After that long and unannounced hiatus, I am pleased to say that my exams are pretty much over, life has calmed down a bit and I’ve had the break I think I needed from sims for a while. I’m finally ready to get back to writing! A huge sorry for the unexplained absence, and thank you to everyone who stuck with me throughout. Read and enjoy 🙂
True to my word to Luc, I began in the following weeks to stay back later after class in an unnatural effort to cultivate friendships with some of the other students. Unnatural, because left to myself I probably would never have dreamed of it in a million years. In all honesty, it wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated; the students at Sims University were surprisingly welcoming and cordial compared to those I had known in high school. After the initial awkwardness, I even found myself enjoying the company of most of them, from the ‘rebels’ to the ‘jocks’ and everything in between.
A month or two before finals, one of the girls invited me to my first-ever college party at her dorm. Ashley and I had become pretty good friends already, but remembering the wild parties my sister used to throw in our basement, I had some concerns about what this one might involve. After days of convincing, against my better judgement but with my promise to Luc in mind, I agreed to go. Just this once couldn’t do too much harm, could it?
Ashley made sure to inform me that I wouldn’t have to dress up for the party. That, at least, was a relief to me… until she went on to suggest that I arrive in swimmers. Supposedly, that was the outfit of choice for bonfire parties like this one was intended to be. Although embarrassed, I arrived on her doorstep on the night dressed as she had asked (with a change of clothes stowed in a bag, just in case), and was greeted enthusiastically by a host of my classmates.
“Diana, you came!” Ashley cried, beaming as she pulled me through the door. I eyed the beer keg in the entrance hall warily as we walked past. “Come on in and meet everyone!”
I nodded mutely, and allowed her to pull me through the house to a recreation room packed with young adults, some more skimpily dressed than others. Apparently the swimsuit thing was optional after all. When I confronted Ashley about it, she laughed.
“Yeah okay, I lied, you don’t have to wear swimmers,” she admitted. “But honestly, it would have been a waste otherwise. You look super hot in that!”
I blushed, wondering if anyone else had thought the same thing. No sooner had I set foot inside the room than a young man approached me, dark-haired and casually dressed, with crystal-blue eyes that spent more time trained on my chest during our brief conversation than I was strictly comfortable with. After only a few minutes of idle chatter, I began scanning the room for an escape route.
I waved at Ashley to get her attention. “Hey, Ash?”
She was by my side a second later. “What’s up?”
I leaned over to whisper in her ear, so the other party guests wouldn’t hear. “Um… is it okay if I go change? I’m feeling a bit… exposed.”
She nodded understandingly, though looking slightly disappointed, patted my shoulder, and sent me back through the door we had just walked through with directions to the nearest bathroom. Relieved, I returned a few minutes later dressed in my usual clothes and ready to give this party a second chance.
A second later, the same young man appeared in front of me. “I wondered where you’d run off to. I’m Jake, by the way,” he said confidently, extending a hand in my direction.
“Diana,” I returned, with what I hoped was a friendly smile, though it might have come across as just nervous.
Luckily, Jake didn’t seem to mind. “Nice to meet you, Diana,” he smiled. “Do you normally come to these sorts of things? I don’t think I’ve seen you around before. I definitely would have remembered if I had,” he added, looking me up and down with a hungry expression in his eyes that made my skin crawl.
I cleared my throat uncomfortably. “Uh, no, I… usually spend my time at home. This is my first party, actually.”
“First time?” His smile widened. “Good to see you’ve come out of your shell. A hot piece of ass like you shouldn’t stay cooped up for too long.”
I bristled, my temper beginning to rise to the surface. “I’ll have you know-” I began, but didn’t get much further, since the next thing I knew his mouth was pressed against mine and an unfamiliar tongue was trying to worm its way between my tightly closed lips.
It took all the strength I had just to wrench him away from me.
“Excuse you!” I gasped furiously, the moment I was free. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
Jake grinned at my outburst, and winked. “I like my women fiery.” I raised a hand to slap the disgusting smirk off his face, and he blanched. “Whoa there, sugar! No need to get violent!”
Ignoring his efforts to calm me, I allowed my hand to sweep across his face with a resounding smack, before turning on my heel and walking away, not bothering to even respond. I found Ashley in a corner chatting with a few of our classmates. “Hey, Ash? I think I’m gonna head off now.”
“What?” she turned quickly, eyes wide with disappointment. “No, Di, you can’t leave yet! You just got here!” She paused, thinking. “Tell you what, come downstairs and we’ll crack open the keg together. I need someone to help me with my keg stands.” She giggled. “Come on, what do you say?”
I hesitated. On the one hand, I had never been inclined towards anything of the sort before in my life. On the other… I had promised Luc that I would try to ‘let loose’ a bit while I was here. And it was just a beer keg, it wasn’t like we were doing shots. This was the kind of thing normal kids at university did. Anything to get away from that Jake guy. Decided, but not entirely convinced, I nodded. “Okay, I’m in.”
Ashley beamed, grabbed my hand and dragged me downstairs to the entrance hall. I had never lifted another person before, but I was a fast learner and Ashley was a cheerleader, so under her instruction I was soon able to support her upside-down in the air while she gulped beer straight from the nozzle of the keg.
It was barely twenty seconds before she tumbled back down, grinning widely with beer dripping down her chin. She winked at me. “Now it’s your turn.”
Wait, what?! I shook my head. “Oh, no. Nonononono. No way.” I had never had more than a few sips of alcohol in my life.
“Why?” she pouted. “Come on, at least have a cup. You don’t have to drink from the keg.” I looked at her doubtfully. “It’s just beer, Di. It’s not going to kill you. Come on, you’re at university! Live a little!”
I sighed. “Alright, one cup.”
Ashley grinned, filled one of the red party cups to the brim with beer and handed it to me. I stared doubtfully at it for a few moments before taking a tentative sip. Behind me, Ashley was already gulping down her own.
All in all, I decided, it wasn’t as bad as I had expected. Rather pleasant, actually. I took another sip, deeper this time. By the time the beer was half gone, I could feel a warm, cosy feeling spreading throughout my body, and started to relax. I had to admit, this partying thing was… not too bad.
As more of the other partygoers started to gravitate downstairs towards the keg, Ashley kept pressing me with refills. Around the third cup, I lost track of how much I was drinking. Though it wasn’t really my kind of thing, I was beginning to see why everyone else seemed to go in for this kind of lifestyle, particularly if you were someone like Emily. Or even Luc. I wondered if this was the kind of thing that he might enjoy if he wasn’t hanging around me all the time. The thought made my throat tighten, and tears prickled behind my eyes. Man, I missed him. We hadn’t spoken since… how long ago was it now? I couldn’t remember. The crowds of people jostling around the beer keg pushed me this way and that, making my head spin as I struggled to regain control of my own body.
Someone’s foot tangled itself with my own… I felt myself slipping backwards, and a pair of strong arms caught me. I smiled and relaxed. “Luc…”
He laughed in my ear. “Whatever you want to call me, sugar, it’s up to you.” I frowned at his voice… something wasn’t quite right, but in my drunken state I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. I clung to him for support, trying to regain my balance as the room spun around me.
“Wah… why is the floor moving…” I mumbled confusedly. He laughed, and before I could react had pulled me to him and claimed my lips with his own.
I responded immediately, throwing my arms around him and kissing him back with as much enthusiasm as I could muster. God, I had missed this… the sensations of his kiss, his arms around me, his lips on mine… for a few moments I stood, enthralled, lost in the moment, ignoring the small part of my brain that told me something wasn’t right. Eventually that small part grew too prominent to ignore, and the realisation of my situation suddenly hit me.
Gasping, I gripped the front of Jake’s shirt and pushed him away as hard as I could. “You… stop… how dare… no…” I mumbled incoherently, swaying dangerously on the spot. I vaguely registered Ashley’s concerned face swimming in and out of focus, and heard her voice resound through my head, as if coming from a long way off. At the same time I felt myself falling – at least I thought I did, honestly I couldn’t quite remember which way was up – falling, falling into darkness… a sharp pain shot through my head… rowdy voices, laughter, Ashley’s face… something heavy tipped and sloshed nearby…
And then everything went black.