three-person shower

originally printed in issue #1 of 'no prizes' edited by ian heames


Jeremy didn’t want to go to the bar. He opened his mouth to say this but nothing came out.

“So is it Donohue’s or the University Bar,” asked Emily. She had already had five glasses of boxed wine and had told Jeremy that she was seeing double. She laughed when she said this, and was leaning against Page as her phone made a sound.

Jeremy texted Leah, “We’re thinking about going to the bars now. Where are you?”

“It’s Susan,” yelled Emily. “She’s coming! She’s coming!”

Nailah walked out of her room wearing a new outfit. “What do you guys think? Does this look okay?”

“You look hot,” the girls said in unison, Emily’s words a little more slurred. Jeremy looked at Nailah and something about her was nauseating him. It was the shot of whiskey he just took, it settled with a calm antipathy in his stomach. A thing both repulsing and sexual.

“I’m already at Donohue’s,” said Leah via text. “Just call me when you get here.”

Page opened the door for Susan who boisterously announced she was reeling. Everyone was drunk. It seemed horrifying to Jeremy, the fact that these girls were all so drunk. What am I going to do with my life?

They played slap the bag for three rounds and it became obvious that Page was going to fuck Nailah and that Nailah was into it.

Jeremy couldn’t stop thinking about Leah. He texted her again, “Who are you with?”

“A couple of friends, Kayleigh, Adam. A boy I went to high school with.”

Seems bleak.

They eventually walked out of the apartment and began down Oxford Rd. towards the bars. The girls kept yelling and flirting with each other. Emily ran to Jeremy and grabbed his hand. “Kiss me,” she said, while jumping in an out-of-control chipmunk-like manner.

Jeremy smiled and kissed her, then again, then again. Emily smiled and walked backwards holding up at him from sensitive nerve endings, then turned around briskly, her long auburn hair catching the wind a little as she did. She ripped herself from Jeremy’s hands and ran towards Page whispering something in her ear.

Susan and Nailah were holding hands at this point.

I just want to die. My ear hurts. Everything seems so loud.

Nailah paid for Jeremy to get into Donohue’s. He wondered around for the most part aimlessly but searching for Leah a little. He saw her, but she didn’t see him. He walked to the dancefloor and looked at the bar. “Umbrella” by Rihanna was playing and three football players were surrounding a skinny Ibex in short shorts. It grinded on one of them while the others cheered.

Jeremy walked to the bar and asked Emily to buy him a whiskey and Coke.

“You know I don’t like how you get when you drink whiskey.”

“Just one whiskey?”

“Okay, but like, only beer after this.”

The Ibex in short shorts was grinding on another football player, who was holding what appeared to be a mimosa in his right hand. He high-fived another football player and they smiled wildly at various things, then the mimosa footballer looked at the Ibex’s ass as it turned and also looked at its ass grinding against his crotch rhythmically. R-Kelly’s “Ignition” began playing and everyone screamed so loudly.

“What happens if you think you’re falling for a girl, but you don’t, like, feel gay,” said Nailah. She had been making out with Susan three minutes before. Emily was sitting on Jeremy’s lap.

“I think that’s for you to decide,” said Emily.

“Do you think I should sleep with her?”

“Yes,” said Page, “She’s hot.”

Jeremy looked back and saw Leah and Kayleigh at a table just inside. He whispered in Emily’s ear and she stood up to let him walk. He walked inside past the bouncer and toward Leah. Leah saw him approaching and smiled. “Jeremy,” she yelled and stood to hug him. Kayleigh seemed nervous. There were two other younger-looking guys sitting at their table. Kayleigh gave Jeremy a hug too. “This is my girlfriend, Emily,” said Jeremy as he noticed her approaching somewhat from behind. Everyone was introduced and the boy Leah went to high school with was Patrick.

"Are you really leaving tomorrow," said Leah.

"Yeah," said Jeremy.

"For how long?"

Jeremy looked at Emily. "Indefinitely."

Jeremy sat down. He talked. Other people talked. Leah looked at him wantingly. Leah looked at him sadly. She asked questions. Emily answered them. Jeremy kind of slid his hand near Leah’s and she took it. Everything is hidden from us.

Jeremy walked inside and passed the dancefloor on the way to the bathroom. The Ibex was dancing alone and gave Jeremy an acutely sexual look. It grabbed Jeremy and pulled him in for a crotch-to-crotch grind. Jeremy looked nervously out the window. Emily and Leah were talking to each other, laughing. Jeremy pushed away from the Ibex, “I have to go to the bathroom.”

“Bbbbbbraaaaahhhhhaaaahaaammm,” the Ibex bleated, disappointed. It strutted over to another football player who was sitting down and grabbed his jersey. He smiled.

What is the true nature of friendship, and when can the metaphysical line between friend and lover be drawn? Love is not real and metaphysics even refers to something deeper than itself. What are the consequences of these feelings? What would be the benefit of taking Leah at the expense of Emily? Is there such a thing as a benefit? What do positive versus negative emotions have to do with anything? Choice is still the determinant. I just want her, I’ve dreamed of it. I’ve dreamed of us.

Jeremy walks out of the bathroom. Jeremy talks to Emily and Leah and Patrick. Jeremy walks outside and lights a cigarette. Nailah is blackout drunk. Susan says to Page, “Give me the keys I’m taking her home. Give me the keys.”

“Okay,” Page gives Susan the keys. Emily comes outside. Page looks nervous. Nailah is so drunk. Nailah will not like to wake up to having sexually experimented with a girl. Jeremy whispers a thing in Susan’s ear. “Okay,” says Susan. “Of course, yeah I’ll be right back.”

Jeremy and Emily make out.

Susan and Emily are yelling about skinny-dipping in the reflecting pool on the mall and jumping and screaming. Page went home with Eric the Communist and a weird Zen-seeming creeper replaced her. They walk to campus. Jeremy manically messages Leah, “We’re going skinny dipping on the mall. I don’t want to do this. Save me.”

“Me and Patrick are on the roof of the Fitzgerald building. Come up here.”

“I can’t let two drunk girls skinny dip on the mall with a creeper and no lookout. This is fucked.”

“Okay, well I’ll see you later.”

They will get stoned and fuck tonight, just like in high school.

Emily and Susan are naked. Susan throws her thong at Jeremy’s face. She is six-feet tall and her legs are exactly half of her full-length and geometrically unparalleled to anything even described vaguely in myths, Jeremy thinks, in the moonlight. The sketchy Zen guy strips down to his boxers and starts singing. Jeremy stands, smokes, looks nervously around.

“Baby, get in here with me,” says Emily. “No that’s okay,” says Jeremy. He kisses her. She backs into the water, conveying an attempt at being sexy. She slips and falls into Susan’s lap. They start to make out. The Zen guy hoots.

Leah and Patrick come down the mall—they hold hands—as the girls and Zen guy are putting their clothes back on.

“How was your swim,” asks Patrick.

“Uh, amazing,” says Susan. “Where is my thong?”

Later. At Emily’s apartment, she, Susan and Jeremy shower together then lay in bed naked. Jeremy can’t sleep. He gets up to get a drink.

Jeremy can’t feel the left side of his face.

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