chapter 6

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     "What am I even supposed to wear?" Emma asked  Oliver, whose room was across the hall. She had a pretty good idea of what the party is supposed to be like, but she didn't know what to wear.

     "I don't know... a t-shirt and leggings?" He called across. She sighed, looking in her closet. There was already a pair of plain black leggings on her bed, but was still indecisive about the shirt.

     Yellow. Her mother always said it was a nice color on her. She threw on the leggings and tied off the bottom of the t-shirt after realizing it was a little big.

     As Oliver was telling her about the people to avoid, Emma brushed her hair and teeth. After a few minutes, they were cruisin' down the street.

Throughout the whole ride, Emma couldn't keep still. Her leg was bouncing, her hands were always fidgeting with something and her heart was hammering in her chest. She was nervous. The devil works fast, but her anxiety works faster.

The sun was slowly dipping down into the horizon as they parked and entered the lively house. It already wreaked of booze and easy sex.

     Oliver led Emma to the kitchen where Michael was mixing drinks for a couple people. She tried to make as little eye contact with him as possible.

     She felt small as she leaned against the island. Everyone was taller than her and knew their way around. She could compare this experience to when she would walk around a hardware store with her dad.

"Hey guys!" Michael said, fist bumping Oliver. "What can I get mixed up for ya? I'm the master mixologist for tonight." Oliver shook his head, his shaggy locks swaying from side to side.

"I'm the designated driver for the evening so I will not be indulging," he gestured to Emma. "But she will take one if your strongest drinks." Her eyes bulged out of her head as Michael grinned

"Yeah uhm I don't know about that." She reacted quick, but Michael had already accepted the challenge. She looked over to glare at Oliver but he had slipped into the crowds of horny teenagers drinking to forget whatever troubles they encountered that day.

The kitchen fell silent as Michael worked his magic. The thumping bass and endless conversations carried into the quiet room.

"Why did you disappear this week?" He asked, stirring the concoction in the red cup. He glanced from the drink up to her.

"I... uh was sick..." she lied, shrugging and finally meeting his stare. He rolled his eyes.

"I don't believe that," he took a sip, paused, then handed the cup to her. she decided whatever was in that cup was more interesting than the current conversation at hand. "Why were you gone?"

"You don't want me to answer that." she replied, still looking deep into the cup. He cocked a brow in confusion and slight annoyance.

"I think I do." Michael pressed, grabbing his own drink and walking around the island to stand next to her.

"I didn't want to see you." he frowned and leaned on the counter right next to her. She felt a small pit in her stomach as the smell of vodka got stronger.

"Why?"

"Because."

A frustrated sigh followed by a "Because why?"

She shrugged, sloshing the drink around in the cup.

"Just talk to me! Jesus Christ Emma! How hard is it to just say what your feeling? Tell me exactly what you are thinking right now. Say it." Michael focused on her now. His hand was balled in a fist and there was a small vein popping out of the side of his forehead.

"I don't know, okay? I don't know!" Emma felt cornered, trapped, like she had to throw up and she hadn't even started drinking yet. She wiped sweat from her forehead. "You have known me for a week. I can barely remember your last name, yet you saunter into my life like you can fix my problems. You frustrate and confuse me to no end yet I still felt a pit in my stomach when I didn't see you every day. Is that what you wanted to hear?"

She took a big gulp from the cup and slammed it on the counter, staring right back at Michael. It tasted sweet and tangy.

Michael bit his lower lip before shaking his head and leaning down to kiss her. It happened so fast she was dumbfounded and didn't really know what to do with her lips, so she just moved them similarly to how he was. He pulled back, laughing and taking a drink of his beer.

"Oliver was right. You are pretty clueless."

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