Chapter 18: The Morning After (Lizzie’s POV)

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I wake up feeling extremely groggy. It’s weird since I just woke up from sleep. I stand up and almost lose my balance. What happened last night? My head feels so heavy. I look down and notice that I am only wearing a towel. What on Earth happened to my clothes?

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I’m so confused, but I feel too dizzy to think. Maybe I was going to take a shower and I just got too tired. It didn’t make sense, but what other reason was there? I look over and see Clarissa still sleeping. What time was it? I check my cell phone and see that it is six in the morning.

“Maybe I just didn’t get enough sleep,” I think and then head out through my room door.

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I decide to go into the bathroom and take a quick shower. The warmth of the water will probably be good for me and wake me up a bit.

It ends up being a good idea, for I feel less groggy afterwards.

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I then walk back to my room and slip into my P.Js. It’s still early in the morning, so I figure a few more hours of sleep would do me good. So I climb back into my bed, being careful not to wake up Clarissa, and drift off to sleep.

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By the time I wake up, it’s almost ten in the morning. I am a bit surprised, because I wasn’t intending to sleep that long. I get out of bed and quickly start making it neatly.

“Finally awake, huh?” someone says from behind me.

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Clarissa is on her side of the room getting dressed. “You sure slept in.”

I am a bit surprised she is actually talking to me, but I nod my head. “Yah, well, I did get up earlier, but I was still a bit sleepy. So I just went back to sleep.”

“I wonder why,” she says sarcastically and smirks.

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I frown at her. “Huh?”

“You sure had a wild night.” Clarissa chuckles and slips on a white cotton dress.

“What are you talking about?”

She pauses while putting on her jeans jacket and looks at me. “You don’t remember?”

“Remember what?”

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“Wow.” She shakes her head and crosses the room to the door. “Well, I guess if I was in your shoes, I wouldn’t want to remember either. Not that that would ever happen to me.”

I roll my eyes. “Clarissa, what are you talking about?”

“Oh don’t mind me. I’m sure you’ll figure it out soon enough.”

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With one last snicker, she leaves our room, closing the door behind her. I am left looking after her puzzled. What was she talking about? What happened last night?

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I wrack my brain for answers and then start to remember. I went to Abby’s party last night. We headed over together, spent the night dancing; I even remember seeing Michael there (Kendal kept his word and didn’t show up). But what was Clarissa referring to?

Then again, I can’t seem to remember how I got home. In fact, I don’t even remember leaving the party. What had happened last night?

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I hear a beep from my phone and rush over to it. Some anonymous person just sent me a video. I click play and then a second later feel like someone has knocked the wind out of me. In the video, I see a girl swimming naked and doing flips in a swimming pool, and that girl…is me. People are standing around and laughing, some as they pass by. I cover my mouth in shock. I can’t believe what I am seeing. Me, swimming naked, in a pool. So this is what Clarissa was talking about. I feel like I can’t breathe. I freeze trying to remember what happened, but all I get are glimpses. Me dancing, me going outside, and then suddenly I am in a swimming pool. This doesn’t make any sense to me. I am an extremely self-conscious person. Why on Earth would I decide to do this? And oh gosh, how many people have seen this?

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I decide that the only person who would know what happened last night, is Abby. I hurry over to her room, but it is empty. I then rush downstairs and search through the dining room and living room. There aren’t very many people there, but the ones that are, look up at me awkwardly and then go back to their business. I feel my stomach clench. They must have all seen the video. This was like a living nightmare.

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I am hurrying through the computer lab trying to avoid the people staring, when I bump into someone.

“Sorry,” I say, then sigh deeply. It’s Michael, again.

“Hey, it looks like this has become a thing with us,” he says with a smile.

“Michael, I’m sorry. I can’t talk right now. I’m looking for Abby.”

“Is it about last night? I heard some people in the coffee shop saying some things, but I wasn’t sure.”

“Yes it is, but I have to go.”

“Wait.” Michael blocks my path. “What happened?”

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I look at him confused. “Weren’t you there?”

“Yah, but I left early. I said bye to you, but you were kind of busy with Abby.”

I contemplate not showing him the video, but I realize he will probably find out anyway.

“Okay,” I say, and pull out my cell phone. “This is what happened.” I then press play and show him the video.

Michael’s eyebrows shoot up. “Whoa…”

“Yes, whoa.” I click off the video and stash my phone into my pocket.

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“Who sent you this?”

“I don’t know! It was anonymous.” I sigh in frustration. “This is insane! It’s as if I’m looking at a completely different person. I would never do any of that! Go skinny dipping? I feel like I’m missing a huge part of whatever happened last night. It’s freaking me out!”

“Okay, okay, calm down.”

My eyes widen. “Are you serious? How am I supposed to be calm about this! There is a video going around of me swimming naked in a swimming pool!” I realize how loud I have said this when a few people in the computer lab look up at me awkwardly before turning back to their computers. I feel my face heating up. I lower my voice to a whisper. “This is a disaster. I just wish I knew exactly what happened to make me act like that. That was not me at all.”

Michael sighs. “I don’t know, Lizzie. Did you, well, drink anything?”

“Like alcohol? Of course not! I’m underage!” Michael gives me a look. “I didn’t! The only think I had was club soda.”

“Did you leave it on the counter? Someone could have spiked it.”

“Spiked it? Like with drugs?”

“It happens.”

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I shake my head. “But I didn’t see anyone near it.”

“Were you watching it the whole time?”

I pause for a moment and think. “No, I wasn’t. Actually now that I think about it, it was after I finished it that I started to feel weird. I don’t remember much after that.”

“That explains why you got so giggly all of sudden.”

I look up at him surprised. “I was? Why didn’t you say something!”

“Because I didn’t know! I thought maybe you were just really excited.”

I moan and run a hand through my hair. “What am I going to do? This is a nightmare! Who knows how many people have seen this video! My gosh, I won’t be able to show my face anywhere!”

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“It’ll take some time, but it will blow over.”

“Easy for you to say. You’re not the one with a video floating around and showing you being a complete idiot.” Michael chuckles and I scoff. “You think this is funny?”

“No! It’s just-”

“I’ve got to go,” I say trying to push past him, but he blocks me again.

“Lizzie, I’m sorry. I’m sorry about all of this. If there is something I can do-”

“There isn’t. There is nothing anyone can do.”

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I say goodbye to Michael and leave the room. I feel a strange sensation as I walk about the house. Even though I am fully clothed, I still feel like I am walking around wearing nothing at all. By the looks I get as I enter the kitchen, I can tell almost my whole dorm has seen the video. They probably all think I am some wild partying freak. I never should have gone to that party. I knew it was a bad idea. Why did I not listen to myself? Ah, that’s right. Because I was doing it for Abby. Who for some reason was nowhere to be found. Could it be that she was avoiding me?

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I search the whole dorm one more time before giving up. Abby was most definitely not in the building. Confronting her would have to wait. I then hear my phone ring and pull it out my pocket. It’s my mother.

“Hey mom,” I say quietly.

“Lizzie! How are you? It has been quite a while since I’ve heard from you.”

“I’m sorry mom, there is just some stuff going on.”

“Honey, what is it?”

“I love you mom, but I really don’t feel like talking about it right now. Could I call you back?”

“Yes dear, of course. I love you.”

“Love you too.”

I hang up the phone and take a deep breath. What was my mother going to think when I told her what happened? What about my dad? I wish I had never ordered that stupid drink. I wasn’t even that thirsty. If only I could find Abby. There was a big chance that she knew something I didn’t.

-Evanglina

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