- Art & Soul
“Well, look here. If it isn’t Mr. Alabama at the party he swore he wouldn’t be attending.” I cringed at the sound of Connor’s voice. “And to think you brought one of the oddities with you.”
“What’s up, Connor?” I said, turning to face him. From the dazed look in his eyes, he was already drunk.
“What’s up, Connor?” he echoed, shoving me in the shoulder. “Can you believe this, Matt? He said what’s up.” He shoved the guy standing beside him, who looked confused as hell. Connor turned back to me. “Look, Alabama, I know you want to try to be seen with me right now at this party because I’m a big fucking deal, but it’s too late. You can’t just wander back over to me. I got a new partner in crime. Meet Matt. He’s the new ‘it’ guy. He’s from a foreign country, doesn’t speak English, and the ladies can’t keep their eyes off of him.”
“Dude. I’m from Canada.” Matt sighed. “And I speak English.”
“Not if you ever plan to get laid,” Connor scolded. “Sorry, Alabama. You’re old news.”
“Oxymoron,” I muttered.
“Old news, you can’t be old and news. That’s just stupid.”
Connor frowned and patted me on the back. “You were such a contender before and now the oddities tainted you. Goodbye, Alabama. Goodbye.” They walked off in the direction of Simon, who was in the kitchen surrounded by a few people who all had a row of four shots in front of them and were chanting, ‘Four for Four! Four for Four!’
* * *
I wondered the whole night if Simon knew that everyone at the party was mocking him or if he was just so wasted that he didn’t care. Most of the party I stood in the living room, talking about pointless things with pointless people, watching to make sure Simon didn’t completely fall apart. He was currently reordering the cabinets in the kitchen so all of the cups and plates were in groups of four. The assholes were recording him, asking him to explain the importance of color organizing his clothes. But Simon was having a ball with it all, so I wouldn’t interfere unless I found it completely necessary.
Out of nowhere, a drunken guy walked up to me and patted me on the shoulder. “I don’t think we’ve met,” he said, holding a beer can in his hands. “I’m James Martin,” he slurred. “And you are?”
“Levi Myers,” I replied, giving him my famous fake smile.
“Let’s go get you a drink, Levi,” he offered, nudging me toward the kitchen. I shook my head.
“I’m not a drinker.”
“Not a drinker.” He laughed and took a gulp from his beer can before slamming it down against the ground. “You’re funny. I like that. But you know what I don’t like? I don’t like you screwing around with Aria’s feelings. See that boy over there?” He gestured to some guy with a girl on his lap. “That’s my best friend, Mike. He’s like a brother to me. And seeing how he’s Aria’s brother that makes her a sister to me. So if you hurt her, I’ll,” he poked me in the chest, “kick your fucking ass.”
“James,” a girl said, stepping behind the guy. “You’re drunk.” She sighed heavily.
He turned toward her, giving her a big smile. “Of course I’m drunk, Nadine. It’s a fucking party. Only lame assholes wouldn’t be drunk at a party.”
Nadine gave me an apologetic smile. “Maybe you should step outside for air, James,” she offered.
He sneered. “And leave you here with Casanova? That is what you called him, right? The Southern Casanova? As if you don’t already have a fucking boyfriend.” His words were slurring, leaving him looking like a big asshole.
“You’re acting like a jerk,” she whispered.
“Whatever, Nadine. Maybe you need a drink, too. Then you wouldn’t be as lame as Casanova.” He wandered off to the other side of the living room where a keg was stationed.
Nadine blushed with embarrassment. “Sorry about him. He’s not always like that. Only when he drinks.”
“No big deal. Alcohol has a way of making the nicest people turn into assholes sometimes.”
She frowned. “Yeah. Pretty much. Anyway, I think it’s great the way you treat Aria.”
“She’s something special.” I nodded, wishing that my night involved her instead of this party.
“She is. But, I actually came over here to tell you that Simon is kind of a few minutes away from drunkville in the kitchen.” Unlike everyone else, she didn’t call him Four.
My eyes moved to the kitchen where I saw Simon standing on the countertop, holding four plates in his hands before dropping them one by one to the ground, making them shatter. “Opa!” he screamed.
For fuck’s sake!
* * *
Simon was completely shitfaced by midnight. His glasses were bent, his shirt was covered in spilled drinks, and his words were slurred more than seemed humanly possible.
“C-c-can you be-be-believe that? She said no to me! Awkward Abbbigaail turned ME down!” he shouted. Instead of swooshing in on Tori, he spent most of the night talking about Abigail. “But I am now on-on-on to better things,” he slurred. “I’m popular!” People were standing around, recording his drunken breakdown, snickering. “I’m fucking popular!”
“Okay, Mr. Popular. Let’s get going,” I muttered, holding his body up as we walked through the house.
The people who were recording Simon followed us the whole way until someone shouted, “FIGHT!” and they hurried off to the living room, where a guy was being tossed across the room and onto a coffee table. Another guy flew over to the one on the coffee table and started swinging nonstop, punching the dude repeatedly while everyone cheered, including Simon.