Name : Coatroom Countdown
Genre : Romance / Angst
Length : 1000~ words.
Prompt: "Its new years eve. 11:59. You don't want to drive home alone."
The clock on the bathroom wall has a small crack in it, right by the four.
I know its there because I've spent the last who-knows-how-long staring at it. It beats going downstairs and having to face the rest of the party-guests. I don't know ninety-nine percent of them, It's what I get for being antisocial as fuck the past few days I suppose. The only people who were actually willing to invite me out become the ones with the social circles the size of Venus. I didn't plan on coming since I figured if she knew and invited me; she probably knew and invited Lindsey.
We're both hollow human beings aren't we, me and Lindsey. The trivial aspects of our existence define us both, she has her breathtaking smile, elegant beauty and never has a moment where she doesn't have someone to keep her company. I have money, the kind people would easily kill for, the kind that similarly superficial human beings would gladly sell their grandparents for. We both let what we have be the framework. An exoskeleton of status, holding our lives together but separate. Those shells are cold, they block out the light that can make us shine. It protects us from what the world truly is: Harsh. We've both been trained and bred to fear this criticism. To stop the problem at the surface not the core.
Of course in an ideal world there would be no need to take the criticism. We'd both be as perfect as the personas we draped over ourselves like a blanket. But we're not. Okay? We're not perfect. No one is and if that bloke Lindsey's found herself talking too at the party downstairs claims he is then he's more fake than the rest of us. I never embraced my imperfections but I know they're there. I know I have a nasty habit of blaming others, I know I need to start losing weight, I know I shouldn't stay up all night then complain when I'm tired. But I'm too weak a person to deal with it. I'll act like I'm going to, heck, with new-years merely minutes away I have another half-hearted excuse to publicly claim I'll actually change. But do you ever know anyone who has kept their new-year resolutions? Yeah, no.
What about Lindsey? I have very distinct memories of her coming in from work daily and whining about her stuck-up co-workers but still going out with them once a fortnight. I remember her leaching off me whenever she wanted the next flashy piece of fabric on the store-shelves. I remember her deciding the best time to leave our home with bags packed and no-intent of returning is the day I left a four hundred pound gold ring in her stocking. Oh how I wish I could forget that. But the human mind is indeed a cruel-mistress and I still remember it clearly. I can't deal with this shit anymore, I'm grabbing my coat and going. Yes I won't move on by sulking but I'd rather be sulking by the warm glow of the internet than the harsh light of someone else's bathroom.
Of course I didn't account on running into anyone else while making my slick getaway. It's someone I haven't seen before. A typical friend of a friend.
"Oh, hey. I haven't seen you around here. did you just arrive?"
Trying to hold in an awkward chuckle I mumble "Um… no, just on my way out actually. I'm Jason"
"Katherine". She grabbed my hand firm and tight, with a surprising amount of grip for someone of her petite stature. "You must've totally flown under the radar out there then. Do you know Alan?"
"Well I'm really embarrassed then 'cause I'm his 'work-mate' too. I should have seen you about!" Well shit, I already feel crap since I, equally, should've recognised her if we work-together. "I don't really take to this whole partying thing. It's just a new-year after all."
"I'm the same. I wasn't really feeling it here so I might as well set-off before everyone gets regrettably-drunk". I tactfully left-out Lindsey.
She half-mumbled the next question, almost embarrassed by it. "Listen, I don't have a ride-home. I walked over from south-side and don't particularly want to taxi back. You don't live nearby do you".
South-side is slightly out-of-the-way. It would only add thirty minutes to my trip. But that isn't time I want to waste. Not tonight of all nights.
"Sorry, it's quite a ways from where I'm going."
Your face fell with the realisation "It's okay. I've got the money for the taxi." You talked like it was a lie. Right on cue with the lull in conversation. A large chant came from the main-room.
"TEN, NINE…" I took this as a good time to grab my coat
"...EIGHT, SEVEN, SIX…" quickly slipped it on
"... FIVE, FOUR, THREE…" Headed for the door
"...TWO, ONE…" and turned around. Saying to Katherine in sync with the crowd.
"Happy new year". She quickly met my smile and returned the favor. I don't know what's coming over me but something is telling me to say something else. The moonlight does look very pretty through the door on you. The slight bit of alcohol is making my judgement clouded, the cold air might make me want to get a move on. But I've decided I might as well start the year on a good deed.
"Y'know what Katherine. I'll drive you home. No one want to be heading home alone tonight".
That smile justified it more than I thought it would.