Chapter 8 – After

Chapter 8 – After

The girl turns around and looks at me as I try to move my feet, but they just won’t budge. “Can I help you?” she snarks.

Hardin sits up with her still on his torso. His face is flat—not amused or embarrassed at all. He must do this type of thing all the time. He must be used to being caught in frat houses practically having sex with strange girls.

“Oh . . . no. Sorry, I . . . I’m looking for a bathroom, someone spilled a drink on me,” I quickly explain. This is so uncomfortable. The girl presses her mouth against Hardin’s neck and I look away. These two seem to be a good match. Both tattooed, and both rude.

“Okay? So go find a bathroom.” She rolls her eyes and I nod, leaving the room. After the door closes I lean my back against it. So far college isn’t fun at all. I just can’t wrap my head around how a party like this could be considered fun. Instead of trying to find a bathroom, I decide to find the kitchen and clean myself off there. The last thing I want to do is open another door and find drunken hormonal college students on top of one another. Again.

The kitchen isn’t too hard to find, but it’s crowded since most of the alcohol supply is in ice buckets on the counter and stacks of pizza boxes fill the countertops. I have to reach around a brunette puking in the sink to grab a paper towel and wet it. As I wipe it over my dress, small white flakes of the cheap paper towel cover the wet spot, making it worse. Frustrated, I groan and lean against the counter.

“Having fun?” Nate asks as he approaches me. I’m relieved to see a familiar face. He smiles sweetly and takes a sip of his drink.

“Not exactly . . . how long do these parties usually last?”

“All night . . . and half the day tomorrow.” He laughs and my mouth drops.

When would Steph want to leave? Hopefully soon.

“Wait.” I begin to panic. “Who’s going to drive us back to the dorm?” I ask him, well aware of his bloodshot eyes.

“I don’t know . . . you can drive my car if you want,” he says.

“That’s really nice, but I can’t drive your car. If I wreck or get pulled over with underage drinkers in the car I would get in so much trouble.” I can just imagine my mother’s face as she bails me out of jail.

“No, no, it’s not a far drive—you should just take my car. You haven’t even been drinking. If not, you’ll have to stay here, or I could ask around to see if someone—”

“No, it’s fine. I’ll figure it out,” I manage before the music gets turned way up and most everything is drowned out by bass and lyrics that are practically screamed.

My decision to come to this party is proving to be worse and worse as the night goes on.

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