In college, I was the ‘nerd’, the college nerd; ‘T.C.N’, the unaccepted, the misunderstood and the ‘too-smart-to-be-cool’. Well, I was until that night…
The party was in full swing, lips were locked, pants were dropped. And most of all, I was pissed. Completely fucked. I remember dancing too close to a few girls, having them turn around and smile and me as if to say ‘Well…shall we?', followed by me panicking like a shy little boy in his first year of high school and scurrying away. Of course, it was no fault but my own, I picked up the drink and I thought I would be fun. It didn’t arise on me that I would end up being the only wreck in the middle of a load of experienced college alcoholics.
Half way into the evening it dawned on me that I had in fact been abandoned by the idiots I thought I could trust; of course I couldn't. I hardly knew them. Just a bunch of guys in one of my classes thinking it would be fun to invite the non-alcoholic loner that cares too much about the history of Anne Frank than getting ‘laid’. No wonder I see no action. Little did the jerks that invited me know that I work out every day, in fact, after my dorky shirt and tie had been ripped off and since I’ve finally been able to withstand contact lenses; I was quite the catch. I suppose no one recognised me because I found myself re-introducing myself to the girls I had sat next to in history class for years.
“You’re hot!” She shouted, loud enough for me to hear over the music. Her name was Lexis, I had seen her around campus but could never get her away from the ‘jocks’ long enough to speak to.
“Yeah, I know. It’s boiling in here!” I said, wiping off the excess sweat from my forehead whilst maintaining my shuffle from left to right to the beat of the music, the jocks called it ‘dancing’. She giggled, flicking her long brunette hair from her shoulder, though I failed to see the joke. She danced with me for a few moments, too close may I add, before shouting
“Hey, what’s your name anyway?” I rolled my eyes, shaking my head before leaning towards her ear.
“It’s Jake Henderson.” I said; making sure my voice was at the right volume so I didn’t deafen the poor girl. Her eyes widened and traveled from my shoes, to my jeans, past my bare chest and to my eyes.
“Wow! But you’re… you’re, you! No way!” She could hardly speak, which I also found very amusing, looking deep into my eyes. She then laughed and pointed out “Contact lenses, you should wear them more often." She paused, blushing, then coughed slightly and continued "Who did you come with anyway?”
“Luke Garret and his friends invited me.”
“Oh, wow. I didn’t know you were in that crowd.” I assumed she meant the ‘jock’ crowd, which I most definitelywas not involved with. Though, I didn’t say that. I did one of my classic huffs, which wasn’t helping my ‘cool’ image. She continued to dance too close to me for a while, moving her hips from side to side whilst constantly touching her hair for no good reason. I was shocked at how much she was exposing as she knew so little about me. She had only just come to know my name. She then took my hand and pulled me across the dance floor, it was really just a regular floor but the furniture had been pushed aside, filled with other uncontrollable, drunk and horny, college students shuffling under the home-made strobe lights to a corridor. The corridor had sights of teenagers doing things anyone would have to be over eighteen to usually be able to see. I tried to keep my eyes to the, now stained, floor as I staggered to the place where she'd stopped.
“What are you doing?” I said, confused as she had just randomly come to a halt in the middle of a pornographic corridor.
She panted and pushed her chest out whilst looking right into my brown eyes. “If I had known you were this sexy I would have fucked you a long time ago.”
“Wait, what?-" I blurted out before she threw herself at me and her lips pressed to mine. She then pushed me into the wall and ran her hand down my stomach. I couldn’t breathe; I couldn’t even open my eyes. Everything was happening too fast and I wasn’t ready for this, I wouldn’t even know what to do if I was. But something didn’t feel right. She didn’t feel right. I wasn’t the one to give myself to a girl who had never given the time of day to me before this moment. I had to stop her. So I did. Just as she reached for my belt buckle, I took her hand and calmly placed it to her side, though I just wanted to panic and run. She stopped kissing me and took a step back with, now, narrow eyes. She huffed as if to say ‘What the fucking fuck?!’, I couldn’t care less. “I don’t want to do this.” I said, an apology in my eyes. She huffed once more and shifted her weight onto one leg. This is when I realised how sober I actually was. I could tell she was offended; I was probably the first to ever reject her. It’s not that she wasn’t beautiful, which she was, she just wasn’t beautiful to me.
She ran past me; humiliated, nudging me with her shoulder as she passed, and joined her friends like nothing had happened.
I quickly moved away from the intimate teenagers and found myself outside… chucking my guts up on the concrete. I knelt over my vomit, now dizzy from the mix of the noise and the heat combined with the damn contact lenses. It then came to me how late it was, too late. I knew I had class tomorrow, how could I have been so stupid? Why did I ever agree to such a stupid offer? I knew I could never forgive myself if I overslept and missed class. I stood up slowly, about to take the first drunken step of many toward my dorm room before hearing my name being shouted from a distance. Confused, I turned around to see the jerk that invited me in the first place.
“Jake! There you are, buddy. I’ve been looking for you.” He stopped running when he reached me, out of breath and semi-naked. “Your top is off…” he chuckled, “someone had fun”. He raised his eyebrows as he saw my abs before pulling an impressed face and throwing an arm around me, leaving me to hold him up right. “C’mon, let’s get you some more drinks!” He slurred too loud in my ear before leading back through the corridor. I debated telling him where to stick it and running to my dorm room before his friends could beat the apology out of me, though something inside me wanted to stay with him, something had lead me to believe that he had ran to me for a reason.
Back inside, the party was still in full swing; the teenagers still huddled around and laughed for no productive reason. Though, for some reason, I loved it. I loved the careless atmosphere and the harmless flirting. Luke soon re-introduced me to his friends, though this time they were accompanied with some very drunk and rearing-to-go females. I smiled as a greeting though I really just wanted to get back outside, my head was pounding and sweat was pouring. I’d never felt so much like a piece of shit in my entire life.
The next hour consisted of standing around ,listening to unfunny conversation that even I found hysterical under the circumstances, though my urge to run away grew upon me.
“I’m sorry, I have to leave.” I said, too quickly for anyone to object and ran out. As soon as my body had pushed through the door and was finally outside again, I stopped and gasped for cold air as I continued to feel unwell. I held my head whilst trying to stable myself enough to get into an up-right position.
“Hey! You can’t just leave! I invited you!” Luke yelled, storming through the open door. I turned around to see him, my eyes now puffy and sweat raining from me. “Wow, you don’t look good.” He said, with concern in his eyes. I paused, wanting to reply but unable to. My head was spinning and my stomach churning. I knew what was coming next and I wasn’t looking forward to the consequences. My head lurched forward and my hands pressed in my stomach as I vomited once more, but this time, right beside Luke. I dreaded to think of his reaction and how disrespectful and damaging that was to him and his reputation. Though, he surprised me. With comforting words and a hand on my back, he was surprisingly kind. I stood up straight, gasping for air once more, his hand still on me. He looked around to check if any of his friends were in sight distance, and took my arm before dragging me along into the darkness.
“Where are we going?” I blurted, scurrying along. I felt like it was déjà vu from an event earlier on in the evening, though one thing was certain... he wouldn’t try to undo my belt buckle.
Our destination turned out to be nowhere. Instead he just stopped by a tree in the middle of a field not too far from the venue, sat down, and took out a bottle of vodka from his jean pocket. I flumped down beside him and lent my head back on the tree, panting to take in as much air as possible. “Have you any water?” I said, running low on vocal ability. He chuckled slightly.
“Here, take this.” He took my hand and placed the vodka bottle in it, unaware, I took a swig but didn’t have enough effort to care. We sat for a few moments, just staring at the cars passing by on the road in the distance and the trees swaying in the evening breeze.
“Did you know Anne Frank named her diary ‘Kitty’?” I laughed “I have no idea why.” He chuckled slightly, took back the bottle and drank it like water.
“God, you’re a nerd.” He said... so casually.
“Maybe,” I said, staring straight ahead, though he was looking at me “beats being dumb, I guess.”
“Are you calling me dumb?” He said, abruptly, I could see his eyes widen through the corner of my eye as I didn’t reply. “Fuck you... you know nothing about me.” He rolled his eyes, taking another swig from the, now, nearly empty vodka bottle.
“I know you failed the history exam.” I smiled ,heartlessly, and carried on staring straight ahead. I knew he couldn’t do anything violent as we were both pretty much stuck to the grass. He huffed in shock; I guess he didn’t expect what I had to say.
“Who the fuck are you anyway? No- no one likes you.” He slurred, his words piercing into me. “You get the pity vote.” Still, I sat, facing the front like the teachers had ordered. I noticed him then look away from me, staring back at the cars traveling through the night. He then sighed, realising that he may have offended me more than I had him, and handed me the bottle again. I laughed slightly as I looked back at the eventful night I had just experienced. Luke’s head turned to me again, confused.
“I nearly had sex today.” I huffed in confession, breaking the silence, almost laughing at myself for saying such a thing. Luke too for a second, then paused in realisation as to what that meant.
“Wait… does that mean… ” He paused for a second “are- are you a... virgin?” He spat out the last word.
Only then did I realise what I had just confessed, and as I had already dug a grave for the only positive reputation I had, I decided to dive in head first.
“Not only that… ” I paused, taking In a breath and widening my eyes “I’ve… never really been kissed. You know... with meaning.” I stopped and looked down at my mud-stained jeans, realising how terrible I must appear. Luke’s eyes widened even more, I could tell he was resisting to laugh hysterically at me as I assumed he had had his first real kiss in his early teens, never mind being nineteen.
“Wow.” He said under his breath, staring straight ahead again. “Who did you nearly have sex with?”
“Lexis Dean.” I sighed, thinking about how humiliated she must have felt. Luke laughed dramatically, throwing his head back.
“Such a liar!” He said, still laughing and nudging me slightly... though the laughter stopped when he realised I was being serious. “Wait… Lexis wanted to fuck… you?” His eyes widened and I sensed he was impressed. He looked at me closely before saying “But you’re… ” he then looked at my torso, realising that the stereotypical ‘nerd’ I was not. His eyebrow rose as he tried to disguise the fact that he was comparing abs. “Impressive” He whispered beneath his breath. He paused as I continued to look nowhere besides ahead. Moments passed and all that was left to do was be silent. I felt moments begin to feel like hours and the cars begin to move slower. My breathing had slowed as did my heart rate, though my headache still hadn’t gone away.
“Damn contact lenses” I complained as I began to sit up right to take them out.
“Wait- " He said, a hand pressed to my stomach, stopping me from moving. He paused, resting his hand on me. He must have thought I was going to stand up and leave. I inhaled, rebelling from his cold touch, though his hand didn’t move. He looked down to my stomach and began slowly moving his hands up and down my chest. My heart rate raced; he looked up at me, as I did him, we stared into each other’s eyes. That connection generated butterflies in my stomach, something Lexis failed to create. He leaned towards me, blocked by my hand on his chest. I looked away, unsure if this was what I wanted... but it was. He removed my hand from him and touched my jaw, bringing my head to face him once more. But this time, I didn’t look away. This time, I was ready. We leaned in and I inhaled before our lips met. We kissed, and though we were drunk and upset; it meant something. He meant something.
The early morning was spent kissing someone I was attracted to, someone I wanted to pursue, right there underneath that tree. That night, how little of it I remember to the point, will always remain in my memory. In that moment with him I didn’t feel invisible or used, I felt alive and able. I no longer felt the barrier between the nerd and the jock. And, although he was no longer there when I woke up and has never spoken to me since, I knew I meant something to him too. That’s what was important.
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