"Strong choice!" A deep, bemused voice said into my ear, causing me to jump and totally embarrass myself. I span around quickly; to find a guy I'd never seen before, smiling at me brightly. I broke eye contact almost instantly, hoping that he wouldn't spot my face going red, even though I knew it was fruitless. I didn't even blush cutely, my face always flamed ensuring that everyone in a mile radius could see it.

"I...I know." I stammered, desperately not wanting to seem like an idiot. "I'm only going to have a little bit..."

"Then, you might want to mix it with this." He laughed, handing me the lemonade. My lack of knowledge about alcohol must have been humiliatingly obvious, making my self-doubt even worse. I tried to laugh it off, but I didn't know how convincing my amusement came across. I couldn't bring myself to look at him, to see if he was buying it.

As I added the lemonade to the drinks, I was acutely aware of the stranger and his presence behind me. He was making me feel nervous, but also warm at the same time. It was a weird, unnerving reaction that my body was having that I couldn't seem to control and I didn't know what to do about it. I muttered a quick 'thanks', whilst turning to leave. My intention was to run out as quickly as possible, preventing any more interaction with him, but I couldn't stop my eyes from lifting from the ground, and meeting his, just for a split second.

As we connected, I found myself staring for much longer than I intended to. I drank in his full appearance unabashedly as he did the same to me. My mind was going crazy with anxiety, begging me to look away, but my body was only concerned with him, and the fact that he was making me feel in a way that I never had before—and a way that I really didn't want to stop feeling. He had dark, shaggy hair which hung past his eyebrows, giving me the almost uncontrollable urge to push it to one side. Beneath his glasses I could see dark, brooding eyes which seem to be full of mystery and laughter, and he was tall...much taller than me—not that that was difficult—and he was kind of muscular too, but not too much so. He had his hands shoved into his jeans pockets and I scanned my eyes over his t-shirt, which was of some band I didn't recognise. He had a real geeky rock star look about him, and something about that was making my legs feel like jelly. I didn't even realise that this was the sort of guy I would feel any kind of attraction to, yet here I was almost falling apart at the mere sight of him.

He smiled brightly at me, and for a second I was completely blindsided by him. My heart started hammering like crazy and butterflies tickled my tummy. I didn't recognise this feeling, not at all, so I was actually glad when the connection broke and my body started to return to normal. Having my body go all crazy like that was bizarre. It may have felt nice at the time, but it wasn't something I was ready to go through again. Not until I had deciphered every second of that brief interaction.

As I pushed my way back through the crowds, I was no longer focused on anything in particular because I felt distracted. I couldn't stop thinking about him and the way that he made me feel. It was as if my entire world has shrunk down to that moment, and nothing else really mattered. But I wasn't entirely sure how much of it was real, and what was a construct of this rollercoaster of a night.

I reached the seats where we were all sitting before, and to my utter disappointment a new crowd had taken over them. I didn't recognise a single person. I span around frantically trying to find Kimberly, all thoughts of the chance encounter with the gorgeous guy spinning from my mind. All I could see were strangers, people I didn't recognise, everywhere. I knew Kimberly wouldn't have left me on purpose, she was aware that I was nervous about coming tonight, which meant something must have happened. Maybe something bad. This just wasn't right; there was no logical explanation which sent my overactive doomsday imagination into overdrive. My heart started racing—but this time for a different reason—my chest started to constrict as I took in deep breaths, as I slowly became convinced that I that my world was about to collapse around me.

Must. Not. Panic.

She probably went looking for me, yeah that must be it! I was gone a while, so she took Nick to find me. However swept up in Nick she was, she just wouldn't leave me like this—in a place where I knew no one. I decided that the best course of action was to go and find her first, so neither of us worried...

I moved once more, no longer caring about being polite. I found myself using force to shove people out of the way as my desperation levels increased. My panic was making me act a little crazy, but in the heat of the moment, I really didn't care how I was coming across to others. The drinks in my hand spilled down the top that I had so lovingly picked out earlier on today, but I barely even noticed. The cold liquid caused the material to stick to my skin, probably completely ruining my clothing, but I didn't even pay any attention to that.

I just needed to find my friend.

Stress started to consume me as angry tears pricked my eyes. I didn't want to be here, with all these people. I wanted to be at home staring at the crack in my bedroom ceiling. That was familiar; I knew that, this was right out of my comfort zone, and I couldn't do it by myself. Without Kimberly, I became the sham of a person that I always knew I was.

My mind started to whizz at a hundred miles an hour, thousands of conflicting thoughts running through my brain. I needed to go home; I had to get out of here before things took a turn for the worse. My breaths started to become ragged, coming in thick and fast, until I felt like I could barely get any air to my lungs at all. My heartbeat started to hurt, my chest becoming too tight. I felt my legs start to buckle from beneath me and I could no longer control myself.

Eventually I fell.

I was falling and there was nothing I could do to. I waited for the cold hard ground to greet me, but instead warm skin wrapped itself around my body. Instead of freaking out like I should have done, I collapsed into the embrace, allowing my whole body weight to gratefully lean into my saviour.


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