Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Parting Ways

"I hear you giggling in there!" Tara called from the other side of her bedroom door.

I giggled again and told her to come in. Chris and I were still curled up in her bed, laughing and talking. She slipped off her shoes and crawled in next to me. I nuzzled up against her and the three of us stayed that way for a few minutes. It was very comfortable and surreal at the same time.

"Are you guys hungry?" she asked. We both nodded and agreed that IHOP sounded great. There was an IHOP near my apartment and it was decided that Chris would drop me off after we ate. Tara drove separately.

Our conversation as we ate was very lively and covered a wide range of topics, from how maternal Tara was to how much I hated the taste of gin. In a moment of perfect coincidence, Chris and I both announced that gin tastes like Christmas trees. I dissolved into laughter and marveled at this man sitting next to me. Was I falling for someone I had known less than 24 hours?

When it was obvious that we were all done with our food, it was time for us to part ways. I settled into his passenger seat and wondered to myself if we would ever see each other again. The drive to my apartment was short. We sat in the parking lot for a few minutes, neither of us wanting to say goodbye. As I unbuckled my seatbelt, he asked if he could give me a call. I felt a huge smile spread across my face as we exchanged numbers and agreed to meet up for drinks that Thursday.

We said our goodbyes and I practically floated up to my apartment. It was my luck that I would finally meet an amazing guy just days before he was moving out of state. Instead of dwelling on that thought, I flopped down on my bed and replayed the day's events, basking in the memory of how completely connected I had felt...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Two is Company, But Three Is A Party

Tara and I scooted closer to each other on her big, comfortable bed, drinking shots of vodka and chasing them with orange juice straight from the carton. Chris was slightly off to the side, no doubt wondering what we were up to. Kat had insisted upon driving herself home, despite her inebriated state. Chris had offered to drive Tara's car back to her place, and I tagged along.

Tara and I made eye contact, and she pulled me in for a kiss. I always loved kissing her; she was soft, sensual and always tasted faintly of some fruity lipgloss. Her kisses tonight were a little more intense than usual, and I basked in the feeling of her soft lips firmly against mine and traced her collarbones with my fingertips. I knew he was watching us and I wondered what was going through his mind. I felt Tara's hands wrapping up in my hair and pulling me closer, and realized she was pulling Chris into the middle of our kiss.

I turned my mouth to his, relishing the feel of the stubble on his chin grinding against my soft skin. The difference between the two mouths was incredible and exciting. His kiss was electrifying, strong and unfamiliar; Tara's kiss was pure woman and pure sensuality. I had never felt more alive and never wanted the night to end.

Later, as the three of us redressed and shared knowing smiles, Chris mentioned that he was also a friend of Dan. I brought up my forgotten camera and phone, and he volunteered to leave and pick them up for me, since he had access to Dan's apartment. I accepted his offer, knowing Dan was out of town and it could be awhile before I saw him myself to get my stuff back, but I suspected he had another motive for wanting to leave.

"I think we scared him off," Tara laughed. I agreed. We never expected him to return that night, but a short time later, he did.

The next morning, Tara snuck out of bed and off to work. Chris and I stayed behind, curled up against each other in Tara's bed. We spent hours kissing, touching and talking. I told him things I hadn't even told some of my closest friends and the connection I felt to him was undeniable.

In between kisses and laughter, he reminded me that he would be leaving the state for a job offer and we probably wouldn't be seeing each other after that. Knowing that made the day all the more perfect to me, and I never wanted the day to end.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Matchmaker, matchmaker

Kat and I settled into a booth at a local place called Johnny's.  After her birthday festivities the night before, we were looking to do something a little more low key.  Tara would be meeting us there later on, and had offered to bring a guy friend to introduce to Kat with the hopes of playing matchmaker.  Kat was a pretty girl, petite with large green eyes, full lips and dark hair.  Something about her face had always reminded me of Adriana Lima, although I wouldn't say they looked alike.  She wasn't lacking in the looks department, but sometimes her attitude scared guys off.

A few of Kat's other friends showed up first, and we all laughed and joked as we sipped on our drinks and told hilarious stories to one another.  The mood was light and airy, and I thought to myself how great it was to be surrounded by friends and feeling a warmth creeping into my cheeks as the alcohol took effect.

I looked up and smiled when I heard Tara's voice.  She was taller than me by a few inches with beautiful bone structure and a smattering of freckles across her fair skin.  Tara had a beautiful smile and gorgeous cheekbones. I had always envied her bone structure and often told her so.  Standing with her was her friend Chris.  He was tall, with dark brown hair and green eyes.  Something about him was familiar but I couldn't place it.  Either we had met before or he reminded me of someone I had met before.  It was hard to say, since I had made quite a few friends while out drinking and didn't always remember them when we ran into each other again.  He didn't seem to know me, though and I pushed the thought away.

They each pulled up a chair and introductions were made.  By that point, most of us had quite a buzz going on and Kat was already leaning more towards the "drunk" end of the spectrum.  Sometimes when she drank, she became somewhat belligerent  and unfriendly.  I could already tell this might be one of those nights, and my head swam with disappointment.

Soon enough, Kat's friends decided to leave, which just left Kat, Tara, Chris and myself.  Kat couldn't seem less interested in Chris and I was surprised to find that I was relieved instead of disappointed.  In the short time since he'd arrived, I felt a growing attraction towards him and spent a large portion of the night laughing and flirting with him and Tara.

Time seemed to fly by as we all continued drinking, talking and laughing, and eventually I noticed Kat had become somewhat sullen.  I excused myself to go to the bathroom and Tara followed.

"She's drunk...and definitely not interested, huh?" Tara laughed as we washed our hands.

"Nah, she's made that pretty clear since he arrived.  But that's okay, because I am," I teased with a wink.

"Really?  Me, too.  We should take him back to my place and seduce him," she bit her lip playfully and we both laughed. 

I couldn't tell if she was serious or not, but I was about to find out.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Morning After

Emily and Claire decided to call it a night and vowed we would meet up that weekend instead.  Holly, Kat and I made our way to Mickey's to take advantage of their Monday night dollar wells and attempted to persuade other people to meet us there.  I sipped on a vodka cranberry as I texted Mark, offering to buy him a few drinks if he met up with us. I knew the lure of free drinks would be enough to convince him to come out for the night, and Kat worked on convincing her friends Heidi and Carly to join us as well.  Soon we had quite a rowdy group together.

Laughter and drinks were plentiful as we all downed shots and celebrated Kat's official introduction to the bar scene.  Despite having a boyfriend, Holly was busy getting acquainted with a guy who looked like he stepped out of a frathouse and I hardly saw her for the rest of the night.

"It's my birthday!" Kat announced again and we all cheered as she polished off another shot.  Her tongue was stained red from the vodka cranberry she was chugging and her face was flushed.  I knew she would be hurting in the morning, and based on the buzz I was feeling, I would be right there with her.

The night was a blur of faces, alcoholic beverages, loud laughter and camera flashes.  My last clear memory was waiting in line for the bathroom, drinking yet another vodka cranberry and wondering where the rest of my friends were.  Everything after that was lost in an alcohol created abyss.

A knock at the door startled me awake.  The light filtering in through the blinds seemed to send spears directly into my brain and I winced.  I surveyed my surroundings and realized I was in Mark's bed.  I had no memory of leaving Mickey's, and certainly didn't remember deciding to stay at Mark's house.

"Yeah, come in," I rasped, wishing for a Gatorade and some Aleve.

The door opened and there stood Kat.  Her face was pale and her makeup from the night before was smeared, giving her raccoon eyes.

"What's in my hair?" she asked, pointing at the snarled mass atop her head.  "It's...sticky.  And crunchy."

I stifled a laugh.

"No, I'm serious.  What is in my hair?"

"I have no idea," I replied, smirking and reaching up to feel my own hair, "but whatever is in your hair, is in my hair, too."

At that, we both burst into laughter.  She shook her head and left the room, chuckling to herself.  The mystery was solved later that day when Heidi informed us that Kat had attempted to leap into my arms, and instead knocked me over which left us both covered in my vodka cranberry and her vodka tonic.

I made my way to the living room and asked Kat if she knew where I had left my digital camera and Blackberry.  She didn't.  Nor did she know how we had gotten to Mark's house, because she certainly had been in no shape to drive and her car was nowhere to be seen. 

Yet another mystery was solved when Mark explained that his friend Dan had come to get us, and I had left my phone and camera in his car.  Using Chipotle as a bribe, we convinced Mark to drive us back to Mickey's to get Kat's car, and then we headed home.

Kat and I relaxed on the couch, nursing our terrible hangovers while laughing and trying to piece together the events of the previous night.  It had definitely been memorable and it was a shame we couldn't remember so much of the night's events.

Kat grinned wickedly and said, "So, where are we going tonight?"

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Turning 21

I had moved around my days at work to maximize my party time, the celebration of my best friend's 21st birthday and my recovery period after all of our festivities.

"Hey, is Tara coming out with us tonight?  I'm just trying to get an idea of whose gonna be there," Kat was beaming.  She was a bigger party girl than I was, although she had been doing so illegally until now.

I shrugged.

"She said she might, but probably not.  Kinda depends on where we go."

Tara was my kind-of-but-not-really girlfriend.  We hung out, we cuddled, we kissed and shared her bed sometimes but nothing was official.  I also hung out, cuddled, kissed and shared a bed with her roommate, Mark, but we certainly weren't dating.  Mark and I had been friends with benefits for months now, and despite my attraction to him, I knew he would never be tied down - but his charisma still kept me sucked in.  It was never awkward having a pseudo-relationship with two people from the same home; the two of them never had any sort of relationship with each other and there was never any jealousy.  I was young, single and having fun exploring my sexual side.  It sounds complicated, but it certainly wasn't.

"Holly, Emily and Claire are definitely joining us downtown, so even if nobody else is free, we have a good group going," Kat continued, smiling broadly.  She was the last of our group of friends to turn 21, but since it was the middle of the week, a lot of our friends wouldn't be joining us that night.  I couldn't wait to have my best friend and partner in crime by my side as we prowled the bar scene.

We had decided we would all meet at Holly's loft and walk to a nearby bar.  When we arrived, Emily and Claire were already there.  The excitement in the air was palpable as we giggled and squealed amongst ourselves on our short walk to the bar.

"It's my birthdaaaay!" Kat repeated for possibly the twentieth time that night, and we all laughed as we raised our drinks.  As we talked and laughed and finished up our second round of beers, the bartender brought us a free round of jello shots in honor of Kat's birthday.

We lifted our shots in the air and smiled broadly for the camera.

We laughed again and finished our shots, and soon we were heading to our second bar of the night, a local hotspot that was offering $1 drinks and sure to be crowded.  The night was just beginning.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Livin' The Life

I was a 21 year old party girl extraordinaire, living it up in Kansas City.  Any night of the week, I could tell you what bars were running drink specials and where everyone would be gathering for house parties.  I never thought I would turn into such a social butterfly.  Afterall, until I was 21, I didn't really party.  I drank on occasion but never made it a habit.  It wasn't really my "thing", so to speak.

I turned 21 in April and ended a two year relationship in early June.  I moved back in with my best friend, a firecracker named Kat with a penchant for partying.  I worked a full time job and was a good girl at first.  After seeing how much fun Kat and her friends seemed to be having, I wanted to join in, too.  I continued working full time, and even got promoted, but still partied hard.  I thought of going out and drinking as my part-time job, and boy, was I good at it.

I was a flirt, although I never dressed to impress.  I'm a tank top and jeans kinda gal.  Or a hoodie and jeans, depending on the weather.  I just wanted to go out and have fun.  I wasn't really looking for love, because there was a guy I was "seeing" (mostly without his clothes) and I was happy with that, unless someone or something better came along.

That summer was a blast.  I made a lot of friends, downed a lot of drinks, kissed a lot of boys and had the time of my life!  Kat was only 20 that summer, so we spent a lot of time at our apartment, filling it up with as many friends and types of alcohol as we could fit.

Summer ended, but the party never stopped.  Fall came and went, as did my memory on occasion, thanks to tequila.  Soon, the weather was growing colder and December was quickly approaching.

December meant only one thing that year:  Kat's 21st birthday. 

I never knew how much a night out for a friend's birthday could change my life.