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       Chapter Five
      “House Party”
      “The Middle”
The girls take off
in search of Cathy
but get a little
side tracked
when a guy
with a tray
of Jell-O shots
steps out in
front of them
and slows down
their search
they each gladly
two shots each
and found them
to have a very
sweet Lime
Jell-O taste
but a minute later
their throats
had a burning
going on
as the alcohol
in the shots
was making its
presence known
not that it was
slowing down
these girls at all,
they saw Cathy
at the far end
of the house
still talking to
her work friends
as three guys
nearby her
where circling them
trying to get
some of the girls
in that group
to notice them
talking loud
and bragging about
some of their
less than legal
Cathy was still
her first beer
not really planning
on drinking anymore
tonight after those
two shots in the car
but still holding
on to her cup
a defense against
an endless parade
of guys coming up
and saying
the same old
tired pick up line
“thought you might
be in need
of one of these”
as he pulls out
a full beer
from behind his
and tries to
hand it to her,
besides being the
designated driver
taking a beer
from a guy
you didn’t know
was just plain
you never knew
what could have
found its way
into that cup
of beer
and if you
lost track of
your own plastic cup
the girls had a
“when in doubt,
dump it out”
party smarts
can save you
in more ways
than just from
getting sick,
Cathy use to
try and explain
she was the D.D.
but some people
never seemed to
grasp that concept
so sometimes
she just fakes
being drunk
when they ask,
she has become
quite good at it
there was even
one time
when some
concerned soul
had tried to
take her keys
away from her
for her own
well being
of course
they would say
but the rest
of their solution
included them
giving her
and her friends
a ride home
in a beat up
windowless van
a good Samaritan
with a nasty
end game
Cathy sees
Zoe and Lace
making their way
towards her
she watches as
most of the guys
that notice them
focus on Lace
as they make
for the girls
to get by
she knows
they can’t help it
their eyes just
gravitate towards
but once they
get that first
glimpse of Zoe 
they find themselves 
staring at her
and not knowing
Cathy had asked
one of her
male friends
that had met Zoe
for the first time
at a party
about that
he was good looking
and a popular guy
he told her
“yea she’s pretty
but not in that
Barbie doll
sort of way
the more I
watched her
the more intrigued
I became with
I had spent the
whole night
hanging out with
and a small
group of people
having a few
but mostly just
and the more
I spent with
the less I understood
about her
making me want
to know
even more about
who she really was
“I just found her fascinating”
his words kind of
just trailed off
after that
leaving him with
a blank look
on his face
as he replayed that
memory of her
and him
at the party
on that night
drifting away
from Cathy now,
Cathy had just
she had seen
that glazed over
on a guy’s face
Cathy tells her
work friends
she is going to
catch up to
Zoe and Lace
the loud talking
in the group
next to Cathy’s
hope for a smile
or a look
of recognition from
as she turns
to leave
her friends
but they get neither
wanting to try
and meet the
on their side
of the house
there was a
college freshman
she has been
from her side
of the room
for a while now
this will give
her a reason
to walk by him
so he can
get a close up
and personal
look of her,
and if her
timing is right
maybe even a
little stumble
catching herself
on his shoulders
while letting her
body softly
come to rest
against his
no need to
waste all of this
brain power
of hers
only on academic
she dumps out
her half full
red Solo cup
of beer
into a potted plant
and heads towards
and the girls
her right
high heel shoe
catching on an
imaginary rug
putting her plan
into motion
and after a
successful landing
with her arm
around his neck
she lets the weight
of her body
transfer from her
left high heel
fully against him,
though he was
surprised by
the rapid unfolding
of that event
he certainty wasn’t
upset at finding
Cathy in his arms
she quickly straightens
herself up
both feet firmly
supporting her now
as she lightly
touches his arm
with her hand
asking him
if he was OK
which he was
of course
Cathy says
“well, I guess I should
introduce myself,
after all you did
save me from
landing flat on
my face”
“Hi I’m Cathy”
“you really saved
I was just lucky
to be standing
when you needed
something to
hang on to”
he told her
“what’s your name?”
Cathy asked
“oh, I’m sorry” he said
“it’s Scott”
“well Scott, just in case
your girlfriend
wants to know
why some beautiful
single girl
was in your arms
give me a holler
and I’ll come over
and explain it
to her
how it was
all my fault”
she said
as she walked away
making sure she
breaks off
this quick interlude
of theirs
leaving him
wanting to know
more about her
and unable to
linger in her
closeness anymore,
“ok thanks” he says
“but I don’t have a girlfriend”
he calls out
after her,
she didn’t turn
she just raised
her hand over
her shoulder and
gave him a
little wave
a game she
likes to play
to rank a guy’s
interest in her,
if the guy is
not really interested
he won’t bother
to mention if he
has a girlfriend
or not
she already knew
he was at least
at the party alone
she is feeling
pretty confident
as she walks
that he’ll find
a reason to
come up and
talk to her
again sometime
she keeps walking
till she gets to
the girls
everybody giving hugs
all around
as if it has been
a long time since
they have seen
each other
not just an
hour or so
Lace looks over
at Cathy
and says
“you know girl,
one of these
you’re going to
really trip
and face plant
“you really do
need to get
a new act”
chimes in Zoe
“but I got this one
down to a science”
Cathy replies
still not turning
around towards
the boy
“is he still looking my way?”
Cathy asks
both girls say
at the same time
as all three girls
bust up laughing…
     Tom Allen…06-15-2018…