This bonus scene from Choosing You shows what was going on with Garret while Jade was back at the dorm reading her Mom’s letter. The scene ended up being longer than I’d planned so I made it into two parts.
The party is packed with people because it’s the night before Halloween and costume parties always draw a crowd. I can barely move with all the people and it’s so damn hot in here I’m starting to sweat.
I’ve been here for an hour now and I’m bored out of my mind and just want to leave. There’s a pool table in the corner which occupied my time for about ten minutes until some girl climbed on top of it and started dancing. The girl has on a nurse’s costume with a white skirt that’s so short you could see her ass even when she wasn’t bending over. And now that she’s on the table you can see everything under her skirt, which is why about 20 guys have gathered around the pool table.
I took a glance at her when she first climbed up there. What can I say? I’m a guy. Our eyes naturally divert to naked women, or in this case, almost naked. She’s got a red lace thong underneath the skirt and a heart tattoo on her inner thigh.
My eyes didn’t linger. I have no interest in her or any other girl here. Every time I go to one of these parties, all I can think about is Jade, wondering what she’s doing, and feeling bad that she’s sitting all alone in her room. She says she doesn’t mind staying home on Friday nights but I don’t believe her. Who the hell wants to sit all alone in their dorm room on a Friday night?
The guys around me start chanting “take it off” and I look up and see nurse girl unbuttoning the white shirt she’s wearing that’s so tight I’m surprised the buttons haven’t burst off it by now. She only undoes the top button and the guys chant louder.
“Okay, listen.” She waves her hands in the air and the guys quiet down. “I’ll take it off, but you have to work for it. You have to do a shot with me for each button.”
The guy next to me yells, “Shit, yeah!” and races back to the bar while the other guys yell at him to hurry up. They’re so stupid. Most of the girls in here are so drunk they’d take their tops off without demanding anything in return but nurse girl likes to be the center of attention and her method is clearly working.
The guy returns with a bottle of tequila but no shot glasses because there aren’t any. The party only has red plastic cups.
“Give it to me,” nurse girl demands. She’s talking about the bottle but of course the double meaning gets the guys all excited again. Idiots.
She takes the bottle and pours it in her mouth, letting some dribble down her chin and onto her breasts. “Oops, I spilled,” she says, pouting her lips. “Anyone want to help clean me up?”
A guy who lives on my floor shoves his way to the pool table. “I’ll do it!” he eagerly offers.
“Are you a freshman?” she asks.
“I only let upperclassmen touch these.” She points to her breasts. Another guy offers, this time a junior who’s on the basketball team. She agrees and lowers herself down on her hands and knees, giving the guys on the opposite side of the table a better view of her ass. Basketball guy starts licking her chest, then takes the bottle of tequila from her and swigs it back, earning a round of cheers from the crowd. Nurse girl undoes another button, takes the tequila bottle back and asks who’s next.
This is so stupid. I can’t believe I used to like these parties. Then again, when you’re wasted everything seems fun. Now that I’m sober, these parties look totally different.
I hear some loud noise on the other side of the room and see a girl in a cheerleader skirt and a red bra being passed around by some guys. It’s like at concerts where people stage dive into the crowd and their body hovers over a sea of hands.
I stand there looking around at all the crazy shit going on around me. What the hell am I doing here? I’m so sick of these Friday night parties I’ve been forced to go to because of Blake.
I showed up here and put in my time. I’m done. I’m going to where I want to be. With Jade. I don’t care what we do. Hang out in her room. Go up to mine and watch TV. It doesn’t matter. I just want to be with her.
I make my way to the back door because if I go out the back, chances are Blake won’t notice that I left.
But as soon as I pop the screen door open, I hear his voice. Shit.
“Kensington. Want a beer?” Blake is standing over one of the many coolers lined up against the back of the house.
“No, I’m good.” I walk past him hoping he’s too drunk to notice or care that I’m leaving.
“Hey! Kensington!” he yells as I round the corner of the house.
I sigh as I turn around. “What?”
“Where the fuck do you think you’re going?” He stumbles over to me and drapes his arm over my shoulder.
“I’m leaving. This party sucks. It’s hotter than hell in there and you can’t even move it’s so crowded.”
Blake laughs. “You gotta loosen up, Kensington. Have some drinks. Come on. I’ll set you up with a bottle of the good vodka, not that shit everyone else is drinking.”
I remove his arm from me. “I’m leaving.”
As I start to walk away, Blake comes around to block me. “Fuck that! You’re not leaving. We have a deal.”
“Yeah, and I did my part of the deal. I showed up at your fucking party. Now I’m leaving.”
I try to go around him but he blocks me again. “You can’t just show up for an hour and leave. I get your whole Friday night. That’s the deal.” He reaches in his pocket and pulls out his phone, waving it in front of my face, his lips curled up into a smirk. “Unless you want me to call your daddy and tell him you’re still hanging out with Ohio.”
I really hate it when he calls her that. And I’m so damn sick of him controlling me like this.
He’s still got that smirk on his face and I feel my anger rising. My hand forms a fist as I prepare to punch that smirk away, but then I think of Jade and I can’t do it.
If I hit Blake, he’ll tell my dad about Jade and me and I can’t let that happen. I don’t want anything or anyone to mess up what I have with her. I’m not really sure what I have with her, but whatever it is I don’t want it to end.
“Fine. I’ll go back inside but I’m not drinking.”
“Whatever.” Blake reaches in the cooler and takes out another beer. “Just means there’s more for me.”
“Hey, did you already say something to my dad about Jade? Because he called me last week and was asking me all these questions about her.”
“I’m a man of my word, Kensington.” Blake’s speech is starting to slur. Whatever he drank earlier must be kicking in. “I don’t call him unless I need to. And since you’re here now, I don’t need to.” He stumbles past me, almost tripping on my foot. I wish he had. I’d love to see his face hit the concrete slab just outside the patio door.
We go back inside and Blake takes off for the bar. He stations himself there at almost every party. That way he’s near the liquor but also has a steady stream of girls stopping by to get drinks. By the end of the night, there’s usually at least one girl lingering at the bar who’s drunk enough for Blake to take home. That’s the only way he can get girls. He’s too much of an ass to get a girl who’s sober to sleep with him. He’s never had a girlfriend and probably never will.
“Hi, Garret.” I know the voice but I’d already know it’s her from her strong perfume. I swear she bathes herself in it.
“What do you want, Ava?” I turn to see her standing there in a cat costume that consists of a black sparkly leotard that cuts high up on her hip and is low enough on the top to allow her cleavage to spill out. Her face is coated in heavy makeup; glossy red lips and thick rings of black around her dark brown eyes. And holding back her hair is a black headband with cat ears sticking out of it.
“I just wanted to say hi to my boyfriend.” She slides her hand around my back while the other one lifts my shirt up.
I shove away from her. “What the hell are you doing?”
She shrugs. She seems drunk, although I can’t smell any alcohol on her and given her close proximity to me, you’d think I would. But she’s got that weird half-smile, half-pout thing going that she does whenever she’s drunk, like she’s not sure which expression to use. And then she always does this thing where she crosses her ankles while twirling a strand of her hair with her finger and the combined movement causes her to trip or fall to the side. It’s a ploy to get a guy to catch her so she ends up in his arms. Tonight she’s hoping I’m that guy but as she teeters on her high heels I just stand there and watch as she stumbles into the girl next to her.
The girl pushes her back. “God, Ava, get off me.”
Ava looks annoyed and puts her hand on the hem of my shirt. “I was just trying to make you more comfortable, Garret. It’s soooo hot in here and you’d feel a lot cooler if you took your shirt off.” She tugs it up again, her fingers moving under the fabric and brushing against my skin.
I grab her wrist, taking her hand off me. “Don’t do that ever again.”
“Do what?” she asks, her half-smile turning to a full-on pout.
“Don’t touch me. Why don’t you go find some other guy to undress? There are plenty of other guys to choose from.”
“But I like you the best.” She steps closer as someone bumps her from behind. She turns to see who it was and her breasts brush against my chest.
“Just go away, Ava.” I try to find a way to escape her but there are people blocking me on every side.
She looks up at me, her head tilted back. Even with her heels, she’s still really short. “You’re my boyfriend now and if you don’t start playing the part I’ll have a talk with your—”
Someone turns the music way up and I can’t hear what she said. But it looks like she said ‘dad’ and I get the feeling she knows something about the call I had from my dad last week. The one where he kept asking me about Jade.
“What did you just say?” I ask her.
She starts talking again but I can’t hear a thing with the thumping bass and the crowd singing along to whatever song is playing. I look around and see that the door to one of the bedrooms is open.
“Come on.” I grab Ava’s hand and pull her back toward the open room. I feel her body shake and I glance back to see her giggling like she thinks I’m planning to have sex with her. Of course she would think that. She’s so clueless.
But I know Ava, unfortunately more than I’d like to, and I can tell she’s hiding something. She knows something and I need to know what it is.