The Judgement Day Celebration


I sat fidgeting with the label on the Millers Draft in my hand. I didn't drink, but I couldn't refuse the beer when it was handed to me over an hour ago. It was past room temperature now, and lost any appeal. I had long stopped pretending to sip at it. I thought about how people were viewing me, sitting on the couch with this bottle in my hand, not talking to anyone. Like I was a ghost, or a stranger. Like I didn't belong. And, it would be fair to think, because I didn't. I didn't really know many people at the party. Or, I couldn't find the ones I did. My friend, Kruger, was hosting a Judgment Day Celebration party, in case the reports were right. In case the computers did all malfunction and Y2K was real. He said it was better safe than sorry, and if it was going to be the last night on Earth, we might as well enjoy it. Everyone who was anyone was at his house, milling around. All drinking and some making fools of themselves already. Even though it was only 7:30. I kept looking around the room for someone I knew. But, really I was waiting for Jason, my boyfriend. He had been out of town with his band, and I hadn't seen him in a few weeks. I was excited to spend time with him, and hear his tour stories. I wasn't sure we'd even get a chance to talk. But I was hoping we might sneak off for a few minutes at some point, and be alone together. Maybe I'd be able to steal a kiss when no one was looking. Maybe it was idealistic, but I had my fingers crossed anyway. We were dating in secret, and, we liked it that way. It was something special we had that the world couldn't take away from us. He was the only one who knew my real age, too. I didn't tell anyone else. I knew I wouldn't make any friends if they knew how young I actually was. I wouldn't be sitting with a beer in my hand at a party with a bunch of twenty something year old kids, that's for sure. As it was, Jason was the only reason I accepted Kruger's invitation in the first place. When 8 rolled in, I was pretty sure he wasn't going to show up. I thought about calling my mom, and asking if he had called the house. But I knew she wouldn't be comfortable knowing I was at the party without him. I had told her we were going together, not that I was meeting him there. I could have called my older sister, Sherry. But, she would have a well rehearsed rant for why I shouldn't have been here in the first place. I didn't end up calling anyone. Jason showed up about fifteen minutes later. I tried to act casual, but I was excited. I practically jumped off the couch, and bounded to the front door he was walking in. I abandoned my beer on the table where I was sitting.

"Hi Jason!" I greeted, sounding a little over eager. He smiled, nodding.

"Hey Morgan." He replied casually.

"How was the trip?" I asked, still attempting a watered down enthusiasm. Jason nodded.

"It was alright. I'll have to tell you about it sometime.” He answered. Before I could say anything else, he motioned to the blonde girl walking in behind him.

Oh, this is my date, Cassandra." He introduced. I felt my heart dropping slowly into my stomach. His 'date'. He used that word. She was his 'date'. All at once I felt an immense pressure. Like gravity had started pulling double over time. My heart sank further, and further. I smiled, nodding in the girls direction. I had to be polite after all. I wanted to say something, but I fought the urge.

"I'm going to get another drink." I foolishly blurted out instead, turning my back to Jason.

"When did you start drinking?" Jason asked in the background. I turned back around and faked a smile, throwing my hands in the air to exaggerate.

"Well, if the world is going to end, I may as well enjoy it, right?" I quoted Kruger's earlier statement, though the joke was lost to Jason. He wasn't there when Kruger made the comment. So I walked into the kitchen and looked around. I didn't drink more than a cooler or a beer here and there, and only ever at these parties. But, there was someone I didn't know standing in the kitchen, looking though cupboards. He pulled out a black labeled bottle with white writing. I recognized it, because my step-brother, Mike, drank whatever was in that bottle. In fact, I hardly saw him without the bottle in his hand. The only time I did was when he was driving, and I had my suspicions.

"Hey, can you pour me one of those?" I asked this random person. He nodded, and filled half a glass with the light brown liquid. Then he handed it to me, and held up his glass.

"Cheers." He offered. I faked a smile, holding my glass to his, and took a sip. I couldn't help but wince at the flavor. It was bold, and I wasn't expecting it. The guy laughed.

First time?” He asked. I nodded slowly.

"Yeah, it hurts the first time." He joked, heading out of the kitchen. I shrugged, and finished what was in the glass. Then, I hopped up on the counter beside the bottle, and poured myself another one. Hey, what the hell, right? Happy fucking new year, I thought to myself. Then, I pounded back the second glass. I felt a rush to my head, and put my hands on the counter to balance myself. Then I nodded, like I was trying to convince myself I'd be alright. Then I felt sick. A sudden sickness. Like my stomach was doing back flips and hosting it's own party. But not like this one. The kind I'd seen on TV, with kegs, and keg stands. Frat boys. My stomach was hosting a party to frat boys. Oh joy, I thought. I jumped off the counter, and headed to the bathroom. I felt like I was going to throw up a couple aforementioned frat boys. I put my hands on the bathroom sink, and looked into the mirror in front of me. I couldn't see straight. My reflection was a blur. I turned the tap on and splashed a little water in my face, hoping to feel refreshed. It didn't work. I was burning up and the droplets of water evaporated on my skin. I felt hot, like I had set foot on the surface of the sun. I was sure my skin was going to melt off any minute. Should I panic? Should I call my mom to come and get me? No, she would be so upset. She might even ground me. Sherry couldn't do more than call me a cab, and I could do that myself. I could call my older brother, Kevin. He might come pick me up, but then I'd have to sit through a six hour lecture about being too young for this atmosphere. What about the next party? I'd never be allowed to go, then I'd never get to see Jason. Suddenly, I was struck with anger. No, it surpassed being angry. I was filled with rage. An uncontrollable blinding fury. I wanted to break something. Someone.

"Fuck Jason." I slurred to myself out loud in the mirror. Oh, I was going to give him a piece of my mind but good. I opened the bathroom door, almost violently, stumbling out into the hallway. As it happened, I stumbled right into Kruger.

"Hey. I haven't seen you all night." He greeted. I faked a smile, and stared past him.

"Are you alright?" He asked, moving into my vision. I shook my head, stumbling again. He put his hand out to grab me, and I noticed he stumbled too. So I laughed.

"I feel, strange." I slurred out. He nodded.

"I can see you've been drinking." He commented. I could hear the slur in his voice. It sounded so similar to the one in mine. I looked up at him, biting the side of my lip nervously. Yeah, fuck Jason, I repeated to myself. I violently grabbed Kruger's shirt, and pulled him backwards into the bathroom. I locked the door, then turned back to face him.

"What are you doing?" He asked, putting his drink down on the counter. He knew already. I stepped forward and pulled him into a kiss. He took my hands in his and lightly pushed me back.

"What are you doing?" He repeated. I smiled, then playfully bit my lip again. Oh, he definitely knew. I stepped forward, pressing my body against his. I kissed him again, this time more violently. I moaned, but it was muffled into his lips. He put his hand on my lower back and pushed me forward, pressing my back into the counter. He ran his hand down my stomach almost awkwardly. His fingers pulled my jeans forward, and he clumsily pulled the zipper down. I fumbled with his belt buckle, but when I managed to unhook it, his pants fell to the ground. He lifted me up onto the counter, sliding my jeans just far enough. What am I doing? I contemplated to myself. But, the time for contemplation was over. I had never been with anyone but Jason before. It was different. Strange. But fuck Jason. I gave in, starting to moan. His lips moved to mine like he was trying to keep me quiet. I wasn't as into it as I thought I'd be, and the moaning was just overcompensation. I felt like I was having an out of body experience, just watching it happen. It didn't last long. Kruger pulled his pants up, and grabbed his drink from beside me. I slid off the counter, and pulled up my jeans. He seemed unaffected. I felt sick.

"Kruger, I don't feel well, can I lay down somewhere?" I asked. He nodded.

"Yeah, my guest room is upstairs and the first door on the left." He instructed. I nodded, walking out of the bathroom. I quickly looked around. No one was around to see us leave the bathroom together. So, I felt some relief, waving to Kruger as I headed upstairs. He waited at the bottom until I got to the top. Then I turned and watched him disappear into the party. I went for the door handle, but noticed a second bathroom further down the hall. I bolted towards it, pulling the door closed as I dropped to the floor. The frat party in my stomach was raging even harder, and now I was starting to think they were trying to break out of the prison they called my stomach. Maybe it was actually a prison riot. I barely made it to the toilet before throwing up. I stood back up, and rinsed my face in the sink. I couldn't look at myself in the mirror. I felt an overwhelming sadness. Before I even realized it, I had tears pouring from my eyes at such a rapid speed my vision blurred. Everything was crystallized. Transparent. If only that weren't a metaphor. I opened the bathroom door, and looked around the hallway. There was no one in sight, so I headed to the guest room. I fumbled with the door handle, but managed to stumble inside. I slowly closed it behind me, and walked towards the bed. I dropped down, face first. I still couldn't see straight. Now, I couldn't think straight either. The room was spinning. I just wanted my head to be still. I slowly pulled myself up, noticing two wet spots in the blanket under me. I didn't know if I was upset because of Kruger, or Jason, or both. I sighed to myself, wiping my eyes with the sleeve of my sweatshirt. Right now, I felt like putting the hood on and pulling the strings closed. Forever. Losing myself in this exact moment for fear of what moments might follow. I sat, motionless, in the dark. Quiet contemplation and new years resolutions, I thought. If the world was ending tonight, I picked the wrong way to end it. I wanted to call Kevin so badly. I looked around, but there wasn't a phone in sight. My train of thought was interrupted by a knock at the door. I didn't answer. Another knock. I yelled "come in" and the door opened. I wiped my eyes and saw DX walking in. He handed me one of those red beer cups everyone who didn't have a bottle had.

"What is this?" I asked taking a look at it. He laughed.

"Fruit punch." He answered. I shook my head.

"What's in it?" I rephrased. He took it from me, took a drink of it, and handed it back.

"Fruit punch." He repeated. I nodded, taking a sip. I knew he wouldn't drink, so, I could trust it.

"My head is spinning." I muttered, holding the cup with both hands. He nodded.

"Yeah. That happens." He commented. I nodded, but there was no reason for it. I was still crying, even though I tried to stop. I hated crying in front of people. It made me feel weak.

"What's wrong?" He asked. I looked over at him and went to answer, but just sighed. Where were the words? What could I even say? He gently ran the back of his hand over my cheeks.

"You can tell me." He assured. There was a softness to his voice that just, felt calming. My head started slowing down, and I was starting to feel normal again. Even the frat party had passed out in their alcohol induced insanity. Or the prison guards had tear gassed everyone. I nodded again.

"Did you see Jason downstairs?" I asked. He nodded.

"Yeah, with his friend." He answered. There was a hesitation between 'his' and 'friend'. I nodded, again.

"Yeah. That's what's wrong." I muttered.

"Do you not like her or something? I mean, she seemed nice." He asked. I couldn't help but sigh again.

"I'm dating Jason, or, I guess, I was." I rambled, trailing off. He stayed quiet.

"I mean, no one knew. It was like, a secret. I don't know. I thought, I don't know what I thought." I continued rambling. I guess alcohol has a way of making an otherwise quiet person a blabbermouth. Or, I was just that upset about the situation.

"Why was it a secret?" He asked. I looked over at him, still crying, and faked a smile.

"You wouldn't like the answer. Or, you'd be like, weirded out." I dismissed. He shrugged.

"Try me." He coaxed. I nervously shifted, biting my lip.

"I'm not as old as, you know, I said I was." I confessed. He waited a minute.

"How old are you?" He asked. I looked around the room.

"I'm just, way younger." I dismissed, my eyes locked on the floor. Anything to avoid eye contact. I could tell I was pouting, but my face wouldn't move. At least my crying had turned to light sobbing. He laughed, putting his arm around my shoulders. He pulled me into his chest.

"Yeah, I know already. I'm just messing with you. Sorry. This probably isn't the best time for humor." He confessed. I looked over at him, confused.

"You know? How? Wait, you're not going to tell, are you?" I almost sounded like I was squeaking as I spoke. No, I was squeaking because he started laughing.

"Yeah, Kevin told me the night we met. Well, he didn't volunteer the information or anything. I went back to his place after I dropped you off, and asked. I was pretty shocked. You seemed way older. I knew I wasn't the only person who was going to think that, so, I've kept an eye on you. Well, both eyes. I know, that sounds totally creepy and stalkerish, but, I promise it was only half that." He admitted, smiling. I half-laughed, looking over at him.

"Oh there's that adorable smile." He commented. I rolled my eyes. He was the only person who could ever get away with calling me 'adorable'.

"Stop, you know I hate that word." I mumbled, lightly pushing him away from me. I took another drink, then put the juice on the table beside the bed. He laughed again.

"Yeah I know. Why do you think I use it?" He teased. I shook my head.

"Cause you're mean." I replied. He just laughed again.

"And you're trying to hurt me." I added. He shook his head.

"I'd never try to hurt you." He assured me. I looked over at him, and he smiled. I could feel my heart racing again. It was getting harder to breathe. I couldn't tell if that was still the alcohol, or if it was because of him. When his hand brushed the hair off my forehead, my heart did a back flip, and I knew. It was him. I sat facing him, just, quietly staring. Slowly, I leaned towards him. I put one of my hands on the back of his head, and used the other to balance as I leaned over. My lips hovered just above his. He smelled so inviting, I could have stayed there forever. Of course, I wanted to kiss him, but I was afraid. Hesitant. His lips reached forward, gently pressing against mine. Suddenly, everything felt, real. I was instantly sobered, and in complete disbelief. It was like time stopped in that moment. I smiled, unmoving. My fingers ran through the hairs on the back of his neck. He kissed me again, this time with more passion. I felt a surge run through my body that I can't explain. Every part of me felt a dull throb, some more then others. I moaned as he kissed me again. This wasn't overcompensation. It was like my circuit breaker had been off, and he just switched it back on. My hand slowly dropped down his back. I pulled my head back slightly, trying to catch my breath. As I did, he kissed my neck. I moaned again, digging my nails into his shirt. His hand had moved to my lower back, and in a swift and sudden movement, he had me laying on the bed underneath him. I moaned again, but it was almost a whimper. He leaned down and kissed me. Not with force, but with fury. Like he was holding back an eagerness. He was holding himself up with both arms. He looked like he was doing push ups. Slowly, he kissed down my chest, pulling the fabric of my shirt out of the way. I felt my heart skip half a dozen beats when his lips pressed into my stomach. Then it stopped beating entirely when he pulled down my jeans. He moved back up and his lips pressed back into mine. My heart was racing so fast I couldn't breath. He had taken the breath right out of my lungs and into his own. As his hand slid into my jeans, I moaned loudly. He started slow at first, but his pace sped up. As he pulled his hand back out, he undid the zipper. I felt almost immobilized by the anticipation. I can't believe this is happening, I thought to myself. I've thought of this moment so many times, but I never thought it would be a reality. I felt him fumble with his own zipper. I raised myself off the bed, and pulled my jeans down. He pulled them the rest of the way off, and threw them on the floor where his now were. He slowly positioned his body back above mine. My hands ran up his back and he lowered himself against me. He hesitated, watching my response. I leaned up and kissed him, wrapping my arms around his neck. He leaned down and kissed me deeply, pressing himself completely against me. I moaned again, resting my head in the crease of his neck. My body rose and fell with his. Our breathing, or panting, synchronized. I moaned into his mouth, and him into mine. One of my legs wrapped around his, the other draped over his back. As cheesy as this is, I thought, this is better than any dream. Every second felt surreal but I never wanted it to stop. I could have lost myself in that exact moment for fear that no others could ever measure up to it. The back and fourth, the push and pull, the moaning, and panting, and longing. I dug my nails into the back of his neck with the final movement, and his body collapsed against mine. Both trying to catch what little breath we could manage. I smiled, just staring up at him. He softly kissed me. It was just as passionate, but a little less eager. I kept smiling through it. He moved, rolling over onto his side. He propped himself up with his elbow, and I looked over at him. We were both quiet as he ran his other hand across my stomach. I rolled over to face him.

"That was..." I started to say, but yawned through. I had no idea how much time had passed since he came into the room. It felt like a life time. I smiled, and laughed. He nodded, half smiling.

"Yeah." He agreed. He dropped his back against the bed, and extended his arm. I hesitated.

Oh come on.” He insisted, teasingly. I smiled, and moved closer to him. He wrapped his arm around me, pulling me right against him. I put my hand on his stomach, and my head on his chest. I was there only a minute before I fell asleep.

I yawned as I woke up. As I ran my hand over the body beside me, I realized it wasn't who I thought. Abruptly, I sat up and looked around. I had no idea what room I was in, but it I knew it wasn't mine. So, I looked beside myself at the person now waking up beside me.

"Oh my God." I muttered, putting my hands over my face. He laughed.

"I'm not God, but, thank you. I like to think I do a good job." He joked. I looked over wide-eyed like a doe struck in traffic. I couldn't believe my eyes. I believed the situation even less.

"I...We... oh my god." I repeated, still shaking my head.

"Did you think I'd sneak out in the night?" He asked, climbing over me. I kept shaking my head.

"I don't even know what to say." I muttered as he tossed my jeans onto the bed.

"Uh, good morning?" He suggested, sitting down beside me. I was still shaking my head. Dumbstruck.

"What have I done?" I continued to mumble. He laughed again.

"Last I checked, me." He joked. I stared at him blankly.

"Alright, still not a good time for jokes. I'm sorry." He apologized. I kept shaking my head.

"You're going to get a headache if you keep doing that." He commented. I went to say something, but just bit my lip. Then I let out a deep sigh.

"I am so sorry." I finally managed to spit out. He raised his eyebrow.

"For what?" He asked. I motioned to the jeans on the bed between us.

"This?" I hinted. He laughed again.

"Well, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy yourself. I'll have you know, I did." He corrected, dropping down on the bed. I looked at him and shook my head again.

"I did." I muttered. He looked over at me.

"You did what?" He asked. I bit my lip again.

"I did enjoy myself." I clarified, mumbling under my breath. He smiled.

"Enough to do it again?" He winked. I leaned forward and smacked his shoulder.

Stop!” I barked, expressing my disbelief.

"Sorry." He laughed.

"You're a terrible person." I dismissed. He shook his head.

"You didn't think I was so bad last night, as I recall." My eyes went wide again.

"Oh my god, shut up." I yelled. He laughed again.

"No, but seriously, you should probably get dressed. Your mom is going to have my head if I don't get you home soon." He suggested. I grabbed my jeans and pulled them under the blanket with me. I pulled them on, and then climbed out of the bed. Immediately, I had to sit back down. I put my hand on my forehead. He was right. I had a headache, and I had a bad case of the spins.

"Yeah, that happens after a few shots of Whiskey." He reminded me, sitting up. I looked over at him.

"Whiskey?" I asked for clarification. He nodded.

"You weren't in a good place last night." He reminded me. I was quiet, then smiled, biting my lip again.

"As I recall, I was." I hinted. He smiled, which made me smile. I imagine I was as red as a tomato.

"Thank you, DX. Not for, well, for that too, but, for listening." I rambled. He nodded, putting his arm around my shoulders. He gently kissed my forehead.

"Any time." He answered. I slowly stood up.

"She's going to kill me." I muttered, shaking my head again. He laughed.

"No, she's going to ground you. But, she might kill me." He joked.

"She's not allowed to. I'd miss you. Besides, you're the only reason my parents even let me come to these parties. They like you." I corrected. He stood up, and wrapped his arms around me. Slowly, he leaned down and kissed me. At first, I was happy to return it. Then, I felt like I was going to throw up. So I quickly turned away, and put my hand over my mouth.

"I'm sorry." I apologized again. He stepped back, holding out his hand. I smiled, and accepted. We headed out of the room and into the hallway.

"Where are we?" I asked, still looking around. He laughed, leading me to the staircase. As we were heading down, Kruger was on his way up. He looked from DX to me and laughed.

"Yeah, that was some party, eh guys?" He hinted. I went bright red and looked at the ground.

"Happy New Year." Kruger screamed, jogging upstairs. I faked a smile looking over at DX.

"I am so sorry." I repeated again.

"You know it takes two, right? Like, you don't have to keep apologizing. I was there. I could have stopped it." He reminded me. I laughed, covering my mouth, and shook my head.

"Yeah, but, in my experience, men don't turn down sex. So I shouldn't have put you in that situation in the first place. That's why I'm sorry." I tried to explain. He shrugged.

"If you were anyone else, I would have." He corrected. I shook my head.

"You're just saying that to make me feel better." I dismissed, He laughed opening the closet door. He grabbed his jacket and motioned to me. I just shrugged.

I didn't wear one.” I dismissed. He raised his eyebrow.

You went out in a sweater?” He asked. I shrugged again.

I usually stole, you know, his, jacket. I didn't think I'd need one.” I rambled. He tossed the leather jacket in his hand towards me. I slowly pulled it on.

You're going to freeze.” I muttered. He shrugged.

I'll live.” He assured, heading outside. I followed him closely looking down both sides of the street.

"I don't even remember how I got here." I observed. He was quiet for a minute.

"You know, now that I think about it, I have no idea how you could have." He agreed. I shrugged again.

Oh well.” I mumbled. He took my hand again, and we started walking. It was warm for January in Illinois. We walked a couple blocks to a car lot where his car was parked.

"Why didn't you park at Kruger's?" I asked.

"When I got there, the driveway was full. I noticed it was empty this morning, so a lot of assholes were drinking and driving." He observed. I nodded, and laughed.

"Everyone thought it was the end of the world, DX." I defended. He half smiled.

"That's no excuse." He assured. He unlocked the doors and I got into the passengers side. I looked over at him as he got in, then down at the floor. Part of me wished the world did end, so I wouldn't have to deal with the aftermath. Part of me wished the world did end because I would have went out in a state of bliss. Not many would have that boast. I smiled, but quickly shook my head. He started the car, and we drove in almost silence. The radio was on, but it was background noise to my thoughts. I hadn't even bothered doing up my seat belt. I wanted to sink into the seat. Then through the car. Then be run over by every passing car until I was nothing more then a stain on the concrete. I sighed out loud, then shook my head. He put his hand on mine. When I looked over, he smiled.

"Stop." He demanded. I shook my head.

"Stop what?" I asked, sitting back up.

"Stop worrying." He answered, briefly looking over. I rolled my eyes, but smiled. He pulled up outside my house a minute or so later. I could see my mother through the blinds upstairs. I got out of the car, and walked over to the other side. DX got out, waving up to her, and she disappeared from the window. I leaned on the car beside him, crossing my arms over my chest.

"Thank you, again." I repeated. He nodded.

"I'll see you soon." He yawned. I smiled, slowly nodding. I walked back to the side walk and watched him pull away. Then I turned, and headed up the stairs. I tried the handle, and of course the door was locked. I knocked loudly, and waited. My dad opened it, then leaned against the wall.

"You were supposed to come home last night." He scolded. I nodded.

"It was late and everyone was having a good time. So, Kruger let me sleep upstairs. I'm sorry. I should have called." I rambled. He nodded, and I could see the disapproval in his face.

"I was worried. You know I don't like when you're out with those boys. They're all troublemakers." He complained. I nodded again, hanging the jacket in the hall closet.

"I spent the night with DX." I started.

"What?" He asked sharply. I stared at him blankly.

"I mean, he was with me all night. What, you don't trust DX now? I thought you said he was the good seed of the bunch." I questioned. He went quiet, then nodded.

"Alright. I'll let it slide. This time." He dismissed, starting back upstairs. He stopped and turned around.

"Oh, Jason called about an hour ago." He yelled. I looked up the stairs.

What did you say to him?” I asked nervously. There was a chuckle.

I told him you were sleeping in.” He answered, peering around the corner. I looked down.

Thanks.” I muttered. He nodded, disappearing into the hallway. I headed into the kitchen. I reached for the phone on the wall. I stopped myself and dropped my arm. What am I going to say to Jason? How am I going to face him after last night? I dialed the number, then hung up. It felt immature. I took a deep breath, re-dialed the number, and let it ring. His mother answered the phone, and I cringed.

"Can I speak to Jason please?" I asked. There was a brief silence, then I heard him being called. Another silence, and I heard the phone being picked up.

"Morgan?" He asked, sounding excited. I looked at the phone then shook my head.

"You called?" I tried to sound casual, but I was still upset.

"Yeah I was hoping we could get together." He announced. I was quiet.

"Uh, sure. What were you thinking?" I stumbled asking.

"Do you want to meet at the park? Maybe 20 minutes?" He suggested. I nodded.

"Sure, I'll see you there." I agreed, hanging up the phone. I rolled my eyes to no one in particular. Then headed towards the bottom of the staircase.

"Mom, I'm going to the park with Jason." I yelled up the stairs.

"If you're not back by supper." She started. I couldn't help but laugh. She never usually cared where I was going. I guess she was exercising caution because it was a dangerous time of year.

"I know. I'll be back." I assured her. This time I grabbed my keys from the rack beside the door. I went to grab my jacket, then I noticed the one I borrowed from DX still hanging up. I shrugged and pulled it on instead. I pulled my hair out the back of the jacket, let it fall loose, and headed outside. The park was only a 3 minute walk from my house. I kicked the snow as I walked towards the swing set. Even in the winter, when I was feeling lost, I found a swing set. It was my comfort zone. The outdoor likeness of a blanket fort. I was torn between feeling guilty, and still being angry. The mixture brewing inside me tripled as Jason walked up. He leaned down and hugged me before sitting on the swing beside me. I started at him blankly, and he looked concerned.

"What's wrong?" He asked, sympathetically.

"What do you mean what's wrong? Don't you think you have explaining to do?" I tried not to bark, but the anger was winning the war inside my head. He shook his head.

"I'm sorry. I mean, I thought it'd be a good idea, for keeping up appearances you know. I don't want anyone trying to hook me up with someone else or anything. I didn't think. I'm sorry." He rambled. I looked over at him, studying his reaction. He looked genuinely bothered by upsetting me and I could tell he wasn't lying. Suddenly the frat party jail riot started back up. Full force. I felt sick. I wanted to throw up. This time, it wasn't the alcohol.

"There's something I have to tell you." I started. He looked over at me, eyes lit up. I felt like a horrible person suddenly. I'd never felt so guilty in my entire life as I did sitting there, looking him in the eye, knowing what I was about to tell him. A bigger part of me wanted to forget it happened. Jason never needed to know. But, the guilt was going to eat me alive.

"What?" He asked, the question laced with concern. I took a deep breath.

"Well, last night, at the party, I kinda, slept with someone else." I blurted. I could almost feel his heart sink. I would have rather cut off my own tongue with a butter knife.

"What?" His voice cracked as he asked. I sighed again.

"Two someones." I corrected.

"How could you do that to me?" He barked. I shook my head.

"I was so angry at you, I didn't know what I was doing." I tried explaining. He stood up.

"Fuck you. Like that gives you any justification." He yelled. I kept shaking my head.

"I'm so sorry Jason." I repeated.

"Oh save it for someone who cares. If you want to be a fucking whore, be one. But, stay the fuck away from me. I'm done." He barked, turning around and storming off.

"Can we please talk about this?" I called, feeling a sudden desperation. He gave me the finger and kept walking. I watched him disappear into the distance. Once he was out of sight, I started crying.

"Yeah, what a way to start the new year." I mumbled to myself. I sat quietly for a few more minutes, contemplating what to do. Finally, after another 15 passed, I decided to drag myself home. I just wanted to curl in bed and just cry until my eyes had no more tears. Or destroy something beautiful. When I got home, I went to take off the jacket. It still smelled like DX, and I couldn't help but smile. I turned around and headed back outside. I started just walking, with no direction in mind. In 20 minutes, I found myself standing outside his apartment. I laughed, running my hand through my hair. I headed into the building and knocked on his door. There was no answer. I knocked again, this time hearing shuffling. He opened the door, looking half asleep.

Were you asleep?” I asked, looking him up and down. He had already showered, changed, and apparently gone back to bed in the time I talked to Jason. I laughed, more to myself.

"I'm guessing somethings wrong." He observed, motioning to my outfit. I nodded. He opened the door and motioned me inside. I stepped into his apartment and turned around.

I'm sorry to show up like this. I just, I needed to see you.” I rambled. He nodded, yawning.

"So, what's wrong?" He asked closing the door. I shook my head, staring to cry.

"For one, Jason dumped me. He said I was a whore when I told him what happened." I whined. DX motioned to the couch, and I flopped down. I sat up pouting, which made him laugh.

"I didn't tell him it was you though." I mumbled as he sat beside me.

"I wouldn't care if you did." He corrected. I raised my eyebrow, wiping my eyes.

"Why?" I muttered. He shrugged, leaning back against the couch.

"I've got no regrets." He assured. I sighed, and slowly shook my head. I could feel my eyes drying up.

"How do you do that?" I asked, still sobbing.

"Do what?" He asked. I was quiet, looking around.

"How are you so, unaffected? Just, by everything." I detailed. He leaned forward, hands in his lap.

"Shit affects me. I'm just not gonna dwell. If I want to do something, fuck it, I'm gonna do it. I don't give a rats ass what other people think. It's my life." He explained. I half smiled.

"I've never thought of it like that." I confessed. He shrugged.

"If I'm not hurting someone, fuck it. I mean, I got respect, but like." He stopped what he was saying and looked over at me. I smiled, and nodded.

"I know what you mean." I mumbled. He leaned forward and wiped my eyes.

"You're not a whore." He corrected. I was quiet.

"If it had been judgment day, I'd be in hell." I argued. He laughed.

"Do you think you're a whore?" He asked. I shrugged.

"I feel like it right now." I answered sighing. He shook his head again.

"Why?" He asked. I went to answer but nothing came out. I thought about the nights events, playing what I could remember over in my head. I knew that being with Kruger felt, dirty. But, it was a feeling soon forgotten when I was with DX. I didn't really know what I felt.

"Exactly. You don't." He pointed out. I shrugged.

"I guess, I don't know." I answered. He nodded, putting his hand on my leg.

"Hey, when judgment day comes, fuck everyone else. How you judge yourself is all that matters. So don't be so hard on yourself." He advised. I smiled, putting my hand over his.

"Thank you, DX."

I learned only weeks later that the reason Jason had brought a date was to hurt me. He had heard that DX and I took a trip alone together. He believed were were sleeping together, and instead of asking about it, just over reacted. His overreaction was the only reason it ever happened. That trip with DX was entirely platonic.

It was the beginning of December, but we were determined to see the show. We drove without a single stop from Chicago to Detroit. No one else wanted to come along, so it was just the two of us. But we were too late. We ended up missing it by a fraction of time. I was so disappointed, and so was he. But we found a way to make the trip worth our while in the long run.

We sat outside the arena in the parking lot with the car idling. The radio was on, but only faintly in the background. We started talking about music. From specific favorites, to music in general. Then we steered to life in general. People, emotion, and the connection between the two. I reached for my coffee in the holder in front of us at the same time he reached for his. Our hands brushed against each others. I looked over at him, and smiled. He returned the gesture. We were both quiet for a minute, then, I turned to face him.

Hey, can I ask you something?” I started, softly. He looked over at me.

Of course.” He agreed. I nodded, but hesitated.

Do you think I'm, holding Jason back?” I mumbled. He looked over at me and raised his eyebrow.

Why do you ask?” He questioned. I lightly shook my head.

I feel like he'd be better off without me, you know.” I continued mumbling. He was quiet, so I looked over. He seemed lost in the question. It was loaded like a gun and without knowing, I had pulled the trigger. I had seen this exact look on his face weeks before, sitting on his couch. It was after a fight I had been in with Jason. I went to his place, mostly to rant. He listened to every word, and offered his suggestions. But I knew that night, like I knew tonight, there was something he was holding back from saying.

Never mind.” I dismissed, shaking my head. He looked over at me, sighing.

I don't know if you are. I don't know if he's better with or without you. But, if you're questioning it, maybe you already have your answer.” He advised. His tone of voice confirmed my thought that there was more he wanted to say. But, he didn't. He didn't say anything else. He went quiet, staring up at the streetlight flicking above the windshield. I moved to the middle seat, and put my hand on his. He looked over at me and faked his best smile. I rested my head on his shoulder, and wrapped my fingers around his. We both sat quietly, looking up at the snow as it slowly covered our view of the sky.

The silence in that moment said more than words ever could. In fact, words even fail to put the right emphasis on this night. This night that should have had much more emphasis than it ever did, or ever could. A night that is only remembered when time lines are being traced. From the idling car that every so often sounded like it was choking for breath. To the background radio that was neglected for lack of interest. To that flickering streetlight illuminating the car as we sat in silence. Finally, the stars twinkling as they played front row witness through a light blanket of white sparkles. But it took me 15 years to see that night for what it was. To truly comprehend what it meant. To finally hear what that silence said. Then, to finally say the words that were never spoken. But, back then, we were just two people, disappointed in missing a show.

When he retells this story, he says it's the night he realized he was in love.


I have been writing since I was 4 years old. It started with creative writing and took a life of its' own. Everything I write is half fact and half fiction. Each word exists on the border between what is "real" and what is imagined. I don't have a specific genre I work in because I just write what comes to me. The only time I follow direction is when I'm hired to. I frequently ghost write the type of articles you see on Google's front page. My own articles, shared on my website, don't get as much love. No matter who I'm writing for or what the intention is, I put everything I am into my writing. The words are in my soul, not my mind.

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