Since the day they finally started talking at the coffee shop, and exchanged numbers, Charles realized Laura was the first girl he’d ever been so free with. Of course he had many friends who were girls but he was never so close to anyone of them. He never felt at ease with any girl before; he never felt the way he did in Laura’s presence, so free yet so restrained, so relaxed yet so on edge. He felt like he knew everything about her and yet felt like she was hiding something from him.
They talked on the phone for hours every day, about themselves and their friends, their aspirations and accomplishments. As they opened up to each other about their past, present and future, Charles realised how different she was from him. While he was shy and reserved, she was outgoing and had five times the friends he had. She loved partying and spending time with friends at the club, drinking and dancing the night away during weekends. She lived with her five roommates in Windenburg, which was in fact Charles’ hometown and that only surprised him for he’d never met her before despite living in the same town! What they never talked about was her family, and Charles was quite keen to know about them, considering his ‘family-oriented’ trait.
He, on the other hand told her everything about his parents. He even talked about her with his dad- who was also his best friend- and told him how she brought out the ‘wild child’ in him. And she did, indeed.
One Friday evening, she called him up and invited him to a party down at the Bluffs organized by the Partihaus club. Charles had never heard of them before and when he admitted that to Laura, she burst out laughing.
Clearly it wasn’t for Charles. He never cared about being in clubs; it simply wasn’t his thing. But he pretended to sound excited for Laura. “Hell yeah that’s great!”
“I’ll ask her if she can get you in, too!”
“Ugh… that won’t be…”necessary, he thought but instead said, “… too bad! That will be great actually! I’d love to be a part of Partihose!”
“Haus…. Partihaus!” she replied, giggling
That night he got drunk like never before and danced wildly until his feet ached and head started spinning. He returned home at four in the morning and crashed on the couch. When he finally managed to open his eyes it was already noon! “I’m so wasted” he groaned. For a split second a thought crossed his mind, I’m not meant for this, I’m never going to any of these parties ever again! But then he blinked and realized that that meant never seeing Laura again, and he convinced himself right away, that he would pretend to be someone else just for her…