Note: The song is called Life of the Party, from The Weeknd. I've been listening to his songs for the past couple of weeks; they're so addictive, it's crazy. Special thanks to my beta reader, JaydenC.


The Other Side

Welcome to the other side
You're lost
Baby step outside your mind
You've been really good

His whole body was hurting like hell. He opened his eyes. The room was inundated with sun, but instead of giving off a warm appearance, it appeared gloomy and cold. He raised a hand to his forehead, his face contorted in pain. His elbow hit something in the process. A woman lying by his side, wrapped in the blankets, grunted softly. She was still sleeping. Even with her makeup rubbed and sweated off, he could still tell that she was gorgeous. Too bad he'd never see her again.

He reluctantly left the bed, his head spinning and his legs shaking. The floor was covered with emptied beer bottles and clothes and shit. It wasn't even his bedroom. He picked up his clothes and got dressed silently. He didn't remember much about last night, but he did recall that it was bad, really bad. A disillusioned smile flourished on his dry lips. He needed some coffee.

The apartment was small, yet cozy, furnished with a definitely feminine taste. He chose not to help himself in the kitchen; he didn't want to risk facing the girl he had spent the night with when she woke up. He didn't even remember her name.

The sun was high in the sky and the air smelled of dead leaves and caramel. His hands stuck in the pockets of his jacket, he started to walk at a slow pace. He entered the first café he found on the street and ordered the strongest coffee they had. He knew it wouldn't take his hangover away. It wouldn't even dilute it as a matter of fact, but hopefully it'd wake him up a bit. He chose a table in a corner next to the window. From there, he could observe the people in the street without being spotted.

He didn't know what day it was and he didn't give a damn. He had been disconnected from everything for a while now, anyway. It was like there was a huge hole right in the middle of his chest; a hole that he couldn't fill up with simply sex or alcohol. He had tried some drug once and it had nearly cost his life. He couldn't explain why he was feeling so empty inside all of the time, couldn't explain why he was indifferent to everything, even to people. Especially to people. He couldn't remember the last time he had spoken to his family. Wait, that wasn't true: he did remember. The last time he had spoken to them was when they had kicked him out of their home five years ago.

A bip from his cell phone informed him of a new text message.

"You missed Perception again. It's the third time this week."

He could see Jen's eyebrows frowning with disapproval, but didn't bother to reply. He didn't feel like going to school. Not today. Maybe tomorrow, when his neurons start functioning properly again. He was aware that if he kept behaving like this, he wouldn't make it through college, or through life for that matter. But he couldn't help it. Another message hit his phone.

"Dude, where are you? We need you right here!"

Incorrect. Allen didn't need him. The team didn't need him. Nobody ever needed him. "That's an emo thought," his brain told him. There's no hope: Once an emo, always an emo. That'd be the kind of garbage his brother used to aggravate him with. The memory made him smile with contempt. Dear brother...

What would Ben think of him if he saw him right now? He'd certainly deplore such a lifestyle that he'd deem as dissolute and despicable. And, because Ben had probably been a Jesuit in his former life, he'd try to convert him with lectures on morality and civil responsibility- that sort of crap. When their parents were throwing him out like he was some kind of intruder, Ben had stayed behind watching the whole scene in silence. His brother had done many things for him, but what he'd always remember was the things he had failed to do.

He wasn't stupid enough to destroy his life just to punish his family in some twisted way. Plus, they couldn't care less. No, he was "screwing up his life out of pure masochism", as Jen had once so eloquently stated. She hadn't been entirely wrong. The real reason for his despondency was that he was tired. Years of trying to please everyone had exhausted him like a cross-country marathon. Now that he was leading his life the way he wanted, he appreciated every minute of the freedom he had harshly acquired. But what about some sort of happiness in all of this?

The bitterness of his coffee wasn't even half comparable to that of his heart. But what heart? There was only a giant black hole that was sucking up all of his feelings except for one: boredom; the deep, unfathomable kind of ennui that was painting his life in shades of gray and veiling his senses under a shroud of fog. He was numb with it and nothing, not even fame, money or power, could wake him up. Except for maybe...love. He almost laughed out loud. Nothing is more treacherous than love, he strongly believed. It was because of love that he got rejected by the very people who used to claim they loved him unconditionally. It was because of love that his life had become such a mess, and it was because of that very same love that he felt so loveless.

What was he doing? He shook his head as if it could make him think straight again. It was ridiculous to grovel in self-pity like this. What was he hoping for? That some kind of introspection would make him feel better? Actually, it had done nothing but worsen his migraine.

He spent the rest of the day in a daze, half conscious of his actions. When the night fell on the city like a black veil, he was already inside some random club where the music was so loud he could barely hear his own thoughts.

Women were attracted to him like moths are to light. It wasn't because of his beauty or his charming personality. If you'd ask Jen, she'd say that he possessed neither of those qualities.

But there was definitely something about him that made countless gazes linger over his body...

As soon as he caught her eyes, he knew that she'd be his for that night. Just one night and they'd forget about each other the next morning. Her sweet perfume filled up his nostrils as she sensuously rubbed her body against his. The way they were dancing could've been called vertical sex. He kissed her mouth as if there were no tomorrow, his hands travelling from her hair down her back to her buttocks. And somewhere within that hole in his chest, something was beating really fast.

You can follow me if you want
Go downtown with the drugs in your body
Take that step you're the life of the party
Know that step you're the life of the party

(...)

Finis