I fell in love with Clara last night.. with her pair of blue eyes, and her beautiful golden hair.
I'm usually not the type of guy to enjoy the wild party scene. Unlike my brother, the fraternity star, I rarely left my dorm in college. See, my belief that my future income correlates with the amount of work in put in my studies had locked me up in my dorm room and in the library all day and night. I didn't have many friends, aside from my dorm-mates, but we had not kept in touch after we parted ways. After graduating from Washington University a little over a year ago, I have rented my own little apartment in a city called Kent in Washington and started working in an accounting firm nearby. There's really only one word to describe my life before last night: bland. Back in college, I had pictured my life now to be quite different. I thought I would have moved in with my girlfriend at the time, Lindsey, and started planning my marriage proposal to her. And the reality? I buy everything in one's: one toothbrush, one fork, one desk. My apartment sounds quite deserted other than occasional television noises. The loneliness doesn't bother me, really, until the end of the night on some nights, when I get into my bed and wish that I had someone to kiss goodnight.
Yesterday was my brother James's 21st birthday. He wanted to throw the best party that UCSB has ever seen, and I was cordially invited. So around noon, I flew down to Santa Barbara, rented a car, checked into my hotel room, and made my way to a place called Isla Vista, where my brother lives. I have never visited my brother in college before, nor been to Santa Barbara. Heck, I've only been to Southern California four times in my life, all for family vacations. I got my brother a golden crystal jaguar from Swarovski for him to decorate his dorm room with, and a meaningful card I stayed up the night before working on. Before arriving at his place, I stopped at the liquor store and bought a bottle of rum and a bottle of vodka. To be honest, I was quite nervous about going to this party. UCSB has a reputation of being a wild party school, and, look at me. I'm a grown adult with a stable job and minimal social interactions. I have completely outgrown my college days, not that I had ever fit in the college scene, anyway. But perhaps under the influence of alcohol, people won't notice me.
I got to Isla Vista around 5 PM. A tall, shirtless, and intimidatingly built guy answered the door. "Hey, what's up?" he half-yelled at me, squinting his eyes.
"Hi. I'm looking for James?"
"James? Who are you?"
"I'm his brother."
The muscular guy looked almost shocked, then he gave me a friendly laugh and welcomed me in, then disappeared.
James's place was a mess, as if there had been a party just the night before (he later confirmed that there was). I avoided stepping on random pieces of clothing and unknown, discolored liquid substances on the floor. I wandered around the building. It was a large, two-story house with many rooms inside it. The first floor consists of the living room and the kitchen, and the second floor the rooms. The doors to most rooms were open. I glanced inside them to look for James, and as I glanced in each room, I felt slightly guilty. The rooms were such messes, I felt rude for looking. I found James at the balcony at the end of the hallway, talking to a pretty blonde girl.
I cleared my throat and put on the most charming smile I can manage to, and pushed open the door leading to the balcony. James looked at me and gave me the same old big smile that he's had since he was a kid. It's no wonder that James is so attractive to girls. With a smile like that, he can make any girl's heart melt.
"Brother!" He yelled and embraced me, hugging me tightly. I haven't seen James in a long time, a few years. Since the last time I've seen him, he's become more built and tanned. More attractive, in general. I felt slightly self-conscious in his presence.
"Little brother! How have you been?"
"I've been great! I missed you a lot. So glad you made it out tonight!" He glanced at the girl next to him, "this is Judy, my girlfriend."
I shook Judy's hand. She's a stereotypical hot girl. Everything about her was unoriginal. It seems as if she had just jumped out of a teen college movie in which the whole script consists of partying. Nothing interesting to see there. I turned back to James and gave him his presents. He thanked me with that same smile, but even bigger.
"I'll leave you two lovebirds alone now," I said. I felt incredibly adult-like as I said these words. It was a weird sensation that made me feel slightly proud and slightly nostalgic. I had started to miss Lindsey. I wished that she had been there so I can drink and tell her how I much miss her then hook up with her, even though deep down, I know that I don't miss her at all.
I had nothing to do for three hours until the party started. I asked for directions to James's room and fell asleep there. I woke up when I heard people outside the room. It was time to go outside. So I got out of James's bed, ruffled my hair, and stepped outside.
Coming from inside James's room to outside in the wild was like crossing some magical border. I had not seen this many drunk people ever in my life. I squeezed my way down the stairs, and the whole way I stared in amazement. This was not like any WashU party I had been to. There were gaggles of drunk girls laughing hysterically, couples making out in all corners of the room, and people spilling alcohol everywhere. "You're awake!" a voice called behind me. Judy, drunk and laughing, approached me with a fifth of Bacardi 151 and shoved it in my face, "drink with me!"
I drank a little. It was disgusting. I handed it back to Judy. "You have to drink the whole thing!" she said laughingly, and stumbled away. I held on to the fifth as I wandered around the first floor, looking for James. When I realized that it was impossible to find anyone in there, I took a seat on the couch next to a couple making out and drank what is left in the bottle as I watched everyone else. At first it was odd. It was like watching some TV show about the wild safari. Then it became amusing. I had started to laugh at everything I saw that was just a little bit out of the ordinary.
"Hey stranger," said a voice next to me. I looked over at the voice, and stared. It belonged to the girl making out with her boyfriend next to me. She had long, bright, golden wavy hair. But what really captivated me were her eyes. They were blue as the vast ocean that had no bottom. She smiled at my dumbfounded face. Her red lips curled up as her eyes smiled, as if they were teasing me and enjoying me all at once.
"I'm Paul," I managed to say. The alcohol had kicked in, but I tried my best to regain my control. "I'm Paul. I'm sorry for staring, but your eyes are very pretty."
She smiled, "I'm Clara. Why are you sitting here all by yourself?"
Maybe I've had more to drink than I should have, but from that point on, I spoke every word without giving them any thought first. That has never happened to me. I think I'm drunk.
"I think I'm drunk. I don't know anyone here. Can you be my friend?"
She nodded. And smiled. My heart started beating faster. I looked at her more. She was beautiful. Everything about her was beautiful. The way her lips curled up invited me to have a taste of them. I wanted to kiss her.
"Can I kiss you?"
She laughed at me. I begged and begged her to let me have a kiss. Please, I kiss is all I want. Really. Finally, she grabbed my hand and took me to a room I had never seen before. I laid her on the bed and kissed her lips. She smells lightly of perfume and alcohol. I opened her lips with my tongue and explored her mouth, her tongue, then her teeth. She tasted like a mix of alcohol, orange juice, and diet coke. Then I kissed her ears, her cheeks, her neck. I thought of Lindsey and how she would squirm when I kissed her neck. Clara moaned, as if encouraging me to keep going. I pulled up her shirt kissed and licked her soft breasts. I looked up at her. She had fallen asleep.
Clara fell asleep very peacefully. I looked at her face and smiled, and thought about Lindsey and how peaceful she had always looked when slept next to me. I thought about Lindsey and how much I missed her, and enjoyed her company, and how comforting it was to hug her to sleep every night. I pulled down Clara's shirt and watched her sleep. I thought about Lindsey and told myself that I should not text her, no matter what. Sometime as I was watching Clara sleep, I fell asleep too, next to her.
I woke up a few hours later with a pounding headache. I looked over at Clara. She was awake and on her phone. When she caught my eyes, she put away her phone and smiled. "Thank you for not taking advantage of me," she said, looking embarrassed. By that point, we both have sobered up. "Want to go back outside now?"
I hesitated, but decided to tell her the truth. "I actually don't really care for this type of scene," I chuckled, "sorry! I'm a really boring person. Feel free to go ahead without me, though." I felt awkward telling this to her. I was being overly polite to a girl I almost fucked.
She seemed relieved at that statement. "Thank goodness. I don't want to go back out either. Actually, do you want to come to the beach with me?"
Why not? It's not like I had anything better to do. Besides, Clara is such a nice girl. It'd be rude if I turned her down. So I agree to go. Clara excused herself for a moment and went to the bathroom. When she came back, she had washed off all her makeup. It was the moment that I saw her natural beauty that I fell in love with Clara. Her blue eyes shined bright against her plain face and captivated me as if they were sucking me towards her. She possessed the natural beauty and confidence that I had never seen before. I smiled at Clara as she grabbed my hand and led me to her bright blue Jeep. She drove me to the beach as I lowered the window and let the refreshing, cold air fly against my face and breathed in the saltiness in the air. Clara looked at me and laughed, as if she had never met anyone as weird as I was. I smiled at her and thoroughly enjoyed her laughter, her company, and Santa Barbara.
At the beach, we lied down together on the sand. We shared stories and exchanged thoughts as if we had known each other since we were children. I told her the story of me chasing Lindsey and embarrassing myself in front of her parents during my freshman year of college, and she told me the story of her farting uncontrollably in her math class. We talked about our achievements, our dreams, our friends, our families, and our heartbreaks. There's something about Clara that I can never forget. A certain je ne sais quoi. Was it her natural personality, her wittiness, her stories, or her beauty? I don't know. Something about her that I can feel, but cannot identify, that made her so unforgettable. We watched the sky turn from dark to light together, as I held her close to me. I smelled her light fragrance one last time, and we left the beach.
She drove me back to James's place. I kissed her goodbye on her forehead and headed back to Kent, Washington. Neither of us asked for each other's phone numbers or last names. I had loved Clara, and reserved a place in my heart for the memories I had with her that night. So I left Santa Barbara, bringing back something untouchable yet so precious. This something is timeless, and will forever be fresh and exciting to me.