Scars of My Past(9)

By: D. C. Renee

I followed Amanda through the throng of people, elbowing our way through to the kitchen where she pulled some beers out of a cooler, popped the caps off on the edge of the counter, and handed me one.

“You going to have two this time or just the one?” Amanda asked.

I wasn’t a stranger to alcohol. My parents’ philosophy was if they made it forbidden, I’d crave it more, so if they had wine with dinner, they let me have some too. If my dad had a beer in his hand, I took a sip. That didn’t mean I liked to get shitfaced like a lot of other people did at these college parties. I usually nursed one, sometimes two, beers all evening. I didn’t get the appeal of being sick or hungover. I also didn’t want to be so out of it that I wasn’t cognizant of my surroundings. Forget being responsible; I still had lingering fears.

“I think just this one. It’s the first day of school, after all,” I responded with a shrug.

“Well, then I’ll drink your second one,” Amanda said with a smile and wink. She grabbed me and pulled me back into the living room so we could dance. I always let her lead me. If it wasn’t for her, I’d probably have no social life. Also, she liked to keep an eye on me, and I liked to make sure she didn’t make any stupid decisions when she got drunk. As I said, we balanced each other out.

We hadn’t been dancing together for long when a guy Amanda had a crush on for a couple of months asked to cut in.

She asked me to stay, but I could tell by her giddy tone that she wanted some up-close-and-personal time with her guy. I waved her off, told her I would be fine, and walked away before she could protest. And I knew she would because she was that good of a friend.

I made my way outside with my beer still in hand, more full than not. The backyard was darn big. Big enough that I could find a spot to the side where I could just sit and people watch without anyone bothering me. Or at least I thought so.

I had only been sitting for a few minutes when a guy wandered over to me—more like swayed over to me. It didn’t take a genius to tell just by his walk, his glazed-over eyes, and the smell of beer surrounding him that he was piss drunk.

“Hey, beautiful,” he said as he approached, slurring his words a little.

“Hi,” I responded because I didn’t have it in me to ignore him. He was drunk, but I wasn’t rude.

“Why are you here by yourself?” he asked as he tried to lean on the fence nearby. He missed it a little and stumbled before catching himself.

I couldn’t help but giggle.

“Sorry,” he said with a slight smile.

He wasn’t a bad looking guy, and he seemed harmless enough but so had Marc. And even if this guy was nothing like Marc, I didn’t think anything serious could come out of this seeing as he could barely stand on his own.

“You don’t like to party?” he asked, clearly trying to start a conversation with me.

“I just needed a little breather,” I responded.

“Breather’s over, let’s go dance,” he said as he pushed off the fence and stumbled toward me.

“Whoa, there,” I said as I got up and practically caught him. “Maybe you’re the one who needs a breather.”

“No, no,” he said as he tried to straighten up. “I’m good. Let’s dance,” he repeated as he held me and tried to pull me with him. I wasn’t budging.

“I think I’ll just stay here for a bit. But you go ahead and dance.” He probably needed to find a bed and sleep, but I doubted he’d do that. So sending him off to be someone else’s problem seemed like the best bet for me.

I walked with him so I could hopefully shove him toward the door. “You go on ahead. I’m going to head back,” I said as I stepped away and motioned toward the spot I’d previously occupied.

He opened his mouth to protest when I heard my name being called. “Genevieve?” It sounded more like a question than a name. I looked up to see Cam staring straight at me, his expression slightly confused.

The drunk guy apparently had a little sense left in him because he looked at Cam then back at me and simply said, “Oh,” before he patted my arm like I was his buddy and walked away. The entire exchange would have been hilarious from the outside perspective, and I covered my mouth to stifle a laugh.

“You okay?” Cam asked as he walked over to me.

“Yeah,” I responded. “He was drunk. I was trying to help him get back inside without having to actually go with him.”

“So you could say I saved you the trouble, huh?” he asked with an amused smirk.

“You could say that. Is saving girls from unwanted attention a side job for you?” I asked, my tone playful although he had saved me earlier that day.

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