(n) the disorientation felt in a foreign country or culture, the sense of being a fish out of water
I'd spent the rest of the day in some sort of haze, once again living inside of my head. I think it frustrated Parker a lot as he had a hard time getting through to me, but I couldn't help it. Seeing Calum again when I'd thought he was gone forever really turned me upside down.
I'd showed up to work the following day, and I couldn't deny the fact that I desperately wanted Calum to stop by once again. We did have quite a bit of unfinished business. I also just wanted to see him again.
But he didn't show up.
The next few days had been like that too. At some point I guess Parker had just had enough of it.
It was friday afternoon, Parker had just got back home from work, and we were both watching television on the couch in the living room.
"So," he started, "how was your day?" It sounded like your everyday conversation starter.
"Eh, it was fine I guess", I sighed as I grabbed the remote and changed the station. Parker just looked at me for a second, before grabbing the remote from my hand and turning off the television.
"Seriously, El, what's up with you? You've been totally spaced out for days! Are you feeling alright?" He did sound worried, but most of all I think he was just tired of my shit. I got it, but once again; I couldn't help it.
"Hey, I was watching that!" I complained even though I didn't care one bit about whatever was on before he'd turned it off, I just didn't want to talk about what was going on as I wasn't entirely sure of it myself. Something had just shifted inside of me, and Calum was all I could think about. How we once were so close and how we'd turned into strangers instead.
"Answer me, Ella", Parker insisted, his face dead serious. He wasn't going to let it go this time, I could tell, but what was there to say? Well, there was the truth, but the truth seemed awfully complicated, but lying wouldn't get me anywhere, so I took a deep breath and started talking.
"You remember that guy in the coffee shop last saturday?" I asked. Parker nodded, raising his eyebrows. He didn't really get the best first impression of Calum, but it didn't matter now. "Well, we know each other... Or we used to, but things happened and, yeah, it's a long story." Then I just shrugged. There wasn't that much more to the story.
"Oh", Parker mumbled, his face falling into a frown. I don't think that he knew what to say, so that's where he'd decided to just kind of change the subject which I was thankful for. "Well, I think I know exactly what you need!" He said as his face lit up.
"And what's that?" I answered, not quite sure that whatever he was thinking of would work, but I'd still let him talk.
"Something else to think about," he answered, "so we're going out. Tonight. You might as well go get ready."
Going out? It actually didn't sound too bad. I barely knew anyone in the area other than Parker, and Calum I guess, so I didn't really go out that much at the moment. Maybe it would actually be nice. Just maybe.
It was at least half past seven as we finally got out the door. Parker had been shouting at me for the past hour because I might have taken a bit too long to get ready.
We'd decided to go and grab something to eat before hitting the town for real, and Parker had taken me to this fancy restaurant downtown.
"You look beautiful by the way", Parker said across the table as we were eating. His words made me smile, sweet as they were. I was wearing this body con dress that I'd bought for some special occasion once, and Parker was wearing a button-up and skinny jeans.
"Oh, Parker, you always know just what to say to a girl", I joked, taking a sip of my whine as Parker chuckled.
"Right. I mean it though", he answered, turning his gaze down a bit. Was he blushing?
"Thank you... You don't look too bad yourself", I finally answered, playfully nudging his foot with mine underneath the table. He looked back at me, a smile forming on his lips.
We'd finished eating and Parker had insisted on paying the bill as he was the one initiating this whole thing. We then left the restaurant and made our way further downtown to this new club Parker had heard of. I wasn't really the club-type, but I wouldn't want to be a pain in the ass more than I'd already been these past few days. It wasn't fair to the people around me, especially not Parker who'd done so much to try and cheer me up.
The club was pretty packed and the air smelled like a nice mix of sweat, smoke and perfume. The music was loud, and I could feel the bass pumping in my chest as I sat down at a table while Parker went to get something to drink.
As I sat there by myself I definitely did not feel like I belonged. Some people were already drunk out of their minds while others were dancing like they didn't have a care in the world. All I really wanted to do was go home, change into something more comfortable, and binge watch Say Yes To The Dress on TLC, but I didn't want to ruin Parker's night by being boring. I without a doubt did this more for him than for myself.
Parker had finally arrived with a filled glass in each hand, his presence making me feel way more comfortable.
"Here you go, darling", he said in a shitty English accent, as he handed me one of the glasses. I just laughed and took it, instantly taking the first sip without even asking what the drink contained of.
"It's a bit strong", Parker informed me, but I'd already discovered it at that point, and I couldn't help but cough a bit.
"Yeah, no shit", I commented in a croaky voice, resulting in Parker laughing at me before chugging half of the glass' content like it was no big deal.
We kinda just chatted for a while, slowly getting a tiny bit tipsy before running out of alcohol.
“Should I go get more?”, Parker asked and I nodded without hesitation. He then got up and went to the bar once again.
I watched him while he was talking to the bartender, before he turned his attention to a girl on his left who’d apparently started talking to him. She was pretty short and had long, blonde hair. I couldn’t help but smile to myself, kinda hoping that he’d get somewhere with her. You know, like friends do. But when he got the drinks, he immediately walked back to me.
“Who was the girl?” I asked with a grin on my face, grabbing the next drink.
“I think her name was Chloe or something”, he answered as he sat down. He didn’t sound that interested, really.
“She looked like she was flirting with you”, I teased, taking a sip of my drink before placing it on the table in front of me.
“Maybe, I’m not interested though”, he said. I could barely hear him over the sound of the music.
“Why not?” I asked, actually curious. “Is there someone else that you like?” I was definitely pushing it.
“Kind of.” That actually surprised me a bit, but I guess I was happy for him.
“Well, Parker, who is it?” I picked up my drink again, no longer caring how strong it was. Parker didn’t really say anything for a while until he just shook his head.
“That doesn’t matter.”
It was nice actually. Just hanging out and getting drunk with my best friend. The change of environment, with quite a lot of help from the alcohol, helped me get my thoughts off of the recent events. Parker had been right about that part.
“Hey, I need some fresh air, wanna come with me?” Parker said a while later.
“Sure”, I answered, not wanting to be left alone again. We'd then both gotten up and headed for the exit, but on the way somebody grabbed me by the wrist, almost making me freak out.
“Hey, sorry, but are you leaving?” It was some dude I didn’t know, but I guess he was alright looking.
“No, why?” I answered, shooting Parker a quick look.
“I just saw you and thought you were pretty hot, so I wondered if you would maybe wanna dance with me?” The guy asked. I wasn’t sure if I liked his choice of words, but whatever. “If it’s alright”, he added, looking at Parker, probably thinking that we might’ve been a couple.
“We’re not together,” I quickly stated, “and yes, I’d like to dance with you.” Then I looked towards Parker as well. “See you in a bit?” He just nodded before turning away and walking outside.
They guy’s name was Will and he was alright. As we were dancing he sometimes got a bit too close for comfort, but I didn’t do anything about it at first. It was when he suddenly pulled me in, sliding his hands down to my butt, that I’d had enough of it. I'd just kinda grabbed his hands and moved them, not wanting to cause a scene, but he'd just repeated the action from before.
“Come on, sweetheart, you know you want to”, he said with a cocky smirk, before suddenly slamming his lips to mine. He had me paralyzed for a short second before I realized what was happening. Then I placed my hands on his chest and pushed him away.
“Get the hell off me!” I shouted, turning a few heads around us. Nobody seemed to care that much though.
“What the hell is the matter with you?” Will asked, seriously pissing me off.
“With me? What the hell is wrong with you?” I answered, tempted to slap him, but once again, not wanting to cause a scene more than I’d already done.
But I didn’t have to either, cause a tall frame suddenly stepped in between us, facing towards Will.
“Leave her the fuck alone, Will.” The person said.
“Or what?” Will answered, crossing his arms across his chest.
“Or I’ll kick your ass.”
Will just looked at the person for a second before shaking his head and taking a step back.
“Whatever, dude, she’s no fun anyway”, he said before disappearing in the crowd of people surrounding us.
Then my mysterious hero turned towards me, and there he was. Showing up out of the blue once again.