Days as a Freshman: 148
“I can’t believe I actually came with you!”
Rebecca slammed the front door behind us and yelled, doing her best to be heard over the loud, pumping music coming from the living room.
“I’m glad you did!” I screamed, “I would never have come by myself!”
The soccer house was already crammed full of people, everyone who was on campus during January break, it seemed, so it took us a few minutes to maneuver ourselves towards the epicenter of the party. I did my best to lead the way, grasping Rebecca’s hand tightly and pushing through people as inconspicuously as possible. It was past ten thirty, so most of the partygoers were too drunk to even notice Rebecca and I squeezing by them. Politeness is always wasted on the wasted.
As we pushed our way into the living room, I scanned the place for Sasha or Justin.
Do you see them?” Rebecca yelled into my ear and pulled her t-shirt down uncomfortably. Parties weren’t her thing, especially parties like this one. I made a mental note to buy her cupcakes someday soon. She deserved cupcakes.
“I can’t really see anything except a lot of heads…” Pulling Rebecca with me into a corner encased by empty 6-pack boxes, I stood up on my tiptoes to get a better look. There had to be more than twenty people squished into the living room, dancing, laughing, drinking, or doing all three. The thumping music and the shouting voices combined into a dense, dizzying fog. I swallowed. Squeezed my hands together. Tried to focus.
When was the last time I had been at a party like this?
“Hey! You made it!”
Someone’s hand grabbed my shoulder and I twisted around, coming face to face with Sahsa. He was grinning, his hair matted down by sweat, his white t-shirt clinging to him in a way that made me feel like I needed to avert my eyes.
“You guys want a drink?” Sasha pointed to a table on the opposite side of the room, his left hand still on my shoulder. “Anything you want, we probably have!”
Rebecca and I looked at each other. She shrugged. A drink would probably help me feel less awkward. Probably help us both feel less awkward.
“Okay! Do you have stuff for jack and cokes?” I used a drink Stacey always talked about getting at bars. I had never tasted it myself, but she always said that it was strong without tasting awful.
“Do we have stuff? Of course we have stuff for that! Wait right here!” Sasha squeezed my shoulder and then took off into the crowd, touching people all the way to the drink table, laughing with everyone.
“He’s certainly happy!” Rebecca leaned in, still yelling despite her closeness. “I can’t remember the last time Sasha looked this happy.”
“Where’s Justin?” I looked around again, but couldn’t see his tall frame anywhere. The more time that passed without seeing him, the lower my heart fell. Would he really not be at his own party? Why had he been so against it?
“Do you know where Justin is?” Sasha was back at our sides, handing over two very full glasses of dark liquid. “I can’t find him!”
“Justin?” Sasha yelled back like he hadn’t heard me right. “Who cares if he’s here?” Sasha grinned again, tapped my shoulder, and leaned in. “I’ll be right back. Don’t go anywhere.”
As he faded back into the crowd, I looked over at Rebecca, who was sipping her drink carefully. “Do you hear that?” I asked.
“What?” Rebecca moved closer. “What did Sasha just say?”
I looked up towards the door and caught sight of Justin’s broad shoulders. He started to push through the crowd, coming toward us with an anxious expression.
What was wrong?