To say I had little sleep last night would be an understatement. Ryan wouldn’t leave me alone until almost four in the morning and I was falling asleep on the couch across from him. The party raged until the sun began its ascent over the green hills.My brother was with some brunette in his room sleeping and there were a couple of people passed out drunk on the floor in the living room. I remember checking to make sure none of them had alcohol poisoning and adjusted them to prevent them from choking on their own throw up if they woke up.
I remember cleaning up the red solo cups and scrubbing everything spotless so I wouldn’t have to worry. I even remember setting an alarm on my phone for noon that would wake up the unexpected guests before my mom got home.What I don’t remember is Ryan plugging his number into my phone and falling asleep in his sweatshirt. Why he didn’t ask for his sweatshirt back, I’ll never know, but I will return it after I wash it. What I don’t remember is to set my own alarm, so the next day, I ended up being late for my shift at the library. Luckily, it was my first offense and my boss, Cassie, was chill about it.
Today was a Sunday, a slow day at the University library except for the excess of students sitting to just to start studying and cramming their homework. I would be joining them after my shift.Roaming through the shelves high above the world on the third floor, I kept thinking of my conversation with Ryan, feeling uneasy. Thinking, I said something wrong, that I offended him, or worse, something I cannot even fathom.But, it could be my anxiety eroding at my sanity. I mean, I was a true to the honest version of me, maybe it was just the fear of being rejected or not fitting, especially with people like him. My therapist, a woman with platinum blond hair and wide hips says that this is called Social Anxiety.Social Anxiety my ass, I am just not adequate to be with people. And, I am slowly accepting that, at least, I convince myself I am.
I ran my fingers over the spines, counting quietly, making sure all the books are in order when my phone vibrates.
I ignore it and switch volume six with volume five in a set of English literature journals and mark it down on the white spreadsheet. My phone vibrates again and again I ignore. I pull a plastic step-ladder over and climb to the highest step. I count the books, reorder the messed up ones, wrote the journal title, and continued on.
This went for a good two hours until my shift ended. Getting my supervisor to sign my worksheet and cleaning up the work materials, I head back to my dorm and look at my phone.
There were five new messages.
Becky: Hey, I’m sorry about yesterday. Want to do dinner tonight?
I sighed and texted back, “Sure, six work?”
I open another message, this one from Sara.
Sara: Hey, I’m so sorry about last night. Want to go see Beauty and the Beast on Thursday?“
I answered, “Sure, after Intro to the Universe?”
Another message was from my mom telling me I did a good job. I didn’t answer that one. I know it was a trap. Every compliment she has given me had always come with a price. Like one time, she commented on how beautiful my handwriting was and made me write all her invitations to her annual gala.
Another text was from Carlos.
Carlos: Hey Lia, it’s Carlos.
I texted him back: He Carlos. What’s up?
And finally, I saw a message from Ryan.
Ryan: Hey Lia, are you doing anything Saturday?
I frowned, “Not that I know of. Why?
Ryan texts me back instantly, “I just wondering because I’m having a party at my house and wanted to invite you.”
I furrowed my brows at this and replied: “That’s nice of you to think of me but parties aren’t my thing.”
“How do you know? My parties are nothing like your brother’s,” he argued.
“So, it is still a party!” I countered.
“C’mon, think of this as the start of our friendship,” he answered.
“Wasn’t our start yesterday?” I asked.
“Please come,” he stated, ignoring my question and I inhaled deeply.
“You didn’t answer my question”
“I’ll answer it if you come,” he answered.
“Fine, I’ll go but I’m bringing friends.” I gave in, I mean, why not? There would be a ton of people there anyway and I will just disappear into the crowd.
” They were invited anyway,” he responds and I shut my phone off.