apart and sat back down with a smile on both their faces as though nothing at all happened whatsoever.

I was expected to do that! I'd never even kissed someone alone never mind in front of like 50 people!

Several more kisses went by smoothly before it was my turn to spin. Oh no...

I reluctantly took the bottle in my hand and gave it a gentle spin. The spinning of the bottle seemed to simultaneously slow down time and it spun and spun and spun....

Until it landed on a stranger. A tall, tattooed stranger that gave me an extremely uneasy feeling.

His face was unmoving, neutral of any emotion as he kneeled up doing as all those before us.

I forced my knees to uncross and slowly raised myself up off the ground.

My heart was racing at speeds never before reached and i could hear each thud pounding loudly in my ears

The stranger leaned in just as I leaned backwards. I couldn't do this.

But I couldn't lean much further backwards as the unknown guy places his hand behind my neck, restraining me as he pulls me forward.

His finger dug in deeper the more I resisted, surely leaving bruises. This was only further increasing my panic.

"I cant so this I'm sorry." I said shaking my head, trying to pull away. "Oh for fucks sake it's just a kiss." The guy growled, as he once again pulled me towards him.

However this time he was roughly shoved off me by someone.

The two boys wrestled each other on the ground back and forth till my rescuer punched the stranger uppercutting his jaw and knocking the already semi-drunk guy out cold.

Then did I finally realise who my rescuer was. Kyle.

He turned around to me, "you're welcome princess." He said nonchalantly.

I was too shocked to even respond.

Waaay too many things just happened in the past like 15 minutes I couldn't even begin to wrap my head around them all.

"You know I think I'm just gonna, umm...I need to get some, um... fresh air." I turned and said to Emma.

"Okay, you want me to come with you?" Emma said concern lacing her tone.

"No, it's okay. I think I wanna be alone for a bit thanks." I said before making a mad dash through the back door, with tears brimming in the corner of my eyes.

Of course something like this was gonna happen. I mean really what did I expect? Sunshine and rainbows at my first highschool party? Wishful thinking to the extreme.

I walked out on the decking of the back garden and gazed down on the beach below to clear my head. Everything was so much simpler outside in the outdoors.

The stars shone down on the sea, creating an almost perfect mirror image.

The waves were flowing ashore slowly and peacefully as though they had all the time in the world, and well, I suppose they did. They had forever to simply flow as they please around every crevice of the world.

Sometimes I feel as if I was born in the wrong place.

As though I was supposed to be born hundreds of years ago where teenage drama wasn't a thing, books were the equivalent of tv and the possibilities were seemingly endless.

Hundreds of places still called to be discovered and I could've been the one to do so.

I could've spent my life on the sea, sailing from island to island experiencing the world in its raw, most natural state.

It's good to imagine, I think, it keeps the mind busy when it constantly wants to shut off from the cruel world around us.

I spent a while longer just sitting out on the decking admiring the view from the beach house and getting lost in my thoughts before I eventually heard the footsteps of a person behind me.

"Hey." A voice I recognised said. Blake.

"Hey." I said halfheartedly.

"You don't seem to be having too much fun out here by yourself." He acknowledged.

"It's actually far better than it was in there." I scoffed.

"Oh I'm sure you think so." Blake said with a light laugh.

"Wanna go home little sis?" Blake slung an arm round my shoulder. "I heard what happened, you okay?"

"Yeah I'm fine, Kyle stepped in before much even happened. Just a bit shaken up. Its okay i'll stay with you if you wanna stay." I said. I didnt wanna ruin his first high school party when we'd only been here a couple hours.

"Nope, it's okay honestly. I care much more about my little sister than some dumb party." Blake said. "I was gettin kinda bored anyway."

"Okay, let's go then."

Side by side we walked back to the comforts of the car and with Blake driving, (Sober, of course.) made it home.

Back in my bedroom a while later I got two messages.

Emma: hey mels, sorry about what everyone was sayin at the party you didn't deserve it at all. Don't listen to them. And what Asher did was so out of line. Anyway hope you made it home safe, ill see you Monday :)

Carson: hey, you okay?

After texting them both back,and reassuring them that I was completely (mostly) fine. I finally got ready and went to bed.

And boy what a long night it had been

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