Chapter Three

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"Let's stay together."

That was the last thing Jamie said to me before I lost her in the sea of people that had came to this "kickback". I bumped into several people as I looked for Jamie.

My eyes locked in on an unoccupied corner. I quickly made my way over to the wall, coming to rest shoulders against its cool surface. I tried searching for Jamie's brown locks but she was nowhere to be found. I rested my head against the wall in frustration. Why the hell would Jamie disappear on me like this. The sound of everyone's chatter and the rhythmic thump of the music all blended together into one indistinguishable, piercing tone. My chest started to burn and my eyes began to sting.

"Fuck. I've been here for ten minutes and I'm already about to have a panic attack."

Shame and sadness gathered in my throat and I felt that familiar pressure well up in my eyes.

"And I'm gonna cry about it. Cool."

"David?"

I lifted my head up and hot tears came running down my cheeks. As my watery eyes cleared, my sight focused on brunette hair and beautiful green eyes.

"James."

I hurriedly wiped my cheeks and plastered a smile on my face. Hopefully the dark lights concealed my redness.

"Hey James, I didn't know you'd be here."

"I didn't expect to see you either," He began. His features softened. "Are you okay?"

"Yea I'm fine I uh,"

"Think."

"I got liquor in my eye" "I hope he believes me"

"Oh shit that sucks" He said. I inwardly let out a sigh of relief.

"Wanna be my beer pong partner?" He asked enthusiastically, flashing his killer smile.

"At least he believed me. But how am I supposed to tell him I don't drink?"

"Nah, I had enough for tonight."

"C'mon," He pleaded, "I'm really good and you won't even have to drink."

I bit my lip. I did want to get to know James and he'd been really cool so far. He hadn't asked me to finish his homework because he didn't understand the lesson.

"Okay."

James smiled and grabbed my hand leading me to backyard where people were gathered around an old grey table. The foldable kind your mom takes out during family game night. Surrounding the table were assorted beer cans, remnants of all the games that had passed. Everyone cheered as a duo landed both their pong balls into their opponents' cup, forcing both the unlucky young man and his female companion to drink.

"Who's got next?" He called out. He had a buzz-cut and a slacken look to his eye but his ability to sink a ball into a cup was unmatched.

"We do!" James called out, heading towards the table. He motioned for me to follow. I felt uneasy but I put my head down and walked towards the table. He spoke to the winning team, the boy with the buzzcut and his fair skinned companion with shiny curls.

James turned to me. "You ready?" I nodded.

"David and James versus Remy and Kevin!" Someone called out.

"How did they know my name?"

James began explaining the rules to me. "Okay, so try to shoot your ping-pong ball in their cups and the person whose turn it is next has to drink." Taking note of my terrified expression, he clarified. "I'll just drink for you though" He said with a smile, placing a warm hand on my shoulder.

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