AliceI'm nervous. Music blasts from the frathouse, and people are lining up the street. This is the first party I've ever been to, and I'm close to freaking out from the sheer pressure. What if people will find me boring?Will I even have fun here?What if, for some reason, that doesn't make sense, people just start bullying me out of nowhere? I know the chances are slim to none, but I'm just so freaking scared and traumatized from high school. I sometimes have trouble understanding why Winnie is even willing to be my friend. My heart is booming when Winnie pats my shoulder. A wide grin has spread over her face. "Are you excited?"I try my hardest to smile. "A little." But I'm mostly scared."Good, because this is going to be fun," Winnie fishes up her phone and unlocks her screen, mumbling. "Andrew told us we could skip the line... Let me just text him to come to the door..."I try to keep it together while Winnie calls Andrew. My eyes go to the left and right, landing on all the
NathanAlice and I make quite a team, and I'm having fun. "Down you go!" Alice shouts when she manages to push another girl off the shoulders of some random bloke. "Another victory for team Nathan and Alice! Let's go!"Water splashes in my eyes, and people whistle around the pool. I don't make a move to get up, though. Alice and I are finally down to our last challenge. The next battle will be our fight against Jake and Winnie. "Ladies and gentlemen!" The judge speaks over the noise in an anchor's tone. "We are finally down to the last battle between team Alice and Nathan and Winnie and Jake! Who is going to win?!"People whistle and cheer. Some hold their glasses in the air, and a few red plastic cups float around in the pool. Gross. I wrinkle my nose in disgust, but instant happiness finds me when I look up at the dwarf sitting on my shoulders. Alice weighs nothing. She is adorably tiny yet larger-than-life in my heart. Why can't she be mine already?Seeing Alice's smile makes m
Alice"My mom will kill me if I come home like this," I hiccup and laugh at how my voice sounds. Shit. I'm wasted. A wasted squirrel. Yup, that's me. I also feel kind of... Like, I don't know. I can't be bothered. "Fuck, she is wasted," Andrew's large hands land on my shoulders, and I smile up at him. "Sup?"He tries not to smile but ends up snorting anyway. "What am I supposed to do with you?""Let Alice sleep in your bed and share the living room with my brother and me? Jake is putting Winnie in our room.""Oh, then, can Alice have your bed?""Psh, no way. I want no stray girls in my bed. Let her sleep in yours. I don't think Nathan is home anyway.""Fine."I'm not sure what is happening. I can't keep my eyes open, and the entire world is spinning. Am I being carried? I think so. "I will make you sleep in my bed.""That's nice..." I mumble. The world turns black.Later, much later, I open my eyes and find myself lying in someone else's uncomfortable bed."Shit..."My ears pick u
Alice A few weeks have passed since the party. I've become best friends with Winnie, and we hang out at the ice hockey rink daily. I'm still in the fan club for The Fighting Devils, but it seems one player, in particular, is set on ignoring me. Nathan Douglas. The night I spent with him made me realize I liked him. But Nathan, true to his word, has stayed clear of me. Whenever I walk past him on campus or watch his hockey team play, he stares through me. It's like I'm air to him. "Why won't you date Andrew?" Winnie asks me while chewing on a fry. We are eating in the dining hall. I sigh. "Because Andrew is a player?" "You could still give him a go... Unless there is someone else that you like? Someone that I don't know about?" She blinks at me with a sweet smile, and guilt gnaws at me. I haven't told Winnie that I'm crushing on Nathan. It's a secret I will take with me to the grave. It's not like we would ever become an item, anyway. And to save myself from the humiliation
Alice Friday has come, and I'm wearing a winter jacket while Winnie and I are waiting for the hockey game to begin. The stadium is filled with people. Some are hardcore dedicated fans; others are only here because college hockey games are rumored to be violent. Or, at least, that's what Winnie told me. She said some players don't give a fuck. They know they won't be recruited by the bigger league and just tackle people to the right and left, sometimes even hard in the plexiglass, without care of getting injured. It sounds brutal—no wonder all of these men are built. "Look," Winnie tells me while holding up her binoculars. "Aubrey and Nathan have only gone out on one date. You don't have to feel guilty about having eyes for him. They aren't serious yet." I grimace and move closer to her. It's damn cold in here, and I hope to steal heat from her, even though I realize it's impossible. "I still feel guilty." I turn my attention toward her. We are wearing too many pieces of clot
Alice "Won't Nathan laugh if I give him this thing?" I ask with a funny feeling in my stomach. I can't tell if it's fear or excitement. I've drawn a card with various cartoon characters. One of them says they are sorry, and the other holds up a bouquet of roses while asking to please go out with them. "I don't think so. It's genuine and sweet. It also shows who you are as a person," Winnie says. I glance at her from the table in her room. Her roommate Caroline isn't home right now. "You think so?" "Absolutely. You love drawing. It's part of you, and since you're so bad at talking and getting your point across, use your art. Speak through it." "Thanks," I size her up. Winnie is wearing a burgundy dress that shows off the goods. It suits her. Winnie is blonde and beautiful, with lots of freckles that give her character. "That dress is nice. Are you going to wear it to the party tonight?" "I was thinking about it..." Winnie pulls at the dress while looking herself over in the mirr
Alice I walk over to the flip chart and pick up a red marker. There aren't a lot of colors to work with: green, blue, red, and black, but I think I can create something that will grab Nathan's attention. While music blasts, my hands work their magic. A smile is stretched across my lips, and I pick up my red plastic cup to drink while creating my hilarious art on this paper. I'm drawing a portrait of Nathan, but I'm being bold. This is Picasso's style I'm using for inspiration. Nathan's face is boxed and surrealistic. But you can still tell it's Nathan from the hockey stick, the blue eyes, and the stubble. Oh, and also, by the fantastic abs. Some people stop and stare behind me. I feel a surge of adrenaline when a girl taps my shoulder and says, "Oh, wow, nice work, Alice!" "Is that Nathan?" someone else asks, laughing a little at the big N I've drawn on the forehead. My only answer is a broad smile as I continue to work on my portrait of the man I can't stop thinking about.
Nathan I'm lying in my bed, ignoring my phone that is pinging with what must be another message from Aubrey. She tried to kiss me yesterday, but my body moved out of instinct, and I avoided her lips. Why did I do that? At least Aubrey isn't afraid to tell me how she feels. Unlike someone else who is giving me notes instead of talking to me... Annoyed, I turn around and look over at my windowsill. The crumbled note Alice gave me is there. I haven't opened it yet out of fear of disappointment—what if it's just a mysterious quote? I'm guilty of giving her one myself. I let out a tired sigh. "Why can't you just tell me how you feel, Alice? It would make things easier because... Because simply drawing me on paper isn't enough... Notes aren't either..." Why is everything so complicated when it comes to that woman? My stomach churns. I should get over Alice and make some progress with Aubrey. She likes me, and I enjoyed her company—until a certain other girl drew my attention back