"We'll have to go our separate ways for college soon." I typed in my thoughts.
"Yeah." He agreed.
"But we're still gonna be best friends, right?" I texted.
"Of course." He texted back.
"Yeah, pinky promise."
4 years later
I stumble out of the door in my heels and felt someone catch me before I could face plant the ground.
The air was a bit chilly but it was still bearable. I caught a whiff of smoke from the burning cigarettes of teenagers that were lounging on the yard, away from the loud music.
I raised my head and giggled at the sight of him. "You look stoopid." I slurred.
He smirked, his hand firmly placed on my waist as he pulled me against his body.
Now, now. Yes, I'm drunk. But was I drunk enough to be stupid drunk? No, I was not.
I shook him off me, staggering to stand up on my own. The heels were hurting the balls of my feet and it was almost impossible to balance myself on them. I dropped down to a squat at lightning speed, shocking the guy that was holding me as he took half a step back from me with his hands raised in surrender, as if to say he didn't do it.
I scoffed at his gesture while my fingers fumbled with the straps of my heels, trying to undo them.
The guy crouched beside me as he tried to see what I was trying to do. When he inched closer, his hands reaching out to me, my hand shot out to stop him, halting his movements. I turned to face him, my eyelids half-closed as I tried to fight against the drowsiness that was starting to hit me full force.
"I can do it," I told him sassily.
He raised his eyebrows before raising his hands again in surrender and moving back.
I went back to work on the straps. When I finally got them off, I hooked the straps to my fingers and straightened up. I shook my feet, trying to ease the pain in my feet. The balls of my feet felt raw, as if a blistering was forming.
As I stood there, trying to get used to the pain in my feet, a few other guys burst through the door behind us, leaving the party that was at full swing, and jumped the guy that was with me.
"Ty! You leaving already?" One of them greeted as he gave Ty a back hug.
Since I didn't know them, I decided to ignore them and started trying to walk gingerly instead.
When Ty saw me walk away, he caught up with me, his friends on his trail. He slung his hand across my shoulder and brought me closer to his side.
"You're drunk, babe, let me get you home."
Before I could answer, a deep voice interrupted from beside me. "I don't think that's a good idea, mate."
I turned at the familiar voice, crunching my face up in confusion. What were the chances that I'd see him here? Oh right, a lot.
Alex didn't bother acknowledging my presence. He looked down at his cigarette that was already burning short, took one last draw from it before dropping it to the ground and stepping on it, snuffing it out.
"Mind your own business, buddy." Ty sounded annoyed. His friends were suddenly crowding the both of us, as if trying to make their presence known.
I looked around at the towering men around me and then back at Alex.
What was happening?
"I'd rethink what you're about to do if I were you," Alex said, pointedly looking at Ty's arm that was slung around my shoulder.
It was just then that I realized it was still sitting there. I frowned at it and tried to shrug it off but Ty's hand latched onto my shoulder and brought me even closer to him, if that was even possible.
I scowled at Ty. My mind was still hazy and everything I did was sluggish but I was conscious enough to know when someone was being a douchebag.
"I know the girl, man. I'm just saying, she's got quite the family. If you know what's best for you, I suggest you back off." Alex spoke again. His tone wasn't threatening and his body language was relaxed but his eyes betrayed him.
Maybe it was the alcohol getting to me and making me see things but I could've sworn that a storm was brewing behind those grey eyes.
"What's that gotta do with you?" Ty snapped irritably.
Alex shrugged, coming off nonchalant about the situation. "I'm just worried about you boys. Guys gotta look out for each other, am I right?" He threw in a lazy grin.
I snorted unattractively through my drunken stupor. "God, still the jackass that he is." I muttered under my breath.
If any of the boys heard me, they didn't show it.
Their eyes were locked on each other the entire time, unwavering.
I grumbled under my breath incoherently before throwing my head back, hitting Ty's arm that was still there lightly, to look at the sky in frustration. I looked back at the guys, specifically, at Alex. "Are you gonna keep ignoring me? How much longer are you planning to ignore me?"
I know I sounded like a whiny attention-whore but for some reason, the situation just irks me to a whole new level.
Alex continued to ignore me as his amused eyes stayed glued at Ty. Forget what I said about how a storm was brewing behind the look he had in his eyes. The jackass was probably incapable of feeling that way in this situation.
"Don't you know that taking someone without their consent is considered kidnapping?" He tilted his head slightly, motioning to the arm that was still resting on my shoulder.
I mean, jeez, what was I? An arm rest? I mean I know these guys were giants but there's no need to make a 5"5 girl feel short y'know.
I huffed in annoyance as I crossed my arms, my heels still dangling on one hand by their straps. I started to wonder how Alex knew the exact definition of kidnapping as if he was reciting it off a textbook.
"He probably made it up. That sounds like Alex," I thought to myself before I started giggling at myself. I must be drunk off my face to have such drastic mood swings.
Even as I giggled to myself like a lunatic, the boys still acted like I wasn't there.
Ty hasn't said anything in response to Alex's warnings and, apparently, Alex wasn't done.
"If you do anything to her without her sound consent, that'll be rape, assault, etc etc, you name it." Alex's eyes finally flickered towards my direction as he said the next part. "Now, she doesn't look that sober to me. I don't know if a drunken slur would count as a sound consent, boys." Alex raised his hands palms up like 'what are you gonna do about it'.
My alcohol induced mind didn't let me process things as quickly as I normally would so it took me a moment longer to fully process what Alex had said. But before I could ponder on it any longer, Ty already had his hand off me. He stepped away, shaking his head with a glare on his face directed at Alex. "Whatever, man. This shit ain't worth it."
He took off with his friends in tow and I was left alone with Alex. As Ty's friends followed closely behind him, I felt one of them shove me away. I was lucky I decided to take off my heels, or else I would've broken my ankles for sure. Even without the heels on, I had little to zero balance, so the shove really threw me forward.
I stumbled a few steps, my arms flailing by my sides, trying to find something to hold onto. The dizziness that I was already feeling didn't help as I tried to figure out how close I was from hitting the ground and which side of my body I should brace first for impact.
But I suddenly felt hands slipping under my arm and bearing my weight.
I slowly opened my eyes and relaxed my pain-ready crunched up face. I looked up and met Alex's eyes.
He looked at me silently, his face not giving off any indication of what he was thinking. His expression was wiped clean and I couldn't guess what he was feeling.
I stared back at him, tilting my head to the side as I tried to figure him out.
After a while, a word left his lips. "Idiot."
There went my bubble.
Alex's arms raised me to help me stand on my own feet again. Maybe it was the disorientation of the whole stumbling and flailing, but my throat had suddenly went dry.
I cleared my throat and took a step back to grant the both of us some much needed personal space.
Before we could say anything to each other, someone yelled my name.
I swung my body around, which was possibly the stupidest thing a drunk person can do.
I stumbled on my feet again, and luckily caught myself this time, arms outstretched like someone learning how to skate for the first time.
Kimmy jogged up to me. "I was searching everywhere for you! I thought you left with that guy!"
"Who?" I asked.
"That blondie who got you those drinks!" She reminded.
My mouth shaped an 'o'. "Yeah, nope. This guy got rid of 'em." I giggled, pointing at Alex with my thumb.
But Kimmy didn't turn to look at Alex. Instead, she squinted at me before grabbing my shoulders and looking at me closely.
Another round of sudden dizziness hit me and I shut my eyes closed tightly before shaking my head to get rid of it.
"Em, are you.." she hesitated before spitting the word out, "stoned?"
I snorted at what she said. "Me? Stoned? Yeah, right." I laughed.
After three seconds, I stopped laughing as realization hit me.
I looked at Kimmy in horror as the situation hit me.
"I'm stoned, aren't I?"
Kimmy gulped and nodded as she looked at me worriedly.
"Did they give you anything?" Kimmy asked, knowing I wouldn't have consciously gotten stoned.
I shook my head, "Just the drink.." I trailed off.
"The drink." Kimmy and I said simultaneously, me with a groan and Kimmy anxiously.
I bit my bottom lip. "My folks are gonna whoop my ass."
"Let's just get that ass whooping over and done with, then." Kimmy told me before finally turning to Alex and acknowledging his presence.
"Can you stay with her for a bit? I'll just go back inside to grab my things and then I'll take her home."
Alex nodded mutely and Kimmy jogged back to the entrance of the house. The party was still full on blast and if I wasn't so stoned, I'd probably be able to notice how the ground under my feet was slightly vibrating from the loud speakers.
After Kimmy left, Alex led me to the nearest short stone wall. The stone wall went around the perimeter of the property but it was only as tall as my chest.
I placed my heels on the ground by the wall and hoisted myself up the wall clumsily with my wobbly arms.
I was wearing a crop top and shorts but I couldn't care less. If they saw anything more than what they're supposed to see, it's their fault for seeing it.
But Alex didn't seem to have the same mindset as I do as he shouted, "Woah, woah!" and turned around to look the other way in lightning speed.
I ignored him and made myself comfortable as I plopped down on the wall.
When I finally stopped fussing around, Alex finally turned his head to peek over his shoulder.
"Yes, Alex, it's safe to look now." I rolled my eyes.
He finally turned around to face me, shaking his head and muttering "dumbass" under his breath.
A frown immediately formed on my face as I called him out on it. "Hey! Who're you calling a dumbass? Dumbass."
There was a pause before I responded to myself. "Oh wait, that's me."
I started giggling. For some reason, what I said sounded ridiculously hilarious to my own ears, causing my giggle to grow into a full-blown guffaw.
Alex sighed, shaking his head. He walked towards me and picked up the heels I dropped on the ground earlier.
He bent over and started to brush the dirt off my feet.
My feet felt ticklish so I started squirming, pulling my feet away from his hands while giggling.
"Stay still," Alex snapped as he snatched my leg by my ankle.
"But this wall is cold! My butt is cold!" I whined, rubbing my bare thighs to bring some warmth to them.
Alex grumbled incoherently under his breath but he straightened up and took off his jacket, throwing it on my lap before bending down again to continue cleaning my feet.
I accepted the jacket and tucked it around my legs and under it to keep them from touching the cold hard surface of the wall.
I looked at Alex silently as he worked on slipping my heels onto my feet and strapping them up. He had a frown on his face as he tried to figure out how to put them on me.
"Why are you so grumpy? You weren't always grumpy." I asked him out of the blue in a low voice. I was scared that he'd snap and leave
His frown deepened as his finger continued to fiddle with the straps of my heels. "What are you talking about?"
Finally, Alex managed to figure out how the straps worked and fastened them. He started to work on the other one as he threatened, "If you're gonna start blabbering about the past again, I'll leave."
That shut me up for a while. I watched him brush off more dirt my foot before putting my heels on me.
After taking a deep breath, I started blurting out things I wouldn't have if I was sober and turned into a blubbering mess. "I'm sorry I called you all those names. I didn't mean to."
Alex froze just as he was about to fasten the straps. He raised his head to look at me as I sniffled and ugly cried, wiping my tears away furiously. My make up was probably a mess at that point but I couldn't find it in me to care.
I should look as ugly on the outside as I was on the inside. I've hurt this boy in ways I shouldn't have when he wholeheartedly trusted me.
I guess Alex was too stunned to say anything as we remained like that until Kimmy came over.
Upon seeing the blubbering mess I've been reduced to, Kimmy freaked out. "What happened?" She turned to Alex. In her hands were our things.
I started crying even louder, like a kid who just fell off the stairs. "It's fault. I'm the bitch. It's all my fault!" I started beating myself, hitting my head over and over until a hand grabbed me and stopped my hand from abusing me any further.
I didn't dare raise my head so I stayed like that, head hung in shame and crying tears the size of bullets.
When I was done crying, I felt exhausted so I let Alex and Kimmy help me down the wall and lead me to the car.
"Kimmy! Kimmy, look! There's another car just like yours!" I clapped slowly in my drowsy state.
"You're a goner, Em. You're even hallucinating now, oh Lord." Kimmy retorted breathlessly as she helped me into her car.
I giggled, "But there really is two of your car. There's two of that steering wheel, two of this dashboard and two of you! Oh my God! There's two of you Kimmy! Yay! There's an extra Kimmy to love! I love you, Kimmy!"
"Uh.. after crying that much, she's probably be tired. She's got a lazy eye that acts up when she's exhausted. That's why she's seeing double of everything. Just make sure she gets some rest once she gets home and she'll be fine." Alex said.
Kimmy's eyebrows rose at that, "How'd you kno-"
I heard Alex ask Kimmy if she'll be able to drive before she could finish her question.
"Yeah, I was the designated driver so I didn't drink." Kimmy answered.
There was a long pause and I thought they had gone somewhere so I struggled to open my eyes to check what was happening. My eyes felt like they've been glued shut together but I managed to peel them apart.
Alex was still standing there, beside the car door by my side, eyes looking at something in Kimmy's hand while my friend waited for him to say something with raised eyebrows.
"Huh," he exhaled, running a hair through his hair as he talked to himself. "Of course she'd bring a bloody book to a party."
Finally, he looked at Kimmy and rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly, "And uh.. I don't know if you know but just look out for her when you guys are in the mall or walking somewhere and she has a book in her hands. She won't even realize if the world was ending once she opens one of her books so just look out for her, especially on escalators and on the streets."
I didn't hear the rest of their conversation because I conveniently chose to black out right then and there.
So much for eavesdropping.