THE GIRL – by Olivia Pad
The house music pumps out of the speakers as groups after groups of people you barely recognise enter your house. The neighbours won’t like tonight, you think. Well, it wasn’t your idea. You start to worry as more and more people enter your house. Your housemate pats you on the back and shouts at you to down your drink. He suddenly notices a pretty girl and stalks after her. It’s the beginning of the night and you wonder if you’ve already had enough to drink. Your housemate reappears with a beer bong and mouths the words “party” at you. The music is too loud to have a normal conversation. You nod and finally down your drink – if he isn’t worrying, why should you?
“Come on man. Get in here” your housemate is eager to get the beer bong going.
You wonder if this will get out of hand, but then forget as the smoke and lights combine and you notice a dark-haired girl staring at you. She’s staring at you so intently, you wonder what she wants. You glance behind you to see if she is looking at someone else, but no. It’s you. You stare back but she is not fazed. You feel a light tap on your shoulder and your attention on her is gone. It’s a friend from your course. You recognise him and he begins to talk to you about a module you both study. You don’t want to talk about your course, or your module or any of the tutors you have. You want to find the girl. You wait politely for him to finish speaking and mumble a mundane reply. He seems satisfied with your response so you tell him that you’ll see him later and start to walk away. He moves onto another target who is also on your course.
The girl seems to have disappeared and you wonder if you just imagined her. The beer bong game is in full swing and you decide to get in involved. The room is packed with people and someone has turned the volume of the music up. The crowd begin to stir and you immediately recognise the song. It’s a classic dance track from the nineties and it reminds you of your childhood: Rhythm Is a Dancer. You laugh as the people around you jump up and down. You make your way into the pulsing crowd and try and find your housemates. None of them seem to be in the mass of dancing figures so you move to another part of the house. The kitchen is said to be the place where all the good times of a house party happen. It is no surprise to you that you find the rest of your housemates in there. They are with a group of people you don’t recognise, doing shots. One offers you a vodka and you take it, the bitter crisp taste makes your eyes water. You pull one of your housemates aside and ask about the girl you saw earlier.
“Who? I don’t know, mate. She still here? Don’t think I know her.”
You can’t tell if your housemate is annoyed at your questions but you keep asking.
“Look. Just go have a look for her, if you’re so interested.”
He definitely seems irritated, so you leave him alone and walk through the house. You stumble up the stairs to the bathroom.
The amount of people is overwhelming. Figures are sprawled around, everywhere you look. Alcohol is just not right for some people. You barely recognise your own house as you jump over the slumped bodies.
The bathroom seems too bright when you get inside. You feel like being sick but wash your face instead. It is much quieter in here and you are glad to be away from the party for a while. You know you can’t stay in here all night but you want to. You place the toilet seat down and sit, placing your head in your hands. You feel very heavy and seem to sway to one side. A glass of water is what you need. You sit for a further five minutes before hearing a loud knock on the other side of the bathroom door. This is the only bathroom in the house and you have been in there for a while. For a moment you understand their irritation and stand up quickly. You wash and dry your hands and move towards the door. Opening it, you don’t expect what you see next and come face to face with the girl. You step back in surprise. She is staring at you with an amused expression and you can’t seem to think of anything to say. You look at her more closely and take her in. Her eyes glint in the light from the bathroom. She puts a strand of her hair behind her ear.
“You going to move out of the way or are you the enjoying the company of the toilet that much?” she asks, placing her hand on the doorframe, smiling.
Her smile is enough to thrill you. You laugh and move. “No, no. Go ahead.”
She smirks as she shuts the door behind her.
You want to wait and talk to her but decide against it. You don’t want to look desperate and decide to let her come find you. You hope she does. You go back downstairs, jump over the slumped drunken figures and realise the party is still in full swing.
The only source of light is from the strobes. The house is packed and in the flashing lights of the living room you finally feel the full effect of the vodka. You are swaying and stumbling to the music now. You force yourself to stay awake by drinking more. Your housemate’s first floor bedroom has become a room for fucking and substance abuse. You feel glad that you locked your door. Your housemate is jumping around the living room. He seems unaware about what is happening in his room or just doesn’t care. You think about the girl. You realise you haven’t seen her since the bathroom incident. You want to know her name. You move through the house looking for her. You start to think about what her name could be, Kate? Rebecca? She no longer seems to be in the house and you wonder if she has left. You go up into your room and lock the door. You lie down and take a deep breath. You feel a vibration from your jean pocket and fish out your phone. It’s a text from your housemate. He’s bagged the girl he was after earlier. You stand up and walk towards the window. Your bedroom faces the back garden and is, in your opinion, the best room in the house. You look out at the few people loitering about. You see her. The girl. She’s smoking, sat on the neighbour’s wall, swinging her feet. She looks so calm, relaxed, almost too relaxed. You wish that you were more like that. There’s few people scattered around but she is sat by herself. You wonder who she came with.
“Hi,” you approach her.
She turns to face you, stubbing out her cigarette on the wall.
She smirks and nods. “The guy from the bathroom. Hmm, you were in there a while.”
You don’t know what to say and stuff your hands into your jean pockets. You feel embarrassed. “What’s your name?”
“Sophia” she replies. She suddenly looks disinterested.
“Wow. That’s a really nice name.” You think about what you just said, squinting your eyes in embarrassment.
“Hmm.” She jumps off the wall onto the grass but her foot slips as she lands. She groans then starts to laugh. She stays sat on the ground, laughing.
You rush to her aid. “Whoa, are you okay?” You wonder why she is laughing.
She smiles and looks up. “Yep.”
You hold out your hand and she takes it. You pull her up with such ease you wonder if she even eats.
“I’m fine. So you live here then?” she asks, looking up at the house.
“Oh, yeah. I do” you respond.
“Thanks, it’s alright yeah.”
“I want some more fun. Do you want to have fun?” She sounds like she’s already had enough to drink, you think – especially after her falling off the wall incident.
“I’ll get you a drink?” you answer.
She laughs. “Hmm no. Not that.”
You don’t know what she’s talking about. She suddenly pulls out a clear bag full of things you’d only ever seen in films.
“Want one?” She pops one onto her tongue.
You hesitate. You know you’ve already had too much to drink.
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