“Come on, I bet you can’t do it,” said Marv, staring at Sara as she handled the shot of vodka. At this point a small crowd had gathered, and as Tom watched he contemplated leaving the party already.
“I told you I’m no baby,” said Sara, gazing at the clear liquid as if it were poison. In some respects it was. Considering its effects on the immune system and the long-term damage it could cause—oh, she just downed the entire thing.
“Suck a dick,” said Sara, making pelvic thrusts that were certainly inappropriate for a lady, or anyone for that matter. But it seemed like the party thought differently from Tom, as a chorus of "oh snap" rang out. Dollar bills were exchanged and Tom realized this must be the craziest thing that he had ever experienced in his fourteen years on this planet.
He had been invited to the party as an afterthought, since Patricia knew that Tom was going to be sober by the end of the night, and she needed a ride home. And, after all of the build-up, Tom was hating it.
He wasn’t a total nerd, or at least that’s what his mother said. Oh God, that’s a bad sign. But he liked the concept of a party. Getting to meet people, talking about important political issues, deepening their bonds through trust-building exercises. Wow, thought Tom, I really misunderstood what parties were about. It seemed as though the entire point was to get as drunk as possible, and to avoid breaking anything too expensive.
“Well, better mention to Patricia that I’m leaving,” Tom said, still deafened by the sound of speakers turned up to "do I now have permanent ear damage" levels. He wormed his way to her, attempting to avoid the flailing arms and legs of others around him having “fun”. After braving the hordes of Hell, he finally reached the sofa that she was lounging on, surrounded by a gaggle of giggling girls. Ooh, should save that alliteration for some English project.
“What? You have to speak up, I can’t hear you.”
Tom rolled his eyes and attempted to shout, “Hey Patricia, I’m going to…”
“Ugh. I’m—” Before Tom could finish his sentence, the door slammed open, and in entered three new partygoers. There was Matt, the strong jock type, whose continuance to remember to breathe was a miracle. Then right by his side was his babe-alicious girlfriend, or so Tom was told; Tom could never understand how giant breasts and a big butt were turn-ons. As the door seemed to close, a final, more shadowy figure entered the scene. Bouncing red locks rolled down a rugged leather jacket, followed by the footfalls of army boots stomping through the crowd. Tom knew exactly who this was.
Tom’s heart skipped multiple beats, and he wondered if it had stopped altogether.
“Yo, Earth to Tom. You were saying something to me,” said Patricia, confused by her DD’s sudden distraction.
“Oh, uh. I was saying—thanks, Patricia, for letting me stay.”
Patricia stretched out her hand, gazing at how perfectly manicured it was. “Well, you know, I’m always willing to help the ‘little people’ as it were. You’re welcome for the honour.”
Tom continued to stare absently into the crowd. “Uh, yeah, you’re great and all that.”
“Yes, yes I am. Now continue having fun, just don’t get too wasted now. Tata.” She waved him off, and immediately went back to chatting with her friends, almost as though no time had passed.
Tom continued to float through the party like an ethereal being, until suddenly burning and crashing into the ground. He had been casually pouring himself a glass of carbonated garbage 55, when someone bumped into him from behind, and he found his drink decorating Matt’s shirt. It was a marvelous design, wide brush strokes accenting the chiseled canvas, and it reeked of nearly instantaneous death. As Matt gazed down to see that his designer shirt had dropped down in market value, Tom tilted his head, staring at the spill. Huh, it kind of looks like a dick.
Matt’s meaty hands crashed down on Tom’s wiry frame, like an anaconda ensnaring its prey. Fortunately for Tom, Matt wasn’t as fast as a snake, and he escaped the hold with ease. But unlike a snake, Matt was quite persistent.
“Hey punk, why’d you do that?”
“Uh—I—sorry?” Tom wasn’t entirely sure what to do. He didn’t assume Matt was that big of a bruiser, but the look that he was giving off didn’t exactly assure him that he wasn’t going to end up in a dumpster.
“I saw you staring at my girl when I came in. I didn’t give it much mind, but now this? You just trying to mess with me, nerd?” Great. Matt was observant enough to notice Tom staring in his direction, just not bright enough to realize that this was just an accident.
Tom was about to blurt out that he had just been staring at Riley, but then he stopped. What if Riley found out? Tom knew that he wasn’t even in Riley’s league, let alone the same continent. Tom had been crushing on Riley for years. If he said anything now, he would look like a total creep. So, instead of an eloquent sentence, Tom just stuttered out a complete mess of one.
“Uh, no girlfriend stare, me spill, you tall scary.” The words just sort of hung in the air for a good solid minute, just to make sure that Tom fully comprehended what he had said. Wow, was that even English? thought Tom. Well, this is probably going to hurt.
Matt just stared. Then he raised his fist to the sky, destruction radiating from it.
But before Tom met his maker, someone made a very attention-grabbing comment. “Hey Matt, your girlfriend is making out with Patricia. Just thought you should know.”
Matt’s eyes glowed, and he blasted off, pushing his way through the party.
“So what was that all about?”
Tom turned to face this stranger and—oh God, abort, abort—it was Riley. He was not prepared for this, even though he should have really recognized Riley’s voice, and oh, still staring.
“Uh, it was just.” Tom sighed. “He thought I was making moves on his girlfriend.”
“No, obviously not.”
“Are you sure? I saw you zoning out in her direction when we entered. ”
Ah crap, Riley had noticed the staring too. Maybe this was good? No, definitely bad. Maybe Riley might reciprocate his feelings? Bah that’s stupid. Tom looked Riley dead in the eyes, ready to say something.
“Me no likey big butt, I like the cool bean here.”
Well, that was certainly a sentence.
Hand connected to forehead, and Riley let out a thunderous laugh. Yep, that’s obviously rejection. Oh God, thought Tom, I’ve failed on every level possible.
“I have never been called a cool bean before,” said Riley.
Tom felt his shoulders slump, as he prepared for the inevitable.
“But I think I could certainly get used to it.”
“Yeah, it’s kind of obvious that you’ve been crushing on me for a while.”
“I wanted to see if you actually had the guts to say it out loud first though. I can’t exactly date someone who is too afraid to talk about their feelings.”
Tom sighed and said, “So, I’m not a total creep?”
“Eh, maybe a little.” Riley laughed. “But I think it’s more cute than creepy.” Riley leaned towards Tom and gave him a quick peck on the cheek.
“Now you better get out of here before Matt comes back. Considering how Patricia wasn’t actually making out with his girlfriend, I assume he’ll be quite confused.”
Tom realized this was probably a great suggestion, and hurried to smuggle Patricia out, knowing now that his life of adventure had just begun.
Tyler Cooke hails from the small town of Alliston, Ontario, right outside of Barrie. He is known as a quiet individual, but also as the most boisterous character in class, depending on the day. His hobbies include reading, playing tabletop games, scouring Tumblr for memes, and of course playing video games.