My race around campus was leaving me out of breath, but it finally brought me to our dorm. The first floor was relatively vacant with the exceptions of a few students walking around in search of an afternoon snack.
“So you call me over and then nothing?” I mumbled before I felt my body nearly topple over at the force of someone jumping on me.
I never spun around so quickly as I did then. Luckily, it wasn’t some assailant trying to end me, but rather my best friend who was chilling/studying on the other side of the country—Gia!
“Oh my god!” I shrieked and immediately wrapped my arms around her. “Are you seriously here?”
The moment I hugged her, I only hoped she didn’t catch a whiff of sweat. Mine of Sabin’s. God, I needed a shower.
“Yes, girl! It’s really me! In the flesh!” Gia posed before looking me up and down. “You look a bit all over the place, no offense. What’s going on?”
“Are you the reason that Dani was blowing up my phone?” I grinned, finally putting two and two together.
“Oh shit. She did that, huh?”
“Gia, I ran.”
“Fuck. Yeah, let’s get you all settled. Dani knows how to make someone panic, huh?”
I rolled my eyes as we walked up the stairs. “You have idea.”
There was no doubt that Dani was already in our room. Clearly she was getting a kick out of it, but it definitely didn’t compare to what she was going to hit me with. As expected, Dani was hanging out on the couch with a wild grin plastered on her face.
“You made me panic, jerk!” I said, tossing my backpack at her.
“Well, you left me no choice, honestly. “
While I expected Dani to analyze my appearance and my lack of response, she played it cool while we caught up with Gia. We talked about school and how time was flying quicker than either of us anticipated. I mean, before we knew it, we were on the brink of graduating. Last we knew, we were shopping for school supplies and now we were all hanging out just like old times. I loved them. I truly loved them. But of course the catching up would always ended and we ended back in the present moment.
“Okay, so are we going to talk about Alma’s sex hair?” Gia smirked.
I rolled my eyes and shrugged. “Yeah, okay. Sabin and I had sex.”
Dani’s face lit up as she flung herself at me. “I have been waiting for you to say that! Girl! YES! Alma Fucking Wells got some!”
“Can’t. Can’t. Was it good? No regrets? How’s that body though?”
Gia sat down and motioned for me to continue.
Was I like that when I found out Dani slept with her boyfriend (at the time)? Ah, the natural bestie curiosity, but I understood. So, naturally, I told them how it went down from point A to point B. The memory was still so fresh in my mind. The way his body moved, the way that I felt when he touched me, and god—the way his lips curled when he heard me moan. I loved every bit of it and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The entire time Dani snickered and Gia responded by nudging her to the side so I could keep talking.
“It was honestly great. Um, my cooch is definitely a bit well…”
“Sore?” Dani sighed.
“Amen, girl.” Gia agreed. “What stinks is that you feel similar discomfort when you don’t sleep with someone in a while either.”
I didn’t even want to think about that. Frankly, I was done talking about myself and ready to move on to the guest of honor.
“Gia, so what’s going on with you? I think I missed your message about you coming for a visit. Greatest surprise might I add, but is something going on?”
Gia shrugged and leaned back on the couch. “I needed my girls. I think it’s time for a girls night. I am ready to dance-“
I rolled my eyes at Dani.
“Yes, Dani is right. You don’t have any plans with Sabin, do you?”
I shook my head. “Not that I’m aware of.” Which was true. “I think he’s just wondering what’s going on since I ran out of his room with my pants barely buttoned up right after we had sex. Think that sent a good message?”
Dani smirked and spun her phone around like a sheriff in a cheesy western. “All in a day’s work.”
If I rolled my eyes any harder, they would have landed in the back of my head. “But no, I don’t think we have any plans. I’m all yours.”
So, it was decided that we would go out, and it would be the full package. We would get all dolled up and hit the local bars where Dani and Gia were bound to let loose. I wasn’t much of a dancer like they were, but after a few drinks, I always loosed up. Then, and only then was I a good dancer.
I waited till almost the last second to get dressed. I watched Gia and Dani pick out their clothes instead, and well, checked my phone.
Just checking you’re OK
I quickly responded to him, letting him know what happened and what we had planned. I had to offer some explanation since it looked like it was something much more serious when I ran out. Had to give him some piece of mind that everything was fine. Once I was able to get that across, I quickly rushed to my dresser to pull out what I deemed as appropriate “clubbing” clothes before running to take a quick shower.
I showered as quickly as I possibly could, but Gia still came in to keep me company.
“I’ll do your hair, okay?”
“So, how are things at school?” I asked while Gia brushed my hair.
“Ah, you know,” she sighed. “It’s a lot of hard work, but I love it. I’m excited to be finished because frankly, I couldn’t imagine living out there all alone. My family is all here and so are you guys. What about you? Do you have plans to spread your wings and float on away?” she smirked with one arm around my shoulder.
I honestly didn’t know. I hadn’t thought out my future quite that far ahead. All that I was focused on was keeping my plants alive, Sabin in touch with me, and my grades up.
So, I shrugged. “I don’t know.”
Gia soon applied the final touches to my hair before coming around to look at me. “So, this Sabin guy—he’s the real deal, huh?”
Flushed, I asked her what she meant.
“You love him?”
“Yeah, I really do.”
Once those words left my lips, Gia stepped away from me and grinned. “You know, I’m really happy for you. You’ve really changed quite a lot since high school.”
“Really?” I tilted my head to the side and looked in the mirror. “Maybe my hair?”
She smirked and nudged me. “You know what I mean. “
Maybe I did.
“You’ve opened up. Of course your passions are still very much part of who you are, but you’re just glowing now. The couple of boyfriends you’ve had since middle school, none of them even match the look you have now.”
I couldn’t help but smile at that observation. She had a point. Sabin was definitely the first man I loved and one I actually considered as a special part of my life. Heck, he’s the only guy I introduced to my family. That had to mean something, right?
Trying to steer the attention to Gia, I leaned against the counter and clicked my tongue. “So, come on, is there someone special in your life? You’ve made your observations about me already.”
Gia adjusted her top, making sure her “girls” weren’t popping out, before responding.
“I don’t really know how to answer that question, so for now I’ll say maybe.”
When there was talk of feelings, Dani was never far behind. She walked into the bathroom and exhaled. “I think someone needs to spill the beans!”
Gia wagged her finger in Dani’s face and stuck her tongue out. “Not until I’m three shots deep!”
“Three?” I asked.
“I’d be talking silly after five, so this is a nice balance.”
“Well, shit! Let’s go!” Dani proclaimed before rushing out the door.
Our campus wasn’t so much about the clubbing scene, which I was secretly thankful for, but we did have some cool bars. The DJ’s weren’t too shabby, which mean hangouts like this were quite fun. We dressed up for the occasion and we were definitely ready to get the evening going. As promised, three shots in, and Gia was already letting loose. Dani was close behind while scoring us free drinks with her shameless flirting. If only our parents could see us now. Knowing Mom, she’d just join in. I guess I didn’t have the guts to do something like that.
“So, you promised,” Dani said while sipping on a vodka cranberry. “Who is on Gia’s radar?”
She rolled her eyes and shrugged. “Some guy from my history class, but eh…”
“Why?” I asked.
“I don’t want to live there forever. Once I graduate, I’m coming back.”
“Doesn’t hurt to take him for a spin, Gia,” Dani commented after throwing back the last drop of her drink. “Test the waters with some good ‘ol casual dating.”
“That’s on my agenda, but we’ll see how that goes.”
“Who knows,” I uttered, “maybe he’ll like you so much, he’ll follow you back to St. Claire!”
“Oh stop!” She grinned. “And drink some more!”
With everything that happened, it sent my mind into a frenzy—goint out with Dani and Gia was perfect. My mind was still reeling from that afternoon with Sabin, but this allowed me to just really enjoy the moment. Maybe it was all the endorphins making me feel so damn good, or the alcohol, or the music, or maybe a combination of all of those, but I spread my arms out and spun with my friends.
Gia made a good point. We were almost finished with school and we would soon have to think about what our next steps were. Was my step going to include going back home, or moving somewhere else? Was Sabin going to stay with me? I was feeling more confident about Sabin than anything else, which meant that once all the dancing was done I would have to devote some time to thinking about the future.
But for the moment, we had the music, the drinks, and the company I could never tire of.
Like all evenings that involved alcohol and a ridiculous amount of dancing, we all ended up back at our dorm to snack on all the things that comforted us.
Cheetos, pizza–just about anything greasy that we could pick-up or heat up in the microwave.
We had finally arrived at the moment in the evening/early morning where it was Dani’s turn to get grilled.
“What about you, Dani?” Gia asked.
“What about me?” she responded after stuffing a Cheeto puff in her mouth.
“What’s going on in your life? Alma tells me you’re dating again?”
We listened as Dani skipped around from story to story that involved Otto. Already we could tell that she was speaking about him with sincere emotion. We didn’t hear that with the other guy. That’s for sure. It made sense, really. Otto was genuinely kind and Dani deserved to be treated with respect. It was amazing to see her beaming with joy. I could even see Gia smiling from the corner of my eye. How could you not feel great when you saw your best friend happy?
“You look awfully smitten, Dani. It’s kind of gross,” I laughed, rubbing my forehead.
“Well, you can’t be having all the fun now, eh?” She sighed happily. “I really like him, but of course we’re not really dating, so it’s not like I can just sit around and hope it’ll be something, right?”
Gia shifted her position to her knees before tapping Dani’s leg. “You can ask him. Last thing you’d want is to be completely invested and the guy just keeps you around as a bedroom pet, ya know?”
Dani nodded, but before she even had a chance to think of her response over, we were interrupted by the sound of someone knocking on our door. It was nearly 2 AM. I knew that Sabin wasn’t going to be stopping by.
Dani, being closest to the door, got up and went to go see who was causing a commotion so late in the evening. We were pretty quiet, so it couldn’t have been a complaint! Regardless, Dani kept us in the dark even after she opened the door. She disappeared almost immediately and shut the door behind her. So much for being kept in the loop.
“You think it’s someone looking for booze?” Gia asked. “I think we’re out now…”
“Luckily, I don’t think people go door to door looking for booze. At least as far as I know,” I laughed. “But listen,” I motioned to the door again. “Dani isn’t yelling at anyone, so I think we’re fine.”
Gia nodded and climbed onto the desk chair Dani was sitting on before. “Who knows maybe it’s someone just wandering. You know how people get on the weekend. Or even better,” she sighed while leaning forward to rest her head on my shoulder. “Maybe it’s that pizza I thought about ordering…”
No one really knew at that moment, but it couldn’t have been bad if Dani didn’t slam the door. Who knew, maybe it was a message for her?
Danika Lace, one of my dearest friends, deserved nothing but the very best. Somewhere, I felt that things would really start turning around for her.
Until then, we would simply have to wait until she walked back inside.