I honestly never thought I'd find myself in such a predicament, clinging onto a man I barely even know like a infant clinging onto a mother out in the night with the moon high above. The scent of the ocean was drowned out by his light fragrance of lavender. Even with the humidity clinging on to my skin, making everything feel uncomfortable and sticky, I held onto him. It is not because I have to either, but more like if I didn't I'd lose this man I barely even know.
The coolness of his clothes felt good against my skin, and slowly warmed I feel the heat of his body seep through the clothes. Listening to the beating of his heart gave me comfort as I held myself against him. He wasn't a build rock solid, but fairly firm yet soft and so huggable that the idea of letting go was just unthinkable. It took a moment before I felt the warmth of his arms wrap itself around me all so lightly. It was a really strange predicament.
Although, I guess that is not the strangest part that happened in my life, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Let us start from the beginning. I had finally moved out of my home, which was a big noise city (let's call it Narcissistic City. Yup, that sounds good). Like all city life, the lights are never off, until four or five in the morning and no one opens shop until well in late morning to early afternoon around nine to eleven am. Since the city is very much party central, living right in the middle is not only expensive, it is also well insulated. Trust me, that is a very important thing, or else you can hear the excessively loud music that comes out of the clubs and bars whenever their doors open, which is constantly as people move in and out of it. Then, you get those special individuals that love to scream at the top of their lungs like there was no tomorrow. I had moved into a apartment of my own near the University to happily enter the new college life.
It was away from the city, near the beach. So, no it is not away from all the parties, but it is definitely far more quiet than the city. Here is the surprising fact about Universities that reside by the beach and are known for parties. They still only really happen on weekends, breaks, after midterms, and finals. People still study their ass off to not get into academic probation. Academic probation looks bad on the student's record and future possible employment opportunities, as well as for the university, but I digress.
Before you even ask, yes my parents paid for it.
Shush, if you had the option, you would have done it too.
I am well aware that having a place of my own means the big R work: Responsibilities. I'm pretty much use to making my own dinner and stuff, especially since I grew up with four older brothers. Oh, on a side note: those of you that romanticize about having a siblings, specifically an older brother, don't. Do you have that friend, or have heard of that friend who would stick a broom stick handle between your butt cheeks when you bend over? Yeah, those were my brothers. All four of them. I had to get a key lock for my bathroom since they kept on unlocking my bathroom door trying to play pranks on me. I'm not saying I don't love them. I just would love them more of they were not around.
I am the youngest of the five of us and the only girl. I've never had a boyfriend, never had my first kiss, and anything else that falls under those relationship thingys, because, hey, who would want to date one-of-the-guys. I'm not griping. Honest. I'm perfectly fine with it.
Since, I never attracted guys in that way, my responses to certain things, I guess, was different from what people would expect, maybe even a little weird. For example, when this weirdo, who is the same person I was clinging onto as I had stated earlier (judge me after you hear the complete story), came out of nowhere and started hugging me while calling me by another name. The first thing to my mind wasn't "He is going to attack me," slash or "I'm going to get raped," excetra, excetra. My mind didn't go there at all. It was completely outside of my imagination. The first words out of my mouth was: "YOU'VE GOT THE WRONG PERSON!"
Yup. So, how did all of that start you ask? Well. Where was I? Right. I was finally living on my own for a good four months or so, and it was the beginning of the winter quarter. The University was great (Don't ask for a name, I'm not going to give one). I schedule my classes that fitted best for me, which was lucky since I had always worked better at night and really early mornings, and most of those classes were always empty. So, when morning classes ended, I went home to sleep, wake up, do my thing, then head to my evening classes.
And what do I do between my night and morning class? Well, what any responsible college student would do: party and drink.
"Oh my god, she is drinking underage and completely irresponsible." I can see and hear some of you thinking that.
Just so you know, I never drink more than one or two cups of anything, especially since I have class later that morning. Also, the time to party is while you are still in college, because once you get out, you are basically working twenty-four-seven. I've learned that much from watching my parents. I also learned to never have kids.
Anyways, I finally had a routine set and regular people that I hung out with, mostly at their place to drink and playing games. We also go out to clubs, and the likes. Like any normal young adults do before they turn thirty being weighed down by even more responsibilities.
It was the start of winter quarter, late at night. Since all the classes were just starting, a bunch of us got together to create a study group kind of small party deal. We drank and ate pizza as we talked about classes, assignments, professors, TAs, how to divide up the work, research, and pass the classes. It is surprising how much one can retain when the things we need to learn are in a more entertaining environment. At least, it worked best with us. Most of them I had just barely met, in class, but one of them I had known since high school. That was Michael.
I had sat on the floor with my back against the couch. Michael was sitting above me. His leg was touching my shoulder. I rested my elbow on my propped up knee, with a can dangling in my hand.
"The syllabus states that we are going to have to major projects on the chapters on addiction, enzymes, and drugs," Sylvia said. She had long wavy brown hair hanging off her shoulders, and was laying on her stomach of the carpeted floor with her legs propped up, swinging back and forth. She was practically showing off her long slim legs with the short shorts she was wearing. She held herself up with her elbows as she held the syllabus in one hand and a slice of pizza in the other.
"Is it in pairs or large groups?" Michael asked. One wouldn't notice at first glance since he always wore loose clothes like washed-out jeans, designer t-shirts, and a hoodie jacket with zippers, but he is basically all muscle under all of that. His skin was, as one can best describe it, sun kissed from his constant exercies he did outside every morning for a good thirty minute to an hour. Michael was one of those types that took real good care of his appearance to keep that "beach" body of his, as he calls it.
Kind of the opposite of me. I don't have the toned body like he does. I can barely run half a mile without wheezing like a heavy smoker. I enjoy just walking. Peaceful strolls. I could walk for hours. Take my time with it, and enjoy the scenery around me.
Another point: you could never mistaken Michael as a young boy like people have with me. Some actually thought I was Michael's younger brother. We both have short dark hair. Although, his was shorter and almost naturally spikes up, while mine is brushed to the side. Our style of dress is pretty similar too. Loose to baggy jeans or sweatpants and a t-shirt sometimes paired with a jacket. I'm also smaller build compared to Michael, and he does kind of tower over me with his five foot eleven in height compared to my five foot four.
I said not a word as I brought the can to my lips, but was mentally shaking my head. He wasn't even in the same class as me and that girl. Our Psychology one-oh-one class was early in the morning on monday, wednesday, and friday. How obvious did he have to be that he was gunning for her.
"Said, he would give us more information on it a month or so before the project is due, but it would most likely be a group project from about three to five people," Kay said, who was sitting on the floor off to the side between me and the barbie wannabe in front of me. He and I shared the same name. His dark hair was on the longer end and wore glasses. He always carried this look that either told people to piss off or he didn't give shit. I didn't know him for long, but from the few times we did hang out, he was the quiet type. Mostly kept to himself, but when he did speak, he was always straight to the point and often sharp with his words. I couldn't completely call him an ass. He is oddly very kind and would do things when least you expect it.
"Kay, want to pair up with me?" Another girl, think her name was Mimi, who sat with her back towards the main entrance said. I didn't bother looking up 'cause I knew she was talking to him, not me. She was a fairly thin like Sylvia and was careful of her appearance like Michael, probably for the same reason too. To look good on the beach. This beach bunny's skin was darker than Michael's. Her tanktop showed her bikini lines. Her long hair was dark brown, dyed, gradually grew lighter until it was a dirty blond at the tip, which was curled at the end.
"No," Kay responded flatly.
"What? Why?" she pouted.
"Because you are a pain. And you do nothing. I might as well work on my own." There goes that sharp tongue of his.
"That is just mean," she glared at him.
"That is just the facts."
I stood up to leave, kind of tired and bored of all of it. Not like I felt as if I belonged anyways. "I'm heading home." I picked up my messenger bag. and tossed the can in my hand in the trash which was behind Kay. When I got to the front door, I noticed Kay following me. His hand was on the doorknob and opened it. "Thanks." I left thinking he just came to open the door, but I heard footsteps echoing mine, making me turn around to see him following me. "Where are you going?" I asked.
"Walking you home," he said nonchalantly.
"Why?" I asked, completely dumbfounded.
"Are you an idiot? You live on the other side of campus and it's really late." It was one of those unexpected act of kindness along with his really sharp tongue.
"Thanks, but I'll be fine. Nothing ever happened before," I told him. Never will I ever say those words again.
"Eh. They were getting annoying either ways." He shrugged his shoulders, brushing it off.
"Don't you drive to school?" I asked him.
"Yeah, my car is still in the Uni's parking lot."
"Ah, I see." I stuffed my hands in my pocket as we walked down the hallway in silence and down the stairs. Our steps echoed in the stairwell as we made our way down. It did nothing to make this silence feel less awkward. At the bottom of the stairwell, he opened the door, and let me exit first.
"Thanks," I said, feeling awkward with the entire situation. I shook my body, trying to physically shake off this lingering awkward feeling as I stepped into the cold winter night, which was amplified by being near water.
Trying to think of something to talk about, I asked him. "If they are so annoying and all, why hang out with them?"
He shrugged his shoulders again as he walked beside me; his eyes straight ahead of him and answered. "Bored?"
"I think, what's her name, Mimi? I think she was hitting on you."
"Eh," he said boredly.
He sent a sideway glance at me. "Why would I be interested in someone who has a twig for a brain?"
"Naming any living thing would be an insult to that living being. A tree is smarter than her."
I whistled as we walked across the courtyard that could have doubled as a park. We walked along the path, avoiding the wet grass which would have shortened our time a bit making our way to the parking structure.
"That is just harsh. What did she ever do to you?"
"I'm just stating the facts. If she continues to expect things to be done for without a single effort on her part, then she is no better than a cum rag."
"Everyone has their thing," I said as we climbed down a few steps of stairs.
"Fine. Then to me at least."
We stopped by the entrance of the parking lot. "Sure you don't want me to take you?" He asked.
"Naw, I'm fine," I shook my head as I said that with my hands shoved deep into my jeans pocket.
"Alright. See you in the morning then." He turned away and headed in the brightly lit parking structure.
"See ya," I echoed after him and turned to head the opposite direction to head towards the streets and off campus. The parking structure he parked in was on the other side of campus, away from the dorms, which was where we had came from. It was deep in the campus, away from the beach and the street I lived on. So, I had to make my way back up.
I was walking back home alongside the beach, already numb to the cold air. It was so dark that I couldn't see the ocean, but could hear the waves crashing against itself, rushing up the bay and receding. I wasn't close enough to smell the scent of the sea, or maybe I'm just too use to it to notice. There were plenty of yellow street lights along the sidewalk to keep my path lit and a small wall along the sidewalk, dividing the sand from the concrete. There wasn't any sound of life, only the crashing sounds of the ocean. It was very peaceful, and I've gotten use to this path.
At that moment I heard some guy behind me call out, "Jessamine." I kept on walking.
It wasn't my business of who Jessamine was, or what was his deal. Hell, it sounded a lot like some guy calling his girlfriend from his tone, especially when he called out for her the second time. He was practically shouting.
Before I knew it, I felt the force of his body against my back, pushing me forward. I almost lost my footing, but manage to stand my ground as his arms wrapped around me, squeezing me tightly. "Dude. You've got the wrong person!" I yelled through my gritted teeth as I tried to push my arms to get out of his grip. Talk about iron clad. I wrestle and fight with my brothers all the time. At this point I started to think maybe they just going easy on me. Or maybe this guy have some super human strength.
"Jessamine," he said again, practically whispering it against my ear.
"Get off!" My arms were bound against my chest, held there by his arms. His head was against my shoulder. "I'm not her!"
"I can recognize you anywhere, Jessamine. You can't hide from me."
"Well, you obviously can't! Are you drunk or something? I'm not Jessamine! Now let go!"
"No one knows you better than I. Each and every curve. Things that you like and hate." His head moved away from my shoulders and pressed against my back. "And the spots that make your knees go weak."
"ARE YOU NOT -." I felt a small pressure against the nape of my neck and my legs gave out. I fell to my knees and lost my breath. Worst time to be wearing a single loose t-shirt and thin jacket. I should have worn a thicker jacket over it. My body tingled all over and tensed as I tried to shove the feeling out, but it invaded my core. I let got a long breath as I tried to speak."That- that is a common weak spot," I said, which is probably true, but I never knew that was my own. He held onto my and continued pressing his lips against my spine. "S-stop." I had never felt anything like this before. It seem like I could ever catch my own breath as I felts shivers crawling up and down my spine and leaving jitters on my lower abdomin. "Please, stop," I breathlessly pleaded.
His lips reached my ears and whispered, "What's my name?"
"I honestly don't know," I said helplessly.
All of a sudden he pulled away, but my body kind of missed it and wanted him to continue. I wondered if that was bad. I wasn't completely let go, but merely turned around to face him and still somewhat pinned the the ground. I finally was able to see what he looked like.
He stood out like a sore thumb in his brown three piece suit and dark tie. He kind of reminds me of one of those pretty boys in very bad and cheesy vampire movies most chicks seem to love. He wasn't think, but wasn't bulky either. His hair was dark and long. It parted in the middle and was neatly combed away from his face. What lingered the most was his eyes. Not the color. The expression of disappointment and completely disheartened by, what I assume, of what I had said.
As random and sudden had he appeared in front of me, he also just left, and walked away. He left me laying there on the ground in bewilderment. There really wasn't anything I could do with what had just happened. I stood up, patted myself clean and went home, thinking what the hell just happened all the way there with a hint of guilt for no good reason sprinkled on top.
I tried to wash it all away by taking a shower to get myself ready for my morning class. That pretty much worked. I switched out the book and notebook in my bag and headed out the door by five-forty AM for a six-fifteen AM class. Needed to give myself enough time to walk onto campus. It wasn't too far away.
It is your typical University that takes up a few thousand acres of the cities land and has its own park. It even has its own bicycle and golf cart pavement to get from one department to another. It also conveniently has a lot of coffee shops and restaurants on campus as well as surrounding the campus. It's great.
My six AM class was that Psychology one-oh-one, because who doesn't just love Psychology, especially since everyone needs one anyways. All the therapy you can ask for with a single tuition payment.
"Yo! Kay!" I can recognize that voice from anywhere. Michael. Kind of like the adoptive brother I never needed or asked for.
"Michael," I said once he caught up to me, with his arm hanging around my shoulders.
"Bro, a bunch of us are planning to head down to a mixer, you should come," he said with a huge grin on his face.
Whenever we are out anywhere, he always elbows me, asking if I think this girl or the other looks hot or not. "For the last time, I'm not gay. I'm not interested in girls. So, I'll pass."
"Oh, come on. You wouldn't know, if you don't try."
I rolled my eyes. Did I say a adoptive brother I never needed? He was also an adoptive brother I never wanted. What? A girl can't be all dressed up in baggy t-shirts and cargo pants or jeans with big pockets without being a lesbian or something? These clothes happen to be very comfortable. I breathed out a heavy sigh that could be heard. There is no point in tell him all of this like a broken record.
"Why don't you let a girl put on a strap on and have a go at you. Or, better yet, go out with a guy? You never know until you try," I retorted.
He raised his arms in resignation. "You've made your point. So, how was your walk home?"
"Insignificant," I said. I kind of completely brushed off what had happened early that morning as if it was a figment of my imagination. Even if I didn't, it wasn't like I was in any sharing mood, especially about something that personal.
"Well, hey, come with us to the bar anyways. Come and be my wingman."
"I'm barely turning 19," I said in a flat tone.
"They will only ID you if you actually order something," he retorted.
"Fine." I waved as I headed into the large lecture hall, sitting near the exit as I listen to the professor drag on in an almost monotone way, as if he was not even interested in the thing he was presenting. Then again, who would be interested in teaching a bunch of freshmens in introductory things and having to answer questions that seems to be so obvious, especially since one has been studying for decades. He is another one of those professors that is here out of obligation and would rather focus on research. It can't be helped.
When lecture was finally over, the first thing I did was head home and collapsed face first on top of my bed. I was too tired for anything else. To have Showered before class was a bad idea. I end up feeling comfortable, warm, and sleepy. By the time I reach my first class, I wanted to lay in bed and sleep, or maybe just put my head down for a moment on that long desk.
The moment I closed my eyes with my face on my pillow, and still fully dressed, I fell into a dreamless sleep. I was promptly woken up by my alarm clock at six for my class at six-forty-five pm. A full nine hours of dead sleep. It felt good. (Now, I know you might be wondering how many classes am I taking if I am able to sleep for that long. My answer: it doesn't matter. That is not the important part. I was a full-time student.)
I patted myself down and straightened my clothes before I picked up my things that I had dropped at the foot of my bed and headed out to my last class of the day.
As a freshman, all my classes were towards my general education, and the last class of the night was history. (One of the fastest way to put a good majority of people to sleep. Too much text and tedious information in one four hour sitting.) What did I learn? Something happened in some date the past lead by some arbitrary important person that is bound to happen again and is the reason why we are in the situation we are in today or have developed as far as we have, yada, yada, yada.
I felt slightly bad at how relieved I was for that class was finally over. It is not that history is not important, but history, to me at least, has always felt slightly falsified.
Although, now there was something even more unpleasant I had to look forward to. The mixer.
The promise I made, I tended to stick by. So, without even dropping off my things, I headed towards Michael's dorm. Unlike what most people think of when it comes to college dorms, this one was quiet, clean, and co-ed. The hallways were empty and everyone's doors were shut (I visit Michael every so often to hang out). He lives alone on the second floor of the building.
When I knocked, he answered in nothing more than a pair of washed out jeans and a smile on his face. "Hey."
"Yo," I responded. The thirty minutes to one hour workout he does everyday really does show on his ripped body. I won't lie, but I have wondered if he was as firm as he looked. Can't say I ever felt it, his bare skin that is. Even those times we were close and kind of hugging, I never really paid much attention to the feel of it. Or at least at that very moment I definitely couldn't recall. "Still not dressed?"
"Can't decide on what shirt." He started to walk away from the door and sat on his bed.
"You sound like a girl," I said as I closed the door behind me.
"Got to appeal to them ladies," he said with a wink.
I rolled my eyes. Why not just go shirtless then? I thought to myself.
Am I interested? No. Do I like looking? Who wouldn't? Especially if he is so willing to flaunt it. Do I want to touch? Sure, I'm curious. Although, I wouldn't know how he would feel about that. Might be creeped out by the idea.
He stood up and took a few steps closer to his closet and pulled out a simple designer T-shirt and jacket to put on. Basically going to the bar how he is everyday.
"I'm going to leave my stuff here," I told him.
I walked passed him to placed my bag on his chair. When he was done, he waited by the open door. After I got out, he locked the door and I followed him to the bar.
"Where is this place anyways?" I asked.
"It just opened a week or two ago right across the street from the campus."
"Seriously?" I said in disbelief. "The Uni let a bar open up so close to campus?"
He smiled. "I know right? I thought it was just a stupid rumor or prank."
"Have you gone?"
"I haven't gone in, but I've walked by it. Seems legit. A few friends of mine went, and they said it good."
If you haven't noticed by now, yes Michael was older than me. Specifically, he was 21-years-old, just turned a few months back. He was a little over two years older than me. I happened to be in the same Calculus class as him my freshmen year in high school. There were only three freshmen in that class filled with Juniors and Seniors. We played a lot of arcade games using the projector. It was pretty cool.
Anyways, just as he had said, the bar was across the street from the campus, fairly close to the dorms. It was a fairly short ten minute walk to get there. When we entered through its doors, it wasn't what I expected. Kind of thought it to be dimly lit with TV screens hanging from above all over the place like a sports bar. What I saw a was a well lit bar that looked more like a restaurant. It had long dining tables everywhere and booths all around the place. The center attraction, and first thing I saw was the huge bar with bottles and cups on display all the way up to the ceiling. There was no way they used any of the stuff up there. Had to be display only.
All the furniture was a shade of black or dark color, but all the lights were a brilliant white. Even the lighting for the display case behind the bartender. It wasn't filled with the scent of alcohol either, but fresh crisp air. The ventilation of this place must had been amazing and their electricity bill must have been a fortune.
I looked around to search for something like a mixer: a group of girls sitting around with a bunch of guys. What my eyes were not prepared to see was that guy who was calling me Jessamine. That night's event was fresh on my mind, one that I really did hope was some my head just made up and didn't actually happen. As my eyes fixated on him, I couldn't help but think he really does stick out (like doesn't belong sticking out). He sat facing the door, and I could tell, even though the bar and so many people were between us, his eyes were staring right at me. I could feel it.