My eyes fluttered open as I awoke from my first sleep in New York. Although it was interrupted, it still was relaxing. I sat up in my bed and rubbed my eyes, removing the disgusting eye boogers I always hate. I looked to my right and saw Kendall sleeping peacefully. The blankets she was wrapped in rose in time with her breathing. I’m so glad she’s my roommate. I quietly remove myself from the comfort of my bed and grab my bag full of shower necessities. I try my best to open the door silently but it’s worn down and creaks with every move. I cringe at the sounds and tip toe out. I let out a breath when I close the door. I remember spotting the shower rooms down the hall and I make my way towards them. I look down at my feet and realize that I’m wearing my pajamas still. For some reason I find it embarrassing. But I’m sure everyone wears their pajamas around here. I keep my head down and let my mind wander on what I should do today. Just as I’m about to pull my head up to turn the corner my shoulder hits against a chest and I’m thrown off for a moment. An ‘ow’ escapes from my mouth and I lift my head in frustration.
“Ugh watch where you’re going please!” I say before thinking. My eyes immediately recognize the person. It’s the same guy I saw in the elevator. Why is he even here? Aren’t these dorms supposed to be for girls only? He’s dressed in the same clothes from last night except they’re a bit dingy from, I’m guessing, sweat. I don’t even want to think about why he was sweating so profusely to leave such a stain. My thoughts disgust me and I push them aside. His hair is messy, well messier than what it previously was. He interrupts my thoughts and narrows his eyes at me. I could feel my face becoming pale and I hoped it was not noticeable. The guy stalked closer to me and I gulped before taking a step back from him. He looked me up and down and I felt even more embarrassed than I already had. My pajamas were plain silky shorts and a tank top that was a light pale, pink. He opened his mouth to say something,
“Well maybe if you weren’t so busy daydreaming, you’d care to pull your head out of your ass and pay attention to your surroundings” He spits at me. His tone was harsh and I clutched onto my bag of shower things tighter. He had an accent that I failed to hear last time he spoke. What is with people and accents? Well it is New York so I shouldn’t be so surprised. My eyes were big and I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know if I should walk away calmly or run back to my dorm. I stood frozen and he stepped closer towards me and we were a foot apart from touching. He leaned down to my height.
“Nice pajamas” He breathes onto my neck and I shivered at his icy tone of voice. He smelled of alcohol and another smell I couldn’t quite comprehend. He chuckled ever so lightly and took two steps back before turning on his heel and walking away from me. Once he was gone I exhaled in exasperation. What is with the people here? It’s like I finally find some decent people but it gets ruined by the assholes that roam this school. I roll my eyes in anger and stomp towards the showers.
I decide to leave my hair its natural wavy look. I fast walk my way back down to the dorm after I finish showering. When I open the door Kendall’s laying down staring at her phone. She looks up at me and smiles before returning back to her phone. I smile back and open up a drawer to wear some clothes. I decide on a pair of pants and a light blue knit sweater. The sweater feels nice on me and it’s comfy. I sit by the mirror and apply my makeup on. Whatever Kendall is doing on her phone seems to be interesting so I don’t bother making conversation. I want to suggest that we do something today. She did offer to get to know me and I really would like her to show me the campus. After I finish with my makeup I walk over to my phone and read 3 messages from Mother. She tells me to be careful and responsible which is nothing that I didn’t already know. I smile as the words ‘I love and miss you, love’ appear on the screen. I miss her so much. I respond quickly and click my phone off as I set it down on the nightstand. I look at the time and it reads 8:49. I guess Kendall noticed my bored and confused self and she sat up and turned her phone off.
“Hey so you want to do something today?” She smiles at me. Her hair is curled and in knots but she still manages to look flawless.
I look at her “Sure. I was actually hoping you would show me around campus and stuff” I suggest
“Oh yeah of course I would love to” She assures me, “Just let me get ready” She states while getting up and stretching. “Give me like 20 minutes” She says and grabs her towel and bag and makes her way out of the door. I keep myself occupied as Kendall begins to get ready. She wears a white dress with flowers decorating it and I compliment her style. I have 70 dollars left in my wallet and I convince myself it’s enough for whatever we have in mind today.
We make our way towards the elevators and both enter. Kendall greets a couple of people on the way out and I feel uncomfortable. We walk out of the dorm building and the sun kisses my body as I step out. I smile at the warmth it gives me. The campus is full of life with students walking, lost in their own daze. Kendall turns to me “So just follow me and I’ll explain to you which hall is which and what coffee shops are the best” She laughs. I nod and smile as she takes me down each path pointing and explaining every class, dorm building, mini mart, coffee shop, study hall, library, and fraternities and sororities.
“Hey speaking of fraternities there’s supposed to be a party tonight at one of the houses. You definitely should come, Lana” She suggests as we walk back to a coffee shop we passed. I laugh
“Yeah, I don’t do parties” I shrug.
“What? How can you just ‘not do parties’? We’re in college for god’s sake” She laughs
“I mean I've been to some parties back in high school, but they never interest me you know?” I say “It’s just a bunch of sweaty people with a blunt in one hand and a red cup in the other” I try to explain.
“Jesus, where did you live?” She questions me and chuckles
“California” I laugh at her
“Well, you’d be surprised. The people here are a bit more mature, besides the typical jerks you meet at every party” She rolls her eyes and I wonder if she knows the guy I’ve had too many encounters with in the past day and a half. We reach the coffee shop and Kendall holds the door open for me. I thank her as the smell of fresh coffee fills my nostrils. Kendall has a ‘usual’ set for her and it takes me awhile to order what I want. We both order a bagel to eat and sit down on the outside tables. Kendall drops the party conversation and I’m glad she does. Maybe a party would be good for me? It would be an opportunity for me to meet new people, right? I mean isn't that what college is all about? Meeting new people? Ugh I don’t even know. I should probably step out of my comfort zone. Our conversations carry on with ease as we talk about classes and she questions me about my life back home and high school. Kendall’s such a nice person and I can never imagine her being hurt ever. She’s positive and so sure about her future. She has everything I lack and I hate myself for thinking that way. It’s 1 in the afternoon after we finish chatting and finish the tour around campus. I had thought we were going to return back to the dorms but she suggested we pick Niall up and explore life off campus. And I had no problem with that. We walk towards the boy’s dorms and Kendall changes the subject to Niall.
“So what do you think of Niall?” She inquires me
“Um, he seems pretty cool, why?” I ask
“Just asking” She says shrugging, “You two would be..good together” She says and I cough up the last bit of my coffee.
We both laugh, “Another thing you should probably know about me, Kendall” I tell her, “I don’t date.” I say to her, and she gapes at me. We stop walking, “Problem?” I ask
“Lana, you have to be kidding me” She says still shocked “Are you like extremely religious or?” She laughs.
I smile “No, but I’m just not one to be in a relationship”
“So then what do you do if you refuse to party and date?”
“Well, I read books a lot” I shrug
“Lana, you have to loosen up. Live a little” She nudges me lightly. We continue to walk but Kendall’s words litter my brain. Deep down I know she’s right, I do need to loosen up and live, but I guess it’s just hard for me. My thoughts get the best of me and I try my hardest to push them aside as we walk into Niall’s dorm. At first I think it rude that Kendall doesn’t knock but then I remember that she’s friends with Niall. I still would like some privacy, but Niall doesn’t seem to mind. He’s leaning over his knee tying his shoe on his bed and I try my best to look at anything but his hands. His dorm seems bigger than ours but that might just be his placement of furniture. His closet is just a plain closet and I stare at it as a guy emerges from it. He has slick black hair and tattoos on his body. I’m more than happy that Niall isn’t tatted up. I don’t see the adoration in tattoos to be honest. The guy, who I’m guessing is Niall’s roommate nods at us and greets us with the word ‘Ladies’. I smile and both Kendall and I introduce ourselves. Kendall seems a little nicer than usual to me. Niall catches my gaze and smiles. I feel my cheeks heat as I smile back. It wouldn’t hurt to become a little more than friends with Niall I tell myself. No, no distractions, I say to myself and shake the thoughts that threaten my mind. I soon figure out that Niall’s roommates name is Zayn and he seems nice, despite his abrasive features. Kendall and Zayn make small talk and I stand awkwardly waiting for Niall to break it up, but he doesn’t. Instead he walks over to me and compliments my outfit. I reply with a thanks and a smile. I fidget with my fingers and it seems like forever until Niall speaks up. He taps Kendall’s shoulder
“Heyy, I hate to break up this blooming new acquaintance forming, but I’m sure I speak for both Lana and I when I say we should really get going” Niall says chuckling at both of them. I try to suppress my laugh. How did he manage to not make that sound offending? Kendall says her goodbye to Zayn and we finally walk out.
I watch in concentration as Niall calls for a taxi, and I gape at him as he stops one in a matter of seconds. I look over at Kendall and mouth the words ‘how’ in astonishment. She giggles at me and tells me I’ll get used to it. We get into the cab, Kendall sitting in the front and Niall and I in the back. A big difference between my hometown and New York is that back home our buildings were built wide but here they build up, creating skyscrapers. I have a deathly fear for heights. I’ve never trusted car parking lots and buildings the size of The Statue of Liberty. It doesn’t seem logical to me. My thoughts cloud my brain as I stare out the window in awe. I love it here. This is where I belong. I breathe New York. I didn’t recall where we were headed but I don’t care at this point. Anywhere in New York is okay with me. My fear of socializing has subsided a bit, and maybe it’s because of the diversity they have here, either way it’s a relief. I roll down the window and cross my arms and lay my head down as the wind caresses my hair. I inhale and exhale a cleansing breath of air. I feel my eyes shut as I revel in the feel of freedom.
Niall’s voice breaks me from my thoughts “Enjoying yourself?” He laughs at me.
I sigh smiling “It’s lovely here.” I speak and pull my head up. “Hey where are we going?” I ask Kendall
“Well, Times Square of course” she laughs at me.
“Oh” I say in response. This should be so much fun. Times Square has always been one of my number one places I’ve wanted to visit. Well that and Broadway, but all in due time.
Billboards and advertising screens come into view and my heart races. The street is packed with cars and people roaming the streets. Everything seems so surreal and it takes me awhile to adjust. We all agree to get out of the cab and walk our way around. My head is tilted up to the sky and once every so often Niall has to lead me from bumping into people. I can feel his eyes on me the whole time, and he’s probably laughing at the awestruck faces I’m making.
We spend the next 2 hours walking the streets and visiting stores. By the time we find a taxi the sun is beginning to set and my mouth aches from smiling at everything. We get into the cab and make our way back to campus. I have to remember to take pictures next time I come back.
It’s almost 8 o’clock when we arrive back and we spend some time talking in Niall’s dorm. I don’t know where Zayn took off to. Kendall offers to walk down to pick up some food for the three of us and we agree on pizza. I insist on pitching in 5 dollars but they both push my attempt to pay aside. I had thought I was going to go with Kendall to get the food but she left without inviting me or Niall and I wondered if she did it on purpose. The door shut before any of us could protest and I could feel the awkward quietness begin to seep in. I wondered if Niall was as uncomfortable as me.
He spoke up, breaking the silence, “Hey are you coming to the party tonight?” He asks me
“Uh, I don’t think so” I shake my head
“What? Why not?”
“I don’t know. I’d prefer to stay inside and watch a movie or something” I explain
“Oh. Well there’s really no point in me going if you’re not gonna be there” He says. My cheeks flame.
“Oh please, Niall”
“I’m serious, Lana! You’re pretty cool” He compliments me; “I can always join you and your loner movie watching” He teases.
I laugh “You know maybe I will go to this party” I confess
“It’s probably going to be my last major partying I do since classes start next week” He chuckles
“I think it’d be good chance for me to make new friends” I tell him
“Definitely” He agrees, “But hey just be careful” He warns me.
I cock my head to the side, “Why’s that?” I question
“Just trying to warn you” He says shrugging, “Some people here are sick” He spits out the word ‘sick’, and I promise him I’ll be cautious.
Kendall was overly excited to find out that I was going to the party. She convinced me to wear one of her ‘party dresses’ which mainly was a tight, black dress. And I didn’t seem to really mind, because hopefully this will be the only party I go to. I curl my hair and tease it lightly to create volume. I slip on a pair of flats and look in the mirror. Kendall’s eyes scan my body and her eyebrows crunch when she sees my feet.
“Lana, what’re those?” She asks pointing to my flats
“Lana you need heels! Not flats!” She whines at me
I roll my eyes at her and crunch my nose as I slip into red pumps she hands to me. I already can tell these are going to be a bitch to walk in. But I won’t stay there long right? Hopefully. After I wait patiently for Kendall to finish it’s already 11 and I’m surprised by how fast this day went by. Let’s just get this over with so I can come back here and sleep. Niall meets us at our dorm and we all head out together. As we’re walking Niall’s shoulder brushes against mine and he whispers in my ear “I’m glad you came”. I smile lightly at him and we continue to walk.
My feet already begin to hurt by the time we walk to the party and I can feel my mood change instantly because of it. Music is blaring and colored lights seep through the windows. There’s people loitering in the yard and as we walk our way forward almost all of them are making out and touching each other. I frown in disgust and turn my attention to the front door. Once again, nobody rings the doorbell or knocks, but there’s really no point in it if no one’s going to hear it over this music. We walk in and there are more people than I expected there to be. The previous parties I’ve been to were not nearly as crazy as this one. Beer bottles and red cups were spread out across every room in the house. I felt bad for whoever had to clean up all this mess. I just followed Kendall around, assuming she wouldn’t mind. We pushed our way amongst the crowd and she brought me to the backyard. It was less crowded there. I guess Niall went his own way because I had yet to see him since we walked through the door. Kendall told me that I could leave whenever I wanted and for some reason, I became offended. Maybe I was just overreacting but I took it as a discreet remark to leave her alone. It had only been half an hour and I was ready to go back to the dorms. I didn’t even have a drink yet, and I suddenly felt lame. Well lame or not, I was going to leave. I decided to look for a bathroom in hopes of relieving myself before I make the dreadful walk back. People pushed and shoved me and it made me angry. I made my way up the stairs, carefully stepping over the unconscious people. Every door was closed shut and I had a bad feeling about trying each and every one of them for the restroom. Maybe I should just walk back. But Kendall’s words ring in my ear. ‘Live a little’. ‘Loosen up’. I groan in reluctance and open every door. They all are locked and I don’t even want to know what is happening behind them. My hand reaches for the last of two doors and I twist the doorknob. Just as I’m about to push, someone pulls it open. I tilt my head to look up at the person and what do you know, It’s the guy that I oh so coincidentally continue to bump into.
“Ugh, you again” I roll my eyes.
“The feelings are mutual” He says back at me, scoffing. He stands in the doorway, but doesn’t move. Now instead of a white shirt, it’s black. I cross my arms and step back
“Are you going to move or not?” I say with more seriousness than I had intended.
He shrugs, “Depends” He smirks at me
I scoff, “On what?” I spit, “You know what no, just go home, you’re drunk” I say and pat his shoulder and give him a small smile.
“Me? Drunk? Please you haven’t seen drunk”
“Yeah and I really don’t look forward to it either, so if you’ll excuse me” I try to push through him. He moves slightly and blocks me in a matter of seconds
“Ugh go away!” I raise my voice in frustration.
“Actually I think I’ll stay here awhile, watch you squirm with frustration” He smirks at me, his fingertips gliding across his lips. I can’t help but stare. “You’re cute, d’you know that?” He says changing direction.
“And you’re worthless d’you know that?” I mimic him. He pretends to be offended and sucks in air through his teeth
“That all you can come up with?” He challenges.
“Believe me, I can come up with plenty of more” I say back. His height is intimidating.
“Then say it.”
“I’m not that cruel.”
He crosses his arms, “Yeah, clearly”
“And clearly you’re not going to move out of the way, so I’ll just be going” I say, giving up and turning to walk away. I don’t dare bother to look back. Just as I am about to walk out the door, Niall stops me.
“What? Why are you leaving so soon?” He asks me, his voice hinting a slur. He smells of alcohol and I step back from him. “Stay, Lana” He insists and grabs my hand. I try to yank it from his grip but he holds on. “Play beer pong with me and the lads” He tells me.
“N-no Niall, I have t-“
“Come onnn, Lana!” He complains. I groan.
“Fine. One round” I say. He yells and throws his arm in the air while we make our way to the ping pong table in the kitchen. I’m not a good drinker. The cups are all set up and on Niall’s team is me, and 3 other guys I don’t know. We call over Kendall who is with Zayn and they agree to be the opposing team. On their group is Kendall, Zayn, and 2 of Zayn’s friends.
“Hey you guys need one more!” Niall calls across
“Yeah we know, Niall” they say back in annoyance.
Zayn cups his hands around his mouth and calls a name. “Harry! Come here!” He shouts across the kitchen waving the guy over. I catch Kendall’s gaze and she gives me a reassuring smile. I can’t tell if she knows that I don’t want to be here or not. The guy comes into view and my mouth falls slightly open as I realize it’s the guy I miraculously bump into all the time. I hear his voice, “What’s up, lad?” He asks Zayn and they invite him onto their team. I finally know his name. Harry’s an odd name, and I never expected it to be that. Harry nods and stands on the opposite side of the table. He catches a glimpse of me and smiles such a devious smile it sends chills up my back. His eyes darken and he looks almost as if he is enjoying himself. I bite my lip and begin to feel uncomfortable. Niall speaks up, “Alright so we all know how to play beer pong right?” He yells louder than needed. Everyone nods and Niall declares the game to begin. It was Zayn’s team that got to go first and I prayed that they didn’t make it in. But of course, the world is against me and they end up hitting it straight into the cup. I groan because since I am the soberest one on the team, I have to do all the drinking. I hesitate for a moment before taking the red cup in my hands. My team tries to cheer me on but a group of guys telling me to ‘swallow’ is not very motivational. I can feel everybody’s eyes me. I can feel Harry’s eyes on me. I bring the cup to my mouth and the smell of beer makes me gag. The cup touches my bottom lip and I tilt it back gulping down every bit of the drink. My team yells and whoops my name. That was already terrible enough, and I don’t know how much more I could drink. Zayn throws the second ping pong ball and sure enough, it lands in the cup. I glare at him and he shrugs and mouths the word ‘sorry’. I look over at Harry who chuckles at my vulnerability. I take the cup and decide on a fast approach. I flick my hair away from my face and down the second drink in a matter of seconds. Everyone who is cheering for our team goes wild and I smile at my audacity. The second time isn’t that bad. Luckily, Zayn cuts me some slack and misses the third cup. It was our turn and I was really counting on Niall to make one in. Niall bounces the ball off the table and it makes it in one of the middle cups. I cheer him on and because it was a ricochet bounce which means it counted as two, which means Harry had to drink two cups. I smiled to myself and Harry seemed to have no problem with drinking them. I’m sure he’s had plenty of experience with alcohol and this game. I didn’t get the reaction I was hoping for but we were tied and that was enough.
10 minutes through the game and my team still had 3 cups to go while Zayn’s had 2. It was our turn to bounce and the room was spinning. I had had too much to drink and I could feel it in my body. I stumbled over to Niall and laughed as I almost tripped over someone’s foot.
“Heyy. So if you do that bouncy thing you did, then we can win this game” I say my words coming out in a jumble. Niall wraps his arm around my waist and tells me not to worry. I laugh more than needed and lean up to whisper in his ear. I didn’t comprehend what I said but I’m sure 80 percent of it was inappropriate. I chuckled then pulled away from him. Everyone was yelling to get on with the game and Niall bounced the ball off the table and landed it right in the closest cup. I jumped in the air cheering before I felt a hand grip my forearm. Niall pulled me in close to him and grabbed my thighs. Reflexively I jump into his arms and wrap my legs around his waist. He holds me against him and I feel his lips on mine. I was too intoxicated to realize what was happening, but I suddenly found myself kissing him back. I snaked my arms around his neck and began kissing him harder. The crowd that had gathered around us cheered us on and I could taste the liquor on Niall’s mouth. He lets me down and pulls away from the kiss. I laugh and the party carries on. I don’t know what happened to Harry after we won, which sucks because I really wanted to see the look on his face.
At some point in the night I woke up as someone took me in their arms and held me. I was too exhausted to move or fight, so I just laid there in a warm pair of arms. Maybe it was Niall, I don’t know. I heard voices, but I couldn’t make out who was speaking or what they were speaking. It sounded like Kendall.
“Fuck Kendall, you made her come here. Take her back” I hear a voice say loudly
“She can fend for herself, Harry. Fuck off” I hear her fight back. I tried to open my eyes to stop and tell everybody that I was okay, but I had no control over my body. The arms holding me gripped around my shoulders tighter and I groaned in an attempt to stand up. I could feel my body shutting down again, and all at once I passed out in the arms of, I’m guessing, Harry.
*I hope everyone has a nice Mother's Day tomorrow <3. Thanks for reading and comments are greatly appreciated*