I sit in the corner sipping Smirnoff while he knocks back Jack with two of his friends from the set crew. I don't know why my eyes follow him. I might as well be a ghost tonight, hanging over the party, haunting my corner of the sofa with the sheet thrown over it to cover the rips and stains in the fabric. College chic.
At least he's not playing beer pong. I could probably kick this obsession if he participated in any of the frat-boy-standard party activities. But no. He likes to philosophize while he chain-smokes and drink whiskey like water. I think I might even get over my distaste for cigarettes if he was the one smoking them.
Someone sits down at the other end of the couch and pulls his boyfriend down with him. I recognize the boyfriend from acting class, and wonder if I ought to find another seat. After hands start moving south and mouths follow, I swig down the rest of my Ice and surrender the field.
I could use another drink; something harder this time. Maybe a few shots to get up the courage to actually talk to someone, although definitely not to him. I prefer to keep my obsessions at arm's length, especially when I'm drunk.
I only came to the cast party because I knew he would be here. Sure, I ran the wardrobe crew and I sort-of know half the people here. But none of my close friends came, as I knew they wouldn't. He did.
I settle onto a stool at the breakfast bar with a bright red plastic cup of whatever they've got in the punch bowl. There's some kind of catchy name for it, but I think I heard someone say it was just mango Kool-Aid and grain alcohol. Whatever it is, it tastes like candy.
The philosophy group has broken up as a drinking game takes over the table. Some kind of game with playing cards and complicated rules. I consider joining until I notice he is gone. My lips tilt downward in a frown, and I check my watch. It's almost one am, and I have class at 9. I need to get back to my dorm. I swallow the rest of the punch and stand up, or try to. I no longer doubt the presence of grain alcohol mixed in with the mango. Walking slowly, I manage to cross the room without accident. I stumble out the door and into the Quad courtyard. These are the senior apartments, and less heavily supervised than the underclassmen dorms, but I wonder that no one has come to comment on the noise level.
As I make my way down the cement walkway between buildings, I see a puff of smoke up ahead. He is standing, alone, staring up at the sky. He hears me coming and turns. The smile creeps over his face, the one I've fantasized, the one I've imagined. "Hey," he says.
"Leaving so early?"
"I've got class and I think I had a little too much punch."
"You're so tiny it probably doesn't take much." I preen at the compliment, since I've just lost sixty pounds. It's true I can't drink as much now as I did when I was heavier.
But all I say is, "The punch packed quite a whallup." Did I really just say 'whallup?' What a bloody idiot. He grins at me, though, and my heart trips up and starts bouncing all over my chest.
"Do you need help getting back to your dorm?" I can't decide if he's being altruistic or opportunistic, but I'm just drunk enough not to care.
"I have developed a tendency to stumble," I admit. Yes, my vocabulary actually increases when I'm drunk. I've explained to people that I suppress my vocab in real life because I don't want to sound snooty. When my inhibitions are lowered all the dollar-words come out.
"I'll walk you back," he decides, and takes my arm. After a few steps I start leaning against him, and he pulls me against his side. We're walking in step because matching his slow stride helps me not fall over. "I noticed you sitting by yourself at the party," he comments, and I miss a crucial step. Tripping a little, he has to catch me.
"I didn't know anyone there very well," I defend, looking up at him in the warm orange glow of the arc-sodium floodlights over the walkway.
He shrugs that off, and we start walking again. He obviously isn't the shy type. At the door to my dorm, I search my pockets for my key until his fingers slide against my neck. Freezing, I concentrate on the sensation of warm, work-roughened skin against mine. His hand curves around the lanyard and pulls it over my head. "This what you're looking for?" he asks, and we both laugh; him from amusement, me from embarrassment. Before I can unlock the door, however, he puts his hands on my shoulders. His eyes are so blue, like a daylight sky here in the middle of the night.
Then he's kissing me and I can taste his cigarette and the Jack Daniel's, mixed in with my mango. I've never kissed anyone who smoked, before. Our tongues touch and fire lights up my body. I don't care about the cigarette taste, I just want more. He kisses like the devil, like every beautiful sinner who ever seduced an innocent. At this moment I would give him anything, and he knows it.
He breaks the kiss and unlocks the door for me. I step inside and he hands me the key. "I'll see you in class," he says with a wink, then turns away into the darkness. I can't decide if he's more of a reprobate for leaving me wanting or less for not taking advantage.
But I know what I'll be dreaming about.
This entry written for week 8 of LJ Idol. I'll let you decide if it happened or not.