Hardin glares at me. Somehow aggressive. But at the same time insecure. "What makes you think that?" "I do not know ... because I'm just nice all the time and you're just outrageous." Then I add, "And I thought for a moment that we could become friends." What sounds so puzzling that I have to pinch the bridge of my nose while I wait for his answer. "We friends?" He laughs out loud. "Is not that obvious why we can not be friends?"
"Not for me." "Well, for one thing, you're too tight-you've probably been raised in one of those pattern houses that all look the same-your parents probably always bought you everything you wanted, and you never lacked anything your crazy pleated skirts, let's face it, who else is going to dress like that at eighteen? "
My mouth is open. "You do not know anything about me, you conceited idiot! My dad is an alcoholic and left us when I was ten, and my mother half slaughtered herself to finance my studies, since I've been nineteen, I have a job so I can help her pay the bills, and I happen to like my clothes - I'm sorry if I do not dress like a bi*ch, like the Chicks around you, for someone who cares so much "To stand out from the crowd and be so different, you judge damn fast about those who are different from you!", I drive him and feel the tears come to my eyes.
I quickly turn away so he will not see me like this. It strikes me that he has clenched his hands into fists, as if that would make him all mad. "You know what, Hardin, I do not want to have anything to do with you anyway." I reach for the doorknob. The vodka that gave me courage on the one hand makes me sad at the same time about this whole situation.
"Where are you going?" So unpredictable. So moody. "To the bus stop to go back and never to come back here again, I certainly will not try to make friends with any of you." "It's too late to go by bus alone." I'm messing around.
"But you do not want to seriously pretend that you care if anything happens to me?" I laugh. I just can not keep up with his moods. "I did not say that ... I just warned you it's not a good idea." "Well, dear Hardin, I have no choice but everyone is drunk - and so am I." And then the tears come. I find it humiliating that just Hardin sees me crying. Again. "Do you always howl at parties?" He leans his head a little crookedly at this question, but a small smile plays around the corner of his mouth.
"When you're there, apparently, and since I've never been to any other party ..." I open the door. "Theresa." He says it so quietly that I almost do not hear it. His expression is impenetrable. Suddenly the room begins to turn again, and I reach quickly for the dresser next to the door. "Alright?" He asks. I nod. although I feel miserable.
"Sit down for a few minutes, then you can still go to the bus stop." "I thought nobody should be in your room," I say, but sit down on the floor anyway. When I get hiccup, he immediately warns me, "If you puke in my room ..." "I think I just need a drink of water." I try to get up. "Here please." He puts his hand on my shoulder to stop me from getting up before handing me his red mug. I push him aside with a grimace. "I said water, not beer."
"That's water, I do not drink alcohol." I make a noise somewhere between surprised gasps and laughter. That can not be true that Hardin does not drink. "Very funny, but you do not want to sit here and babysit me right?" In my miserable state I just want to be alone until I'm not so bad anymore. Besides, I'm beginning to feel sorry for shouting at Hardin.
"You really bring out my worst sides," I murmur, though I did not really want to say it out loud. "That's pretty hard." His tone is serious. "And, yes, I'll sit here and baby you, you're drunk for the first time in your life and also have a habit of touching my things when I'm not there."
He sits down on the bed and makes himself comfortable while I take a sip from his cup. The rim tastes a bit like mint, and I wonder how Hardin's lips would taste. Then the water in my stomach hits the alcohol, and I do not feel so tingling anymore. 'Oh God, I'll never drink again,' I suppose. After a few minutes Hardin breaks the silence: "Can I ask you something?"
His expression tells me that I should negate that, but the room still does not feel quite stable again, and maybe it helps me focus on something. So I say, "Sure." "What do you want to do after college?" Astonished, I look up at him. That was really the last question I had expected. Rather, why I am still a virgin or why I do not drink. "I want to become a writer or publisher, whichever works first." Probably I should not be so honest with him, because he'll just laugh at me again.
But when there is no response, I feel a little encouraged and ask him the same question, which brings me a roll of eyes, but no answer. At some point I ask, "Are these your books?", Even though it's probably pointless. "Is it," he mumbles. "Which is your favourite book?" "I do not like that favourite and favourite thing." Sighing, I tugged on a loose thread on my jeans.
"Does Mr. Rogers know you're back at a party?" "Mr. Rogers?" I look at him questioningly, because I do not get what he means. "Your friend, this boring one." "Do not talk about him like that, he's ... he's ... nice," I stammer. When Hardin laughs, I get up. He does not know Noah at all. "You can only dream of being as nice as he is," I hiss.
That's the first word that comes to your mind when you talk about your friend, Nice is just a 'nice' expression for being boring. " "You do not know him." "Good enough to know he's boring, I can see that from his cardigan and slippers." While laughing, he puts his head back and I have to look at his dimples again. "Noah does not wear slippers," I reply, but I have to shake my hand to avoid laughing at Hardin at the expense of my friend.
Quickly I reach for the water and take another sip. "Anyway, he's been with you for two years and still has not fucked you, so I'd say he's a pretty nerd." I spit the water back into the cup. "What did you just say?" Just when I think we might be okay, he brings something like that. "You heard me right, Theresa." His smile is mean. "Hardin, you're such an asshole," I growl, throwing the half-empty cup at him. His reaction is as hoped: completely surprised.
While he is still wiping the water from the face, I get up laboriously, taking the shelf as a support.
Some books fall to the ground, but I storm out of the room without paying much attention to it. I stumble down to the ground floor and push myself there through the party guests to the kitchen. The anger has displaced my nausea, and now I just want to drive Hardin's mischievous grin out of my head. In the next room I discover Zed's black hair. He's sitting next to a well-dressed, well-dressed guy.
"Hi, Tessa, this is my buddy Logan," Zed introduces. With a smile, Logan offers me the bottle in his hand. "Do you like something?" The familiar burning feels good, it rekindles the fire in my body, and for a short time I can forget about Hardin. "Did you see Steph?" I ask, but Zed shakes his head. "I think she went with Tristan." 'Went? What the hell is that supposed to do? It would have to make me more, but the vodka somehow clouded my judgement. Instead, I catch myself thinking that Tristan and she would make a pretty couple.
Some drinks later, I feel great. Probably people are constantly drinking. Although I can vaguely remember having renounced the alcohol during the evening, but actually he is not so bad. Fifteen minutes later, Zed and Logan made me laugh so hard that my stomach hurts. I feel much more comfortable with them than with Hardin. "You know what, Hardin is really an ass," I tell them, whereupon both grin wide.
"Yes, he can sometimes be." Zed puts his arm around my shoulders. Actually, I would like to move away a bit, but at the same time I do not want to make a big deal out of it, because I know that he thinks nothing about it.
Slowly it empties and I get tired. Suddenly I realise that I still do not know how to get him back home. "Do the buses run all night?" My pronunciation is not clear anymore. Zed shrugs his shoulders, and just then Hardin's curly head swaps in front of me. "Now you and Zed?" His voice sounds busy, but I can not classify the tone.
When I get up and want to push past him, he grabs my arm. He really knows no boundaries. "Hardin, let me go immediately." Unfortunately, I do not have another cup to throw at him, just saying, "I'm just trying to figure out something on the bus." "Calm down ... it's three o'clock in the morning, there's no bus left, and thanks to your newly discovered love for alcohol, you're stuck here again."
The glee in his eyes is so obvious that I want to beat him. "Of course, you want to go home with Zed ..." When he lets go of my arm, I sit down on the sofa again with Zed and Logan, knowing it will irritate him. He stops short and nods, then he leaves sulky. I hope the same room is available as last weekend and ask Zed to bring me upstairs.