Fuck Valentine's Day(31)

By: C.M. Stunich

“There's a party at one of the frat houses tonight, do you want to go?”

“Which one?” I ask. Lacey, my roommate, doesn't know because she doesn't give a shit about frat houses. She doesn't give a shit about men at all. I wish I was like her. Maybe if I was into girls, I'd have an easier time falling in love with someone that wasn't a complete piece of shit? But then again, Rick isn't a complete piece of shit, and I don't want to fall in love with him either.

Lacey shrugs and takes off her sweater, tossing it over her computer chair.

“It's tonight at six, do you want to go?”

“Any party that starts at six is a party that I'm not interested in,” I tell her as I stand up and stretch. Lacey gives me a weird look, and I notice that my skirt's ridden up a bit. I push it down and gather up some clothes. I feel disgusting. I didn't change last night, and I can feel that guy's sweat all over me.

“Come with me, please,” Lacey begs, and I know she's afraid to go alone because her girlfriend might ignore her and run off with some frat boy. It's happened before. “I'll give you twenty bucks.”

“Keep your money,” I tell her as I grab a towel and the basket that holds my shampoo. “I'll go, okay? I'll meet you here tonight.”

“Five thirty,” Lacey says to me with a smile as she brushes a comb through her pretty, blonde hair. “I don't want to be late.” I try not to roll my eyes and tell her that nobody gives a fuck if you're late to a frat party.

“Sure,” I say as I leave the room in a hurry, rushing to get to the bathroom before everyone else does. There's this communal atmosphere that descends over the room when there's more than three girls in the bathroom at one time. I don't understand it, and it makes me uncomfortable. I never join in the conversation and have to use the stall at the very end, the one with the broken faucet, so I don't have to look at them looking at me and wondering what the hell is wrong.

I get to the bathroom just in time and manage to shower, get dressed, and put on makeup before anybody else comes in. When they do, they're all wearing blue and yellow face paint and talking about the game. I don't know if it's football or basketball or baseball, but what I do know is that it's an integral part of their lives that I don't understand. I leave as quickly as I can and head back to my room, toss my stuff on the floor next to my bed, and stand there for a very, very long time.

When I spy the book on the desk next to my bed, I feel a sense of relief. Reading. I can get lost in a world and spend days there. Besides, reading a book gives me a goal. It's that sense of purpose that puts a temporary bandage over my uncertainty and lets me waste away the rest of the day without anymore negative thoughts.

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