It was the day of the party and Abigail was the only person who knew who was going to be there. I was so nervous about what was going to happen especially since there were events like spin the bottle. I didn’t really want to make out with some stranger but Abigail assured me that she rigged the bottle to make sure it landed on who she wanted it to. I wasn’t sure how she would do that but I chose to believe her. Abigail and Skylar had worked together to choose my outfit because she wanted to impress the guys that were coming.
I got changed in the guest bedroom at Skylar’s place and tried to do something with my hair that would make it look good but it was so flat and deflated. I just left it the way it was and opened the door to the room and stepped out. Skylar and Abigail were probably downstairs setting up the party food and drinks. I walked towards the stairs and started going downstairs wondering what everyone would think.
“Riley! You look amazing!” Abigail exclaimed when she saw me. Skylar smiled and put his thumbs up at me. “The guys are going to be falling at your feet.”
“I don’t care about guys thinking I’m pretty, I just want to have a good time and make sure you don’t have any alcohol,” I said and started helping them set out the food. I was actually excited about this party and I was hoping to make friends but even if I did they wouldn’t replace Skylar and Abigail. They will always be the best people in my life. After we set everything up we sat in the living room and waited for everyone to arrive.
“Skylar, you’re going to be involved in all the games too, right?” Abigail asked him and looked hopeful. “I mean, you should probably join us to make sure I don’t drink or anything.” I think she just wanted to humiliate him by getting him hot and bothered since he’s a virgin and all.
“Fine, I’ll be a part of the games but you can’t take pictures like you did at your last party.” Abigail smiled and hugged him in appreciation just as there was a knock at the door.
“Let’s get this party started,” Abigail said and jumped up from her seat. The party was starting and I had no idea what to expect from it.
An hour into the party everyone was laughing and dancing and generally just having fun but I couldn’t get into things. Abigail was trying hard so I just smiled and tried to get along with everything.
“Okay, I think everyone’s here so guess what it’s time for! Spin the bottle! Everyone take a seat in a circle,” She yelled and everyone started to sit down as she instructed, I struggled to find a place to sit and I was hoping to sit next to Abigail or Skylar but they had people around them so I sat between a friendly looking girl and a guy who was too occupied with sticking his tongue down a girl’s throat. “Julia, why don’t you start?” Abigail asked the girl next to me and I realised that I knew her. She shared her reason for coming to University in our English class.
“Okay then,” She said and reached for the bottle. She spun it around and we waited for it to land on someone which it eventually did. It landed on a guy who I had never seen before but Julia seemed to know him from the look on her face. They leaned towards each other and kissed for a second until Abigail pulled them away from each other.
“Okay, okay, that’s enough of that,” She said and looked around the circle. “Skylar, your turn.” Skylar took the bottle and spun it around. Abigail looked chuffed at getting him to participate but she seemed pleased in a sinister, I’ve been planning something way. The bottle started slowing down and everyone was looking at it in anticipation until it stopped. It landed on me.
I looked at Abigail who was looking away, whistling. She was responsible for this and I had no idea why she would do this. I thought she wanted to set me up with someone else not her step-brother. I looked at Skylar who seemed to think this was as awkward as I did.
“Come on, just kiss him. He’s hot so this is an amazing thing to do, get in there girl,” Julia whispered to me and gave me a little shove. I stood up and brushed myself down.
“Okay, let’s get this over with then,” I said and signalled for Skylar to get up which he did.
“You don’t have to stand up you know,” Someone said.
“It’s less sexual if we stand up,” I muttered and only Skylar heard me and it caused his face to go red. He shuffled awkwardly from foot to foot and I rolled my eyes. “If you’re not going to make the move, I will.” I stood on my tip toes and gently put my lips on his. I was about to fall over from my feet aching so Skylar put his arms around me and leaned down so I didn’t have to stand on my tip toes. I heard wolf whistles which made my face heat up from embarrassment.
I finally managed to pull away and everyone groaned from disappointment. I didn’t care though, I wanted to get out of there.
“Cathy, can we get out of here?” I asked and she shook her head.
“No, you and Michael need to start getting along better and that’s going to happen tonight no matter what.” She turned to Michael and he leaned down to kiss her ferociously. I felt like I was going to be sick so I got up and almost fell over but Andrew caught me.
“Seems like you’ve had too much to drink, why don’t I take you to go sit down and have a rest?” He suggested and I shook my head. “Come on, it’ll be fine.” He held me up and walked me to the other room where the sofa was free. He sat me down and I just fell down onto the sofa which was a lot more comfortable than standing up.
I pulled away and looked at Skylar for a second before running towards the bathroom with everyone staring at me. I locked the door and sat down in floods of tears. I put my shaking hand over my mouth in an attempt to keep myself quiet. I kept thinking about that night and it hurt to think about everything that happened and how it was ruining me trying to have a normal life. I was pretty sure I hurt Skylar’s feelings and I didn’t mean to but I knew I was going to cry and I didn’t want to do it in front of everyone.
“Riley.” It was Skylar, knocking on the door. I didn’t know what to say to him. “Riley, Abigail had this party for you and she’s refusing to do anything until you come back.”
“She’s going to have to, I can’t do this anymore.”
“You’re overreacting, it was just a kiss.”
“I’m not talking about the kiss!” I snapped at him and he went silent. All the emotions from that night were flooding my mind and I felt like I was going to throw up.
“What are you talking about then? Just talk to me, we’re friends and you can tell me anything.”
“We’ve known each other for like a week, we’re not that close,” I said and covered my face with my hands. I just wanted him to leave me alone at this moment, I wanted to be somewhere where there wasn’t anyone around and I could just forget about everything. I thought I was ready for a real life but I wasn’t. I couldn’t get away from the past.
“Have you ever had any friends closer than we are now?” He suddenly asked. I thought about it. The only friend that I had ever had really was Cathy all the people I knew where just her friends and I wasn’t really close to them anyway. I had known Cathy since I was 6 and it turned out she didn’t care about me at all but I had known Abigail and Skylar for a week and I felt so safe around them. “Just tell me what’s going on.”
“No, you’re going to act like she did. You’re not going to believe me. You’re not going to be my friend anymore and I don’t want to ruin this. I can’t tell you. I can’t.” I felt a lump in my throat as I stopped talking and I just started bawling again.
“At least open the door so we can talk face to face.” I wiped my eyes and stood up. I had to let him in so we could talk properly. I had to fair to him if I wasn’t going to tell him the truth, it was the least I could do. I unlocked the door and when it opened I was enveloped in a warm hug that just made me start crying again. I felt his hand stroking my hair to try to calm me down which I eventually did.
“I’m so sorry, I didn’t want to hurt your feelings,” I said when I stopped crying. “I just have issues, you’d be better off without me really.”
“Why do you hate yourself so much? You have such low self-esteem that you’re pushing the people who care about you away, I want to be there for you but you have to let me help you.” No one had ever said so much truth to me before. Everyone seemed to think I was mental but they didn’t tell me that. They didn’t tell me about how I was behaving. They just left me.
“Promise me you won’t leave me and tell me that I’m a liar,” I said without looking at him. I didn’t want to see his reaction when he heard about it.
“I promise, Riley.” I sighed and darted my eyes just about everywhere except his face. My eyes finally landed on his face and I could pick out one feeling from it. Just one. Pity. I didn’t want to be pitied, I wanted to be normal and have fun with my friends instead of having them feel sorry for me.
“I…I just…” I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t tell him and now I could say that I tried. “Nothing. It’s nothing, I’m just overreacting.” I shook my head and pushed past him to get out. “Let’s just go back to the party.” He didn’t push it any further and we went back to where Abigail was sulking and everyone else were just laughing and talking without a care in the world but when she saw me her eyes lit up.
“Riley! I’m so sorry for making you do that, if you didn’t want to do that you didn’t have to. I won’t make you do anything that you don’t want to do anymore.”
“Abigail, it wasn’t your fault. I’m just a bit emotional I’ll try not to be,” I said and she smiled brightly. “So, what’s the next game?”
“Truth or dare!” Someone yelled and everyone cheered for this idea.
“Is that okay with you, Riley?” Abigail asked, her eyes wide with concern. I nodded at her and she breathed a sigh of relief.
“I hope you don’t mind that I’ll be joining you,” Someone’s voice came from behind us. I turned around and my mouth dropped open in shock. What was she doing here with him?
“Cathy…and you are?” Skylar said and reached out his hand to shake theirs. I didn’t know why he was showing so much curtesy when he knew what Cathy was like. I wasn’t really thinking about him and his actions though I was thinking about who Cathy was with. I couldn’t stop staring and he didn’t even seem to notice me.
“I’m Andrew, Cathy and I are friends with benefits so you can hit on her if you want.” Friends with benefits. How dare he go off with Cathy after what happened. She used to be my best friend, I found it completely disgusting. “So, can we join you then?”
“Don’t ask, Andrew, just go for it.” Cathy sat down and Andrew sat next to her. I was still staring at him and Skylar noticed, he nudged me and pulled me out of what seemed like a trance. Skylar moved me to a spare spot and sat me down.
“You know him?” He asked, indicating towards Andrew.
“No,” I said quickly. I didn’t want him to push it any further but he just didn’t let it go.
“Then why are you staring at him like he’s a hot meal? Is he an ex or something? I’ve told you about Heather, come on dish.”
“He’s not an ex,” I hissed. After that he left it.
“Okay…so, Frank why don’t you start?” Abigail just wanted to stop Cathy from getting all the attention seeing as it was her party. We went on with making out, silly dances and dishing about sexual experiences for half an hour until Cathy interrupted the game with her complaining.
“This is soo boring! Why don’t we make it a little bit more interesting?” She said and wiggled her eyebrows. “We can make it more sexual, seeing as everyone’s had sexual experiences here. Right, Riley?” She aimed at me and my face heated up as I felt everyone’s eyes on me including Skylar and Abigail. I had to stay there. I couldn’t run away again. “Just dares. You have to make out and touch the other person up if you refuse you have to take off an item of clothing. Is that okay with you, Abigail? You don’t want a dull party do you?” This was a challenge and I Abigail didn’t want to back down from a challenge.
“It’s fine, as long as my guests are fine with it.” She looked at everyone with a pleading look in her eye that they didn’t see or they just ignored it because they all nodded with smiles on their faces.
“Okay, good,” Cathy said and turned to me straight away. “Riley, I dare you to make out and touch Andrew.”
“But, he’s your friend with benefits,” Skylar interjected. Cathy laughed at him pitifully.
“It’s not like we’re properly together then, I don’t care about who else he bangs just as long as he’ll come to me when I call him.” She raised her eyebrow at me. “So, Riley, go on then. Get with Andrew.”
“No. I’d rather take off a piece of clothing, thank you very much.” I took off my left shoe and she glared at me.
“I will get you to do that. I swear that I will.” She whispered something in Andrew’s ear and he smirked. I had only just realised that he had never looked at me since he arrived.
“Skylar, get with this lovely girl, Cathy. Unless you’re gay or something,” He muttered the last thing under his breath but we all heard him. Skylar rolled his eyes at this comment.
“I’m not gay but I don’t want to get with Cathy because I’m just not interested. So, I’ll take off a piece of clothing.” He took off his shoe as well and Cathy looked pissed off.
This series of event continued for a long time and ended up with me taking off my cardigan that Skylar had chosen for me, both my shoes and both my socks. Skylar had done the same except he had taken off his hoodie instead of a cardigan. Abigail still had her clothes on because she just wanted to get some action. Cathy and Andrew also had all their clothes on but there were a few other people who had taken off minor pieces of clothing.
I checked the time and realised that it was getting quite late and I hadn’t even had dinner. Everyone still seemed really into the game including Abigail and I didn’t want to take her away from the party so I whispered to Skylar that I was going to leave and to tell Abigail when he got a chance. He nodded but when I stood up Cathy’s voice boomed from where she was sitting.
“Where do you think you’re going without making out with anyone? You have to do the dare with somebody before you leave and I think it should be with Andrew or would you rather do it with a girl seeing as you’ve already kissed one.” She wanted me to be humiliated and it was working. People were staring at me and Skylar and Abigail were probably reconsidering my friendship with them. I didn’t need to prove anything to her.
“See you later, Abigail,” I said, picked up the clothing I had taken off and proceeded to leave.
“She never could perform well,” I heard her say before I left. I couldn’t let her get to me. I just left and at the door I put on my clothes until I heard footsteps coming towards me. I looked up and saw Andrew standing there, my eyes widened and I backed away quickly.
“You told Cathy? You really think that I wouldn’t find out about it, I thought that it was our secret even though it was a one-time thing doesn’t mean that it didn’t matter.” I looked to the ground and didn’t reply to him. I couldn’t talk to him, not after everything that happened. I was scared of ever speaking about it after the way Cathy reacted. “Talk to me, Riley, I know you’re jealous of Cathy now that we’re together but come on. We need to speak about what happened, don’t we?”
“Maybe you should just leave her alone, she clearly doesn’t want to talk to you,” Skylar said from behind Andrew. Andrew turned around scoffing but Skylar stood his ground.
“What’s it to you, faggot?” That was it, Skylar switched and he just laid into Andrew. He shoved him against the wall and just started hitting him and kicking him and it was brutal. It was like watching something on TV, it didn’t look real but I knew it was because it was happening right in front of me. At that moment I wished I was a butch guy with muscles and strength so I could stand between them without getting hurt but I had to do something muscles or not.
“Get off him, Skylar!” I yelled and tried to pull Skylar away which ended up with me being elbowed in the face by him. But, it did stop him.
“Riley, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to hit you I would never do that on purpose. Are you okay? Are you hurt?” Andrew was sprawled on the ground covered in blood and this gruesome sight made me gag. I couldn’t bear to look at it for another second, I rushed outside and the cold air hit my face like a bucket of ice being thrown at me. Skylar followed me outside and stood in front of me. I didn’t know how much of the conversation he had heard but I hope it wasn’t a lot. “I didn’t hurt you, did I?”
“No, it’s fine. It wasn’t that hard anyway, you should go back to the party and have some fun.”
“I don’t want to be anywhere near that psycho, Cathy, anyway.” He looked at me for a second before sighing and shaking his head. There was something on his mind and I wanted to know what it was. “Why don’t I take you back to your dorm and on the way we can pick up some pizza?”
“Only if you promise to leave some for Abigail.”
“Yeah, like that’s going to happen,” He said and laughed. There had just been so much stress that spending time with someone so care free was so refreshing. Skylar really knew how to calm me down and I just needed that.