A creak slinked through my neck and I as if I were the skeleton everyone had in their closet. Both eyelids opened as if they were attached to weights I'd forgotten to remove before I let them sleep and were met with confusion as they stared at Lucille Ball with her large red hair covered by the mask of monochrome colors.
"Get up, sleepies!"
The familiar outline of a voice called to me and the plural noun haunted me. All sweat was saved when I looked down to see Jess' blonde hair, tangled and matted lying contentedly on my lap. Stretching and begging for more hours, I shook her shoulder half-heartedly,
"Jess, time to wake up."
She unhappily reeked havoc on her face and scrunched it to the point of no return. Looking pained, she propped herself up on my shoulder and overdramatically tried to sleep on my chest. I patted her head and felt the softness of her hair.
"Seriously, guys, wake up!"
The voice became more clear and life hit me in one fell swoop of its sharpened wings, last night, the bathroom floor, the toilet, Melissa...
Still seven eighths asleep, I reached over the comfortable potbelly of the couch and wrenched myself over painfully. Somehow, nothing reacted well and, somehow, Jess landed on top of me moaning and groaning. Out of breath I tried to shout around the corner,
"Andy! Commmack herr!"
He stood with a hand on the door and miles above me as I struggled up to his level. Like the friend I never deserved, he held out a hand and allowed me to stand.
It was barely then my eyes focused to the light and realized what kind of hangover probably plagued my best buddy. I tried to stare straight into his eyes as my hands tried to put themselves in my hoodie pockets before I realized I wasn't wearing a hoodie...
"Dude, I-I need to talk to you."
Andrew's stance wavered slightly and I questioned whether I'd already blurted it out in a fit of stupidity but his fist was low so I assumed no. Both of us filed clumsily into the non-soundproof hallway, I reminded myself.
"What is it man? Did you get laid last night? Haha, cause I got more than laid last night. I-I was laid to my grave last night...shh."
All the blood drained from my face as if I were hit with all the blood drives in the entire world at one horrible moment.
"You did, didn't you? I can't believe you, Wentz. Who's the hot chick this time? Hope she's not pregnant. Haha, that'd suck hardcore."
"Wooo, she must be hotter than the sun for--"
Having finished with me, the blood drives attacked Andy.
"T-The hot chick...Melissa."
The brown eyes refocused to a spot I didn't care to look for and he stood silently. My Adam's Apple proved it didn't fall far from the tree as it dropped and rose repeatedly in my throat.
Silence threw us both in a time capsule and I couldn't help but wonder what the face read.
He choked out with what seemed to be a throat itching with vodka, sex and epiphanies. Should I say something? Was that a question? A rhetorical question??
I gulped as he repeated the name with a more sober tone.
"Dude, man, I'm so sorry. Look s-she's not some. It's not. I love her."
"Y-You, you love my, my little sister?"
"My little sister? The one I was never there for? The same little sister of mine I never had the chance to protect her from the scumbags of the world? You're in love with that one?"
He sighed and his entire body went limp into the same arms that were ready to protect myself from him.
"Dude, I-I have to tell you something. I-I n-n-never stopped d-drinking. In fact, I-I'm drinking right now."
"Andy? Did you hear me? Did you hear what I said? God, you reek worse than Patrick...Dude, come on."
Receiving absolutely no help from him, I hauled his ass back through the door as he giggled and sputtered like a schoolgirl.
I was able to choke out breathlessly. A groan resounded from the couch and I could tell she'd fallen back asleep.
"Jess, help me, here."
With the thump of a heartbeat, she threw herself to the floor and stared at me in confusion.
"I-I'll explain, just help me get him onto the couch.
"He was too drunk to hear what I said."
"Aw, that sucks. Now you have to tell him a second time. Can't be any harder, can it?"
"Depends how sober he is."
In sync, the both of us turned and stared at Andy before pressing a derivative of the elixir of life to our lips.
"Pete, you shouldn't worry. Andy's one of your best friends. He'll probably understand as long as you're not quitting his little sister."
"Well you already hit it..."
"Oh, right. Well I have no plans to be quitting anyone in the near future."
Jess made a graceful U-turn around the counter and forcefully grasped the coffeepot.
"That's good, but when you tell Andy that, you might want to phrase it a bit differently."
"Yeah, that might save a few ribs. So, what'd you and Patrick do last night?"
Jess threw me a 'what did Patrick and I do last night' look,
"Uh, nothing. Oh, right! Me, Joe and Patrick all went down to the mall, got me a very sexy little number and was almost forcibly removed."
She threw a casual sip at my feet,
"Not wearing pants."
It took me a second to hear that, rehear it, process it, and try to understand it.
"You...weren't wearing pants?"
"Well, none of us were."
"...Patrick wasn't wearing pants in a public place?"
"I love how it's just assumed Joe was..."
I half mused, half yawned into the coffee cup,
"Knowing you, I bet you snapped a couple of pics."
"I'd pay money to see those..."
"Get your wallet, Wentzy."
She plopped down the coffee cup and loped with the homely feeling of naked feet to the other side of the dorm. Pulling out a small yet expensive digital camera, she happily bounced back over.
"Did you just call me 'Wentzy'?"
"Haha, yeah, sorry. It just kinda slipped out. But here, look at these."
The pictures were singularly amazing and made me laugh like nothing else could. Just seeing Patrick look so uncomfortable in a public setting was hilarious. Joe looked as if he did that every day of his life and Jess, well, Jess looked happy as can be.
A groan projected from the couch as if it were the last sound on earth and Jess poured a new cup of coffee.
"I guess Head Hangover's awake."
I followed her as she placed the coffee smartly in front of him.
Andy creaked up and rubbed his eyes with the sighs and moans that'll make everyone else feel pained.
"That's right, Andrew!"
"What am I doing here?"
"You collapsed on Wentz over here some time ago and he brought you in."
"Here, have some coffee, sweet pea. It'll wake you right up."
The long-haired wonder threw his legs over the couch and threw the cup back with such exuberance I thought he'd choked on the solution to all the world's problems. Instead, he threw the mug down,
Jess smiled and picked the cup back up, heading over to the pot. On her way over she stopped and ruffled my already horrible hair. Like the game of poker I swore I'd never play with her, she took my smiles from the pot.
She placed the mug back down like all the small things that each meant so much,
"Andy, focus, do you remember anything before you passed out?"
He did his best to stare straight at her and furrowed the eyebrows over his crooked glasses,
"Something happened before I passed out?"
With her own sort of graceful nature, Jess stood and gave me an 'I'm sorry' look.
"Like a band-aid, Wentz."
Slowly and ungracefully, I perched myself on the small table and stared down at the palms so often wrapped around a pen wrapped in sweat.
"Pete, what's going on?"
"Andy, I have to tell you."
"I-I'm in love with Melissa."
"My little sister?"
"F-For how long?"
"Huh? Oh, since, since I met her."
"That's...sweet. I was hoping you were gonna say since ten or something."
"Dude, don't be. A-Are you...gonna ask her out?"
"Does she know? Have you done anything??"
"Well...last night, we..."
"Oh, god. Is it as bad as it sounds?"
"Ugggh...Then you'd better ask her out, man."
"Ok, I-I-I will."
He turned slightly towards the kitchen and rubbed his sexy brown eyes over and over,
"Guess I owe you thirty bucks, Jess."
I looked to both of them like a bad Korean soap opera,
"Jess and I bet thirty bucks someone would get hooked up on this trip."
"Hell, I was gonna hook up with someone for that. I don't have thirty bucks..."
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