Lush Life by Zara Larsson is booming in the background and Veronica’s ears are ringing. She wasn’t even sure if that was the title of the song but two girls on her left were talking about it so it wasn’t that hard to connect the dots. As if that wasn’t enough, the disk jockey’s been singing, more like screaming, with the song which made her eardrums burst out of her ears. She stood up, gathered her belongings and was ready to leave when she bumped unto a wall. She lost her balance and almost fell on her butt when two hands caught her. “Do walls have hands?” she murmured confusedly.
The odds were on her side because just as she was about to fall, she was on her feet again. “I’m afraid not.” A lanky guy wearing a loose black shirt and faded jean shorts towered over her, his voice muffled by the loud music.
She raised her head up and looked at him in the eyes as she tries to remove his hands off her. Her face was masked with bewilderment she could not quite decipher. “Come again?”
He was holding her firmly when he bridged the distance between them and shouted “You sure watch Stranger Things wholeheartedly, do you?” His face was animated on Veronica’s perspective and he was shaking her with so much force that she thought she was in the middle of Ari and Sam’s dispute all over again. ‘But that was before they agreed to attend the party right?’ she silently asked herself.
“Ugh, stop it!” She shoved the guy away from her with all her might and starts rubbing her forehead. Her head was throbbing.
“Ouch!” The guy wasn’t even thrown away with her “pushing” and both of them were already screaming but the people around them were oblivious to what they’re doing. “You could have just told me if you were offended, Ms. Doctor Who fan, rather than assaulting me.” He sounded hurt and drunk at the same time. His voice was slurred. He rubbed his arms as though he was cold and lied down on the nearest couch he could find. He looked as though he was asleep for a minute when his legs shot up all of the sudden and surprised Veronica causing her to produce an inanimate sound.
“Stop scaring me, please!” she pleaded.
His eyes opened and focused on a wild-eyed exhaling Veronica with right hand now on her chest. “You’re the one who started asking silly questions with walls having hands--”
“I was talking to myself!” cried Veronica. He raised his left eyebrow as if to make a point and repositioned himself so that he’s now fully facing her while sitting comfortably on the couch. “I should be the one scared then!”
Veronica sighed, pursed her lips and closed her eyes to cool off. She opened her eyes and was ready to leave this all behind when she couldn’t feel her phone on her pockets. “Ugh! Seriously?” She looked up at the ceiling as if she’s waging war on the universe.
With his arms on his chest, the guy leaned backward and replied, “Seriously.” She turned around and started to hunt for her missing property. She was two feet away from the couch when she noticed the guy looking for something on the floor beside her. She was startled once again and this time landed on her butt. Veronica was now convinced that universe is conspiring against her.
“ARE YOU SERIOUSLY KIDDING ME?!” she screamed at him. She breathed in and out thrice before facing him. “Look, I don’t know who you are and why I’m so grumpy right now. I am normally a very nice person but my head is throbbing. Ugh! My friend must have put something on my punch and my phone is lost. Damn it!”
‘She talks way to too fast for a drunk person’ thought the guy. “Of course there was. There’s always booze on the punches. You should know that, Ms. Doctor Who fan.” He winked at her then and she almost lost it when he started talking again. “Bu-bu-but you just need to calm down, miss. I’m here to help you, uh, look for your, er, phone right?” He was raising both of his arms as if she would bite while he looks for that freaking phone. “Where the hell is it?” he thought.
Luckily, he found a metallic rectangular prism protruding on the living room’s center table. “Ha! Found it!” Veronica was on her feet running for her phone and was disappointed when she raised the thing and found it to be a large box of condoms. She stared at it helplessly and blinked a lot of times before the guy realized that she must have been quietly sobbing.
If there was one thing that the guy was good at, aside from annoying other people, it was pickpocketing. He was about to tell her earlier that he was joking but the girl was as swift as his talent and was too late to correct his mistake. Now, he doesn’t know what to do. He was an asshole. Everybody in the room knows that except for this new girl he hasn’t seen before. Now he made her cry. ‘Great. Just great’ he thought.
He was too distracted with his thoughts he did not see the girl tackling him until she was on top of him and was shouting, “I will kill you!” at the top of her lungs. It was more of a chant really. Her face was animated and it’s as if she was part of a tribal cult ready to serve his soul to the devils below.
In that moment, he was left with two options: 1) laugh and 2) scream. He did both. This attracted the unwanted attention of most people in the living room. They started piling up encircling the two of them. Most of the people yelled “Ni-cho-las, Ni-cho-las, Ni-cho-las!”
“What the actual crap is happening here?” asked Veronica’s friend Ari who was bemused and proud of Veronica for the first time. “Are you two making-out?”
“What the fuck are you doing Nicholas?” asked the bulky guy named Michael, his face masked in disgust.
“I am being assaulted for the second time by this mad woman and you’re asking me what I’m doing. My feelings are starting to come out of it shell, Michael. Thank you for asking!” cried Nicholas while trying to fight Veronica. He was kind of enjoying the whole scenario and wanted to prolong it.
“Why are you pretending to be weak when you could be on top of her?” demanded a bored Edward. The guy rolled his eyes and chugged a whole bottle of tequila.
“I’ve always been on top. Why can’t I be on the bottom for once?” Nicholas replied as a matter of fact.
“Fuck it. Stop it already!” muttered Veronica. She was now breathless and appears to be defeated. All she can do now was to glare at him, so she did.
Nicholas pushed Veronica away easily and sat on the floor. He peered at Veronica then looked up at Michael and said, “Fine. Just save me a booze for later. We’ll be back.”
“What?” sighed Veronica, still clutching the box of condoms in between her hands.
“Where the hell are you going?” Ari was now worried for her friend. This Nicholas guy is insane but she needs to find Sam first. If there was one thing she remembered from her weekly visits to her granny’s house it was that one can’t attack an enemy without a plan.
“Mind your own business people. We’re going to have a nice chitchat.” hissed Nicholas as he carried the speechless Veronica to his room away from the public’s scrutiny. The crowd scattered as fast as they were gathered.
“Wha--” started Veronica as she felt Nicholas’ strong hands carrying her to his bedroom and shut the door.
“Let’s start all over again. Please.”