I lunge at Kurt and we fall in a tumble of arms and legs. I haven’t been this angry in a very long time. Hurting him is on the forefront of my mind.
Getting the upper hand, I’m above him. He’s splayed on the ground below me and I let my fist fly, smashing against his nose. Immediately, it bleeds, sending red liquid down into his mouth and all over his neck seeping into his shirt.
“Shit!” he screams. “You broke my fuckin’ nose!”
Movement out of the corner of my eye grabs my attention. Standing above the both of us is Alessandra. Her cup is tipping up to her lips for a drink while her eyes glare down at the two of us. Her expression isn’t surprised or horrified; it’s bored, like she’s seen this kind of thing a million times.
The entire party has encircled us at a very safe distance. My focus returns and I calm down. I peer around because I sense a slew of eyes gawking at me. It’s quiet; even the music is turned off. I’m one of those guys!
I have crossed the line. I have turned into an asshole like Kurt. I am the one stirring the shit, making a scene, making the whole party uncomfortable for everyone. I have done the exact thing that I criticize others for.
“Are you done?” Alessandra is annoyed.
“Troy! What the hell!?”
Jake takes hold of my forearm and hauls me up. Kurt’s hands are plastered to his nose where the blood is gushing out. A blond girl I don’t know hands him a tissue.
The ride back to the dorm is silent. Jake is pissed at me and Alessandra… she doesn’t seem mad or anything but she has a faraway look in her tipsy eyes. We get off the elevator and Jake goes straight to his room. Alessandra and I go to mine. I can’t take the quiet anymore.
“I’m sorry,” I confess.
I toss my keys in the bowl by the door and check my watch. It has barely been two hours since we left. Alessandra is in my mini-fridge taking out a beer.
“Whoa.” I walk to her. “I think you’ve…” Alessandra’s lips crush mine and the can in her fingers hits the floor. She is all over me. I gently pull her arms away. “Hold on a sec.” She easily slips her arms out of my grasp and wraps them back around my neck. She leans in again kissing me. It’s amazing… but wrong. I unwrap her body from mine. “I think we should call it a night.”
Alessandra’s eyes drift open at my words. A mix of emotion is there— hurt, exhaustion, fear. Her arms fall to her sides, seemingly too heavy for her to hold up anymore. Her eyes close and beneath her lashes little tiny tears drop.
Amy Rachiele is a military spouse and brat who spent many years volunteering and on staff for the Army National Guard and Department of Veteran Affairs with family support, family readiness, as well as, families of the Fallen. Amy devoted 10 years to teaching at-risk students in the Providence School System. She holds a Master’s degree from Rhode Island College in English and Secondary Education. She volunteers her time at the local library facilitating a writer’s group in the hope of inspiring other writers. Besides writing, she enjoys scrapbooking, sewing, and traveling. Amy lives in Massachusetts with her son and husband.