I was thinking today about putting up the first, unedited chapter of In a Lifetime to read, and just got a little push. ;)
So, for Aubrie, and anyone else who's interested ...
It was one of those nights.
A house full of people at various stages of intoxication. Some had coupled up, some chatted up others, some danced, some sang karaoke.
Speaking of which, for the love of all things holy, doesn’t anyone know all the words to The Final Countdown?
My best friend, Sam, and I had a party at the end of every semester, and every semester it ended up more work than the time before. Maybe it was the fact that we were fast approaching graduation, and this would soon be something we left behind. Outwardly, this was something cool and exciting we did to let off steam. Inwardly, I couldn’t wait to see the back of them.
However, this was our last one, the last time we’d be students, so for one final time I decided to grin and bear it. I had to admit that despite knowing what the clean up would be like in the morning, this was just fun.
Even if it was my turn to stay sober.
Our first party had ended in near disaster, a drunken student curling up in our garden despite the cold weather and falling asleep. When she ended up in hospital, Sam and I decided that we’d take turns staying sober, watching over our guests to make sure that nothing bad happened to anyone.
It sucked to be the sober one. But on the upside, no one had hurt themselves since. It still did everyone good to be able to let off some steam.
People packed our living room,. Most I knew to various degrees, some I didn’t. There were always people who just tagged along.
Sam sat on the couch, his arm around some lovely little brunette, his tongue so far down her throat he must’ve been searching for something. It never took Sam long to find someone to make out with. Me? I’ve always taken my time.
And then I saw her. Sitting in the corner, all alone. Her dark hair hung in big curls, framing her heart shaped face. She had impossibly blue eyes with long eyelashes, and rosebud lips stained a brilliant shade of red, the colour standing out against her alabaster skin. She looked like a porcelain doll.
In her hands she cradled a bottle of pre-mixed vodka and lemonade, sipping it through a straw she held between her thumb and index finger, her nails painted to match her lipstick.
I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed her earlier. In a room full of T-shirt and jean wearing students, she wore a dress that would have looked at home in the 50s, a little tight with the curve of her breasts pushed up over her neckline.
I think I died and went to heaven.
Taking a deep breath, I took a step toward her. To my right, on the edge of my peripheral vision, I caught a glimpse of another girl, her hand over her mouth as if she was about to hurl. From my left, I grabbed a bucket. It had been full of ice for beer bottles to sit in, but now the beer was gone, and the ice looked like a giant slushy.
Dumping the contents into a nearly empty potato chip bowl, I thrust the bucket in front of the girl.
Not on my carpet, you don’t.
Damn it. As the responsible, sober one, I’d have to take care of this before getting to anything else I wanted.
Either I could put this drunken girl to bed in one of our rooms, which could prove inconvenient if something happened with dream woman. Or, I could drive drunk girl home. That was probably the right thing to do, no matter what my penis tried to tell me.
“Honey, where do you live?” I asked, casting my eye across the room and trying to remember every detail of mystery girl’s look. Hopefully, if I could get her home quickly, I’d be back in time to talk to the girl in the corner.
“Waiuku.” She groaned. Her lips were downturned, and any life that might have been there had disappeared from her eyes. She looked dull, over it.
Shit. That was at least three-quarters of an hour drive each way. Too expensive to put her in a taxi. And I would guarantee she had no money.
“Can you take me?” She pleaded.
I didn’t have a choice. That was our party code, take care of anyone too far gone. I’d be gone for at least an hour and a half.
“Grab your things, we’ll get out of here. Sooner I get you home, sooner I can be back.” Hopefully no one else would need taking home. I swept the room, looking for anyone else who might be in trouble.
Rolling my eyes, I approached the back of the sofa, tapping Sam on the shoulder. He continued to devour the girl he was kissing, ignoring me as I sighed.
“Sam.” I shoved his shoulder—hard.
He broke away from the dazed looking girl and looked back over his shoulder at me, frowning. “What?”
“I’ve got to take someone home. We’ve got a sick one.”
“Whatever,” he said, looking away.
“The girl in the corner. Make sure she doesn’t leave.”
He grunted agreement, glancing up and then returning to his lip lock with the girl who didn’t even look at me.
One last look at the girl who had caught my eye and I left.
She’d better still be there when I got back.
“Pull over, pull over.”
I slapped the steering wheel. “Again?”
The girl’s face was white as marble, and her hand was on the door handle, despite the bucket she cradled.
“Fine.” I flicked on the indicator, and pulled over to the side of the road. She flung the door open, tripping as she fell out the door, stumbling away from the car as she vomited.
“Best night out ever,” I mumbled, my mind wandering back to the girl back at home.
“It’s not my fault. You’re driving so fast, the street lights going past make me feel sick.” She pouted as she sat back in the car, buckling up her seatbelt and grabbing hold of the bucket again.
“I’m doing the speed limit. We’re on the motorway. If I get caught pulling over like this, I’ll be in the crap.” I indicated and pulled out. Thankfully there wasn’t much on the road this time of night.
I so want to be home.
The GPS read out instructions as we drove, and we weaved through the rural roads once we left the motorway. I was beginning to think we were never going to get there when it told me in stilted English that we’d arrived at our destination.
The girl, whose name I still didn’t know, smiled. Her face stayed drained of colour, and I got the feeling that she’d be seeing a lot of the toilet bowl tonight.
“Do you want to come in?” she asked.
Are you insane?
“No, I should get going. I need to make sure no one else needs help.”
“Oh.” She pouted.
I rolled my eyes. “Go on inside. I hope you feel better in the morning.”
She slowly nodded, holding the bucket out for me to take. “No. You keep it.”
“Thanks.” She opened the door, the cold night air rushing in and reversing the effects of the heater again. At least it’d be a warm, uninterrupted ride home.
“No problem. Just take care.”
As I flicked pulled out and into the street, I pondered the girl at home. Would she still be there? Had I missed my chance? Even if she was gone, maybe I could track her down. But then again, I didn’t know who half the people were at the party.
What a waste of a night.
The drive home was at least shorter than the drive there, no stopping along the way. The motorway was quiet, cars few and far between.
I pressed buttons on the radio, trying to find something to keep me company. Anything to fill the lonely drive back.
I’m such an idiot.
I should have splashed out for a taxi, even if it meant not eating for the next week. It’d be after midnight when I got home, and most people would be long gone. All I could do was hope that the one person I wanted to be there had stayed.
The closer I drew to the city, the more comfort I drew from my surroundings. Mount Eden had been home for the past few years while Sam and I had attended the nearby university. We’d been lucky that we’d found a run down old villa to live in for lower than market rates. While property prices and rents went up around us, our landlord was happy he’d found responsible, long-term tenants. Well, responsible most of the time.
The house was quiet, deserted when I got home. As I pulled into the driveway, I grimaced at the thought of the mess to clean up. No doubt Sam would be lazing in bed tomorrow, leaving me to tidy. That’s what I would have done to him.
I slid my key in the lock, turning the old brass door handle and pushing. The wooden door creaked as it opened, and I took a step inside.
I walked straight into the living room. In the centre of the floor were two people going at it like bunnies. At least I wouldn’t have trouble tracking mystery girl down.
Naked, she looked even more beautiful, her full breasts peaking into rosy nipples, her curvy hips grinding as she rode my best friend. Her long, dark hair spilled down her back in curls. Curls that Sam tugged at, making her moan.
I couldn’t move, transfixed by the sight, the excitement at seeing her naked tempered with the knowledge that Sam was inside her.
“Close the door, man.” Sam looked up at me, a big grin on his face.
The woman’s eyes flickered open, and she gasped, crossing her arms to cover her breasts as I turned my head to look away. I kicked the door closed behind me and began the uncomfortable walk past them to my bedroom.
“Sorry,” I said as the light faded behind me.
When I closed my eyes, I could still see her, that creamy skin. Her mouth formed into a perfect red o as she threw all her concentration into screwing my best friend.
I’d never wanted anything so badly in all my life.
She was his.
Ariadne Wayne is the pen name of an overworked, often exhausted mother of two who frequently turns to the internet for relaxation. It doesn't always work...