“What’s going on?” Jack asked, his voice tight with anxiety. Which made sense since I was sobbing and complaining that I was trapped in the dark, but really, I was just too drunk to find a door. “Alice? Are you okay?”
“No!” I stomped my foot. “I want out!”
“I’m getting the door!” Jordan said. Out of nowhere, a rectangle of light flooded the room, revealing the door.
“Thank you!” I smiled at him as I walked past, but he just nodded. As soon as he realized that I wasn’t going any farther, he lost interest.
“Alice!” Jack shouted, trying to get my attention. “What’s going on? Are you alright?”
“I don’t know!” I had to yell so he could hear me over the music and the chatter of the party. I plugged my open ear so I could hear him better, but he was still hard to make out.
“Where are you?” Jack asked.
“I don’t know!”
“Look, I’m coming to get you!” Jack decided.
“How do you know where I’m at? I don’t know where I’m at!” I tried to walk down the stairs and talk on the phone, and I stumbled into the railing and dropped the phone. When I picked it up, Jack was yelling panicked hellos. “Jack?”
“Alice! Go outside!”
I fought my way through throngs of people. I could hear Jack saying things on the phone, but I couldn’t understand them. It wasn’t until I’d finally made it out the front door and the sound dampened that I could hear him again.
“-need you to look around,” he was saying.
“You need me to do what?” I asked. I half-expected it to be some kind of magic trick, and Jack would already be waiting out front for me, but he wasn’t.
“Yep, I’m outside, and I’m not wearing any shoes.”
“Do you see any street signs? Any landmarks? Anything to tell me where you are?” Jack asked.
“Um…” I scoured the area around me. I could hear the traffic from the highway and I saw a billboard a block away. “I think I’m right off of 494 by a billboard for 93X. Is that good?”
“Yeah, I can work with that,” Jack sounded relieved. “Just stay where you are. I’ll be there in a minute.”
“Okay,” I nodded, even though he couldn’t see me.
“Call me if you need to. But I’ll be there really quick,” he assured me.
“Okay,” I repeated, and he hung up the phone.
I should’ve let him know that I actually wasn’t in any danger. Well, not in any immediate danger. After all, I was drunk, shoeless, and sitting on the curb outside of a house party.
Jack pulled up a few minutes later in the Lamborghini, which was how he traveled when speed was a necessity. He stopped right in front of me and dove out of the car, leaving it on and the door open.
“Are you okay?” Jack crouched down in front of me to inspect me for injuries, pushing my damp hair out of my eyes.
My eyes were puffy from crying, beer stained my fancy top, and my feet were very dirty from walking around the party, but overall, I was okay.
“I think so,” I nodded.
“You’re drunk,” Jack smirked.
“I think so.”
“Okay. Let’s get you home.” He stood up and took my hands so he could help me to my feet. Before we got in the car, he gave me a once over to make sure. His eyes got hard and the hand that was holding mine got very cold. “Your pants are undone.”
“What?” I looked down at my jeans, and I couldn’t remember undoing them. Then I remembered being upstairs making out with Jordan. “Oh. Yeah. That. I didn’t do anything.”
“You didn’t do anything?” Jack let go of my hand and eyed me up severely.
“No, I didn’t. I mean, like kissing, but you know, just that. It was nothing at all.” I started zipping up my pants when something occurred to me. “I’m wearing a purple a thong.”
“You’re wearing a purple thong?” Jack raised an eyebrow, but since I was drunk, I couldn’t get a read on his emotions. I didn’t know if it was an intrigued I’d-like-to-see-more eyebrow, or a disapproving you’re-a-huge-slut eyebrow.
“Yeah. Wanna see?” I offered.
“Just get in the car,” Jack said, not unkindly, and walked around to the driver’s seat.
“Sorry,” I mumbled. When I got in the car, a tear slid down my cheek, but I tried to wipe it away before he noticed.
“That’s what you were doing when I called?” He kept his voice even, but the car squealed away from the house. His hands gripped the steering wheel too tightly, and I sunk deeper into the seat.
“He kept pouring me shots, and I don’t remember most of the night. I don’t even remember how I got in the room. But when I realized what was going on, I pushed him off of me, and then you just happened to call like a second later.” I played with my hair and shook my head.
“I don’t know why I have to explain myself to you, anyway,” I said. “You were too busy to even talk to me tonight. It’s not my fault that you decided to grace me with your presence the one time I’m actually out doing something.”
“Oh, yeah. Because I’m just busy partying it up all the time. That’s why I can’t talk to you,” Jack scoffed.
“I was just sick of sitting in that stupid apartment waiting for you!” I snapped. “So when Jane texted me-”
“I should’ve known she’d be the source of all this,” he laughed darkly.
“You’re the one that suggested I hang out with her while you’re so ‘busy.’” When I made the little air quotes for busy, he rolled his eyes.
“I didn’t mean it. I just felt guilty for leaving you alone all the time, but I took it back right away. That’s why I had Mae come get you.”
“Oh, yeah, thank you for that, by the way. Great idea.”
“What? You love Mae!” Jack looked at me dubiously. “How was that not a great idea?”
“Because! I wanted to see you!” I shouted, then instantly regretted saying it.
“Do you think that this is what I wanted?” Jack countered. “That I wanted you to hang out with Jane, getting drunk, and messing around with random date rapists? Yeah, this is exactly what I wanted, Alice.”
“It’s not my fault that that’s what it feels like.” I crossed my arms over my chest.