Debbie stood at the refreshment table, filled the tiny paper plate with crudites and stuffed mushrooms, staying away from the obviously fattening foods like bacon-wrapped meatballs. She allowed herself a single cream puff.
She turned to watch the party while nibbling on her food. Couples danced, gyrating suggestively, some leaned against a wall, kissing. Another couple occupied the couch, limbs entwined and writhing, noisy, decidedly noisy and apparently oblivious to the surrounding crowd. A few guys, unattached, threw back beers in the other room and laughed loudly.
One separated himself from the group, and she watched him walk toward her. Tall, muscular, dark hair and a loopy grin. He must be hungry, she thought, and she dropped her gaze when he neared. He moved past her to the punch bowl and filled two cups. She startled when he spoke to her.
“Have you tried the punch?”
“Oh, no,” she said. “I don’t drink.”
He pressed the cup into her hand.
“Try it. It’s really good, and you can barely taste the alcohol.”
“Oh, well, um, okay.” She sipped it gingerly, the sweet fruity flavor overpowered by an acrid burn. She choked a little, and he laughed.
“Don’t worry, it’ll grow on you.”
She giggled nervously and took another sip.
“My name is Cole,” he said, holding out his hand. She took it and shook. His grip was firm and warm, and she felt her face coloring.
“Nice to meet you.” He looked around the room. “Wild party, huh?”
“Yeah, I guess.”
He cocked his head and looked at her.
“I don’t know, this is kind of crazy, but do you want to get out of here?”
“Um, yeah, sure. I guess so. Sure.”
He took her by the hand and led her outside to where his Audi was parked. He clicked the remote, and she heard the locks click open. He opened the car door on the passenger side and let her in. She smiled, surprised; she didn’t think guys still did that anymore.
They didn’t talk much while he drove, but he did reach down to hold her hand. She shivered when he pulled into a motel parking lot, not the best quality. She wondered if he had been here before, chided herself, of course he had. The night clerk gave them the keys. Their room was on the third floor. She could have walked, but he wanted to take the elevator instead.
Inside the rickety elevator smelled faintly of chlorine and urine. He turned to her, pressed her against the wall and kissed her deeply. His hands were on her hips, pulling her into him, and she could feel his erection. He pulled away when the doors opened, took her hand and led her to their room.
Once inside, he pulled her onto the bed, kissing her, his hands fumbling at her blouse, reaching up to unlatch her bra.
“I’ve never, you know, been with a guy before. I mean, I almost did, I was making out with Randy Marks in tenth grade, and he pinched my nipple, and I yelled. He told me I was fat, so it shouldn’t hurt, but I told him it did hurt, so he got mad and walked away.”
Cole slowed, his hands rested on her stomach. She flinched.
“And then there was one time my senior year, it was at a bonfire at the beach, and my friends and I had met these guys, and one by one my friends paired up, you know, and then there was just me and this guy, Eric. The fat girl and the guy with acne, it was really bad, you could see the scabs on his face. So, you know, we started making out, and he had my shirt off, you know, just like this, and then he just got up and walked off.”
Debbie started crying.
“I don’t know why he just walked off, left me like that. It was pretty embarrassing.”
She was blubbering now, her shoulders shaking. Cole pushed himself off her. He patted her awkwardly on the head.
“Yeah, well, um…” He reached for his car keys. “You can stay here for the night if you want. Whatever.”
He left the room, the door clicking softly behind him. Debbie sobbed into the pillow until she felt drained. Then she found her cell phone in her purse and dialed the number for a cab to take her back to her car that she had left at the party.
* * * * *
Today’s prompt was: Name your boundaries. If you enjoyed this story, please consider sharing it with the social media buttons below.