The Impact of You (Page 4)

The Impact of You(4)
Author: Kendall Ryan

“Why are you bored with life?” she asks.

She has no way of knowing the truth behind her words. Before I can respond, the door opens behind us, blasting us with an unwelcome wave of music. Avery and I both turn to see who’s interrupted our hideout.

It’s Trey. Shit f**k. He staggers toward us, his eyes dancing between me and Avery with interest. “Stacia’s looking for you,” he announces.

I cringe as Avery’s eyebrows raise, no doubt wondering who Stacia is.

“I’m busy right now.”

Trey continues, “Come back inside, man. I need you to divert some of the pu**y you attract over to me.” He takes a deep chug from his cup. “Hell, I’ll even take your leftovers.” His eyes dart to Avery’s. “And considering this one’s still talking to you, I’m guessing you haven’t f**ked her yet.”

Avery cringes at his words, and in two seconds flat I’m on my feet.

Avery

Jase stands suddenly and shoves a hand against his friend’s shoulder, hard enough to knock him back several steps. “Go back inside, Trey. Drunk ass,” he mutters to himself.

Trey drags himself back inside, but his visit is a wake-up call. I really shouldn’t be sitting alone in the dark with a guy I don’t know. A guy who, according to his friend, definitely knows his way around a vagina. That’s the last thing I need. When I stand, I see disappointment cross Jase’s features.

“I’m gonna go,” I say.

He nods and watches me leave, his hands fisted tightly at his sides.

Back inside, the heat and music are too much. I find Madison and Noah where I left them in the living room, still dancing, only drunker than before. I tug on Madison’s arm. “Hey!” I shout over the music. “I’m ready to go.”

She stops dancing to frown at me, but doesn’t argue. “Okay.” She grabs Noah’s hand. “Noah-baby, come on!”

He grins, as easy going as ever, and follows us to the front door. I steal one last glance behind me and spot Jase situated on the couch, a different blond perched in his lap, his hands by his sides, doing nothing to stop the lap dance. His expression is bored, and when his eyes find mine, he frowns.

“Let’s go.” I tug Madison, more forcefully this time, and we head out into the night. I hate the feeling of Jase’s eyes on my back as I retreat. I hate that I thought we shared something outside.

When we reach the dorm, Noah follows Madison and me into our room, which has become a common occurrence. He hates his roommate this year. Apparently he was paired with some g*y-bashing jock. Which sucks. Madison and I have told him to go to housing services and try to get switched. But each time he just shrugs. I kick off my shoes and fall onto my narrow twin bed. I’m ready to crash, not used to staying up so late, but apparently Madison and Noah are still in the dancing spirit. Madison turns up the music and they begin rehearsing the dance they’ve choreographed for Call Me Maybe. Even though I’ve seen it a million times, when Noah steps forward and sashays across our tiny room, it still makes me laugh. God, I love these two. It’s times like this I wonder, why can’t I just hide in my bubble? I have the two best friends a girl could want.

What’s so wrong with being the careful sophomore who’s best known for turning in her homework early? Or the girl who’s always around on weekends to let streams of drunk kids back into the dorms at night because she has nothing better to do? Oh God, yeah, that was bad. But the question is… do I want to change my reputation? I’ve worked hard to earn it – to stay under the radar. And I know if I jump onboard with the Madison school of crazy, all that would disappear.

I’ve achieved the anonymity I crave– so why do I feel so restless?

It’s why I choose this middle-of-nowhere-Iowa private college – because practically no one from my high school was coming here, which made it all the more appealing. Safe. Even though my dads wanted me to follow in their footsteps, go to State and become a Viking, I convinced them that this was what I wanted. Now I’m not so sure.

I replay my conversation with Jase over in my mind. What was it about him that felt so familiar?

Madison prances over to me, lip syncing with gusto. “Here’s my number, call me maybe.”

My mouth curls into its usual crooked grin, watching them sing their hearts out. Once the song is over, Madison removes her bra from under her shirt and thrusts off her jeans. She has zero modesty – in front of me, Noah, or anyone really.

Madison is my opposite in every way. I wear my hair loose like a curtain to hide behind –the longer, the better. Madison’s is cropped close to her shoulders in a sleek bob that she threatens to chop on a regular basis. She’s also blessed with a flawless olive complexion, while I’m pale except for the fine dusting of freckles across the bridge of my nose and top of my chest. Speaking of chests, hers fits politely inside her shirt, two nicely rounded lady bumps. Mine? Not so much. My boobs and I have never gotten along. Mine spill over a C, but I refuse to buy a bigger size, so I’ve taken to wearing sports bras exclusively since last year. Though it’s not because I care for jogging. They’re just more manageable this way. Of course Madison had a field day with that information, outraged that I’d taken to keeping my lady parts strapped down. She even tried to get Noah involved in making a case to free my boobage, to which he replied, “Eh. I could take ’em or leave ’em. But I have heard guys like those things.” We all cracked up laughing, and that was pretty much the end of that conversation.

Madison flops down onto my bed, forcing me to scoot over. Noah stretches out on our futon, where he’s regularly been sleeping.

“Did you have fun tonight, Avery?” Madison asks.

I nod. “Yeah. It wasn’t bad.”

She chuckles. “If there’s no one who interested you at that party tonight, you’ve got bigger issues than I can help you with.”

“There was someone,” I admit, my voice tiny.

“Who?”

“His name was Jase.”

“Jase Owens?’

I nod sheepishly.

Her eyes fly to Noah’s, which are just as wide and concerned. “Oh honey,” he frowns.

“What?” I ask, keeping my voice level.

Madison rolls her eyes and lets out a huff. “Noah.” She motions for him to explain, anchoring a hand on her hip. Uh-oh, this isn’t good.

“How do I put this….” He taps his index finger against his chin, his expression grim. “He’s a shark, babe. You need a guppie.”