“Jackie, Diane!” I yelled when I walked into the party. They smiled and waved me over.
“Hey girl, where’s Bethany?” Jackie asked.
“She isn’t one to go to parties.” I pointed out.
“Really?” Diane asked. “I saw her at the athletic party with Harry a few days ago. She was fucking wasted!”
“Yeah, first and last party she plans on going to. Apparently shit happened with some other football player and Harry had to fight someone to protect her.” I mentioned.
“I saw that.” Jackie said. “This kid Jeremy…he’s known to do shit like that. Girls still try and get with him though since he’s so attractive. I don’t think enough girls get what he’s actually doing though. Bethany sure knew because she actually punched him herself.”
“Wait, what?!” I asked in shock.
“Yeah…like he came onto her, she said no, he kept pushing it so she knocked him right in the face. He went to hit her back and that’s when Harry stepped in which is what caused him to get beat on…” Jackie added in.
“Bethany fights?” I asked.
“Are you kidding? She punched him so hard he actually fell back…she’s a fucking nut! I figured she’d be here because she’s one of the few girls that can actually stand her own ground, even when they’re wasted. I was pretty impressed.” Diane said. I nodded, realizing Harry hadn’t told me everything. I didn’t know Bethany had tried to defend herself.
“Excuse me, I’m going to grab a drink.” Jackie and Diane nodded as I started pushing through the crowd, trying to find Harry since I knew he would be here. I grabbed a vodka and soda when I saw Harry across the room sitting with a few other guys I’ve never seen before. “Harry!” I called. He looked up and waved me into their group.
“What’s up, Meg?” Harry kinda slurred, clearly tipsy.
“I need to talk to you…” I looked around at everyone staring at me. “In private; it’s about…”
“Bethany?” Harry finished for me. I nodded and Harry immediately got up and led us outside where it was quieter. “So what’s up with her?”
“You didn’t tell me she was able to defend herself the other night with Jeremy…”
“Why does that matter?” Harry asked.
“Because she doesn’t know the whole story and she deserves to!” I demanded.
“Look, she basically fought the kid herself, until he was able to get her under him, and that’s when I stepped in. If she had even one less drink, Jeremy wouldn’t be walking right now, that’s how good at fighting she is. I wasn’t about to mention that to her though because she seemed too freaked out by the fact that someone tried to come onto her, I’m not about to say that she was actually under the fucking kid.”
“I’m trying to look out for her, okay?”
“What if she finds this out on her own?” I asked.
“Then she does; nothing happened to her. She defended herself and when she couldn’t anymore, I took over. And because of it, I think I have a few bruised ribs but for her, it’s worth it.” Harry said before downing the rest of his drink. “Look, I’m going to go back inside and get wasted tonight.”
“Why? Don’t you like her?”
“What’s that got to do with anything?” Harry questioned me angrily.
“She doesn’t want someone who parties…and if you really liked her, you’d be able to step away once and awhile to prove to her that you aren’t toxic.”
“Are you telling me this is what she thinks is toxic? Are you really helping me win her over?” Harry asked; and I wasn’t sure if he was mad or happy about it.
“I’m telling you because I can tell she didn’t want to cut you out of her life. I can only do so much but the rest is up to you…and getting wasted over the simple fact that you’re upset about what she said is exactly why she stepped back.” I paused and looked around. “Excuse me; I’m going back to my friends.”
After Megan left, there was no way in hell I was going to be able to sleep tonight. I was scared at this point to be alone, though I wasn’t sure why. I rolled myself out of bed, and changed into some leggings and a sweater since it had gotten a little chilly and walked out of my dorm, down the stairs, and outside into the cool air. I slipped headphones into my ears, looked down, crossed my arms trying to stay a little bit warmer, and started walking. I wasn’t sure where I was going but I really didn’t want to be alone.
After about a half hour of walking I realized it was getting louder and louder. I sighed knowing where my feet had taken me and looked up just as I ran straight into someone.
“Oh my god, I’m so sorry!” I said, pulling my headphones from my ears and dropping to the ground to help the guy pick up his books.
“Don’t worry about it; its okay.” He said as he looked up. When I looked up at him, I almost dropped his stuff all over again.
“Uh, sure.” I said, handing him his last book as we stood up together. We stood there awkwardly staring at each other and I just shuffled my feet.
“I’m Darren.” He finally said, holding his hand out to me.
“Bethany…” I said slowly, reaching for his hand. “So uh…pre-med, huh?” Darren shrugged like it was nothing.
“Yeah…I’ve been here all summer taking classes for it too. It’s been a bitch.”
“Sounds like one…” I said.
“What about you?”
“What about me?” I asked, suddenly confused. Darren smiled and laughed.
“What’s your major?” I nodded, slowly understanding.
“Theatre. Nothing as fancy as pre-medicine.”
“Trust me, theatre sounds a lot more fun than pre-med.” Darren pointed out. I smiled and kinda laughed.
“Well, I can’t say I would be able to have fun in pre-med. It all sounds too serious.”
“It is…way too serious. But…family tradition and god forbid I break tradition.” Darren said with a shrug.
“I mean, I get the family tradition thing but not to that extent. Our family tradition is just coming here; we could all care less about the major…well…as long as you play a sport.”
“Walker’s kid, aren’t you?”
“How do you know?”
“Everyone knows…” I nodded and looked back down. “Well I should get going.” Darren finally said after a long awkward silence.
“Back to the party?” I said, assuming.
“Uh no…I’m not too much of a party person.” My eyes grew wide, surprised that people like him still existed.
“You sound surprised.”
“Yeah, a little bit.”
“Well…yeah, I need to get some sleep since I have a test tomorrow since it’s my last exam before the summer classes are over.” I nodded.
“Well, okay. I guess I’ll see you around.” Darren said. “Have fun at the party; they sound like they’re having a lot of fun.” He said as he started walking away.
“No! I mean, I…” He was already too far away for me to finish my sentence. I sighed and turned back around, looking at the building where the party was.
I saw Bethany standing in front of the building talking to some sophomore here. I was kinda mad about it but I was also kind of curious on why she was around here in the first place. She kept looking between the building and the kid that had just walked away from her, like she was trying to debate something. I was about to step out and call her over, but as soon as I was about to, she turned around calling for the kid she was just talking to.
“Are you stalking her, man?” I looked over and saw Liam standing next to me.
“Nah man…I just stepped out for some air since the conversation I had with Megan kind of threw me off guard. I just saw her standing there talking to some kid. I’m trying to figure out why she was over here in the first place since she thinks these places are toxic.”
“I mean, the party isn’t the only thing on this side of campus. They student center is also over here. She couldn’t been going there for all you know.”
“With no books?”
“Harry, calm down. You’re overthinking everything. That and you’re kind of drunk. You need to come back inside and let it go. She’ll come around when she’s ready.” I nodded and followed Liam back inside, not sure if I even wanted to wait for Bethany. She was just another freshman…
Another freshman that actually understood me…
And no one has ever understood me…
“DARREN!” I called. I saw him turn around, looking confused.
“I wasn’t going to the party…”
“Oh? Why are you telling me this?”
“Well…you told me to have fun at the party. I’m not really a party person…”
“All athletes are. It’s why I keep my distance from you types. I mean, you seem nice and all but…I don’t like being around that kind of stuff. I’m trying to get a good education.”
“I’m not a partier…” I pushed again.
“Beth, the video of you fighting some kid a couple nights at the athlete’s party is everywhere.”
“I didn’t fight anyone though…Harry fought the kid for me…”
“That’s not even true.”
“What are you talking about? Everyone told me Jeremy came onto me and Harry protected me.” At this point I was confused as to what Darren was talking about.
“You defended yourself. It wasn’t until Jeremy had hit you to get you to go unconscious was when Harry stepped in. You don’t need someone to defend you…you could be a professional fighter, honestly. You didn’t need Harry to watch over you. You are fine on your own.”
“Wait, how do you know I asked him to watch over me?”
“The night you two went together, I was sitting on the bench right by yours. I didn’t say anything because as I said, I don’t associate myself with athletes. I’m a wallflower; I know and hear everything without being involved.” I bit my lip, totally confused on whether or not I should be mad at Harry or not.
“Wait…then you should know I don’t do parties.” I said, changing the subject partially.
“Look, you may say you don’t, but we both know you’ll end up back there at some point. It’s inevitable; especially with the people you hang around unless you want to live a long night life here…” I nodded and Darren took a step back. “Again, it was nice meeting you and I’ll see you around, but I doubt you’ll see me.” Darren started to walk away and I smiled a little to myself.
“I’ll see you, Darren. I’ll definitely see you.” Darren stopped in his tracks and turned around to look at me.
“Excuse me?” Darren asked.
“I said I’ll see you.” Darren smiled a little bit before turning back around and walking away. After he was out of my sights, I turned back towards where the party was and knew I had to find Harry.
When I walked into the party, I saw Megan with Jackie and Diane and I walked up to them.
“Bethany?!” Jackie sounded really surprised.
“What are you doing here?!” Megan asked, sounding more surprised.
“Where the fuck is Harry?” Megan made a face and pointed towards the back where I spotted Jeremy like it was nothing. “Thanks.” I went around them and started walking to the back.
“Well look who decided to show her face here again?” Jeremy said with a smirk as I walked up, causing everyone to turn and look at me.
“I’m actually surprised you showed your face here again.”
“Why wouldn’t I?” Jeremy asked, smirking still.
“What guy is so desperate for sex that he needs to knock a girl out to get it?” Jeremy’s smirk fell off his face. “Now that shit, is sad as fuck. What’s even sadder is that I could knock you out in one fucking punch right now if I really wanted to.”
“That’s bullshit.” Jeremy said, trying to laugh it off.
“No it isn’t…I mean, the video that was taken show’s me beating the fuck out of you until you decided to punch me in the throat.” Jeremy was turning red and starting to sweat.
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“I don’t think video’s lie. Only people lie about what happened but…visual proof beats out what people say any day.” I said, side glancing Harry who looked down.
“You know, you’re real sexy when you’re mad.” Jeremy said, putting that smirk back on his face. I rolled my eyes and turned to walk away when I felt his hand grab my ass. I immediately turned around, put my arm around his back, feeling my adrenaline make me ten times stronger, held him so close to me, you thought I was about to kiss him, then brought my free arm back and punched him square in the face and watched his whole body weaken. I moved my other arm from around his back and watched his limp body fall to the ground, knocked out.
“Asshole.” I said, spitting on him. I turned to walk away when I realized everyone in the room was watching and had videotaped it. As soon as everyone saw I was looking, immediately put their phone’s down and started to clear. The only person still standing there was Megan, Jackie, and Diane.
“Here you go.” Megan said, walking up to me and handing me a drink.
“Thanks babe.” I said, chugging the drink. I finished it immediately and put the cup in one of the garbage bags. Do you know if anyone here has anything to calm me down?”
“Like what?” Jackie asked.
“Like vyvanse?” Donny said, walking up to us.
“Yeah, that works.” I said as Donny handed me a couple pills.
“Bethany…” Megan said, stepping closer to me. “You do know what that is, right?”
“Yeah.” I said, popping them and taking a sip of Donny’s beer to swallow them. “It’s a better version of Adderall.”
“Bethany, those are drugs.” Diane said slowly.
“Yup…trust me, I know what vyvanse are.” I said, turning back to Donny.
“Thank you soo much.”
“No problem, love.” Donny said. “You want to come over and chill with the rest of us?” I shrugged and nodded.
“Yeah, sure.” I turned back to Megan and the girls and smiled. “I’ll see you back at the dorm, Megan.” I said. She nodded, looking a little worried for me but she didn’t have anything to be worried about. I knew exactly what I was doing. I was becoming who I used to me, and I liked who I used to be.
The next morning, I was still sitting in my bed staring at my ceiling. I had yet to go to sleep but I still felt rested as anything. Megan and I had ended up leaving at the same time. I had to help her back since she was so plastered and I probably drank double what she did. I’m not saying I have that high of a tolerance, I’m just saying the vyvanse gives you a much higher tolerance.
At around seven in the morning, I couldn’t handle sitting in bed and staring at my ceiling anymore so I decided to get up and go for a run. I rolled out of bed and changed into my running clothes, grabbed my phone and slipped headphones into it and played my running music; Three Days Grace and Theory of a Deadman.
Once I made it outside, I made my way towards the river, knowing that was the one place I knew I loved being by, that was very calming to me and after what happened last night with Jeremy, I kind of needed calming.
Once I got to the river, I noticed Harry from the back of his head thanks to his curly hair. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go over to him and before I could make that decision, I remembered what Darren had said about sitting around here. I looked to my right of where Harry was sitting and saw Dustin hidden in the bushes. Of course he picked the bench that was practically in a bush. I smiled to myself, happy I remembered what he had said. I jogged around the bench Harry was at, knowing he had seen me and continued over to where Darren was.
“Hey you.” I said, standing in front of him as I pulled the headphones from my ears. He looked up, very surprised.
“How’d you find me?” Darren asked surprised.
“I told you I would see you…that and I remembered what you said about how you were nearby that bench a couple nights ago so I figured you would be in the same place. When I noticed the bench was actually hidden in the bushes, I realized this is where you would be since you don’t like to be seen.”
“Well then…” Darren said slowly as a smile started to spread across his face. “I didn’t think you would actually be able to see me. I mean, you didn’t a few nights ago.”
“Well I didn’t know you a few nights ago.”
“Well I was debating whether or not I should’ve talked to you. Harry showed up before I could make my decision and plus…him and I aren’t exactly in the same friend groups so I didn’t think you would be interested in talking to me anyway.”
“I can be friends whomever I want.” I said, sitting next to him. Darren smiled and closed his pre-med books.
“Well then…I take back what I said yesterday about you being like every other athlete.” I smiled and sat back, finally relaxing.
“Well thank you. Though I’m assuming you already know where I was last night.”
“Yup, knocking Jeremy out, drinking, and taking some pills.”
“How do you know all this?” I asked, kind of concerned. “Are you stalking me or something?” Darren started laughing and shook his head.
“No, I have two roommates; both of which are athletes.”
“Oh, who?” I asked, curiously.
“Stan and Donny.”
“Wait, I’m actually kind of friends with them!” I said. Darren smiled and laughed.
“Yeah, I picked up on that. Half the time they don’t realize I’m in the room so they talk about anything and everything which is why I tend to know a lot about the people here.”
“Well now that makes a lot more sense. I thought you just followed me around.”
“Haha…no I’m not that weird. I mean, I’m a quiet kind of weird but…that’s it.”
“I don’t think you being quiet makes you weird.” I mentioned. Darren only smiled at me and I smiled back. “So…want to join me for some breakfast?” Darren looked around, looked back at me and smiled.
“Sure, I’d love to.” I smiled as he gathered up his books and we started walking back to the dining hall to go get some breakfast.