The Hazards of Sex on the Beach(7)

By: Alyssa Rose Ivy



“Well, you know how I’m on Panhel this semester?” Mallory asked.

“Yes.” Over winter break, Mallory had accepted a spot on the Sorority Council.

“I may have accidentally let it slip that he was a cheating bastard with a small dick, and the rest of the girls may have spread the word to their houses too.”

“What?”

“Yeah… he’s not getting sorority action any time soon at least. The combination of being unfaithful and having a small penis isn’t a good thing for a guy.”

“But he doesn’t have a small—”

“And you’re going to keep that detail to yourself.” Mallory hugged me from the side. “He deserves this.”

“I just want him out of here. Can’t he graduate early?”

“It’s going to be okay. You’ll show him whose turf this is and you’ll be fine.” Juliet took my hand. “Let’s go eat some really bad pizza and try to drown out the taste with beer.”

“I love you, girls.”

“Yeah, we love you too.” Juliet opened the door to the empty restaurant.

“Hey, ladies.” Reed greeted us with a smile as we made our way over to him. He didn’t usually work the counter, but some of his staff must have still been home on break.

“Hey, Reed.” I took in the tall, broad frame of Juliet’s boyfriend. He’d let his brown hair grow out a little since I’d last seen him.

“How are you doing, Cara?” He smiled. It wasn’t a sympathetic smile. It was just a smile, and I appreciated it.

“I’m doing pretty well thanks to these gals.” I did my best to smile back.

“Anything I can get you girls?”

“A large cheese pizza and a pitcher.” Juliet grimaced when she ordered.

“You actually want pizza? Have you guys been drinking already?”

“They’re doing this for me.” I rested a hand on the counter. “Just put the order up.”

“Okay, if you say so.”

We found a booth, and I slid in. Mallory sat next to me, probably leaving Juliet’s side open in case Reed decided to sit with us for a little while.

I needed to make conversation that didn’t involve Aaron. “So, how’s Colt?”

Mallory smiled. Bringing up her boyfriend always had that effect. “He’s good. He’s going to the movies with some of his friends tonight.”

I felt a twinge of guilt. I had the feeling he was only with his friends because Mallory told him she had to be around for me. That was fine for a night, but it couldn’t continue for long. I refused to mess anything up for my friends and their boyfriends. I had to make them understand I didn’t expect them to change their life because of me. The funny thing was, I’d pushed both of them to start dating Kappas. I’d wanted us to all have boyfriends in the same house. We hadn’t even had a full semester that way.

I sighed.

“You okay?” Mallory asked.

“Yeah, please don’t worry.”

“Of course we’re going to worry.”

The door jangled and my chest clenched. In theory, I wanted to face Aaron, but the thought of actually doing it terrified me.

“It’s not him.” Juliet pulled a few napkins from the dispenser.

“Okay, thanks.” I let out a sigh of relief.

“Here you go.” Reed set down a pitcher and three plastic glasses on the table. One of the best parts of going to Al’s was that we never had to worry about being carded. We also didn’t usually have to worry about paying for the beer. He bent down and kissed Juliet on the cheek. “I’ll go check on the pizza.”

Juliet poured each of us a cup before raising her glass in a toast. “To our amazing and resilient friend, Cara. May she meet Mr. Right soon.”

I smiled, sipping the drink. I appreciated the sentiment, but I wasn’t interested in finding Mr. Right. I had no interest in getting burned ever again. I had another fleeting thought of Chase. The best part of that hookup was that it would always stay perfect. Even if he’d slept with another girl ten minutes later, I’d never know. I could pretend he was as perfect as I wanted him to be, and that I was as perfect and gorgeous as he thought I was.

***



Aaron never showed up at Al’s that night. As hyped up as I was about facing him, I couldn’t deny some serious relief at avoiding the confrontation. Saying I was over what he did was easier when I didn’t have to worry about seeing his face.

“Have you had enough crappy pizza yet?” Reed asked. He’d come to sit with us once a few of the other employees showed up at work.

I’d stopped at half a slice. I’d have to scrounge up a snack before bed. “Yeah, I’m probably ready to head home soon.” I knew falling asleep easily was out of the question, but I needed to try. I hadn’t slept in my own bed at school more than a handful of times that year.

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