Matt figured he was a people pleaser. Doing everything in his power to keep balance with the group, not wanting to upset one or anybody else. He always kept Emily pleased- well, borderline happy. He did try, he really did, but it always seemed as if she wasn't appreciative, as if he was never good enough for her high standards.
After the events at the Lodge, when her body wasn't found, he didn't know how to feel. Most of the gang hadn't made it, Jessica, Ashley, and Josh too. He grieved for them all, but not the girl he was supposed to be closest to. Not the girl who he was never good enough for.
He figured maybe it hadn't kicked in yet, maybe he was just feeling as he always had towards her. That maybe, even after she died he still felt not good enough. He racked his brain trying to think of one good time they spent together but came up short, the only memories he had were chasing after her to be rewarded with nothing.
He was joined with Mike and Chris one of the following nights after the tragedy, all three of them were drinking, Chris quiet as he listened to Mike blather for the seventh time that night how he could of saved Jessica if he was only ran faster.
Chris wasn't in any way sober either, chugging another beer and starting to tear up over Josh seconds later.
"..man i just feel so guilty" he paused looking over to Mike who had a pained expression on his face, lowering his head into his hands. Chris continued talking, obviously the alcohol had an effect on him to finally talk about things, "i could of saved him... And now he's gone..."
Matt vaguely remembered Emily reaching for his hand with a terrified expression on her face, but he couldn't do anything, he just jumped to safety and let her fall.
He took a sip of his drink and tried to forget about it.
The next morning he woke up on Chris's apartment floor, his back sore and his head pounding. Checking his phone, it was still early the sun just coming up but there was no reason to stay, he had a whole day of feeling guilty and figuring out his emotions.
With a tired groan he stood up, gathered his things and headed for the door.
He got invited to Mike's place the next day. He figures spending the entire day in his room alone with the lights off due to his terrible hangover... wasn't a good enough reason to stay home either; the twenty messages from Mike were proving it too.
His stomach lurched uncomfortably and his eyes felt heavy.. As well as his head. The thought of standing up was getting less possible each minute he contemplated the pros of going over.
Cons: having to walk to the bus stop hungover and feeling like he was going to spill the contents of his stomach over his bedroom floor.
Another buzz came from his phone and even if the screens brightness was all the way down, he still flinched when it opened.
"Dude we can Netflix and chill, i promise there won't be anymore alcohol involved"
Matt clicked off his screen and internally thought he might need some if he was going to spend the afternoon with him.
He texted back a quick reply and flopped over with another groan.
About an hour later, he found himself at Mike's apartment. His mood wasn't his usual cheery one; mostly hungover and kind of not feeling all the lights that were on in his living room.
Mike had drank more than him the night before and he looked completely unfazed. Which occupied Matt's mind for the while that Mike took to choose the movie.
The movie kind of slipped his mind as he sat at one end of the couch with Mike on the other end. His legs were stretched out onto the coffee table in front of them with his arms leaning over the backrest, his t-shirt riding up; stomach slightly visible.
Mike looked over as soon as he looked away, appearing pretty suspicious as he wasn't even looking in the direction of the movie at this point. When he heard mike start to reach for the controller he knew he noticed something was up.
"Is everything okay, man?" He had his hands resting by his sides now, a slight look of concern dusting his features "you really haven't been paying attention."
Matt felt sick. His stomach was lurching more than before, And even after shutting off the lights a while ago, it sure wasn't helping. He didn't know what to say, he pressed his hand over his aching head and took a deep breath.
He didn’t know what urged him to start talking, it could've been the alcohol that was still in his system."I'm still pretty messed up over everything," he started to shake his head from side to side "If I'm being honest... It's over Emily. I haven't cried once since she died.. Or went missing, or whatever."
Mike didn't seem shocked in the least. He just nodded and kept listening.
"I feel terrible about not helping her but shit, man, she was saying some mean things to me, and honestly," Matt took a breath and looked up, leaning his cheek in his hand muffling his words. "She was being a total bitch"
He heard a laugh from the other side of the sofa. Mike was staring at him with a slight grin,
"That's pretty fucked up man, but, you know, she was never the nicest person. That was part of the reason we broke up in the first place."
He went to cut him off, he wanted to tell him he was guilty, that he felt terrible because he couldn't feel anything for her when he found out she was dead. That everyday it felt like there was a weight draped on his shoulders with the vaguest memory of them together.
"I understand how you feel. Kind of like you should have tried harder, huh? When I got to Jess after she was dragged off, she was already dead," He flung his arms over the back of the sofa and sighed,
"I keep thinking if I was only faster, maybe I could of saved her," he paused, thinking for a brief moment before opening his lips again.
"But... it's weird now, because I didn't feel anything when she died either. Mostly the shock kind of hurt me a bit... But then nothing, as if I was moving on-- but really fast... it's just weird."
Mike suddenly stood up, "I really need a drink-- I know I said we wouldn't, but you look like you could really use one right now."
Matt laughed lowly and leaned against the arm of the sofa. It felt nice to have some relief, knowing that he wasn't the only one that felt this way.
As Mike reappeared with two shot glasses and a bottle in hand, Matt breathed a sigh of relief.
If he was drunk he wouldn't have to worry for a bit. So why not get shitfaced to forget about everything- yeah that sounded pretty good.
After the first shot the pain in his head seemed to subside slightly, but thinking on how he would have to deal with yet another hangover the next morning almost ruined the moment. He was distracted with Mike pouring more clear liquid into his tiny glass then his own setting down the bottle with a thump against the table and then quickly knocking it back.
Matt did the same, drinking the liquid down, and wincing at the afterburn in his throat.
Approximately twenty two minutes later he felt heavy enough to never move again, and when he did, he was sluggish, feeling like he was going to fall over if he stood up too long.
The shots were abandoned by now and Mike had finally chosen a movie, Matt only paying attention when the other would laugh too hard at a part that he found extremely hilarious. Matt's attention was focused on something else, more so, somebody else. It was probably the alcohol teasing at his frail thoughts but he seemed to be focused on the other more than he was before.
After a couple drinks- They started making out, he didn't remember the details but sometime after his fourth (or maybe fifth shot) they started talking- about something , his mind was hazy all he knew is that it led to Mike leaned over him knee in between his thighs. With one hand on his jaw he slid one down his neck to the buttons on his varsity jacket popping open one at a time. He remembered Emily hating his jacket, always saying it looked awful and that he should change, he snapped out of his thought when mike's lips left his to mark down his neck. Matt placing a hand in his hair and one under his chin to coax him back up to capture his lips once more. Their lips busy Mike smirked and moved his free hand down to the bulge in his jeans, running his palm over the hard length underneath, his hand slipping under both layers to pull it out, running his hand along it using his thumb to tease at the head,
"I’ll help you forget about her..." Mike looked up at him with prying eyes and Matt almost believed he could- well, he wanted to believe he could. His mind was finally registering the situation they were in, he felt the alcohol still burning on his tongue, the slur of his words as he spoke… but, things were getting too out of hand. They needed to stop this.
"Mike- come on stop, i don't know about this.." Trying to bat Mike’s hands away and fix up his open jeans, the other persisted, continuing his motions against his length. Moving down onto his elbows for a better angle.
"Stopping means... having to pause and think about things, again, so.... no thanks"
Leaning closer with a coy smile he licked a line up him, Matt flinching and grabbing onto the couch underneath them, "Besides you'll probably change your mind after i start."
In that moment… He decided he didn't care anymore, he was trying to convince himself that he needed this…
Matt laced his hand into Mike's half stuck up hair, as a sign for him to start whatever he was about to do. Mike just let out a small laugh and took in as much as he could before moving off to tease his tongue against the head. He heard a pleased moan coming from Matt, thinking to himself that he was probably doing something right.
He went home that night still slightly dazed and feeling dirty. He didn’t feel any better about what had happened at the cabin, in fact. Worse.
A lot worse.