Todd's one night stand turns into one complicated supernatural mess.
The Facebook invite that was sent said she was moving to California to live with her mother’s grandparents. He envied that – he didn’t know her well enough to feel sad by her departure. He envied that she could go live with her grandparents. He missed his and hadn’t seen them in years. After their departure, his mother swiftly kicked him out of the house at sixteen.
Things I don’t want to think about. He would not have accepted the invitation, he doubted Megan would have missed his presence. But his best friend, Josie, urged him to go with her and her girlfriend Abigail. The three of them were inseparable – the duo became three a little over a year ago.
He feared the inclusion of the third would tear apart their friendship. He was surprised that they stayed such good friends once high school ended. It wouldn’t have been helped considering how different they were as individuals. But the inclusion of Abigail, cemented the fact that everyone involved was almost opposites of one another.
Abigail at six feet towered over Josie’s five feet three. A natural dirty blonde, thick straight hair that she kept short so she wouldn’t have to deal with it. Paired with her bright blue eyes, who wore oversized bright frames that complimented her oval face. She preferred conflict free atmosphere – if he ignored the snarky comments she often tossed at him. Josie never noticed – as Abigail had her heart and everything she did was almost flawless.
Josie, shorter than the two of them. Personality – energetic, loved parties and dragging him places. She had busy black curly hair that couldn’t be contained. She had no issue with conflicts and happily fell into sync with any that cropped up – or sought them out if the mood strikes her. It was how they became friends in high school.
New to the school, he was a few graders ahead of his age group. She was new, too, hated school and everything that it involved. She was one of those that flourished once she was set free from school. He felt the complete opposite and worried about never finding that false sense of purpose.
And, that’s why I’m going to the party. Possible underage drinking with a dash of forgetting everything I constantly stress over.
He checked his cellphone seeing when Josie was collecting him for the party. The text was her reminder that he should at least try to style his hair. It was too long to just ignore. He sent a picture to see if she agreed with what he had done.
You need to re-dye the hair. The blue always makes those brown eyes happy.
She always said that, he wasn’t sure how blue hair dye could bring out happiness in his eye. His natural ash brown color was shining through root-wise as he was letting his hair grow out. It wasn’t too long, slightly curly and did need to be re-dyed. But it was too late to even bother with that.
He closed his eyes stopping the self-doubt from drowning him before he even stepped out of the house. He ran a comb through it once again, flat and uninspired as always. He ran his fingers across his slightly bushy eyebrows and made sure he didn’t have toothpaste or shaving cream anywhere.
Tonight, I’ll tell her tonight. Nothing about his annoying crush on her as that was something that would never be in the picture between them as she was a lesbian. It was something that he wanted to get off his chest for a while now. A few months until his nineteenth birthday, he felt safe enough and assured enough to finally express who he was.
His phone sang and danced as Josie sent several messages and called to indicate she was outside. The phone call was simply to force his phone to sing the annoying ringtone she set for herself on his cellphone to make certain he read her messages.
“He looks like a lost forgot anime character.” First words from Abigail as he slid into the backseat of the car.
“Hello to you as well, Abigail. Dressed ready to file someone’s taxes. This was a house party; did you not get the message?”
“Stop you two. She was running late from work.” Josie interrupted. She turned and smiled before flipping back over. She moved the driver seat forward and started out of the driveway. “And, you look fine.”
“Why is she talking like that?”
“She won the bet.” Abigail noted after a moment. She leaned forward moving the curls out of Josie’s face. The hair wouldn’t listen to anyone – only tamed by Abigail, it now sat perfectly and out of her face as she drove.
“What was the bet?”
“I bet her $20 that you would unexpectedly cancel last minute.”
"Congratulations on your teen pregnancy!" A home-made banner yelled from across the room.
“I thought this was a ‘Farewell Bash’, not a baby shower?” Todd asked as they stepped further into the house. Abigail exaggerated her placing a large, metallic baby themed wrapped gift on a long white table to the side of the livingroom.
“Don’t worry, Josie made sure to put your name on it.”
“Does that mean no drinking?” Todd frowned looking around at the livingroom. He sighed relieved when he saw booze – some apart of the gift section of the livingroom.
“It’s the reason why she’s moving to her grandmother’s.”
“In the age of Teen Mom, an eighteen-year-old pregnant is still frowned on?” Todd laughed.
“Well, it’s an open secret this isn’t her first trip down pregnancy lane. The last one ended sooner and quietly.” Josie made a slice motion across her neck. Small clicking sounds from behind him indicated the host was making her way toward them. Josie and Abigail were already out of firing range and he was caught.
"Todd! You made it. And you're alone. Poor you and your one-sided puppy love!" Megan’s high pitch scream greeted him. It slurred and when he turned around he saw the bright red cheeks that always followed Megan when she drank heavily.
"And, you are drunk." Todd replied, "Can’t even think of anyone else but yourself even pregnant. You think I’m pathetic?”
It amused him as the small five foot nothing Megan stomped away. Todd looked around to see if Josie was in earshot of them. She didn’t mow down anyone to chew out Megan so that was a no. he had the strong urge to discreetly remove the shared gift they gave Megan. But he was too sober to think of a great plan to go unnoticed.
Though the reaction to the host being drunk didn’t rile anyone around them up as it should have. They were all consumed with their own drunk world to care.
Megan was someone who would find any reason to drink. It was disappointing that she was picking a baby shower to be one of those occasions to suck down alcohol.
He started his search for Josie and Abigail – moving and dodging people who were inebriated enough they weren’t aware they existed on the same dimension as everyone else. It complicated things like, wanting to get through doors.
He sent several text messages telling Josie that Megan wasn’t sober. But there wasn’t any answer. She either had it on silent, off or ignoring him. He wished he quit assuming everyone was ignoring him. They did leave you behind to suffer Megan.
He stopped at the closest food table and obtained a cup of alcohol and some snacks. Here there was a handful of people who camped around the food.
One of the campers, a man who like Abigail was slightly over dressed for the kind of occasion it was. His hair, thick, warm brown hair, gently framing his sun-tanned skin. Noticeably fit even in the outfit he was wearing and the way he stood there.
Stop, he tried to ignore the man – who was noticeably watching him. Todd quickly turned and stole glances when he could or when he thought the guy wasn’t paying attention.
Todd decided to ramp up his search for Josie when the slightly over dressed man stepped in front of him. Todd froze, fearful of making a fool of himself to realize the guy was grappling at the red solo cup trying to prevent it from landing on Todd.
“Dude, I’m sorry.” Overdressed guy apologized as he bumped into Todd. A slight smile on the man’s face as the cup smacked the ground, “I am so sorry.”
“Man.” Todd responded, more out of disappointment than anger and turned on his heels. He pulled at the wet shirt, fruit punch splashed everywhere. He could feel it dripping as he hurried to the hallway bathroom.
He ripped off his shirt when he entered the bathroom. Megan had a secret place where she stashed towels. The first party she ever threw in high school everyone stole all their towels from the bathrooms. At the time, it was hilarious but he couldn’t remember why now.
"Occupied!" He yelled as someone walked in. He twisted to give the person some choice words.
"I missed it!" The guy teased. The same smile and his eyes looking at Todd differently more openly.
“Missed what?” Todd asked as he gave him a confused look and started dabbing the shirt with a towel.
"The shirt being pulled off. That's my favorite part." He said as he leaned against the wall. Still watching Todd.
“That’s real mature.” Todd turned to try to hide the red developing across his face.
“We’re not in high school, anymore. Grow up.”
“Oh, no. You misunderstood. I am so sorry I should have.” The guy started talking fast walking up to Todd.
"I am not --" Todd's caught in his throat as the guy started to unbutton his shirt.
The guy smiled, knowingly as he continued his show.
Todd wanted to look away to not give him that satisfaction. But he hungrily watched instead. He felt frozen in that spot. The heat rising throughout he gasped when the guy walked over pushing him into the sink. The kiss hard and Todd wanted more he reached toward the guy running his hands downward. The guy pulled back and Todd leaned forwards.
The door flung open, "The hell, Derek?" He recognized Megan's voice, "You come home and jump the first stranger -oh my god, it's Todd."
"You are Derek?" Todd asked dumbly. He moved grabbing his shirt. Derek was two years older and looked more.... defined then Todd remembered.
He pushed through the two with Megan following behind. He grabbed the first cold drink off the counter. A Pepsi to his disappointment.
She waited until the kitchen cleared before approaching.
"Look you ducked up fairy just because you can't have Josie doesn't mean heading after my brother. What kind of weird thing are you anyway?”
“Megan, the expression should be fucked up fairy. You’re talking as if you’re a real life auto-correct horror show.” The words came out stronger, louder than he intended. But the anger was sincere and he wasn’t going to back down from what he was saying. No matter how ridiculous it sounded coming out of his mouth. She stepped back surprised by his reaction.
“Stay away from my brother.” She threatened.
“I haven’t attacked anyone, Megan, so quit acting like I have. He’s a full-grown adult who can make his own choices – just like you have. No one should be here supporting a drunk at a baby shower. We are all stupid for being here supporting this behavior – you’re the last person who should try to take the high road.” The words flying out of his mouth louder and when he looked up the stares and whispers felt louder and in his face, too.
He felt the heat rising inside of him due to embarrassment and anger as he slid away from her. He weaved to dodge looks from those who heard everything as he made his way into the livingroom.
She didn't follow him.
He found Josie and Abigail curled in the backyard. He walked toward them but instead decided to leave out the side of the yard and go.
Go where? You can’t go home.
After getting dropped off at BLISS he stood in front of it dumbly and unsure. He didn’t accomplish what he wanted to do. He should have gone home – the Lyft ride to BLISS was cheaper from Megan’s than his house. It wasn’t his original intention not to be at home at any point that evening as he had no way back home. But it was a pleasant change of pace for the evening.
Tonight, there wasn’t an entry charge so he walked in and sat in their usual spot. The booth allowed him the false sense of privacy drape over him as he watched the men dance on stage. Nothing risqué as it wasn’t that kind of club. Just enough to titillate the customers who were interested in it.
His phone buzzed, Josie calling he let it go to voicemail though she wouldn’t leave one. Then came the text after text after text she often does when he doesn't answer. It wasn't horrendous as he does it to her as well.
Are you OK?
Meghan said you got into a fight
Are you OK?!
He responded quickly so she wouldn’t panic about his fast departure. Megan did tend to exaggerate confrontations she frequently got herself into. A cold fear came over him as he told that Megan was drunk and pregnant. He hoped Megan didn’t ruin the conversation he wanted to have with Josie. He was tempted to message asking her to get Derek’s phone number while he was away – make the coming out nonchalant. But he couldn’t do it.
"If your phone is more interesting, then why the hell are you here?" A tall African-American man leaned against the booth.
Todd noticeable jumped, knocking the phone out of his hand. The man picked it up. Todd looked up at the man who was keeping the cellphone close to him.
His hair was freshly cut, with blonde patches here and there. Todd noticed them right off and tried not to stare too hard so he looked at the guy’s face. There was amusement written through the guy’s pale green eyes. The guy kept his eyes on the cellphone a slight smile drew across the guy’s face.
"Oh, no you're the gay BFF."
"No, give me that back." Todd stretched his hand out.
"What if I called her now? Would she be hotter than the Sahara over your adventures? You know that's all straight girls want out of you, right?" He teased hovering his finger over the call button.
"No! Stop. Now." His words lacking emotion. He didn't want to get kicked out of the only safe place that he was familiar with.
"Give me a kiss then maybe." The guy arched his black nicely shaped eyebrow. He kept his index over the call button on the screen.
He sat there a few seconds thinking that it wouldn't hurt and then he would not have to worry about going through the entire process of coming out to her. He didn't like the idea of a stranger taking that moment away from him either. He moved over and gave the man a slight peck – ripping his phone from the guy's hand.
"Oh, look the gay BFF got skills." The man didn't sound impressed.
"Again, no, I am not the gay BFF." He turned his cellphone off, tucking it in his pocket.
"I always see you in here with her so I assumed ----"The way the man got caught off guard relaxed Todd.
"Did you just admit to stalking me?" He leaned into the table, "How do you know I'm texting the same person you see me in here with? Buy me a drink if you're wrong"
"They don't card here, anyway, how do I know if you're going to lie?"
"Fine, I figured you had no one other than her. I drummed up a tale of closeted small-town boy who traveled to the largest town nearby said small town. Never initiate anything, just watches."
"You make me sound creepy."
"Your words not mine. So, how on the nose am I?"
"Ish, she's my gay best friend and she is definitely my only friend. That's like half a drink right there."
"So, you're not a closeted? Then what are you?" He leaned over, closer. Todd could tell he was working back the personality that Todd accidentally knocked off guard.
"Drink first." He traced his fingers against the man's beautiful brown hand. He hoped to see less of the front. The man nodded, stood up and disappeared. After a moment, he tucked his hands in his pocket debating whether to get back on his cellphone. The dude was out of the picture now.
"I figured you'd have ran by now." The same man with both hands full. Todd offered a hand taking his from him.
"I wanted to see if you'd chicken out. Not everyone handles losing very well." He smiled. He sipped whatever it was that he was handed. He craved a milkshake and fries he didn't think he'd ever get used to the taste of this. But he felt invested now.
"Lose? According to you I've half-won." The man smiled before drinking deeply from his cup. He made a face and, "Give me another chance of being right. The reward is another kiss – a better then a "get this over with" cheek kiss you give your grandma. Agreed?"
"Go for it."
The man pretended to think about it for a moment, "You're a virgin."
"That's cold and isn't true."
"No, I meant you've never been with a guy before." He smirked, running his finger across his glass, "You say you're not the gay best friend and I see you looking longingly at your friend and have no issue with eyeing the guy-candy out here."
"Not with her." Todd grabbed his glass tightly, "I don't know if I should be interested in you or a possible restraining order."
"I have a sharp eye and can read body language pretty well. You haven't answered my question."
Todd was thankful for the darkened booth and the flickering of the lights. He hoped that this disguised his embarrassment. He as awkward as possible moved over, placed his hands around the man's jaw and pulled him into a kill. He placed his hand gently against the man's inner thigh moving closer to him with every chance he could. The guy pulled away with a dreamy look in his eye.
"You've already made out with a guy tonight."
"Excuse me? Restraining order talk, much?"
"I can smell two different colognes on you unless you're a weird one. Tell me I'm wrong or we head back to my place." The guy pulled him closer.
"You're not wrong, however, I don't know you're a serial killer."