My Freshman Year: Day 174

Days as a Freshman: 174
Mood: Weirded out
“I’ve been wanting to tell you everything for a while, Grace.” Justin leaned against the sink and ran his hands through his hair a few times, trying to keep his eyes on my face but only succeeding in keeping his gaze there for a few seconds before staring at the floor.
“Well, now’s your chance.” I shifted the best I could on the edge of the bathtub. The bathroom was definitely a product of a house full of boys, and everything about it made me wary of touching anything for too long.
“I’ve known…or…things changed right before Christmas break, I guess.” Justin kept his hand on the doorknob, holding it shut even though he had already locked it. “Sasha and I, we were always buddies. We got along the best in the house, you know? So when everyone started saying all that shit about him…I didn’t want to believe it. I didn’t believe it.”
I heard him inhale, and then let it out slowly. Our eyes met, and his were wide with something. Regret maybe. Something heavy.
“But then one night we…we had a few beers and Sasha started talking. He got drunk and started talking about that night…”
The doorknob turned slightly in his grasp, and someone knocked heavily on the wood. Justin kept his hand where it was and said nothing, waiting for the knocking to subside. After a few seconds it did, the person on the other side not doubt too drunk to deal with a locked door.
“Keep going.” I folded my hands in front of me and shifted again, knowing I was going to have to stand up soon, but not wanting to break the mood just yet. I had been waiting for months to hear what Justin was about to tell me. I couldn’t give him any reason to stop.
“Sasha got drunk, Grace. And he started to talk about Sammy. About how all the guys had told him to stop pining after a chick who wasn’t into dudes. Then he said they bet him fifty bucks he couldn’t convince her to make out with him.” Justin’s eyes dipped to the floor again. “I didn’t know about this. I really didn’t.”
Someone knocked on the door again. Harder this time.
“Someone is IN here!” I yelled, startling both myself and Sasha with the loudness of my voice.
“I gotta take a piss!” The voice on the other side of the door whined.
“Go upstairs, man!” Justin leaned against the door and shouted into it, half-smiling as he did it. “There’s another one upstairs!”
The voice faded away, and despite ourselves we smiled. Seizing the slightly easygoing moment, I stood up and repositioned myself against the towel rack. Justin and I were closer to each other, which made me nervous, but I couldn’t handle another moment in that uncomfortable position.
“Grace…everything is just fucked up right now. The guys said they bet he couldn’t make Sammy get with him, but that night, they did hook up. And the way he was talking about it…it put a bad taste in my mouth.”
“What do you mean?”
“He seemed…totally unconcerned. I mean, he stopped talking after he told me about the guys betting him fifty bucks…but the way he was describing everything…like it was no big deal.”
“So you think Sasha really did do something to Sammy.” I spoke the words Justin didn’t seem able to.
“I’m not sure of anything.” He ran his hand through his hair again, sliding it down his neck and massaging his own muscles. “But I’m less sure that he’s totally innocent now. And that sucks.”
“You haven’t told him this, have you?”
“No. I can’t. But he knows. He knows something’s up.”
“Hey! Who’s in here!” For a third time, someone banged on the bathroom door. “Come out or I’m gonna kick it down!”
“Shit.” Justin grabbed the door tighter. “It’s Sasha.”

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