Books and Baseball

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Party

“Emma, I don’t know…” I looked into my mirror. The outfit was the one Emma had suggested earlier. The swamp green halter top clung to my body, stopping above my belly button. The shorts were high rise, preventing too much skin exposure. It just didn’t feel right.

“You look great,” she said in her strapless, red dress.

“Thanks, so do you. Are you sure about this?” I asked as I pulled on a blue oversized hoodie.

“Positive,” she confirmed as she tucked the dress into her shorts and pulled a red hoodie over her head.

We ran down the stairs and towards the garage door where our bikes were.

“Bye, I’m leaving for Emma’s,” I called out to no one in particular. I heard my mom respond with a bye.

As we walked out, the garage opened and the light was still out. Leaving our helmets here, we took off toward Jacob’s. The ride wasn’t long, about 5 minutes. The house already had a bunch of cars in the driveway and on the street, no doubt some neighbors would be complaining to the neighborhood tomorrow.

Suddenly, as we were about to enter the house, I got a very bad feeling about this. I paused at the door, thinking it over and trying to get rid of the feeling. It stuck, though. I didn’t understand why. The party was harmless and I knew a lot of the kids here. Emma noticed and took a step back to me, waving a hand in front of my face.

“Earth to Emily, are you okay?” My eyes snapped to her blue ones.

“Yeah. It’s just...are you sure about this party?” I had to ask.

“Yeah, we’ll be fine! Come on, let’s go have fun,” she pulled me into the full house. This house was probably one of the biggest in the neighborhood. It had three stories and the kitchen itself could hold about 50 people. There were red plastic cups everywhere and glancing around the room, I observed that over half of the population was already drunk, wobbling around the rooms and kissing strangers.

“Come on, let’s get something to drink,” Emma grabbed my hand and pulled me into the kitchen. There was a guy, probably a senior mixing up drinks in front of a few people. Emma grabbed a can of hard seltzer and passed it to me.

“No, I’m not drinking tonight.” I shook my head.

“Come on, this is light,” she told me.

“I’m good,” I replied. She shrugged her shoulders and popped the can open, taking a large gulp. Her face scrunched up at the bitter taste but she was quick to hide it. I grabbed what I was hoping was a clean up and got some water from the fridge.

Once we both had our drinks, we walked out of the kitchen and looked around. There wasn’t much room inside, so we went to the backyard, the porch was also filled with people but the yard wasn’t very occupied. We found a wooden swing attached to a tree towards the back of the property. Glancing at each other, we sprinted for the swing. I won and smiled triumphantly as I sat down.

“Ugh, not fair,” Emma mumbled. I laughed and started swinging. We didn’t talk much for a while, just watching the partygoers laugh and dance on the porch. “We should search for Luke,” Emma said with a grin.

I glanced at her and then focused back onto the yard and porch. Spotting him, I waved and called him, “Baseball!”

As people started giving me weird looks as I called out the random sport, I realized that I had called him just that, a random sport. While Emma gave me a confused look, Luke turned towards my voice as though that was his actual name.

“I’ll explain later,” I whispered as Luke started jogging towards our spot.

“Hey, Books,” he greeted me. He looked towards Emma who was giving me a suggestive smirk.

“This is Emma, she’s my best friend. Emma this is Luke,” I introduced them. Emma shook his hand politely. I noticed that she was getting a little tipsy. She only had one drink but she was not good at handling alcohol.

“Nice to meet you,” Emma said.

“Same,” Luke agreed. “You guys enjoying the party?”

“It’s alright,” I shrugged, swinging my legs to start swinging again. Luke dodged my feet as I swung forward in an over dramatic way.

“Can we go inside? The mosquitoes are starting to bite,” Emma pouted.

“Sure,” I laughed, stopping the swing. I leaned over to pick up my cup before asking, “Are you coming, Baseball?” I smiled.

“Sure, Books,” he put extra articulation on ‘Books’. I rolled my eyes and followed him inside. We found a spot on one of the couches that didn’t have anyone on it. A lot of people had started to venture outside as we went in. Which I found dumb, did they want some neighbors seeing a bunch of intoxicated teens in the yard next door?

I sat on my knees, slinging my arm onto the back of the couch, with my cup in my hand. Luke sat with a spot left in the middle but when Emma decided to sit on the other side of me he moved closer and Emma winked, extremely conspicuously. I shook my head and turned away from her. Luke pressed a cup to his lips before looking towards us.

“Do you guys want something to drink? I’m all out,” he stood up.

“I’ll have whatever you’re drinking, what are you drinking,” Emma blurted.

“Water, I’m assuming you want something else,” Luke smiled.

“Boring, yeah I’ll have anything sweet with alcohol in it,” She replied.

“Got it,” he turned to me, “you want anything?”

I shook my head and lifted my cup so he could see, “Nope, I’m good,” I brushed my hair over my shoulder. It was starting to get hot in here and I noticed a thin layer of sweat on my body. I took a sip of my water to cool off, it tasted a little strange, but I finished it all.

“Wanna dance?” I shouted over the music. When we had arrived, I noticed an area that stood in for a dance floor. Emma nodded her head eagerly and practically leapt off the couch.

I led the way to the dance floor, grabbing Emma’s hand when we were swallowed by the crowd. Feeling a sudden burst of confidence and energy, I swayed to the music by myself as Emma found a random dance partner. Sweaty bodies stood extremely close to me on all sides and every so often a hand would trail against my skin by mistake. Somehow, I ended up closer to the edge of the dance floor and as I looked up from the ground I noticed Luke looking around, two cups in hand.

Having a sensation of childishness, I practically skipped over to Luke and tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around looking directly in front of him before glancing down at my cheeky smile.

“I was looking for you guys,” he placed one cup down on a table and grabbed my hand leading me farther from the dance floor. Our spots on the couch were taken so he led us to what looked like the dining room, which was unoccupied. “I brought Emma a drink but she looks busy.” He nodded his head in her direction.

She was grinding on a guy that I haven’t seen before, a bright smile on her face, eyes shut. I giggled, then I stopped, suddenly serious. “I feel funny,” I told him as I looked back into his green eyes. They were really pretty under the sparkling lights of the chandelier.

“Did you drink anything?” Luke asked, confused.

I smiled, “I don’t drink,” I shook my head, more than necessary.

“This is going to sound weird...let me smell your breath,” he mumbled, leaning in.

I wiggled my eyebrows, suggestively before laughing, leaning in, and doing as told. He breathed and then wrinkled his nose.

“Oh my God, you were definitely drugged. I don’t know what it was, though,” he told me.

“Well, what are you going to do about it? Nothing, I suppose.” I shrugged as if being drugged was the most boring thing to happen to me. Suddenly, I felt dizzy and sick. “Oh shit, I don’t feel great,” I groaned.

“Do you want me to take you home? You should sleep it off, whatever it was,” he suggested.

“Definitely not. I’m supposed to sleepover Emma’s. I should go find her,” standing up, I realized that wasn’t going to happen when I nearly collapsed to the ground. Luke grabbed me by the waist and sat me back down. My eyelids felt heavy all of a sudden.

“Shit, I think it’s benzo. You can lean on me as we look for her. I don’t trust you to sit here and wait,” he lifted me up by my waist, pressing me to his body. He called for Emma as I struggled to keep my eyes awake. Wait that didn’t make sense. I meant to keep myself awake.

“What’s wrong with her?” Emma asked when we finally found her.

“She got drugged, I’m guessing benzo, I’m not sure though.” Luke explained.

“Oh, shit what are we supposed to do?”

“Isn’t she supposed to stay at your place?” Cole questioned.

“Oh, um about that.” I think she smiled. “I told my parents I was staying at her house…” she trailed off. My eyes somehow widened.

“Emma what the hell was your plan?” I couldn’t remember much but I remember her telling me to tell my parents I was staying at her house.

“I don’t know, I was going to figure out but I forgot,” she shrugged. My legs gave out in that moment and I fell into Luke. He scooped me up and I think he began walking.

He sighed, “I guess you guys could crash at my place, my mom won’t be back until tomorrow night.” I hummed a response and leaned into his chest as darkness overtook me.

_____

“I’ll watch her, it’s fine, really,” I heard Emma whisper. My eyes refused to open all the way so I tried looking around with a squint. Emma was sitting on the edge of the bed I was laid on. I tried sitting up but I felt heavier, when I had managed to sit up a bit, someone’s hands pushed me down. “Emily, do not get up.”

I groaned, forcing my eyes open this time. The room was dark, even with the lamp on. Luke was standing near my head, holding a glass of water and I think I smiled at him.

“You scared us, Books,” he gave me a crooked smile.

I played a half-hearted smile across my face, “Can I have some water?” My throat was dry.

“Help me sit her up,” Luke placed the glass on the nightstand as Emma reached over and adjusted the pillows. He lifted me up, supporting my back and I closed my eyes until I was fully positioned. Emma passed me the water and I took a while drinking the whole glass down. “Are you okay? You’ve been sleeping for about three hours.”

I nodded, “Whatever drug I was under seems to be wearing off, my head does hurt a little, though.”

“I’ll go get you some Tylenol,” Luke walked out of the dimly lit room. My eyes trailed after him as he left as I rubbed my temples as the headache got worse.

“Seriously, are you okay?” Emma asked, grabbing my hands.

“I’m fine, it’s just a headache, where are we?” I racked my brain for a clue but it seemed blank.

“At Luke’s. His mom is out of town and I didn’t think my plan through, I’m so sorry.” She shook her head, clearly disappointed in herself, “On the bright side, you and Luke are closer now,” she laughed a little.

“Yes, very funny.”

“What’s funny?” Luke asked as he walked back in, with another glass of water and two pills.

I shook my head as I took the pills. Once I swallowed them I responded with, “nothing, just girl talk.”

“You guys should really sleep, take the bed. I’m going to get some blankets and crash on the floor.” Luke said.

I opened my mouth to protest even though he had left the room but Emma shook her head. “Don’t, I’ve learned he’s very stubborn and persistent, like you,” she smiled.

I sighed but didn’t say anything more, too tired to talk. I rolled over onto my side, facing the floor as Emma climbed over me and laid down, facing the other direction. “Goodnight,” I mumbled, as Luke walked in with a blanket and pillow.

“Night,” they responded at almost the same time. Snuggling into the pillow, I subtly inhaled Luke’s scent, it was comforting somehow. I peaked my eyes open, he was laying on his side, facing me. He looked away from me so quickly, I questioned if he was looking in the first place. I fell asleep within seconds.

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