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Authors: Alan Weisz

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BOOK: Finals
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I tried not to think about her departure but the thought continued to linger in my mind. At that moment, losing Hayley meant losing my happiness. I was only content when she was by my side and I couldn’t imagine losing her. My sensible side kept reiterating that it was insane to try to maintain a relationship that was only now flourishing. On the other hand, my gut told me that I would be a fool to let her go. This seemed like one of those rare chances at love few ever find.

 

I dreaded having the serious discussion with her, knowing it would alter everything. And yet, the talk was never necessary because life always has a way of throwing you a few nasty curveballs. Ones capable of making the oblivious victim land right on his ass.

 

 

 

Chapter Five

 

I
might not have killed Brent if it wasn’t for my friend, Lexie. That’s not to say Lexie was to blame for his death since I was the one ultimately responsible for ending his life, but she was guilty of dragging me to the Finance Club’s monthly party.

 

Lexie and I were similar in
that
we both disliked going to social events alone. In most instances, Lexie would have asked one of her roommates
,
Selina or Jaclyn
,
to join her
,
but she needed a male escort to accompany her to the party so
that
a certain basketball player named Evan wouldn’t hit on her. I often had to assist Lexie in swatting off men, which was a job I didn’t mind doing every now and again.

 

Most of the senior girls at St. Elizabeth are subpar in the looks department or could merely be labeled as cute. Lexie didn’t fall into either category. She was a certified knockout that even appeared in a couple Abercrombie and Fitch catalogues.

 

We also were in the minority of outspoken attractive singles on campus. Lexie remained single because she had a fourth grader’s mentality when it came to boys. She viewed them as silly, uninteresting and tried to remain at least an arm’s length away to avoid catching cooties. I remained single mostly because I was incapable of letting my guard down; the whole Hayley situation only increased my inability.

 

Hayley as well as my pal, Brent, were now back on campus. We were only two weeks into my senior year and thus far I had rarely spoken to Brent although we shared a few classes together. I had intentionally avoided running into Hayley until our
Gazette
introductory meeting took place. I didn’t want to see her, I couldn’t trust her, and I knew just like Brent she’d pretend to be all lovable and perky but deep down I knew who she really was at heart. If I wasn’t already upset with her arrival back on campus, Lexie, the queen of gossip, informed me about the spreading rumor that Brent and Hayley had hooked up on their European tour and were possibly an item. A notion that made me absolutely sick to my stomach.

 

Despite Hayley
inspiring
my
distrust for
most members of the opposite sex, I did completely trust Lexie. We had known each other since the first month
of
school
,
so at this point in our relationship she
was
more like a goofy, younger sister who would shout out Miley Cyrus lyrics in the car than a potential love interest. To the untrained eye, Lexie and I could even pull off looking like siblings. We both had dark brown hair, hazel eyes and were rather tall for our
respective
genders. As we walked to the party, I felt safe
escorting
my pseudo sister. With Lexie’s arm in mine and her undivided support
,
the thought of running into Brent
or Hayley
seemed less worrisome.

 


Have you been to Brent’s before?” Lexie asked as we neared his house.

 


Nope
. How
about you?”

 


Oh yeah, I’ve visited on numerous occasions. We’re rather tight don’t you know?” she answered.

 


Yeah yeah,” I murmured, ignoring the sarcasm.

 


So let’s scout the place out first for subjects of interest and then get a drink,” Lexie said, as we reached the doorstep, brushing back her bangs effortlessly.

 


Sure, whatever you want.”

 

Lexie gave me a reassuring smile as if she could tell I was on edge. “Oh hey, before we go in
,
how’s my hair
?”

 


Atrocious as always
,
Lex, come on!” I said, as I grabbed her hand, pulling her inside.

 

As we surveyed the scene, it was a typical college party. Red cups, dancing, beer pong, and drunkards making out on the couch. There was nothing out of the ordinary.

 


Whew, I don’t think Evan’s here. But Wayne, I believe a favorite girl of yours is out on the dance floor,” Lexie said, slightly nodding in the direction of the living room. As I glanced over to a ferocious pack of dancers, I noticed Hayley was one of them. God, why did she have to be here?

 


What a delight you are, Lex,” I said, averting my eyes. “What would I do without you?”

 


Oh, I was just kidding, that girl’s a dirty slut if I ever saw one. You are so much better off without her.” I smiled meekly, not wanting to continue discussing the matter.

 


I mean, really she’s a fool for wanting to date Brent. The man has no fashion sense whatsoever. He literally wears the same three sweatshirts. It’s so gross. Really, it disgusts me that we were ever friends with him.”

 

I
appreciated
Lexie’s support, but I couldn’t bring myself to discuss Hayley’s relationship with Brent.

 


Thank you for that sentiment,” I said, moving my eyes away from the living room dance party.
“If
you were a true friend you
would
grab me a beer so I can drown my sorrows.”

 


When is alcohol the answer?”

 


When is it not?”

 


Fair enough,” Lexie said, as she turned her head around
,
hoping to locate the keg. “I’ll try to find us some beer. Can you survive a few moments without me?”

 


It will be difficult, but I can certainly try,” I said wryly. Lexie gave me a quick wink as she headed toward the kitchen, leaving me to fend for myself.

 

I scanned the room looking for the host. Regardless of Lexie’s statement, I did at least want to greet Brent, since I would soon be consuming his beer. It was the least I could do. I hadn’t seen him in a year, aside from our two weeks of classes, but you know how it is in class. You can’t really have conversations aside from the typical, “So how’d you do on the homework?” I owed it to him to be polite and friendly. Sure, he may be dating my ex, but I couldn’t hold it against him. Hayley was attractive, Brent was a womanizer
, and if you throw in
the Eiffel Tower with a few romantic French words then a relationship was bound to arise.

 

Rumor
had
it that
Brent got together with Hayley before he dumped his long-time girlfriend Cindy over Skype. Cindy lived with Scott’s girlfriend, Samantha, so we ran into each other on campus every now and again. She was a doll. The poor girl was crushed when Brent ended it. Scott and Samantha still disliked Brent due to his man whore ways, which was why they declined to come when I offered them an invitation to this festivity.

 

I checked the living room and the kitchen once again
,
but Brent
wasn’t around.
Rather peculiar since this was his party. I decided to head over to the bathroom. Brent may have had too much to drink, and if he wasn’t in there at least I could relieve myself.

 

I found the hallway with little effort and proceeded to begin my search for a bathroom. There were two adjacent doors at the end of the hallway. Surely a bathroom would be behind one.

 

As I approached the doors, Brent came out of one, wiping what looked like blood from his nose. He turned in my direction and a smile quickly formed on his face.

 


Wayne, my brother! So glad you made it,” he said, giving me a panda bear size hug. His eyes were bloodshot and he reeked of alcohol. No doubt, he was feeling good this evening.

 


Yeah
,
man
! You
think I would have missed your party? No way!” I said, trying to match his level of enthusiasm.

 


Glad to hear it, bro. It feels like we never hang anymore.”

 


Well, I’m here now
.
Let’s hang.”

 


Come on then, I’ll show you
where
the magic happens.”

 

The room across from the bathroom was Brent’s and as he guided me in, I couldn’t help but think that his room looked essentially the same as it had when we had lived in Andrews Hall. Electronic equipment was everywhere: stereos, X-Box, flat screen, it was all here. I recognized a few of his old posters,
Clerks II
and
Death to Smoochy
hung above his bed.
His desk which stood two feet away, contained his laptop, several finance books and a white powder of some kind that was being snorted by an unfamiliar face.

 


Dude, what the fuck?” the guy said loudly, as he quickly turned around in Brent’s chair.

 


Chill out bro, this is Wayne. We lived in Andrews Hall together. He’s cool,” Brent said.

 


If you say so,” the dude answered.

 


This is Mike
,
he’s a paranoid little
freak. Especially
when he does this
shit
,” Brent said, pointing at the powdery white substance on his desk.

 


Fuck you
,
Crane
.”

 


Ah
,
man, you know I love ya,” Brent said
,
ruffling Mike’s
hair
.
“Even if you do snort all my blow.”

 


Please dude. You have plenty to spare.”

 

Mike shifted in his chair a little more so I finally got a decent look at him. Cheeks a deep crimson, eyes red and puffy with a glazed over expression, Mike had no clue what was going on. For that matter, neither did I. Students at St. Elizabeth partied and a few smoked weed, but coke was hardcore. To be frank, I was surprised I had yet to freak out about seeing an illegal narcotic up this close and personal.

 

Before I had the chance to ask one of the millions of questions bouncing around in my head, Mike stared at me with this weird childlike enthusiasm and before one syllable escaped my lips, he started telling me this story.

 


So when Brent and I were over in France
,
we meet
this
dude named Pierre at a club. We’re all hanging out
,
right
,
and after a few drinks he invites us to go back to his place. The dude seems chill so we decide to go. When we finally get to his place, the guy hands us a few glasses of wine and out of nowhere gets out this huge bag of blow. The guy was a
drug dealer! Can you believe that shit?”

 


Crazy
,
man,” I said, wondering what this story had to do with the coke currently in Brent’s possession.

 

After taking a pull from the red cup on his desk, Brent
jumped
in and
continued
the story
.
“We partied with Pierre several times throughout the course of the
year,
and well
,
by the end of it Mike and I sorta became cokeheads.”

 


Oh
,
we are so fucking cokies,” Mike said, slapping Brent on the back as they both began to laugh.

 


A few nights before we leave, Mike and I ask Pierre if we could have one parting gift
,
if you know what I mean
.”

 


Are you guys serious?” I
cut in
, not believing that they could get away with sneaking cocaine back into the U.S.

 


Serious as a fucking heart attack
,
my man,” Mike
said.

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