8 STRONG AND ANGRY
After about ten times "Steph?" roaring, followed by a quieter song, and Nate shows laughing over the people in the next room. He's really a nice guy - why is he hanging out with those Hardin? I follow his gaze and gasp when I see her.
Together with two other girls she dances on a table in the living room. A drunken guy climbs up to them and grabs Steph by the hips. I expect her to hit his fingers, but he just smiles and stretches her butt against him. 'OK'. "They're just dancing, Tessa." My horrified expression makes Nate laugh. 'No, they are not just dancing, they are touching each other and rubbing against each other.' "Yes I know."
I shrug, though I can not see it that easy. I've never danced this way before, not even with Noah, and we've been a couple for two years. Noah! Frantically, I dig my phone out of my purse. I got three messages from him.
'Tess, are you still there?' 'Hello? Everything OK?' 'Tessa? Should I call your mom? Slowly I'm worried' As fast as I can, I dial his number and pray that he has not turned my mother on yet. Since he does not decrease, I write to him quickly that I'm fine and there is no reason to call my mother. It's going crazy if she thinks that something happened to me on my first university weekend.
"Heyyyy ... Tessa!" The resounding Steph leans her head against my shoulder. "Are you already enjoying yourself?" Judging by her giggles, she is pretty dense. "I think ... I have to ... Tess, the room is starting to threaten ... I mean, turn." Smiling, she staggers forward. "I think you're going to be bad," I say to Nate. He nods, picks her up and puts her over his shoulder. "Come with me," he instructs me. Upstairs, on the first floor, he opens a door in the middle of the hall, behind which is a bathroom.
Just as he sets Steph down on the floor next to the toilet, she begins to vomit. I have to look away, but carefully hold the red hair out of her face. At some point, after more puke, than I would like, she stops vomiting, whereupon Nate hands me a towel. "We should get her into the room opposite and put her on the bed, she just has to sleep in now."
At the same time, while I nod, it goes through my head that I really can not leave her alone. "You can stay, too," says Nate, who has obviously read my mind. Together, we lift up the moaning Steph and help her across the hall in a dark bedroom.
After carefully placing her on the bed, Nate hurries away, but still promises to look after us later. I squat on the edge of the bed next to Steph and lay her head on the pillow. As I sit there sober next to the drunken Steph while the party rages, I feel like I've reached another low point. At least I can look around a bit, I light a lamp.
A wall is covered by bookshelves, which immediately raises my mood. I get up to take a closer look. Who owns this collection? It's quite impressive: a lot of classics, but also a number of very different books, including all my favourite novels. When I discover Storm Height, I can not control myself and pull it off the shelf.
It is not in good shape, and the bond tells how often it has been pitched. I am so absorbed in Emily Bronte's words that I do not even notice how the light changes because the door opens behind me and someone enters the room. "What the hell are you doing in my room?" A voice suddenly thunders behind me. I know this accent meanwhile. Hardin. "I want to know what the hell you're doing in my room," he says, not a little gentler.
When I turn around, he is standing in front of me, rips the book out of my hand and throws it back on the shelf. There is total chaos in my head. I thought the party could not get any worse, but instead I'm in Hardin's room right now. He clears his throat and waves his hand in front of my face.
"Nate said I should bring Steph here ..." I whisper barely audible. He takes a step closer and takes a deep breath. To illustrate my words, I point to his bed. "She drank too much, and Nate meant -" "I've heard you already." Hardin drives through the unruly hair. Why does it bother him so much that we are in this room? Wait a moment ... "Do you also belong to this connection?" I ask in disbelief. Hardin is not at all my idea of fraternity. "Yes and?"
He comes one step closer. Not even a meter separates us now, but when I try to weld back, I bump my back against the bookshelf. "Are you surprised, Theresa?" "Do not call me Theresa." 'He cornered me.' "But that's your name, is not it?" He says with a grin. His mood seems to be improving. Sighing, I turn away from him, so I practically push his nose against the spine.
I have no idea where I'm going, but I have to get away from Hardin before I give him another one. Or start to cry. After the long day today, I will cry first and then pop him one. And what a sight that would be. I turn around again and push past him. "It can not stay here," he explains, playing with his teeth on his lip piercing.
What made him pierce his lip and eyebrow? That was certainly painful ... although this ring emphasises how full and round his lips are. "Why not, I thought you were friends?" "So are we," he says, "but nobody sleeps in my room."
He crossed his arms over his chest, and for the first time I have a chance to look closely at one of his tattoos. The middle of his forearm is adorned with a flower. Hardin and a flower tattoo? The black-and-cream design is reminiscent of a rose from this distance, but the flower is bordered by something that takes away its beauty and adds something menacing to its delicate shape.
As I suddenly feel very strong and angry, I just laugh. "Ah, understand, so only women in your room who want to make out with you?" He grins. "This was not my room before, but if you want to say that you would like to make out with me, I'll have to disappoint you, you're not my type." I'm not sure why, but somehow his words hurt me.
Of course, Hardin is not my type at all, but I would never say that to him in my life. "You are ... you are ...." I find no words for how angry I am about him. The music blaring through the wall tugs at me. The situation is embarrassing, I'm annoyed and completely drained from this evening. He is not worthy of me talking to him.
"Well ... then you take her to another room and I watch as I return to the dorm." When I leave the room and slam the door behind me, I can hear Hardin's taunting "Good night, Theresa," even over the noise of the party.