sssshroom

Australia

17, Non-Binary
No idea what I'm doing tbh

Message to Readers

Here's chapter two, if you haven't read chapter one yet, please read that first and leave some feedback!
This chapter is sort of rushed so it definitely needs some fine-tuning, but that's why I'm posting it here. Any helpful feedback would be greatly appreciated :)

Just a Person - Chapter Two

June 23, 2022

FREE WRITING

0
Friday
Austin Ham. Don’t ask me how he’s so popular because I would not be able to tell you. I mean for starters he is the living depiction of an eshay. A dark shaggy mullet bordering on skullet, a razor scooter that he rides to school each day hitting the ankles of 10-year-olds as he goes, a small JBL speaker playing weird rap songs that no one has ever heard of. Yeah, I don’t see it.
I guess it’s because all the popular girls find him attractive, and I can appreciate that. He does have a very conventionally attractive face, but he ruins it with the hair. And I just don’t see how anyone could have the hots for someone who finds joy in bullying kids (and teachers, I saw him throw his shoe at Miss Suggit once).
But no matter your opinion on him, everyone can agree he throws the best “ragers”. Every year on the Friday right before exam week students from year 9 to 12, and some uni students, flood to the Ham residence for one of these legendary parties. Not us though. We’ve never been big party kind of people. We’d just be happy to hang out at one of our houses partaking in a Harry Potter movie marathon. Which is generally what we do, but this year Luca is ditching to go to Austin’s party with Sasha.  
 
“Hey, do you want to go to Austin’s party tonight?”
Esther looks up from her book, she’s reading The Hunger Games, I swear she’s read through the trilogy about 5 times already.
“Uh not really no,” her eyebrows furrow, “Why? Do you want to? Besides I thought we were going to Will’s to re-watch Arcane for the hundredth time,”
Do I? No. Not really, but… Luca. He’s going with Sasha. What if- what if they, ya know…
“Well, I don’t know it’s just Luca’s gonna be there and-“
“Okay, I’ll go,” she slams her book down on the table which makes to whole psychology class look our way.
“No you seriously don’t have to, it’s fine, let’s just go to Will’s,”
“Ash. This is important to you, so it’s important to me,” seriously what did I do to deserve a friend like her.


It took a lot of convincing, but I got Hanah to come too, I had to promise that I would let her rant to me about Percy Jackson for the next week, but I’ll deal with those consequences later. Will was easier, I just told him that there would be lots of hot uni men there and he was in.     
The next thing I know we’re walking through the front door into the entryway of Austin’s house. It’s crowded with year 9’s who think that leaning against the wall, yelling slurs at literally anyone, and holding a cup of orange juice that they want people to think is some sort of alcoholic drink, makes them cool. It doesn’t.
I lead the others into what appears to be the living room. I couldn’t tell though because all the furniture is gone and everyone’s singing and dancing to what I think is No Role Modelz, but no one here can sing so it’s sorta hard to tell.
“Okay, I’m off to find some hot people!” Will yells over the crowd as he walks off.
“C’mon, we’re getting drinks!” Esther declares, she chucks her arms around us and leads us away. But not to the kitchen.
“Hey E? Isn’t the kitchen that way?” Hanah stops and points in the direction of the kitchen which is full of underage teens and 20-year-old uni students doing shots.
“Yeah it is, but I know where the good stuff is!” What does she mean she knows
Esther leads us to a large room at the end of the hallway. An office. It’s dark in here, just the dim light from the moon illuminating the nameplate at the front of the desk. “Dr Johnson Ham”.
“E what the fuck! We can’t be in here!” I’m starting to get suspicious now.
“Don’t worry, it’s fine,” she opens a drawer in the desk and pulls out a key which she shoves in the pocket of her jeans. Hanah and I glance at each other across the room, what is she doing?
She makes her way to a large shelving unit on the right side of the room. It’s full of all sorts of academic literature. Esther kneels and pulls out a row of books from the middle column.
“E-,” Hanah starts before stopping herself. In the space where the books were, it looks like there’s a little door, a padlock keeping it closed. Esther pulls the key out of her pocket and unlocks the padlock. When she opens the door, I see a collection of expensive spirits and wines. She pulls out a bottle of vodka takes a swig and hands it to me.
I hesitate before drinking some myself and completely regretting it straight away, “Ugh! That’s horrible!” Esther laughs as I hand it back.
She offers some to Hanah but instead of having some herself she asks something we both want to know, “E. How did you know about this?”
Esther adjusts her weight onto her other foot, “I- er…” she’s nervous, “Everyone knows there’s always a secret alcohol collection in the bookshelf!” she says with a little too much enthusiasm.
“Right…,”
“Come on. Let’s just go back to the party,” she asserts, shoving the vodka bottle in her jacket.
After Esther puts everything back into its rightful place (apart from the vodka of course) we go back to the party.

“Beer pong?” Hanah asks.
As much as I would like to, I haven’t seen Luca or Sasha yet. I scan my eyes over the dance party in the living room, but nothing.
“You guys go ahead, I’m just gonna go to the toilet,” I make my way back down the hallway, checking each room as I go. Eventually, I reach what seems to be the garage door, it's slightly ajar. Someone is talking. Sasha. I peer inside.
Luca and Sasha are standing behind the Jeep parked on the furthest side of the room, I can see them through the car windows.
“Thanks Luca,” Sasha grabs his hand, and a soft smile appears on her face, “you’re amazing.”
“Oh. I- it’s okay. If you ever need to talk, I’m here.” Luca appears to be blushing. He’s wearing a large black and red sports club hoodie and black jeans; his fluffy brown hair is parted down the middle as usual. Sasha’s wearing a summery, yellow minidress covered in lots of tiny white flowers. She looks stunning. As always.
“I really like hanging out with you Luca,” Sasha cups his face, which appears to surprise Luca, he looks down.
“I like hanging out with you too,” He leans down, and they kiss. And the thing is, they look really good together.
 

I sit by the pool, vodka cruiser in hand, cargo pants rolled up, feet dangling in the cool water. Everyone who was outside has gone inside to watch Matt, Austin’s older brother, down a large mixture of punch, mayonnaise, raw egg, pickle juice and the pickles. Matt used to host these parties, but when he went off to uni two years ago Austin took over.
I glance inside. Hanah and Esther are throwing popcorn into each other’s mouths by the breakfast bar and Will is leaning against a wall talking to James, a boy from year 10. Next to Austin and his mates who are cheering at Matt, is Luca, his arm resting over Sasha’s shoulder.  
God, I’m so stupid. Why would he ever want to be with me in the first place, I don’t even know who I am. Sasha is so perfect. So perfect for him. They just work, meanwhile I look like a bloody drowned rat. How is a boy like him meant to love a person like me?
I look down into the water. What if I just. I put my drink down, stand up and turn around to face the back fence. I take a small step backwards; I can feel my heels peeking over the edge of the pool. I take a breath.
“Hey,” I jolt my head to my left, nearly falling back into the pool, but she catches me just in time, “Woah, careful! We can’t have those pants getting ruined, can we?” I laugh a quiet single breath laugh.
We stand there for a moment just staring at each other, before sitting down on the pool's edge. “D’you come out here to escape the chaos too?” Sam looks at me, smiling. Her long strawberry blonde hair is so perfectly wavy, it’s almost like a picture-perfect waterfall. Sam is super cool, she always says hello when she walks past you at school, and she’s also a really good singer. During her transition she was a little squeaky, but now you could give her any song and she would belt it out straight away. Oh, and she gets straight A’s in everything. She’s just an all-around awesome person.     
“Uh, yeah. It’s a bit crazy in there,” I say, Luca and Sasha kissing playing through my mind over and over again.
“Matt certainly made quite the concoction. Honestly, I kind of want to try it,” She chuckles, “Is that weird?”
“Definitely,” I joke mockingly, “But I sorta wanna try to, so I guess we’re both weird.”
We sit in silence for a bit longer, but it doesn’t feel awkward, just sort of peaceful. All of a sudden a splash of water on my face catches me off guard.
“Hey!” I laugh, splashing her back. The next thing I know she’s pushing me into the pool. “I thought you didn’t want to get these pants wet!” I tease.
“Hmm, I guess there are more important things than keeping pants dry!” I grab her hands and pull her in.
We hang there for a bit splashing around, feet entangling in the water. It’s fun. And for a brief moment, I manage to forget everything. It’s just me, Sam, and the water. I grab Sam’s shoulders and push her under. She grabs the back of my neck and wraps her legs around mine, trying to pull me down with her. Struggling to hold back I follow her under and open my eyes, and for a brief moment our eyes meet, and all I can see are the beautiful blues and greens in her eyes highlighted by the pool lights. It feels like we’ve been here for hours.
I go up for air, she follows quickly behind.
“Uh we should probably dry off,” I say climbing out of the pool and wringing out my bomber jacket.   
“Oh, uh, yeah,” Just as Sam gets out of the pool, the rest of the party-goers flood outside separating Sam and I.

I hurry inside and find Esther, Hanah and Will passed out on the sofa, which has been pushed to the wall to make room for the dance floor. Hanah’s bare foot is mere centimetres away from Esther’s open mouth.

Luca is laying on the rubbish-covered floor with his hands on his belly. He’s sort of just staring at the ceiling.
“Hey, I haven’t seen you much tonight,” I manage to spit out as I sit down on the armrest of the sofa, and throw my jacket over the back of it. He sighs, continuing to watch the empty ceiling.
“Oh, uh yeah. I was kinda just chilling by the pool most of the night”
I laugh, “Are you sure about that?”  
He turns his head to look at me, “Oh.”
I’m soaking wet. My usually fluffy black and red hair is stuck to my face, fresh red hair dye making the drips of water look like blood streaming down my face. My cargo pants and oversized Gorillaz band tee are sticking to my skin. There’s probably gonna be a huge wet patch left on the sofa when I stand up.
Luca looks back at the ceiling. He looks kinda sad, which is surprising since a little over two hours ago he was snogging the girl of his dreams.
“Is everything ok?”
“Not really.”
“Do you wanna talk about it?”
He sits up and pauses to think for a second, “Yeah. But now’s not really a good time.” Something seems to really be bothering him.
“That’s okay, you don’t have to tell me yet,” I smile, “You don’t have to tell me at all if you don’t want to,”
He just looks at me and nods, a sad smile appearing on his face.

We sit in silence before I proceed to wring out the rest of the water in my jacket on Hanah’s face.

“Oi! What was that for?” She yells, almost flying off of the couch, but she’s held down by Will’s head resting on her legs.   “Can we go?” I beg, Esther and Will have started getting up.
“Fine, I guess so. It’s not like we’re doing anything at the moment anyway,” She stretches, and slowly rises from the couch, “Um can you drive? I don’t think any of us should, and you seem a little soberer than us.”
I nod. I wish I was drunker so that by morning I don’t remember anything that happened tonight. So that I could forget his perfect lips kissing her equal perfect face. But then I remember another face.

“I’ll be right back, I just need to check something,” I rush outside and see Sam leaning against a big Redgum.
“Hey,” I wave coyly as I reach her.
“Oh hey! You forgot your drink,” She passes me the cruiser I had by the pool, it’s barely been drunk.
“Oh, um thanks,” I take it but quickly pass it back, remembering I have to drive, “Actually, you should have it, we’re leaving and apparently I’m the designated driver.” Sam laughs, “Damn, unlucky. I live down the road, so I can get as pissed as I want.”
That’s the other thing I forgot to mention. Sam is pretty funny. She definitely knows how to brighten up a room.
“Anyway, hope you guys have a good rest of the night,” she smiles.
“Thanks,” I say, but I don’t move, “Actually, do you maybe wanna hang out sometime? Like just the two of us?”
Her eyes widen. Shit shit shit. I ruined it.
“Ugh sorry, forget that I asked,” I start walking away, “I’m just gonna go-,”
“Sure!” I turn back around. What…
She grins, “I’d like that,”

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