1 comment

Funny American Drama

 I guess every dog has its day held some merit. After all, my life did a 180 and gave me the thrill I’ve been yearning for since the sandbox. 

The college experience was a puzzle, everyone had their own piece in making the experience. I hated the jagged one I got. A studious student who was carrying group projects,getting used by girls for homework answers; but was god awful socially.The few friends I had were from the chess club, a group of outsiders with the goal of being more than pawns in life. I fit right in. Thomas was the leader of the group, and a mastermind at chess. He was the only one with real access to the other side as we call it. He was the bridge to frat parties, beautiful girls and alcohol. 

-

“Checkmate”

“I was so close, Thomas can you at least let me have one”, I chuckle.

I was rising from my seat, but he grabbed my arm-

“Hold on, I heard you helped Sarah write her paper on healthcare disparities in western civilization. Me and her are friends, you know that's your ticket right?”

“My ticket?” I said, now slowly descending back into my seat.

“The semester is almost over and I know some people who are throwing a party tonight, it's a few minutes from campus. You just need someone to vouch for you, I will cover your entry fee. I really think you should go, this could be game changing for you.”

I looked at Thomas with uncertainty.

“I don’t know bro-”

Thomas played with a pawn in his hand,“Do you have Sarah’s phone number, yes or no?”

“Yea I have it.”

“Okay, so you're already in, do you call her or text?”

“call.”

“Bro, you're good no way she says no, call her after you leave and text me what she says.”

I stumble to my feet, knocking over my queen in the process. On the way out of the room, I wave at a few of my other club friends. 

I start walking to the cafeteria and try to psych myself into calling her. It’s not that hard, don't overthink it. I finished all of my end of semester papers and tests, so a meatball sub and brownie was a treat for all my hungry nights. I approached the building that had the university’s biggest cafeteria and heard my name being called over all of the outdoor buzz. I turn around.

“Hey Joseph, thank you for helping me with my paper, I got a B+.” Sarah says.

“You didn’t get an A?”

“No, and who cares I just needed a B on the paper to pass the class.”

She looks stunning up close, I never really noticed her freckles until now, she for sure was prepping for tonight. 

“Well I’m glad to hear that.” I said.

My palms were sweaty and eye contact weary. She noticed the anxiety pouring out of me and saved me.

“Well, I’ll catch you around.” She smiled. 

She turned to walk away-

“Sarah, wait, I heard you're having a party tonight.”

She quickly turned back to face me, I was now standing more confident and approachable.

“Yea, it’s my friends, why…you want to come?

“Sure, Thomas was the one to let me know about it.”

“Oh yea me and Thomas are cool, you're for sure invited; it’s 15 at the door for guys also.”

She gave a farewell grin and walked the opposite way.

“See you there,” I mumbled. 

-

No way I overslept, I had 15 minutes before the party doors closed. I apply deodorant under my pits, I grab the extra towel out of my closet and swiped at the scattered water beads across my body. That had to be the fastest shower I ever took. My phone buzzes often, but I’m too focused on drying off and getting my close on; I finally check my phone. Thomas was blowing up my phone. I call his number back, press the speaker icon and toss my phone on the bed to my left. 

“Bro, where are you”

“I’m getting dressed,

“I sent over the directions, hurry up, text me when you reach.” 

He hangs up. Thomas was doing me a favor and I was being a letdown. I hate feeling like a burden. I was using the closet door as a crutch to get my other leg into my pants. I check the time and it’s not in my favor. My hair is still wet, but I just slab some gel onto it and call it a day. I shuffle my feet into my sneakers and stand in-front of the mirror hanging on my closet. For once I actually like what I was wearing. I just needed one night where I didn’t look like the chess club kid. This was the perfect disguise thanks to Thomas who helped pick out this fit over the phone. I grab my hoodie for the brisk fall air that was about to hug me. I grab my phone off the bed and rush out of the dorm room. 

-

I was cutting it too close to my liking, I assume Thomas took an Uber to the party, he said a few minutes which now I knew was by car. I was burst sprinting down sidewalks, my lungs were set ablaze and my breathing exacerbated. I check the time on my phone. Two more minutes until the doors close, I was done for. My legs were dead and I already was thinking about walking back. Once again I was rescued, god heard my pleas and set help. 

“Yo bro you heading to Paul’s party” someone said from the inside of a sedan that stopped on the side of me.

I had no idea who Paul was, I just nodded; at this point I didn’t care who’s party I went to, I just needed to get off my feet. 

“Hop right in.”

The right backseat door opened like the gates of heaven, and I did not hesitate to wobble over and hop in. I didn’t even finish closing the car door and the smell of alcohol and frat sweat punched my nostrils. A guy was sitting in the middle and to his left was a girl. Both were staring at me like I was a foreign entity. 

“What’s your name dawg.” a deep voice next to me said.

“My name is Joseph, I was running late.”

“Oh yea we saw buddy, we were following you a block ago.”

So they were following me and found my gasps for life comical. I can tell the passengers in this car couldn’t draw a straight line with a ruler. A bunch of airheads.

I notice the car has stopped.

“Alright everyone out, I gotta find parking.” the driver yelled.

The sides of the street were lined with cars. It was obvious this was the party, I could hear the rumbles of bass and flashing strobe lights coming from the back of this stoic looking house. 

I should have texted Thomas while in the car. The front yard of this house was standard, but kept up. Grass looks like it was cut yesterday and has a nice bed of flowers off to the left, with a stone walkway up the middle. 

“Party is around back, guys follow me.”

I walked with a group of degenerates around the house. A thick wooden gate and tall man stood between us and the party. 

“I need names” he said.

I let the others go in-front of me. I checked my phone to see if Thomas responded. He read my text, but no reply. I didn’t want to call him either and be a burden, it’s bad enough I was late. One by one I watched everyone ahead of me walk in the now open gate. The party was active and wild, I caught eyes with Sarah who was a few feet away from the gate. She took a glance at me twice and walked over.

“He’s with me, let him in.” she said to the tall man.

She smiled and waited until I crossed over into the backyard of sin and drugs.

“I thought you were a no show, I’m glad you came…lets get you a drink.”

I walk with her and observe the chaos; girls shotgunning drinks, a few people jumping around in the pool and our school mascot getting a lap dance in a lawn chair. Everyone became a blur, I was now focused on finding Thomas and thanking him. 

“Have you seen Thomas?”

Sarah pointed towards the other end of the yard past the pool, “Yea he’s over there talking to Jess.”

“I’m going to say hi, I’ll be back”.

I walked through the obstacle course of drunk college girls, scattered red cups, and drunk frat guys trying to hand me a drink. I finally reached him.

“Hey Thomas.”

He turned from the girl he was flirting with, and gave me a look of revulsion.

“Oh, hey you made it…Jess this is Joseph, I know him from my biology class.

No, you know me from the Chess club,you're a geek in disguise like me. I hate liars. I anxiously do a half wave. Thomas walks over to me and gets real close to my ear.

“What are you doing, you're interrupting what I got going on, take this cup and just walk away.” he whispers.

I follow his demands, I can faintly hear him tell her I went to get him some more alcohol. This wasn’t the Thomas I knew, this was a douchebag with a 3.8 gpa. While walking by the pool a girl splashed me and started chuckling. It was then that I regretted even going to the chess club today. If I just stayed in my room I could be rewatching season two of the twilight zone. Sucks that I didn’t know where Sarah was, my anxiety was trying to close my airways. I walk to the back door of the house, my curiosity made me open the door and walk in. Compared to the backyard this was a dead gathering. Just some people standing around drinking. I felt a hand tap my shoulder, I turn around-

“I saw you come inside, you look lost.” Sarah smiles and hands me a red cup.

“Thanks, yeah this party is dope, I’m having a great time.” Honestly I’m dying a slow painful death.

Sarah looks past me and smiles.

“Here’s my boyfriend Todd, the leader of "Bunker Boyz". 

She didn’t have to tell me he was the leader of anything, I could tell by his menacing presence. He looks like he’s cosplaying as Ivan Drago. I was waiting for a Russian greeting.

“Yo whats up my guy, you're enjoying the party.”

“Yea my guy.” Really, my guy?

I can see the suspicion in his eyes, he was analyzing a kid that was trying too hard to fit in.

“Have fun, I gotta make sure the guys picked up more beer.” He smiles and walks past us and out the door.

“Let me know what you think about the drink, I mixed it myself.” she said.

Little did she know this was my first ever alcoholic drink, I had no idea if I was a lightweight or not.

-

It’s safe to say that I’m a lightweight, two hours into the party .I was a goner. Drinking beer out of tubes, smoking with the guy at the gate, and being the star of dance circles . If this is what it felt like to be a bunker boy I was missing out these past two years. The party was at its apex, everyone was shit faced drunk and the vibes were intense. I had no clue where Thomas or Sarah was, but I didn’t need them. The  liquor turned me into a social monster, it strangled my anxiety. 

“Who wants to take shots.” a frat boy yelled.

I knew I was too fucked up, but my demons couldn’t turn down a shot. I ran over to the table where people were standing around. 

“Looks like we have a volunteer.” the frat boy said. 

I can’t even speak without slurring my words, so I just nod.

“ I mixed some strong shit that will send you to the afterlife, If you can take this down you're a god amongst mortals.” he hollered.

Afterlife,what the fuck did he put in there?

The crowd was growing and a chant broke out.

“Drink…drink…drink.”

This was peer pressure on steroids. How do I even back out of this? I catch Sarah’s eyes in the crowd of drunks.

I grab the cup and down the death shot. I lived a good life. My throat and stomach were going through the pits of hell. Faces began to blur, the shouting started to sound like mumbles. I could feel myself vibrating. The floor I was now laying on felt so warm. I saw blurry faces looking down on me. Someone helped me to my feet; something was bubbling up in my stomach.. Someone grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the crowd.

“Joseph, are you okay?”

It was Sarah, I could make out that delicate voice.

“You drank way too much, that’s enough for tonight.”

Sarah could see that I was about to vomit. She rushed me into the front yard and I ran towards the bed of plants. I start barfing my guts out. 

“Fuck.” she shouted.

My throw up episode lasted a few minutes. The poor flowers stood no chance. Sarah was there the whole time rubbing my back like this was the norm. 

“I think I’m about to piss myself.” I mumbled.

She watched me struggle to unzip my pants; she couldn’t bare to see me struggle anymore, so she helped me.

“Sarah what the fuck are you doing.” of course Todd shows up at this time.

“It’s not what you think Todd, he needed help.”

“You whore.” 

I turned around, “don’t call her that you douchebag.”

I didn’t even realize, but I pissed on Todd. 

“Oh shit he pissed on Todd, is all I heard from the crowd that was forming in the front yard. 

Todd had evil intentions coursing through that peanut of a brain. I started laughing in his face like an idiot.  

Sarah tugged on my shoulder, “you have to get out of here.”

I still couldn’t process how serious the situation was. 

“Randy hand me that bat.” Todd shouted. 

A bat from the crowd was tossed to Todd. He grabs it out of the air like Thor and speed walks towards me. This is how it all ends, I get my face pulverized by a bat near stinky flowers.

The sound of a police siren sliced the tension. Red and blue lights bounced off the shadowy houses and cars. 

“Somebody hide the high schoolers.” Todd screamed.

The group of students were scrabbling like a disturbed ant hill. This was my chance to escape. I zipped my pants up and moved past Sarah. I stumbled through the grass and jogged onto the shadowy sidewalk. A car pulls up to the side of me. 

“Yo you going back to campus?”

I nod like I’ve been doing this whole night.

-

Thomas was right, this night did change my life. I was banned from every bunkerboy party. Sarah dumped Todd, it was all worth it. I at least had a chance to shoot my shot at her. Around campus I was known as the death shot kid. Till this day I don’t know how I managed to survive that night. The pawn was now a King.

November 09, 2023 22:35

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

1 comment

David McCahan
23:44 Nov 15, 2023

Had flashbacks of painful college parties, friends changing in an instant trying to discover themselves and of course, the Todds. Torture and still somehow I now look back on them with some odd fondness. And a relief of not having to go through them anymore. Nicely done.

Reply

Show 0 replies

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.