A foot tapped anxiously as she reloaded the Facebook event. It was the fifth time she had checked it since she sat down in the second-to-last row of her poli sci class. Her professor droned on about foreign policy while Tory scanned the page for any new embarrassment. With her 21 Run mere hours away, she knew that her friends would take full advantage of their last chances to resurface her worst moments of college. Kensie had already taken the opportunity to post the picture of her full on making out with a guy in the middle of a particularly steamy grind sesh freshman year. She shuddered subconsciously at how ratchet she had been at 18.
The worst of it all had been when she realized that Jason had been added to the page and was probably disgusted and/or terrified by her now. Tory had had her eye on the baseball player since she and her ex had called it quits in March, and they were finally starting to get somewhere. They’d only hung out once, but she felt that her monogram with his last name had some serious potential.
Looking up, she realized that the class had been dismissed. Tory hustled to dump her laptop and giant planner into her tote, scooping up her half-finished venti iced coffee before walking toward the door. As some dude held the door open for her, she thanked him and continued to dig in her black hole of a bag for her phone. Finally locating it, she shoved her earbuds in and turned up the new Drake.
Tory returned to the sorority to nap before she would need to start getting ready for the pregame. When her alarm blared, she threw the covers off and made a beeline for her vanity. As the clock struck 7, she brushed on a final coat of mascara and grabbed her clutch off the bed. Walking into the pregame with her roommates a few minutes later, she was smacked in the face with the scent of cheap booze and the sound of Lil’ Jon. The party had officially begun.
One shot became two, and before she knew it, it was almost time to hit the bars. She’d been iced several times, and was beyond the point of “feeling herself,” as any of the party’s bystanders could tell you. Jason had shown up with a crew of hot baseball boys at about 10:30, and it had been game on from there. They’d been playfully flirting for the better part of an hour, and she was doing her best to ensure that an adult sleepover would be in the cards, post-bar.
With mercury in retrograde, she should have known better than to count on her 21st going off without a hitch. As everyone who was of age left the party and headed for the nearest bar, Tory began to feel a little nauseous. Grabbing Kensie’s arm urgently, she looked at her with a glance that every best friend has both given and received at least once. Kensie nodded her head, understanding wordlessly, before she elbowed her way to the front of the line, with Tory wobbling close behind. Thrusting their ID’s at the bouncer, Kensie announced bluntly that her friend was about to vomit, and the two were waved into the bar without further adieu.
After throwing up at least two of the ices and a few of the shots, Tory felt much better. Kensie gave her a stick of gum, and the two made their way onto the dance floor. Still drunk AF, Tory began to crane her neck in search of Jason, hoping she looked sexy, but instead achieving more of a lost giraffe look. As she continued to scan the dimly lit room, her heart dropped into her stomach as she locked eyes with the one person she had hoped she would be able to avoid.
Her ex-boyfriend winked at her, and she was about to return the gesture with a scowl when she felt someone grab her waist. She squealed and twisted around, suddenly eye level with Jason’s chest. He offered to buy her a drink. “Fuck it,” she thought before nodding and happily trailing him to the bar like a puppy.
Across the room, her ex elbowed his fraternity brother. “Cody!” he muttered. “Do you know who that guy Tory is with is?” Following Grant’s eyes, Cody saw Tory leaning up to look at the baseball team’s first baseman.
“Yeah, dude. That’s Jason. He’s a geed on the baseball team.” Cody glanced at his friend, who was visibly annoyed at this new information.
“I’m gonna go talk to her.” Grant said. Though the pair had broken up two months prior, they’d shared a number of late nights and subsequent early mornings together since the fight. Cody knew that Grant talking to either Tory or Jason was certain to end poorly, but he was also acutely aware that he would be unable to say anything to deter him. He watched with a mixture of concern and amusement as his friend drunkenly made his way through the crowd.
Tory saw Grant approaching, and quickly told Jason that she was going to run to the ladies, in order to avoid a conversation between the pair of them. Grant saw her leave, and changed courses accordingly. The two arrived at the door of the women’s restroom at the same time. “What do you want, Grant?” Tory glared up at him, using her best disapproving tone, though she knew it was no use. He still had her in the palm of his hand, and they both knew it. He smiled at her, and her heart raced.
She was having a difficult time remembering why they’d even broken up in the first place. She knew she had to make a choice, but she didn’t know what it would be. And it really didn’t help that the mojitos were doing everything but allowing her to think rationally. She looked up at Grant one more time before glancing back to where Jason was waiting. Tory knew what she wanted to do..