As the party raged on around them, Chris left Heather before she could even finish her sentence. He locked eyes with Porkers and the two hustled over to where Ashley had just fallen. The boys crouched next to the tiny blonde, easily lifting her from the puddle of beer that she had slipped in. Miraculously, her phone’s screen had nary a crack. After she had shattered her last four phones, her dad had purchased a screen protector made of military-grade shatterproof glass that he had placed on her phone himself. Thankfully, Ashley seemed as unfazed as her phone. Slurring her words slightly, Ashley thanked the boys profusely for helping her up. When she had gotten her balance back, she vehemently announced “OMIGOD, I’M LIKE TOTALLY FINE! YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST! I SERIOUSLY LOVE YOU.”
Heather had been watching the scene unfold from a few steps away. She plastered on a toothy grin that Julia Roberts would have been proud of before walking over to thank Chris for helping her friend and to continue their conversation. As she sidled up beside him, it became clear that her story about her psych professor’s extra credit assignment was the furthest thing from his mind.
Concerned, Chris kept his attention focused on Ashley. While she may have said that she was fine, her dance moves were indicating that she needed to be walked home immediately. “Heather, you need to take Ashley home. She’s not doing too hot,” Chris informed her, raising his eyebrows in Ashley’s direction. Oblivious, Ashley was gyrating completely offbeat to the Ty Dolla $ign song that had just come on, while simultaneously snapping selfie after selfie. Seeing as how her eyes were half shut, the pictures were turning out more Ke$ha than Karlie Kloss.
“Um, no. First of all, I’m sure she’s fine. Ashley’s like, the biggest blackout I know. I literally just got here. Get her a glass of water or something, whatever.” Heather rolled her eyes and made little effort to hide her annoyance at the way the situation was playing out. She crossed her arms, frustrated that Chris was more interested in her friend than he was in her. Chris looked at her in disbelief. “Omigodddd,” whined Heather, “you’re stressing me out! Take her home if you think she needs to leave, I don’t care. I’m going to go get another beer.” Heather sauntered off in the direction of the bar, where she spotted Megan and Madison talking to Megan’s ex-boyfriend.
Porkers dodged Ashley’s attempt to take a close-up photo of his left eye, and looked at Chris. It was clear what had to be done. The boys guided Ashley carefully out of the party and down the street, in the direction of the sorority. Two blocks shy of the house, Ashley stopped dead in her tracks. “You guys! I want a taco! I’m seriously sooooo hungry! All I ate today was alcohol,” she said with a giggle. “And a Caesar!” She let out a hiccup. Without waiting for confirmation, Ashley began to skip to the burrito place that was conveniently located at the end of the block.
With no other choice, Porkers and Chris followed the small girl inside. As they waited in line, two spots at the counter opened up simultaneously. Porkers and Ashley stepped up, and began ordering. “Hi! Can I please get two soft chicken tacos with a side of sour cream and a hard shell beef taco?” Ashley asked, giving her sweetest smile.
Porkers ordered the exact same meal mere feet away, unable to hear the coincidence over the din of the sizzling meat, drunken squeals, and loud gossip that was a signature of the establishment. As the three dug into their food, Ashley rambled on about how excited she was for winter break, when she was flying to Colorado for her family’s annual ski trip. Chris glanced at Porkers, aware that before the pitfalls of fast food and fast women had gotten to him, Porkers had been a nationally ranked slalom racer.
Back at the party, Heather was delicately perched on a couch with more than a few suspicious stains. She was half-heartedly listening to Megan discuss the pros and cons of getting back together with her ex, while scrolling through her phone and trying to see if there were any pictures from the night worth posting. Seeing none, Heather sighed dejectedly, upset with the waste of a perfectly accessorized outfit. As Megan prattled on, Heather decided to text Chris and apologize for being a ‘lowkey bitch’ earlier in the night, in the hopes that he might invite her over.
As Chris picked up his phone to change the song that was pulsating the speakers in his room, he saw that Heather had texted him. He replied with a quick “don’t worry about it,” still unimpressed that she had cared so little for the wellbeing of her friend. Restless and unready for his night to come to a close, he ignored his better judgment and pulled up Tracy’s contact. At 2:14, he sent a ‘you up?’ and less than ten seconds later saw the gray iMessage bubbles pop up..
To read part one, click here.