Chapter 8: Sobering Up

The next morning, I woke to the sound of Thomas in the shower. I hauled myself up off the sofa, flexing my stiff back and shoulders. The sofa was comfortable enough to sit on to watch television or to play video games, but spending a night on it was borderline agony. In hindsight, I probably should have slept on the floor. It probably would have hurt less.

I shuffled into the kitchen and put on a pot of coffee before I even remembered that Olivia was presumably still in my room and still in my bed. I rubbed my tired eyes and tried to make sense of what was going on. I adjusted my hair back into the pony-tail, hoping it would look at least halfway decent when I went in to see if she was still there. I was sure it didn’t matter; I really had no need to try and impress this chick.

The night before came screaming back to me so fast it almost made my head spin. I had been trying to do the right thing, but it had been so long since I’d been that kind of person, I was thrown for a loop. The urge to be a halfway decent human being was a trait that was buried deep inside me. For so long I’d been some stoned and drunk looser that was completely self-centered, I wasn’t even sure who I was any more.

I waited for the coffee to brew before pouring a mug. I didn’t know what she took in it, so I left it black. I brought it into my room, finding that Olivia was still sleeping soundly in my bed.

She looked beautiful lying in my sheets. Her hair framed her face on the pillow majestically. She was wearing one of my t-shirts, and even though it was big for her tiny frame, she looked incredible in it. She was beautiful. I almost didn’t want to wake her. I wanted so badly to touch her; I had to struggle to stay out of arms reach of her. That struggle was the only thing that kept me from crawling into bed and curling up next to her.

But I had no idea how long she would be sleeping for. If she woke in my arms she might get the wrong impression. At the very worst she might freak out entirely.

I carefully sat on the side of the bed. “Olivia…” I said gently. “Olivia?”

Her beautiful, perfect face puckered and she mumbled. “Hmmm…”

“Olivia… its morning.” I said gently, trying not to startle her.

Her eyes opened slowly. Her beautiful green eyes gazed up at me. “Isaac?”

“Hey. You should wake up… and get back to your dorm before someone realizes you’re missing, and they call the cops or something.”

“Oh, god! What happened?” She groaned, groggily.

“Do you remember last night? At all?” I pressed.

“I remember the party. And I definitely remember the peach flavored drink that I was sharing with Gabby…”

Her eyes widened and she sat bolt upright. “Oh my god! Did we….”

“No. No. Of course not!” I said quickly. “You were drunk and you passed out in the common room… I couldn’t leave you there. I didn’t want you to have to go down and be let in by the people at the front desk. That would have gone on your permanent record…”

She pressed her fingers to her forehead.

“Headache?” I guessed.

“Yeah.” She mused, frowning deeply.

“Do you feel like you’re going to be sick?” I prompted. I’d been there, many times. I knew exactly what to expect.

“No.” she shook her head slowly.

She finally noticed that she was no longer wearing her dress. It had been thrown over the back of my desk chair. She was wearing one of my t-shirts as a nightgown.

Her jaw dropped. “I thought you said we didn’t do anything…”

“We didn’t. I put you to bed, then the next thing I knew, you came out and wanted to crawl onto the sofa with me. It took me infinitely to get you back into bed. You insisted you didn’t want to sleep in your dress, so I found you an old shirt to put on…”

I deliberately left out the fact that she had yanked her dress over her head in the middle of my bedroom, giving me full view of what she had on underneath. And I blatantly forgot to mention that I had looked and for good reason enjoyed what I had seen.

I deliberately neglected to mention how desperate she had been to get me to follow her into bed, and how she had tried to kiss me and do anything to seduce me. I was somewhat used to girls throwing themselves at me, but last night was getting a little ridiculous. Normally only certain types of girls behaved like that. I knew that. I’d spent a long time searching out these girls with no self-esteem if only to get into their pants.

But Olivia was different. She was not like these girls, and that was part of what drew me too her. It was also part of what told me to keep away from her.

She was too good for me. Someone like me didn’t deserve her, and she didn’t deserve someone like me. She needed someone so much better for her.

“Oh… thanks. This has been really sweet of you. I’m sure most other people would have just left me there… God, this is the first and last time I’m ever drinking.”

I laughed softly. “Here’s some coffee. It’ll help.” I held it out to her.

“Oh, thank god.” She groaned, taking the mug from my hand. She cradled it in her tiny hands and brought it to her mouth. She took a small sip. “Wow.” I noticed her hands trembling slightly, so I reached out and held the coffee cup for her.

She pursed her lips, glancing down at the coffee in my hands. “So, I mean, you said we didn’t… do it. But did we… do stuff?”

I frowned. “What? No. Are you kidding me? You were pretty smashed. It wouldn’t have been right.”

“Are… are you saying that you wouldn’t want to….” She began. “I mean, if I had have been sober… you wouldn’t have…”

“No, I didn’t say that. I didn’t stop you because I didn’t want to.” I frowned, shaking my head.

She nodded, drawing in a slow breath.

I watched her for a moment. “Your hair is standing up in about a million different directions. It’s a good look for you.”

Suddenly she leaned toward me and pressed her too soft lips to mine. My eyes closed and reflex took over. I reached out and laid my hand against her hair.

I realized what I was doing and I pulled back immediately.

“It’s okay.” She said quickly. “I’m not drunk any more, and I want to. You’re not taking advantage or anything… I’m giving you the advantage.”

I shook my head. “No, it’s still not right. I hardly know you. You hardly know me.”

She frowned, her perfect eyebrows knitting together. “That’s because you won’t let me get to know you! You can trust me.”

“No, I can’t.” I said quickly.

She sighed irritably. She jerked back the blankets and scrambled out of bed. She grabbed her dress off the desk chair and turned her back to me. She was still wearing the dark stockings she had worn with her dress the night before.

With her back to me, she jerked my t-shirt over her head and threw it to the floor in a huff.

My eyes moved over the ivory skin of her back that disappeared beneath the clasp of her bra. I could see her tiny, matching panties through her translucent stockings. I felt no need to look away, though I probably should have. She’d given me a full view of the front of her the night before when she yanked her dress off in front of me. She suddenly yanked her dress down over herself, pulling it down over her thin hips.

She hesitated for a moment, glancing around at the floor.

She was looking for her shoes.

I reached down beside me and retrieved her black heels, which I had placed neatly next to the bed. I held them out to her and she yanked them from my hands, twirling around on her heel. She pulled the door open and stormed from the room. I heard the front door slam shut less than a moment later.

I sighed and stood up, crossing my bedroom at a much slower pace. When I reached the doorway, I saw Thomas standing on the other side of the counter in the kitchen, facing me.

He was holding a bowl of cereal in his left hand and a spoon in his right. The spoon was raised halfway to his mouth, which was hanging open in complete shock. Milk dribbled out of his mouth, landing directly in the bowl in his hands.

Seeing him with such a shocked face would have been comical, if it hadn’t been so well deserved.

I carried the mug of coffee through the living room and into the kitchen. I poured the remainder of the coffee into the sink and left the mug there.

“Dude, what…. I mean… what the hell, man? Is that where you went last night? I mean…. I knew I lost track of you during the party, but I just thought you came back here and just went to bed or something… but I mean, Olivia James? She’s like… by far one of the hottest girls in school! I mean, she’s like… wow. Dude, tell me what happened! Did you guys do it?”

I sighed. “No. No. She was way too drunk for that. She didn’t have any place else to go, and she was passed out, so I brought her back here and slept on the sofa.”

Thomas paused and seemed to be drinking in this new information. “Did you kiss her or anything?” Thomas pressed.

I drew in a deep breath and held it in my chest. “I wasn’t going to take advantage of her man, she’s was drunk… I mean, come on.” I paused. “But it wasn’t for lack of trying for her… That’s why she stormed out this morning. She tried to kiss me and I turned her down.”

“You lucky bastard…” Thomas chuckled.

“Look, girls are a whole lot of trouble that I really don’t need right now, man. I’m on academic probation, I’ve got to keep my marks up and keep my job as a primary focus so I can get rid of this stupid probation business, prove to my parents that I’m not a complete fuck up. Get my high school diploma and be done with this shit entirely.”

“But Olivia James is-“

“She’s probably just like every other girl in this school. Every other girl in this planet… I really haven’t got time for that. I’m not interested in the supposed politics of this place.” I shook my head. I wanted desperately to change the subject.“Hey, how did it go at the party after I left?” I asked, heading toward my bedroom.

“It sucked, actually. I came back home and did some homework after.”

“Any of the football guys bug you?”

“No. They were all pretty hammered.” Thomas replied.

“Good. I’m sure they’ll leave you alone.” I assured.

“We’ll see about that.” Thomas mused darkly.

“Trust me.” I said, reaching my bedroom door.

The time displayed on the alarm clock in my room caught my eye. “Holy shit. It’s nine thirty? It’s Saturday morning. It’s ridiculously early. I’m going back to bed. Sleeping on that sofa is like sleeping on a bed of nails.” I was desperate to get out of this conversation.

“Yeah… Yeah.”

I yanked my t-shirt over my head and climbed into bed. The usual fruity scent that followed her clung to my sheets and pillows. The scent was intoxicating. It enveloped me. I couldn’t escape it.

There was a huge part of me that didn’t want to escape it.