Fear at second sight: a sequel to Love at first sight?

The two main characters at their favorite party. 
(Photo taken from Google Images via Creative Commons License)

The two main characters at their ‘favorite party.’ (Photo taken from Google Images via Creative Commons License)

Isabelle Brookshire and Mary Nassar

Written by Izzy

What was that?

My heart pounds like it’s running its own race and my lungs start to close up.

Breathe. Breathe. 

Okay, that was weird. That was really weird. But that’s all it is. Was. Weird. Ha. Ha. 

I train my eyes to the ground before braving looking up again. Nothing’s different, nothing’s new. The same old cafe with the same old people. Person. That person. 

Okay, I think studying is effectively done for. Who wants to study on a Friday anyway? I’ve got a party to attend. 

Or rather, a social. One of those fun, out-of-the-box activities/events that our school holds but is actually ran by students and has no faculty oversight. 

I start to pack up my bags. 

Usually, I’m not up for going to parties or whatnot, but my friends—of course, my friends—forced me to come. Well, de-emphasis on forced. I do enjoy them from time to time. It’d also be a good distraction to shake this weirdness off. 

As I step into the fresh air outside of the cafe, the noises from a bumbling, busy city fill my ears. Sunlight illuminates my way back to my dorm, casting shadows from the high trees and cars that pass by quickly. The cool 11 a.m. air brings me back to my senses and rushes blood back to my cheeks. I stick my hands into my pockets until I finally arrive. 

My roommate has been out this entire week and isn’t coming back until Tuesday. While Jamie’s really great, I don’t mind having my alone time either. Especially with all of today’s events. Speaking of, I should probably stop thinking about it. Sigh. 

As the clock ticks closer to 8:30 p.m., I start to pace outside of my building’s door. Cara is going to be here anyyy second now. I nervously brush away non-existent dirt off of my short, black outfit and onto my shoes, taking out my phone to triple-check myself. ‘Looking good,’ I smirk to myself, immediately stopping when someone passes right by me. Terrible. 

“Cara…” I whine, navigating to the phone app. Ring. Ring. 

“Jeez, impatient much? I’m right here.” I look away from my phone to see her car pulling up.

“Hey, aren’t you cold?” Cara calls. “I’ll be fine! It always gets hot when random people are sweating and dancing around the same room for 2 hours.” I snap the door behind me shut. We exchange excited compliments to one another and turn up 2010 dance music all the way there. 

When we get there, we meet up with 2 of our other friends, hugging, smiling, talking—you know the gig. 

When we step into the outside area of the ‘social’—which might I add, is someone’s house, so really not one at all—music I don’t recognize blasts through clumps of people dancing and I swear I already feel doozy. 

Either way, I get dragged to the outside of the dance pit, mob, whatever and awkwardly start jamming with my friends. After a couple minutes, I cue my really, really bad dances.

“Look, guys, I’m a robot!” 

Like I said, absolutely terrible. I don’t know how I’m in college. 

Either way, I’m becoming more comfortable and am finally allowing myself to dance. 

Hues of purple and green start to obscure the dance floor in a thick smog, flashing lights dancing across faces and bodies and resting only for a couple of seconds before they move again. When a song I finally know comes on, I start to unravel. I’m cracking jokes at my friends and before I know it, I’m getting dragged (again) to the middle of the dance floor. 

Sweat permeates the air but I pretend not to notice until I’m getting pushed up against other people who are sweating directly on me. I crane my neck as far away as possible from the extremely oblivious frat boy who is not only displacing all of his sweat onto me, but also is about to spill a drink all over my clothes. In the midst of moving myself away from this absolute no-boundary person, I look in the direction of my friends who kinda hardly notice the guy literally taking my place. Instead, I make eye contact with the person beyond their heads, and how can this night get any more stressful?

I see the person from the coffee shop looking directly at me. Sorry, sweaty much? I am not in the mood for this stranger to be messing up my wonderful thought process again, so I’d obviously much rather take this frat boy who’s starting to turn around very precariously with a dripping red cup—nevermind, I’m out. I tell my friends, “I’ll be back in a bit guys,” and exit out of that absolute horror trap of a ‘social.’ 

I take a seat on a kitchen counter and take a deep breath. How cliche. Though, might I add, I’d go outside if it wasn’t for the cold and my complete lack of a jacket. Sigh. The consequences of my actions or something like that.

I reach for my phone—dead battery—great. I look up at the party and around the open kitchen to see a pair of people having a conversation and a rebel bag of chips laying on the counter. Right before I break into them, I notice someone walking straight towards me. The terrible, awful, incredibly interesting—no, terrifying stranger of the day. Can’t I enjoy one thing? ONE THING?

Before I know it, my heart is racing so fast I almost knock out from my inability to breathe. Dear Lord. “Oh hey, can I have some? Unless you’re planning on keeping them all to yourself.” They joke, gesturing to the bag of chips I was just wrestling with. 

“Uh, no. Here, you can have it.” I smile back, offering it up to them. 

If this was a better situation, I’d use my phone as a distraction to get away from this possible interaction. If this was a perfect situation, I wouldn’t be here at all. But here I am, here, hands sweaty with them looking at me expectedly, assumingly, and longin—..? 

Written by Mary

Oh no.

Oh God. 

This night could not get any worse. 

First, I try to forget the stranger from the coffee shop by reluctantly agreeing to go to this dumb frat party my friends had been dying to go to. I try to get lost in the music, but the music is so loud in here that my skin tingles at every beat drop and I’m sure my eardrums have turned to mush. The techno beats flow through my veins and swirl in my head until I feel my fingers drumming against my red cup and my feet tapping in synchrony to the rhythm.

God, I hate parties.

I try to have a good time with my friends and dance my confusion and frustration away, and for some time, it actually works, and I lose myself in the strobe lights that illuminate everyone dancing. Everyone’s pressed up against each other like it’s their last night on Earth. The smell of sweat and perfume mingles in my nostrils like two people who just don’t work together no matter how hard they try, making me want to gag and throw up more than I already do. 

But it’s okay. I’m okay. Despite the nausea. Actually, bring on the nausea. At least, it will distract me from all these feelings spiraling through my mind and —.

Oh no.

Oh God. 

Why are they here? How did they find me? Why is this happening to me? Why, God, why?

Because through the crowd, I spot the stranger from the coffee shop dancing with what looks like a group of their friends. And I literally want to crawl into a hole and die. Why do they have to be here? Since when do we go to the same college? Did they see that I’m here? 

Their head whips around, and their eyes fall on mine. I can feel the electricity coursing through our irises and pupils, and I’m sure the energy between our gazes is more than enough to power an entire city, an entire state, an entire country, an entire continent, the entire world

Their eyes quickly dart away from mine, and they shove their way through the crowd away from their friends toward another room of the house. I don’t know what demonic force comes over me, but I’m suddenly possessed to follow them. I yell at my friends something about getting some air, and I then proceed to elbow and trip my way through the mob of frat boys and girls until I find myself in the kitchen, where they’re sitting on the kitchen counter, grabbing for a bag of chips. We’re the only people in the kitchen, and the godawful music coming from the other room seems to be a whisper in the breeze. I walk toward them, my body seeming to move independent of my mind and thoughts. They look up and meet my eyes again, and there’s something in their expression that makes me want to cup their face in my hands and kiss them. I stop right in front of them, and for a lack of something better to say, I blurt out, “Oh hey, can I have some? Unless you’re planning on keeping them all to yourself,” gesturing to the bag of chips in their hands.

A rose-red blush blooms onto their olive complexion. “Uh, no. Here, you can have it.” They offer me a soft, sweet smile, offering the bag of chips to me. 

I’m about to take the bag (and try to smoothly hold their hand in the process), when some frat boy cuts the music and yells out, “Spin the bottle!”

We both exchange a look, and I try to be suave by offering them a wry smirk and my hand. “Care to join me?”