”Join us for drinks! Its on me, ” Clyde boasted as we reached his big, old truck. He was taller, broader, and stronger than me, and it only seemed to be even more evident with his arm now draped over my shoulder. It was not comfortable, especially with him being several inches taller than my own 59 ”. His size gave him far too much of an advantage over me, which was the only reason he had managed to drag me this far. That, and the fact that I had been stunned stiff when he came out of the dark, supposedly empty audience with a large group of his ”friends ” right behind him.
I finally managed to get out from under him by squirming away as he went to open one of the doors on his beat up old truck. It looked straight out of a country movie or something, like he was some hick towns star boy despite his obvious lack of proper manners. At that moment, I didn know for sure what he intended, but I figured it involved me joining them for ”drinks ”, and I did not want to join them for that.
”I can . I have a test tomorrow, ” I replied, then promptly turned and walked away, leaving him stunned. It was true, I did have a test in the morning, but that wasn why I had left so abruptly. It wasn even the slight smell of some sort of alcohol and possibly weed on his breath, though I was pretty sure it was his truck and so he would be driving. It was the fact that I didn want to be around people.
I left quickly, managing to surprise them enough that by the time their voices began to fill the cool night air once more, I was too far away for them to bother to catch up to me. I heard them all load into the pickup and drive off. I let out the deep breath I had been holding. I always found that my anxiety rose around other people, especially large groups. Why did there have to be so many people in the world?
Leaving the saxophone in the trunk of Director Brandons car, I walked back to the college, and up to my room. It was kind of Director Brandon to let me borrow his instrument, and the school for providing free rentals. There were very few times that I could relax, and it was always when I had an instrument in my hands.
Finally getting to the room I shared with Clyde, I plopped down onto the bed provided for me, totally disregarding my backpack by the chair and books neatly stacked on the desk. I hadn actually intended on studying when I had escaped from Clyde. No, I only wanted to get away from the group, the anxiety. Too many people. Too many who looked at me like I could better their lives if I was part of it. Too many false impressions and expectations. Just too many people.
It was then that one of their faces flashed across my mind. His features hadn been delicate, but I would never have called him manly. I had seen him around in a couple of my classes. I only remembered him because he had such a princely look, like the one out-of-fashion singer when he had gone to some award ceremony as a blonde, the one that was so incredibly hated by the general population. Natalie hadn been able to shut up about him and insisted I watch all of his music videos and public appearances. The first time she made me watch one of his videos, I thought his higher-pitched, young voice was decent, but the more she went on and on about him, the less I could convince myself to listen to the increasingly snotty attitude he showed off. It got to the point that I almost couldn stand to use her as an excuse to stay away from home. By the time we left, I honestly couldn have been happier to leave.
I tried to think of my classmates name, but nothing came to mind. I decided to move off the topic of his identity and back to the glare he had given me from the time Clyde found me il I managed to ditch them at his truck. The kid may have had some good looks, but that glare was deadly. I almost wanted to start apologizing for…for what? Why had he glared at me? It wasn like I had done anything.
Eventually I was startled awake by Clyde, who was shaking me roughly out of the doze I was in, though it seemed that everything he did somehow always ended up being done roughly. How could he be so chipper this late in the evening? And when had he gotten back? His hair was wet, as if he had just taken a shower. Whatever happened to ”drinks ” and all his friends?
I grumbled something intelligible at him, desperately wanting to catch a few hours of sleep before I had to get up and get ready for class. My first lecture just so happened to be the test I had mentioned earlier, the one I hadn bothered to study for. Why couldn people let others be, especially when they were exhausted?
”Classes start in 5, ” I could hear laughter in his voice, like he thought the entire world was some joke just to make him laugh. Then his words registered. 5. 5 minutes until class!
I pushed him aside and frantically got up, not bothering to change clothes. If they had been good enough yesterday, they would be good enough today. I still threw on a sweater before sliding the stack of books into my bag and zipping it as I tried to slip on my shoes. I grabbed my phone and was out the door, Clyde still standing by my bed in utter bewilderment as I bolted to class – and my test. At least I had apparently gotten plenty of sleep.