The bass shakes the walls of the frat house. Warm bodies press together in the small living room. Bouncing and grinding to the beat of NEFFEX’s newest song. The sharp burn of vodka and tangy lemon lime hits my tongue as I finish off the last of my drink, hips swaying to the beat.

I check my phone for the hundredth time. Still no response from Tommy. I sigh and slip my cell into the back pocket of my blue jean shorts. Gliding between sweaty bodies I wander into the kitchen. Liquor bottles and soda line the kitchen counter. People filter in and out, a constant rotation of college students refilling empty, red solo cups. I snatch the vodka and sprite from the sticky counter and mix a new drink.

“Yo, Misty!”

I spin on my heels. Austin is leaning against the beige wall, muscular arms crossed, covered in dark blue jeans and a red shirt.

“Hey Austin.”

“No boyfriend tonight?” He asks.

I shrug. “I’ve been trying to get a hold of him, but he’s not answering.”

Austin pushes off the wall, and strides closer to me. “Well that’s too bad. You should let me keep you company.”

I shake my head. “I don’t know if that’s a good idea Austin.”

A shocked emotion takes over his face. “What? Why would it be a bad idea?”

I roll my eyes and laugh, “Austin, you know Tommy doesn’t like you.”

“That’s only because I’m the better ball player and we play for rival schools.”

“At least you think you’re the better player.” I tease.

Austin clutches his chest as if he was wounded. “Damn girl, right in the heart.”

“I’m sure your heart is just fine.” I say with a laugh.

He shakes his head. “Nope. I’m pretty sure I felt it shatter. So now you have to make it up to me. One dance?”

Sipping my drink, I consider his words, “One dance.” I agree.

Austin smiles and grabs my hand. I set my cup on the counter and let him lead me back into the packed living room. He pulls me close and the music starts to take over. I bounce, sway, and grind to the music. I lose track of time as one song bleeds into the next. Pretty soon, I’m letting Austin pull me back into the kitchen for shots before we hit the dance floor again.

His strong hands go straight to my hips. He pulls my back against his firm chest and we move to the beat of the song. Sweat drips down my temple and suctions my black top to my body. I lift my blonde hair off my neck in an attempt to cool off.

Austin’s warm breath sends chills skating across my skin. “You want to step outside and cool off?”

“Yes please!”

Austin chuckles and takes my hand. We weave our way through all the party goers and stumble out the front door. The brisk, fall air feels like heaven on my heated skin. I fall onto the wooden porch swing tucked away in the corner. The swing sways lightly as Austin sits next me.

“I’m having a lot of fun tonight Austin.”

Austin scoots closer to me. Resting his arm along the back of the swing “Good. So am I.”

Suddenly, he cups my face in his warm palm and before I can process what’s happening his lips crash onto mine. My hands instinctively grip the back of his neck as I deepen the kiss.

“Misty?”

I jerk away from Austin as that deep voice reaches my ears. Emerald green eyes are staring at me with hurt and betrayal swirling in them.

“Tommy.” My voice is barely above a whisper.

Tommy turns and starts to stomp off. I jump up from the swing and race down the porch steps. “Tommy, wait!”

“Why? So, you can tell me it wasn’t what it looked like?” He calls over his shoulder. Never once slowing down.

“Tommy please! Just let me explain.” I can feel the tears building up.

Tommy stops walking and turns to face me. He crosses his arms and clenches his jaw. He searches my face but doesn’t say a word.  

I rush to explain as words tumble from my lips. “I’m sorry! I was drinking and I wasn’t thinking, and I don’t know it just happened.”

“That’s it? It just happened?” He questions. “Seriously Misty? We’ve been together for five years and the best you can give me is it just happened?”

“I don’t know what else to say.” I tell him.

“You don’t have to say anything, because we’re over.” He says. The crack in his voice almost sending me over the edge.

Tommy turns his back on me and starts walking again. I rush to keep up with his long strides.

“Don’t say that. We can work through this! I know we can!”

I follow Tommy all the way back to his car. Begging and pleading with him to just stop and listen to me. To give me a chance to make things right. He acts like I’m not even there. I watch helplessly as he gets into his car and takes off. The glow of his red taillights disappearing into the night.

I don’t bother to look back at all the people from the party that I’m sure just witnessed my breakup. Wiping my watery eyes, I start the walk back to my dorm room. 

It’s a short, ten-minute walk. Not bothering with the lights, I just crawl underneath my purple comforter. I pull my phone out and try calling Tommy. Straight to voicemail.

“I’m so sorry. You have no idea how sorry I am and how much I love you. I know I messed up, but we’ve been through so much together. We can work this out! Call me when you get this. Please.”

Time passes in a blur. The darkness and a silent phone the only thing to keep me company.

When my phone starts vibrating, I sit up immediately and answer without checking the caller ID.

“Tommy?”

I can hear faint crying in the background. “Misty.”

I pull the phone away from my ear and glance at the screen. “Mr. Smith?” He’s quiet and I have a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.

“Misty.” He says again, “There was an accident. Tommy didn’t-“

The phone slips from my hand, and everything goes quiet. I fall back on my bed, tears streaming down my face as my entire world shatters.

Jaimie Eaker is a contemporary romance novelist that likes to dabble in other genres. She is currently attending Full Sail University, working towards a BFA in Creative Writing and has interned for Waldorf Publishing. In her free time, Jaimie enjoys reading, playing Harvest Moon, and getting way too invested in game shows on TV.

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