Prompt: Lit Up by The National.
I press myself against the wall. Try not to stand out.
You stand there in all your friends. Laugh at something dumb.
I dream of being here all the time. The best part of sleep.
I’ll be dreaming a while longer.
Sand blonde hair gets me going. I can’t even tell you.
You’re like an angel amongst demons. So lost and afraid.
I dream of being with you, always. The only dream I have.
That might be a little sad.
I slip of the wall and creep over. I try to blend in.
Everyone notices immediately, I’m fucked. But you smile real nice.
“Hey, where’ve you been all night?”
My heart skips a beat.
“I’ve been here, just chilling, you know?”
They all look at me like I’m crazy. I’m so goddamn fucked.
But you just laugh and shrug, like no big deal. I almost die.
“I’m glad someone can have some fun.”
I don’t get what you mean.
Your friend starts saying, “So anyway.”
So, I’m in? Am I? Really? Fuck me. I never even really expected I’d get along with your friends. I’ve got… nothing. Nothing. At all. I’m doomed.
But then I start thinking of how I was just myself, just like everyone is always telling me. I spent so many years just trying to be cool, trying to be in my head and thinking of everything. I know you’re just another human being with like thoughts and dreams and shit but… why did I spent so god damn long trying to impress her if. I can just be myself – fuck… those afternoon specials I always laughed at were right.
Then you catch my attention with a wink. Is that to me?
My mind is racing again and I try not to let it. But I’m still here. Stuck in a crowd I have no clue about. And I’ve missed half the conversation. At least no-one is expecting anything from me.
“Him, really?” “Yeah, him.” “Why him?” “Dunno.”
You are talking about someone with a sly grin on your lips.
“I mean…” “Come on.” “What?” “Seriously?” “I like him.”
I realise you are talking about someone else. But that’s alright. I still want to be friends, you’re cool. Then again, your friends… I wonder what they’re into, how I can connect. Is that stupid of me? I mean, look at them all fancy and shit.
Meanwhile, I’m in my head and I’m thinking about trying to make friends with people. If I don’t I get so twisted up that I can feel myself choking. Like, anxiety hits me so hard that I freeze up mid-sentence. And that’d just make me look stupid, oh shit, I look stupid don’t I? “Hey, Luke, right? You coming back to my place for the after party?”
I snap up. Her name… Wanda? Maybe. I don’t know her name, shit… I struggle to think of it and nothing comes to mind but fucking Ws. Wendy? Wenona? Whitney? Wilma? “Uh, can I?”
I resist the urge to run away screaming. She smiles approvingly. “I’m Karen by the way,” she tells me. I turn my head away. “It’ll just be a few of us, nothing too big.” She smiles again, melting. “You know, if you’re keen.”
“Yeah, I am.” I am. “Sweet then.” “Yeah, sweet.” A few hours pass as I blend in, Karen hangs out with me all night as you fade into the crowd. I’m cool. I’m chill. Relaxed. Calm as. Calm as fuck.
Then we head over to Karen’s place for a little while longer. Midnight goes and we’re out in the backyard. One AM hits and it’s just me and Karen while everyone is inside asleep. I’m glad I’m so in my head, because this’d be fucking hard.
“This was cool. You’re a cool guy. Like, real chill.”
“Yeah, uh thanks. This was pretty nice, you’re pretty – nice.”
She just smiles. Leans in. Kisses me. On the lips.
I cup her cheek with my hand, she is deep cold from the frigid morning air. So sweet. So clever. So pretty. I’m swimming. In my anxiety.