Chapter 5: Homecoming
Just as I thought, Jessica came home an hour later with a frown on her face.
“Where did you go?” she said.
I looked up from my book as I sat on the couch. Thankfully, I had prepared an excuse beforehand.
“My stomach started to hurt,” I replied. “Probably from all the alcohol last night. I couldn’t get through the crowd to make it back to you, so I just decided to come home.”
Jessica let out a sigh and walked over to her door.
“I hope you’re feeling better now at least, because there’s a party at the fire pit later since we won the game. And don’t even think about saying no! You have to put on a sexy outfit and show Justin what he’s missing.”
With that, Jessica disappeared into her room — presumably to get ready for the party. I sent Lori a quick text.
“Where u at? U going to that party later?”
A few minutes later, Lori replied: “Yeah. I promised Jess.”
I put my phone away with a sigh and closed my book. It was already seven o’clock, so the party would probably start in an hour or two. I decided to shower and change.
For some reason, as I got ready, I found myself actually caring about looking good… But not to make Justin jealous.
I wanted to look good for Enzo.
Jessica, Lori and I made our way to the party around nine o’clock. It was located outside, about a mile into the woods behind the school. It was an old campground from the 1970s with several little cabins, which had been cleaned up and repurposed by the students here for generations to use for… Well, you know.
At the center of the circle of cabins, there was a large fire pit, where a huge bonfire was already burning and loud music was playing. As we approached, I could see rambunctious boys whooping and throwing beer cans into the fire and flirting with girls. Alongside the fire, guys and girls danced and grinded on each other to the music.
“Like a bunch of monkeys,” Lori grumbled. She had her hands stuffed into her pockets and had her hood pulled up. Almost as soon as we arrived, she pulled out a joint and wandered off to go sit and smoke by herself. Jessica and I had become used to this by now, and didn’t mind our strange friend’s loner nature.
“You look good, by the way,” Jessica said, nudging me with her elbow. I had picked out a short black dress with tights and boots, and wore a leather jacket on top. I still had my hair in braids, but I put on a little eyeliner and lipstick. Hopefully I wouldn’t cry tonight.
“Thanks,” I replied. “You too.”
I walked over to a cooler nearby and grabbed a beer while Jessica stopped to flirt with a drunk guy. I took a sip and looked around as I tried to decide whether I wanted to join the dancing or sit by myself.
As I stood there, trying to decide what to do, I overheard what sounded like angry voices coming from inside one of the cabins. I was nothing if not a bit nosy, and nonchalantly walked over to the cabin, pretending to look at my phone while I eavesdropped.
“Listen, I think I made it pretty fucking clear that I was just having fun!”
I recognized that voice immediately: it was Lisa. And with her was none other than…
“I broke up with my girlfriend for you! You said we would get together!”
I heard Lisa scoff. “I never said that,” she replied. “Besides, you knew what you were getting into. Why would I make things exclusive with you when I could pick any guy I wanted? Ugh, you’re pathetic.”
“Oh yeah? Any guy, huh?” Justin said. “How about Enzo, then? Everyone knows you’re still pissed that he broke up with you. So why don’t you go out there and ask him to dance, since you’ve apparently got the pick of the litter?”
I heard the sound of stomping across floorboards, and then the door swung open.
Lisa looked down at me from the top of the steps with a smirk.
“If you’re gonna eavesdrop, at least don’t make it so fucking obvious,” she said, then flipped her hair over her shoulder and jogged down the steps. I followed her with my gaze all the way to the fire pit, where Enzo was standing and drinking while a group of girls — Jessica included — fawned over him.
“Hey Enzo,” Lisa said in a sing-song voice, her ponytail bobbing as she sauntered up to him. Most of the other girls at this university wouldn’t dare walk up to Enzo so nonchalantly with so many girls around him, but seeing as Enzo and Lisa used to date, it wasn’t entirely unexpected of her.
“Hey,” Enzo replied. Much to my surprise, his eyes flickered to me briefly over Lisa’s shoulder. I felt like he was looking into my soul again, but it was over quickly when he looked back at Lisa.
Lisa folded her arms across her chest — no doubt pushing her breasts together — and rocked back and forth from her heels to her toes. “Wanna dance?” she said. “I haven’t had a dance partner yet tonight.”
Enzo frowned and took a swig of his beer, looking Lisa up and down. Around them, people began to watch the scene.
“We broke up ages ago, Lisa,” Enzo said.
Lisa dropped her hands to her sides and balled them up into fists. “Aw, come on!” she said. “You can’t tell me you don’t miss this.” She gestured to her body, which was still dressed in her tight cheerleader uniform.
Enzo simply shrugged and returned to his conversation with the other girls as though Lisa wasn’t even there. With a huff, Lisa stormed off. When she was gone, however, his gaze traveled over to me once more and fixed on me. His eyes almost seemed to glow again, and I felt afraid all of a sudden.
I involuntarily dropped my beer and quickly walked away, making for a spot behind one of the unoccupied cabins. I just needed a few minutes alone, and then I could return… Hopefully Enzo would have his eyes set on another girl by then.
I practically jumped out of my skin at the sound of Enzo’s voice behind me. I whirled around to face him; blocking the light of the fire with his huge body, he looked somewhat menacing in the darkness.
Something else occurred to me, though… When we met at the bar, we had never exchanged names. How did he know my name?
Wordlessly, I tried to step around him to go back to the fire as this whole interaction made me feel uneasy. However, Enzo blocked my path and folded his arms.
“Why are you avoiding me?” he said, sounding a little hurt.
I stopped and bit my lip, peering around him to see Jessica dancing by the fire with a new boy.
“I’m not avoiding you,” I said.
Enzo sighed and unfolded his arms. “It sure seems like it,” he replied. “You left so abruptly last night.”
“What do you want me to say?” I whispered so that no one could hear if they were eavesdropping. “You had your one night stand with me. You never see girls more than once. You should be thanking me, because I’m just making it easy for you.”
“Is that what you really think of me?” Enzo asked. He didn’t try to hide his voice at all.
For some reason, I felt more confident confronting him now. “Everyone knows you’re a playboy who only sleeps with girls once before moving on to the next,” I said, stepping around him. He didn’t block me this time, but turned and frowned.
“Well, you’re different,” he replied.
Was this some sort of prank? The hockey captain, the star of the school and a playboy, thought I was “different” enough to keep talking to me after we slept together? I wondered if Lisa or Justin put him up to this to rub it in that I would never find love.
Enzo stepped closer to me and brushed a bit of hair out of my eyes, finally lowering his voice to a whisper. “I want to have a second time with you.”