Chapter 41: Dazed (Abby’s POV)

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The beach party turns out to be a bit of a bummer. Not even all the Tri- Fruhms show up. I still try to salvage some of the night, by dancing to Janice’s tracks (she can DJ! Go figure!) and hanging with the other party guests. The only thing that is driving me crazy, is that Brad hasn’t showed up yet.

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I spend the next few hours looking out for him before growing tired. He has probably stood me up again, and  on New Year’s Eve. I am fuming. I decide to grab a cup from the kegger to calm my nerves. Surprisingly, it does help, a little too quickly. I feel like someone has managed to spike this one. Within twenty minutes, I feel like everything thing is spinning.

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As I try my best to keep from stumbling over, I spot Clare standing nearby. When did she even get here? I haven’t seen her all night.

“Clare,” I say walking over to her.

She looks me up and down and then scoffs. “Been hitting the kegger a bit much?” she asks.

I giggle. “Maybe a little. Did you just get here?”

“Maybe, why?”

“Well, I haven’t seen you all night. In fact, I haven’t seen much of the other Tri-Fruhms. Where is everyone?”

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Clare gives me a look of pity. “You mean you didn’t get my message? Charlotte decided to have us meet up at the Alpha Annyas frat house before heading over.”

I frown. “No, I didn’t get that message.”

“Oh, that’s weird.” Clare shrugs. “Bummer. Brad was looking for you.” For a second, I think she is smirking at me, but I am a bit too out of it to notice.

“Is he here now?” I ask.

Clare rolls her eyes. “I don’t know, I think I may have seen him around with Charls or something.” She then turns and walks off.

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Well, at least I know why a lot of people didn’t show up. They were all at a party that I missed, because Clare didn’t give me the memo. She may claim to have sent that message, but if she had, I would have gotten it. I never miss a text.

I look around for Brad once again, but still don’t see him. Maybe that’s due to the fact that I am starting to feel more and more dizzy. I grab another drink from the kegger and guzzle it down. Some night this is turning out to be.

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“Hey Abby,” a voice says behind me.

I turn and spot Charls walking over.

“Charlsss, what’s up?”

He gives me a funny look. “Abby, are you drunk?”

“Nooo,” I say rolling my eyes, but my slight stumble doesn’t really help my case.

“I think you have had enough of that,” he says taking my cup from me.

I roll my eyes again. “Whatever. Have you seen Brad anywhere? I’ve been looking all o-over for him.”

“I saw him a while ago, but he went off somewhere with Clare.”

“What?” I frown. “I was just with Clare and she said he was with you?”

Charls shrugs. “I don’t know. I haven’t seen in a while though.” He gives me weird look, but I ignore it.

“I’m going to find him. He hasss to be around here somewhere.”

“I don’t think you should-”

“I’m f-fine Charls.” I then wave to him and saunter off.

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I don’t understand why I can’t find Brad. The beach isn’t that huge and there aren’t a lot of people here. I send Brad a couple texts, but I still don’t get any answers.

I finally decide to check out the other side of the beach. As I near one of the large bushes, I hear some giggling coming from behind them. It is getting harder to walk while swaying so much.

“Brad?”  I call out. But there is no answer.

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I do hear the sound of wrestling in the bushes and then someone cursing. The voice sounds very familiar. Thinking it is Brad, I go around to check, but there is no one there. Maybe I am going crazy.

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I am getting really pissed at this point. If Brad wasn’t going to show, he should have just told me instead of leaving me hanging like this. I take another swing from the kegger making me feel more and more buzzed and dizzy. Things are really starting to spin. Maybe Charls was right. I really did need to stop.

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I toss my cup over my shoulder and then stagger around the corner toward the bathrooms. Overhead, I can hear the chanting of numbers. The countdown to midnight has begun. Just as I am about to join, I run right into someone.

“Lizzie?” I say in surprise. I am a bit stunned to see her. She has always said parties weren’t her scene.

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Lizzie rolls her eyes. “Abby, I can’t talk right now,” she says, trying to get around me.

I feel a bit hurt by her rejection. “So that’s how it is? You’re not even going to say hi to me?”

Lizzie stands back and frowns. “What are you talking about?”

“I-I g-get that you’re still mad at me, but does that mean you have to treat me this way?”

“Abby, what the hell are you talking about?”

“You have totally been ignoring me and pretending like I don’t exist. For goodne-sss sakes, we used to be best friends!”

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“Are you serious right now?” says Lizzie. Her eyes are wide as she looks at me with shock. “Are you seriously saying this to me after what you did?” She shakes her head. “Clearly you are drunk and aren’t thinking straight, so I am not even going to bother to answer that. Now would you please move, I need to talk to someone.”

She tries to get around me, but I don’t budge.

“Not everything is my fault,” I snap. “You need to take some part in it too. I didn’t force you to come to that party. You made the decision to come.”

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That was definitely not the right thing to say. Lizzie looks outraged.

“Are you seriously blaming me for you and your Tri-Fruhms drugging me? Are you kidding me? You were the one who begged me to be there!  You lured me there under false pretenses just so you could prank me to get into their sorority! And now here you stand blaming me for it?” Lizzie shakes her head. “I can’t believe I felt sorry for you.”

“I don’t need your pity!” I snap. By now, I know I am not making any sense.

Lizzie looks over my shoulder and scoffs loudly. “Great! Just great! Now he’s gone!”

“Who is gone?”

“Kendal! He was standing over on the other side of the beach waiting for me and now he is gone. He probably thinks that I didn’t even want to see him.”

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I suddenly feel guilty. “Lizzie, I’m sorry,” I start, but she holds up her hands.

“Don’t even bother. I cannot believe you. But you know what, I can tell you are drunk, so I am just going to walk away.”

“Wait!” I stand in front of her again. “Just one more thing.”

Lizzie still looks furious. “What?”

“Have you seen Brad Roberts anywhere? I have been looking all over for him, and I can’t find him.”

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Lizzie looks at me quietly for a minute and then rolls her eyes again.

“I don’t know Abby, the last time I saw him, he was standing by the bonfire with Clare. He might still be there or he could be off somewhere with her. But I know you won’t believe anything I have to say about that, so I really can’t help you.” Lizzie then moves past me and in the direction of the bathrooms.

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I am completely dumbfounded after she says that, but I try to shake it off. She is probably just mad because of what I said. There is no truth to what she is saying. Brad may be a bit flakey, but he is not a cheater. He loves me and would never do that to me.

I stagger over to the bonfire, just as everyone starts chanting the last ten seconds to midnight. Some new year this is turning out to be.

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As everyone calls out “happy new year,” I look around and see couples planting kisses on each other, one couple of which I know, Janice and her boyfriend Greg. Feeling a bit of resentment, I turn and head back over to the kegger. Why not drown my sorrows, right?

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Fireworks burst off into the sky and I pause for a minute to look up at them. If only Brad was with me right now, we could be cuddled in each other’s arms watching them together. But, he was not. Which reminded me, back to the kegger.

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When I near the kegger, I spot some people gathered around joking about doing a keg stand.

“Someone hold me up,” I say, standing ahead of them.

“I got you,” someone says from behind me.

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I end up downing more than I expected too, and everyone cheers me on. For the first time that night, I actually feel a bit cheerful.

The guy holding me up finally puts me down and I gasp when I see who it was. Brad!

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“Brad!” I say, grabbing onto him in surprise. “W-where have you been. I’ve been l-looking all over for yooou!”

Brad smiles his signature smile and pulls me closer to him. “I’m sorry I’m late, was taking care of some frat stuff that kept me away most of tonight.”

I am about to point out that Charls said something about him already being here and with Clare, but then he kisses me, and I forget all about it.

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We watch the last of the fireworks together, him laughing at my slurred speech. Maybe I did overdue it with the kegger. I am probably going to feel it tomorrow.

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When the fireworks finally end, I see people heading off toward their cars. I try to do the same, but Brad lifts me up into his arms.

“Come on Abbs,” he says with a little smile. “I’ll get you home safe and sound.”

“N-no it’s okay, I can drive.”

“I’m sure you can, but how about you let me do it tonight.”

I smile and nod. “Okay.” I am just too happy he is here to argue. “I love you,” I whisper into his neck.

“I love you too babe,” he says back, and then he carries me over to my car.

-Evanglina

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