Going Out (2nd Draft)

Going Out (2nd Draft) - student project

I made sure to go more in depth on the character's conflicts/flaws in this one! Your advise to listen to a text-to-speech helped immensely Adam. Here is my slightly longer, final version of Going Out. 

You finally decided to go out tonight, after the quiet enjoyable weekends spent alone in your room, you say fuck it. While sitting on the cold metal bench you stare blankly at your phone. It’s just meant to look busy while you mentally prepare for this. This will be a great distraction from current problems with Steven. The escape of this conversation is probably just delaying the inevitable break up, but a girl can hope it’ll have alternate effects. The vibration of messages he’s sending grabs your attention, but tonight isn’t about him. Plus, it feels good wearing nice clothes and make up for once, even if this crop top is too small and your ghost-white legs are poorly shaven.

Your ride slowly rolls up next to you ten minutes late, which felt more like thirty minutes in this outfit. You slide into the backseat of the tiny blue Honda and are met with the uncomfortable feeling of being dirty in a new, untouched car. You felt bad for wearing your mucked-up work boots, but they are the only shoes you own that fit the theme for the party. You close the door softly, noticing the only person you know in the car is the tall brunette who is also driving.

“Hi Megan, thanks for inviting me to come with you tonight.”  

“No problem girl, just make sure to put on your seatbelt.”

As you begin to ride away from your dorm you immediately regret your decision to socialize tonight. You reach for your phone to try to avoid the urgent itch to escape this disaster waiting to happen. Your eyes focus on the intense red notification just teasing for you to check Steven’s messages. Grudgingly, you fight the temptation and scroll through Instagram instead. Most of the posts tonight are depressing or attention-seeking, per usual for a Saturday night. Yet on another note, half of the people you know in your math class are already posting pictures from the party. You’re almost embarrassed to see they’re already plastered before ten. It’ll be even more embarrassing when you see them there. You pray to any deity that you won’t have to talk to them.

You feel the car slowing down to a stop and look up from your bright screen to see the change of scenery outside. The once brightly lit, clean streets were replaced with neighborhoods with garbage bags placed on curbs, filthy toys left in yards to forever be unused, and lawns with muddy unkempt grass. Knowing frat boys, they can only make so much money to afford rent to still have enough to please their alcoholic habits. A small, two story shack will do.

You take a sigh of relief that the ride was quick, and you try to prepare for the long night ahead. You take one splash out of the car, landing in a puddle. Megan in her white converse danced around the water as if it were going to set off an alarm system. The streetlights reflected off the rainwater, warm like sunlight compared to the wet March and windy Midwestern seasons. The house seemed to radiate its own heat; you can feel the cramped sweaty pit of people from here. You wish you could just stay by the car and watch the party from a safe distance, but like a good soldier you continue to march on.

The broken screen door creaked as everyone entered and exited simultaneously. As you enter the kitchen the bursts of alcohol, body odor, and cheap weed soak your nostrils as your skin already feels sticky. How the hell can anyone enjoy this? The floor squeaked as people stumbled through the soaked tiled hall towards the stairs downward. The fully carpeted basement was filled with noise. Jumbled rap music competed heavily with the loud drunks who tried to out-sing the speakers. High-pitched girls screamed for their drinks near the back. The room shook with vibration from the bass of the music and people jumping along to it.

At this point Megan has already made her way to the front of the crowd, leaving you to your own demise. As you look around for people to leech off of you see someone familiar. Awkwardly tall, pale, thin blonde hair, crooked smile, and sharp baby blue eyes. It doesn’t feel right to approach the guy, but you two have made eye contact a few times on campus. With the flash of the excessive rave lights he was gone and you were pushed towards the center as more people squeezed in. It was hard to breathe in the hot humid air, it felt like drowning and falling all the same time. With all your effort you pushed yourself to the surface, up the stairs, back to the kitchen. Even with more air, it wasn’t very refreshing as people blew buffs of smoke into the room.

Pulling out your phone, as you hope to reach Megan, you noticed Steven called. Twice. You swiped the voicemails away and called Megan. Twice. You aren’t surprised, but this gave you enough time to take a deep breath to dive back downstairs to grab her. You hurry down the steps and see that pattern of people moving. Their figures swayed like underwater anemones flowing to the current. Meghan was one of the more noticeable anemones, waving her $2 jungle juice drink in the air. You pounced at the opening and made your way to the front, calling out to Megan every few steps to grab her attention.

The rave lights fused together the closer you got to her and you began to feel out of breath again. Your world spins a little, not from being lightheaded, rather someone twisting you around. Something dry and bitter pressed against your lips. Whatever was touching you was harsh, and breathed heavily on your cheek. It’s lips felt cracked, crumbly almost. Your arms were limp, this feeling felt cold and unexpected. The feeling stuck for what felt like entire minutes fleeted after mere seconds. 

A touch on your back replaced the pursed lips. Megan grabbing your hand, yells, “who was that? Was it that douchebag Collin? Aren’t you still with Steven?” There was no reply. It felt like the rest of the air was pulled out of your body. Your shrunken lungs now paralyzed as your brain freezes. Megan furrows her brow and pulls you upstairs. 

The next 10 minutes fast forward, speeding through the house, into Megan’s car, and back to campus. The play button pressed as you stepped out of the car and looked at your dorm hall. You hesitate to go back to your room as Megan drives away. Simply standing there, quarter until midnight looking up at the ivy-infested brick walls. The wind picks up, raising the crashes of powerful Lake Michigan waves in the distance. You might as well have drowned back at the party, because now your throat burns and swells. The tears weave with the curve of your cheeks and slide down your steep chin. 

As vision blurs from crying, you walk to your room and stand in the doorway. The cluttered room has clothes thrown over every chair and table, single shoes turned over and several feet from each other, and make up items spotted throughout the space. You left so last minute now you are left with the physical and emotional baggage of going out. 

You reached your low for the day and decide it is time you look at Steven’s messages. His past messages, often short and to the point, now stretch over the entire screen as he gives detailed points of his frustration, confusion, and disappointment in you. After what happened at the party, this feeling is appropriate. Tossing your phone on your desk, you pull off your clothes and toss them originally for the laundry bin, but end up flopped over on the ground. 

With only a bra and pink, lacey underwear you fell on all fours. What felt like throwing up turned into mutters and pressure being released from your lungs. All the pressure on the world seemed to stack, keep you smashed to the ground, crushing the little confidence that you had left in yourself. You eventually crawl in bed and dream of him. The dementor absorbed the life out of you, leaving you left with only the unwanted, darker parts that made up you. 

On Sunday you see him, Collin, walking to breakfast with his friends. With his eyes he said “hello”, and his chapped, wide mouth added “round two?”