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The Party

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Times like this, Jeremy began to realize that maybe it was his luck that was the problem. To be fair, it was the main source of all his problems. It was just his luck to get a glitchy hivemind put in his head last year; It was just his luck to be laying on Brooke’s couch right now, feeling like he was going to vomit. The girl was nowhere to be found, but here is where a paranoid Jeremy lay, sprawled out on the piece of furniture as the room around him spun and altered. The voices of the other party-goers seemed to slow and distort a bit, like the world was in slow motion and some sort of editing software fucked up the audio. He could feel some people looking at him, which made him feel even worse. Jeremy groaned a little at all the noise and covered his ears as he closed his eyes.

Focus, Jeremy, focus. If he could remember what made him feel this way, he was one step closer to solving his problem. What was making him feel like this? He felt this strange buzzing in his stomach, and his physical state worsened. God, he felt like he was going to die . He rolled to see if going to a simple party and trying to be a cool, hip, senior would be a success but got a Nat2.

Did he eat something laced with anything? He didn’t eat much while here and probably hasn’t been here any longer than a few hours. Nothing but a… He tried to think. Fuck, even Jeremy’s thoughts were slowing down. He had nothing but… A… Handful of popcorn, he remembered that because Brooke had offered it, and… A beer or two, wanting to be social and rad, but Jeremy had kept a watchful eye on his drinks tonight, so they definitely weren’t drugged. Was he drunk? Nah, couldn’t be, he’s a lightweight but not an amateur. The SQUIP made him drink at a few parties before. That was when just two beers would get him absolutely hammered.

What was it then? Oh no…Was it…?

He groaned again and furrowed his eyebrows, mentally kicking himself for being so stupid. The brownies: He accidentally ate a couple of pot brownies and now everything was hitting him. Hard . God, that makes so much sense now, no wonder they were so small! The distorted voices, the room feeling foggy, his eyes feeling heavy, thinking everyone was watching him— He was high! He had to call someone, or at least send a text. This was the worst high he’s ever had. 

Jeremy turned onto his side as he attempted to get up, a cloud of fog seemingly making its way onto the other side of his brain as he did so, his glasses going askew. He felt like he was going to be stuck on this couch forever but still pressed onward. An elbow connected with leather. Good job Jer, halfway there. The sound of his skin unsticking to the couch made him laugh and he found himself stuck again, slapping his palm onto the warm leather just to hear the sound it made when he peeled his hand off. Eventually, he was able to finally sit up, and after some more effort and the powerful work his two brain remaining brain cells were doing, stand.

Well, this was the last time he decided to be social. You don’t get high by accident staying home by yourself, that’s for sure.

He had to make a phone call, but first, he had to be in a quiet space. There were too many people…  Too much noise…They were gonna judge him, he knew it… All this paranoia and loud ass music, it all hurt his ears— And where was Brooke? Did she just leave him? No, that wasn’t like her. She’ll probably be back— Maybe he should stay here and wait?

Suddenly, a loud crash was heard, as if a glass had broken. It made Jeremy jump. His eyes dashed over to the sound, his heart rapidly thumping. Two girls had been arguing over something, Jeremy noticed, one was obviously drunk, she was stumbling a bit. The other— He squinted, desperately trying to keep his eyes open. God, it was hard to concentrate— was lecturing her about something. They looked similar, perhaps they were sisters? The first girl had knocked over a vase, that’s what made the sound. He was totally tripping. Jeremy couldn’t stay here, he had to leave. He was starting to feel as if the walls were closing in on him.

A hand had touched his arm, making him jump and spin around toward it. His hazel eyes traveled up the cardigan donned arm until it reached a familiar face. Well, somewhat familiar. Everything was foggy. Fuck, how many brownies did he eat, man? And who was this person suddenly— Oh! Oh thank god, it was Brooke! She looked at him with concerned eyes.

“Jeremy, are you okay?” She asked, holding him steady, a cup of water in her other hand. Her voice was sweet and gentle, it made Jeremy feel safe. His brain suddenly felt like it was lagging and Brooke’s grip on his shoulder tightened. Oh, Jesus, he was swaying a bit! He could’ve fallen over if Brooke wasn’t holding him still.

“Muh,” was all he could get out before he cracked a smile and started trying to lay back down on the couch. So comfy, but sticky when hot (Jeremy certainly felt hot. Too hot) what a weird concept for something to relax on!

Brooke’s eyes grew wider. “Jeremy?”

Jeremy must’ve blacked out for a second because suddenly he was being dragged upstairs. Brooke said something about him needing a quiet place or something. Jeremy couldn’t really understand much over the hazy sounding music, but he heard that.

The room was colder than the room with all the party-goers, it felt nice against Jeremy’s hot skin. Brooke sat him down and propped him up against the headboard, lifting him up a bit only to squeeze a pillow behind his back for comfort.

She looked on with worried eyes, extending the water to him. “Jeremy sweetie, are you okay?”

Jeremy took the water gingerly before sipping it slowly. Her voice was comforting, he noticed. It was almost like his mom’s voice. That’s a weird-ass thought, considering they made out a bunch of times… And did some other things… Does that mean he has an Oedipus complex? He’s getting off track here. “I’m okay now. Just… Feeling… Funny.” He muttered out.

“Funny?”

“Brooke, look,” he smiled a little at the rhyme before continuing, “I know you’re trying to help, but I’m fine…” 

A cloudy film covered over his eyes as the clouds outside blocked out the moonlight. Brooke got up to turn on the lamp in the corner of her desk, knowing Jeremy was slightly scared of the dark when he got high. It was coming on a little better now, he could feel it. The euphoria was slowly pouring in and he began to feel kinda sluggish, maybe because it was so calm and quiet up here in Brooke’s room. Jeremy came to a party to have fun, true, but sitting here high with just Brooke was when he finally started to relax. All the panic and raving downstairs stressed him out. 

He smiled a bit. “Can we just… I don’t know, play truth or dare or something?”

Brooke giggled. “Truth or dare? What are we, middle schoolers?”

That made him laugh. God, if only he was in middle school again. That’s when times were so much more simple. They were in their senior year of high school now, on their way to Middleborough College, but then what comes next? Jeremy didn’t want to think about it. Hell, he didn’t even know what he wanted to take in college, not even thinking about what’ll come after.

“Yeah,” he laughed, which forced a snort passed his lips. “Go ahead, ask me.”

Brooke rolled her eyes. “Okay then, Jeremy, truth or dare?” She took the water back from him and put it on the bedside table before going around the other side of the bed and sitting beside him, against the headboard.

“Truth.”

“Bitch boy.”

“What?” Jeremy burst into laughter. “How am I a bitch boy?”

She cackled, “You brought up the game, you’re supposed to pick dare!” Nonetheless, she rolled her eyes and began to think. Jeremy prepared himself for the worst, but Brooke’s playful grin slowly turned into a solemn frown. She furrowed her eyebrows, looking onto the other side of the room before flicking her dark brown eyes over at Jeremy. “Hey, you remember how we used to… Y’know… Because of the SQUIP?”

Jeremy frowned too, furrowing his eyebrows as well, his hazel eyes looking into hers. He felt so bad during that time. He’s always really liked Brooke, but it’s true. The SQUIP made him pursue her for social high school status. Thinking about it sent a shiver down his shock scars on his back. “U-Uh… Yeah…?”

“Did…” She seemed to be second-guessing herself. “Nevermind—”

“No!” He exclaimed, panicking slightly. “I-I mean… Please, ask it, it seems serious.”

She turned away and began playing with her hair. “Well…” Sneaking glances, she wet her lips before beginning again. “I-I… I shouldn’t be asking this while you’re high or anything, or even during a stupid game of truth or dare, but… I’ve always wondered.” Brooke faced him fully now. “Did you… Did you… Really, like me?”

That felt like a gut punch. Ouch Jeremiah, fucking ouch. Though he knew the answer, he let his brain think it over, as if his decision would change somehow. Brooke is so sweet: She’s kind, she’s considerate, and she even has a sort of geeky side to her. He recalled that time she invited him over to her house and they played Mortal Kombat together in this very room. Nodding slightly, he faced her as well.

“Of course I did, Brooke.” He made sure to sound sincere, despite his funny bone being tickled right now. Jeremy let out a soft laugh, “I mean, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be asking you to play truth or dare with me right now.”

That made her grin ear to ear. She leaned over and gave his cheek a peck, making Jeremy’s face a little hot. He forgot that she kissed her friends too. Cute, warm, platonic kisses. Why did Brooke have to be so cute and soft? Girls were a weakness to him. 

“Thanks, Jer.” She sprawled over his legs. “My turn! I pick dare. Unlike someone in this room, I’m no bitch.”

Grinning as well, Jeremy took a few locks of her hair between his fingers and began lacing them together, thinking of a dare to give her. “I dare youuuu toooo…”

Jeremy was officially entering the silly zone. In fact, he was officially Mayor of The Silly Zone. Self-elected, but still. As he glanced about the room his eyes landed on her dog’s old, nasty bed. It’s been forever since they last cleaned it and it’s been forever since they last gave that poor dog a bath. His grin grew wider. This would gross her out severely.

“Lick that.” He pointed over towards it, Brooke’s eyes following before she shrieked.

“No!”

“Bitch boy.”

“Shut UP!” She nearly screamed. Both of them burst into a fit of giggles. “I’m not licking my dog’s bed!”

Jeremy smirked. “You picked dare, you gotta do it!”

Brooke took a deep breath, pouted for a bit, before getting up from her position on the bed. She inhaled once more before, begrudgingly, walking over to her dog’s bed, picking it up, and quickly licking it, sending Jeremy into a snorting laugh mess. She let out a squeak as her face shriveled up.

“That was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever done in my life!

Jeremy was almost out of breath. “I-I can’t believe you—” He couldn’t finish his sentence he was laughing so hard.

 


 

Several rounds of truth or dare later, Jeremy and Brooke were on the ground, surrounded by pillows and feathers, giggling (well in Jeremy’s case, wheezing) with glee. This is the most fun he’s had in a long time, and it was just sitting here in Brooke’s room playing truth or dare with her. His high was coming to a low, but his spirits certainly weren’t. Maybe the drinks they both shared was the cause for that, maybe he was actually enjoying himself at a party for once.

Brooke turned over to him, her chin resting on the nest of her arms. “Okay, your turn again. I know you’re gonna pick truth because you picked dare last time, so here’s your question.”

Jeremy sputtered. “How did you know I was going to pick truth?”

“Because you’re weird and more importantly, you’re Jeremy and you like patterns.” She smiled up at him, causing him to smile back at her. “Everyone’s been dying to know this one. Are you and Michael gonna… You know…”

Jeremy did not know. He raised an eyebrow. “Huh?”

“Oh my god, you don’t know?”

“No…?”

“Are you gonna… I don’t know— Date or hookup or whatever it is you nerds do?” Brooke then backpedaled a bit, afraid that she might’ve offended Jeremy in a way. “You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to! It’s just— I don’t know… You two seem so close all the time, the squad thought that maybe you would be…” She trailed off. “I’m sorry, this is invasive, you don’t have to—”

“I don’t know,” Jeremy answered honestly with furrowed eyebrows.

Truth be told, he never really noticed any attraction toward guys before, let alone Michael. He remembered growing up being told that he was going to marry a nice woman, or that he’ll find a nice girl eventually. For some reason, he never really realized that being with a guy was even… Possible. I mean, of course it was possible, he thought to himself. Gay marriage exists and is legal. He knows of gay famous people, like Ellen Page or Neil Patrick Harris, so it was obviously possible for them. But for some reason he felt like it wasn’t possible for him . Was he straight? Was he gay? Was there some other option, some middle ground? He didn’t know.

“I never really… Thought I could even date a guy,” he mumbled, thinking out loud as he stared up at the ceiling. “I mean, I guess Michael’s okay, I just… I never really…”

The more he thought about it, the more intrigued he seemed to become. Girls are hot, that’s a definite yes. He’s thought that since like, 6th grade. He did seem weirdly attached to some actors, like Chris Hemsworth. or Tom Hiddleston. But was that because they played Thor and Loki, or was that because he was gay? He can’t be gay though, he likes girls.

“Is there…” He turned towards Brooke, who was looking at him with the utmost concern. “Is there… Like… An option for people who like both?”

She perked up a little bit. “You mean like bisexual?”

“Bisexual.”

He needed to call someone.