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Threat Of Joy

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A New Year. 2004. And there he was cheering, clinking a bottle of beer with his girlfriend. My heart clenched seeing him kiss her. God, I wish that were me in his arms. I wish I was tasting that alcohol and cigarette on his tongue. I just wanted him to myself.

It was fucking New Year's day and I was sulking again, typical. I was like this at any party Julian and I went to.

"Sammy, what's wrong?" Fab came up putting an arm around me, stumbling over his own feet. Obviously drunk. I looked at him with a masked smile and shrugged.

"Nothing! Happy new year!!"

Fab raised his arms, a few drops of his beer trickling out of his bottle, "HAPPY NEW YEAR!" He wrapped his arms around my shoulders and gave me a sloppy kiss on the cheek.

So that was my new years kiss. On the fucking cheek and not from Julian.

I guess I should really clear up the history I've got with these four boys who call themselves the Strokes. I was just a kid really, around eighteen years old when I met them. I was in college, I had met Fab first who did a lot of art and crap like that. We'd hang out together and his friends Nick, Nikolai, Albert and Julian.

The moment I had laid eyes on Julian; I could feel my heart race. It was like something had changed in me. Maybe it was the way he held his cigarette so delicately or the way his lips wrapped around his bottle of alcohol. The way he stood and held himself made me think he wasn't in the most greatest state but- his hair, his eyes. Everything about him pulled me towards him.

It was literally love at first sight. As cliche as that sounds.

At least, for me it was. Not so much for Julian. He rarely ever spoke to me, it took me a few months to have normal small talk with him.

"I don't want to talk much about myself in my songs but I do y'know?" He shrugged looking off to the side and downing the rest of his drink. We both sat on a sofa at a house party that Fab's friend had thrown.

"Sometimes it helps accepting some things," I stated with a shrug and taking a drag from my cigarette.

He scoffed and sunk lower into his seat, "right like singing about my dad will help me? Hell no." He took another lazy sip of a second beer he had. At that time I was still surprised and impressed by how much alcohol he could intake into that limp body of his. I think the only reason why he was opening up to me that night was because he was so goddamn drunk.

Looking back at it, it feels strange because now him and I are closer. Not as close as I'd like but close enough to where him and I could spend time alone. But even then it would be weird considering he had a girlfriend with him.

I hated it when he started dating her. Don't get me wrong, I was happy for him but god was he such a downer without her which made me doubt the possibility of ever being with him. And yet, here I am. In love with this alcoholic, emotional, torn man who wears his heart on his sleeve when it comes to his lyrics.

"Well if it isn't sammy," his drunken voice made me come back to reality AKA depression city. Before I turned around to face the love of my life I put on a fake smile and gripped my cup harder. Turning around, there he stood with a beer in his hand and a cigarette between two fingers in the same hand. Seems like Colleen, his girlfriend wasn't with him which made me thank the lord mentally. Julian's hair looked wet, probably just greasy though from the lack of showering he did. His jeans were battered up including his shoes and yet he had a button up shirt with a grey tie.

"Well don't you look spiffed up," I said with a chuckle eyeing at the gaping hole on the knees of his jeans. Julian looked down and chuckled waving a hand at me.

"This old thing? Please, I only wear it when i plan on getting laid."

My heart stung.

"Well then," my voice shook, "perfect timing since its new year right?" I joked. Julian shrugged and shut his eyes, he was so pissed; I would have been laughing if I wasn't so mad at him for not getting laid with me.

"I'm not too sure where Colleen went," he said with a pout. I almost said who cares but being the adult I am I offered to help him look for her. In this state he wouldn't be able to find jack shit. But it had only been about four minutes before I saw her exiting this hallway where I knew the bathroom was. Dragging Julian over to her, Colleen said hi to me and grabbed onto Julian.

"He was whining saying he couldn't find you," I said with a laugh. Colleen smiled looking pleased that Julian was in need of her. She was one of those girlfriends that kind of acted like a mother, she was always making sure Julian was okay and if he got hammered she was there for him patting his back as he threw up into a bathroom stall. Colleen really is a nice girl, I can see why Julian had picked her. She was fun, lovable and was a drunk herself. Before she had came along Julian and I would see how many shots we could take before one of us gave up but when he met Colleen that kind of stopped and he started doing it with her.

Now there's a reason why I don't like her.

She gets to hang out with him 24/7, playing OUR drinking game and she gets to sleep with him. Basically everything i want.

"I was worried sick that you would leave and that I wouldn't get laid tonight," Julian said leaning against the wall pushing his forehead into hers.

"Oh baby, i'd never do that, you know I wouldn't," she laughed kissing him harshly, I could feel my last shot crawling back up my throat seeing them and I rushed back to find Fab.

When will this night end?

I found Fab outside having a smoke, leaning on the bar on the balcony; I joined him by stealing his cigarette and taking a drag.

"This party kind of sucks," I said with a sigh. Fab took his cig back and shrugged,

"I'm enjoying myself. I don't know why you aren't having a good time," he said with pout. I looked at him with knowing eyes and it clicked, his eyes widened, eyebrows raised and his mouth formed an 'o' at his realization.

Fab knows of my crush on Julian. I told him the moment I had feelings for Julian just because Fab was my roommate in college and just a super close friend. I was even offered a job as the Strokes assistant-which I took and still work as today. Fab is just an easy person to talk to, he listens for the most part. Except for when he's high or drunk, then he kinda does his own thing.

"He's probably banging Colleen right now," I said with a harsh laugh looking down the balcony considering if I should jump off it and kill myself.

"He's too shit-faced to fuck anyone. He doesn't get hard when he's drunk," Fab chuckled. I laughed at the thought that Fab would know something like that and took the last drag of his cigarette before dropping it and crushing it with the tip of my shoe.

"You wanna go, Sammy?" He asked putting an arm around me. I sighed and nodded.

"Yeah. Might as well. If I stay here I'll end up with a worse hangover tomorrow morning," Fab chuckled at me and patted my back as he left the house without saying goodbye to anyone. "Are you sure you're safe to drive?" I asked cautiously. He smiled and nodded,
"I'm in full control of my faculties. The drinks wore off a bit. Be proud of me, Samantha, I barely drank tonight." I rolled my eyes and gave him a slow clap followed by a laugh.

"Could you drop me off at my place?" I asked when we entered his car.

"You don't want to stay with me tonight?" He asked with a frown as he started up his car. I sunk into my seat and crossed my arms,

"honestly...I just want to be alone tonight."

Fab gave me a quiet okay and the rest of the ride was silent till he stopped in front of my crummy apartments.

"Thanks Fabby," I said sweetly pecking his cheek earning a gentle smile from him and getting out the car.

"Hope you feel better, Sam. Get some sleep." I waved bye and walked up stairs to my room. Unlocking the door and fumbling in, i locked the door behind me and found my way to my room in the pitch dark. Falling face first into my bed I sighed loudly and moaned.

Like i would get some sleep with Julian swimming around in my head.