Chapter 12 – After

Chapter 12 – After

When I wake, it takes my mind a moment to remember the events of last night that led me to this strange bedroom. Steph is still asleep, snoring unattractively with her mouth wide open. I decide to wait until I know how we are getting back to the dorms before waking her. I quickly put my shoes on, grab my purse, and step out. Should I knock on Hardin’s door or try to find Nate? Is Nate even part of the frat? I would have never guessed that Hardin would be a part of an organized social group, so maybe Nate is, too.

Stepping over sleeping bodies in the hallway, I make my way downstairs. “Nate?” I call, hoping to hear a reply. There are at least twenty-five people

sleeping in the living room alone. The floor is littered with red cups and trash, which makes it hard to navigate through the mess, but also makes me realize how clean the upstairs hallway actually was, despite the people there. When I reach the kitchen, I have to force myself not to start cleaning it up. This will take the whole house all day to clean up. I would love to see Hardin cleaning up all this trash, and as the thought goes through my head I giggle a little.

“What’s so funny?”

I turn around and find Hardin entering the kitchen, a trash bag in his hand. He sweeps his arm over the countertop, making the cups fall into the trash bag.

“Nothing,” I lie. “Does Nate live here, too?” He ignores me and continues to clean.

“Does he?” I ask again, more impatient this time. “The sooner you tell me if Nate lives here, the sooner I can leave.”

“Okay, now you have my attention. But, no, he doesn’t live here. Does he seem like a frat boy to you?” He smirks.

“No, but neither do you,” I snap and his jaw tenses.

He moves around me and opens the cabinet next to my hip, pulling out a roll of paper towels.

“Is there a bus that runs close to here?” I ask, not expecting an answer. “Yep, about a block away.”

I follow him around the kitchen. “Could you tell me where it is?”

“Sure. It’s about a block away.” The corners of his mouth lift, taunting me.

I roll my eyes and walk out of the kitchen. Hardin’s momentary civility last night was obviously a onetime thing and today he’ll be coming at me full force. After the night I had, I can’t stand to be around him.

I go wake up Steph, who wakes up surprisingly easily and smiles at me. I’m grateful that she’s just as ready to get out of this damned fraternity house.

“Hardin said there is a bus stop around the block,” I tell her as we walk downstairs together.

“We aren’t taking the damn bus. One of these assholes will take us back to our room. He was probably just giving you a hard time,” she says, her hand resting on my shoulder. As we enter the kitchen and find Hardin pulling some beer cans out of the oven, she’s all authority. “Hardin, you ready to take us back now? My head is pounding.”

“Yeah, sure, just give me a minute,” he says like he’s been waiting for us all along.

DURING THE DRIVE BACK to the dorms Steph sings along to whatever metal song is playing through the speakers and Hardin rolls all the windows down, despite my polite requests to roll them up. Silent the whole way, he mindlessly drums his long fingers on the steering wheel. Not that I was paying attention.

“I’ll come by later, Steph,” he tells her as she climbs out of the passenger seat.

She nods and waves as I open my door.

“Bye, Theresa,” he says with a smirk. I roll my eyes and follow Steph into the dorm.

Series Navigation<< Chapter 11 – AfterChapter 13 – After >>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!