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(This article contains drug and sex related content and is intended for mature readers)

by JV Despres

- Prologue -

Lisa ran into the bathroom and promptly shut the door behind her. Just outside, she could hear Stuart begging her to listen. It wasn't what it looked like. There was a perfectly rational explanation for everything. This is exactly what Lisa figured he'd say, and had no interest in hearing any of it. Even if it wasn't what it looked like, there were many other things that it could have been that were just as unpleasant to think about. They were after all, in a hotel room, the music still blaring from the party that was taking place on the other side of the street.

As she dropped down to the floor, half sobbing and half numb, Lisa tried to go over how it was that she'd been talked into going to this party in the first place. Instead of coming to any particular conclusion, she became increasingly distracted by a conversation she'd had earlier that night with an old flame. Something about the things people do when they know their relationship is pretty much on the verge of ending, and that it was sometimes better to just cut it off before things get ugly. She'd brushed it off at the time as just the ranting of an ex-lover, but now, it had become clear. She should have ended it sooner, but she didn't, and it did get ugly.

Was she jumping to conclusions? Was it really over? She had been having a rather civil conversation with Stuart no more than an hour before. No! It didn't matter. It wasn't even the point. She was tired of being dragged to these parties in the first place, tired of standing quietly in the far corner, watching everyone else get drunk and act like ill tempered children. Places like this made her nervous, always dreading that the worst was just around the corner, and she needed someone who was at least sympathetic to her situation, as opposed to someone who just insisted that she'd "have fun" and that it would be "good for her to come out of her shell." Whatever was going on in her hotel room before she got there was irrelevant. It was over, and had been for weeks.

- Stuart's Story -

The house where the party was taking place had clearly seen better days, but one could tell from a fair distance away that this was the kind of place where the house parties would likely be quite spectacular. This one wasn't. It was a low key affair, mostly close friends of the hosts. Lisa hardly recognized anybody, but they all seemed to know each other quite well, or at least got on as if they did without much trouble. "Probably met at other parties." Lisa thought, as she leaned against one of the walls and held both her arms close to her stomach. Stuart was largely unaware that Lisa had been so bothered by the crowd, but figured the polite thing to do would be to keep her company until she "got to know everyone."

This arrangement worked out alright as long as no one else bothered them. A few times, Stuart even made out what looked like a smile on Lisa's otherwise emotionless face. He found this to be rather encouraging, but eventually became tired of just watching everyone else have a good time. Much to his relief, Lisa told him she was going out to get some "fresh air." In all likelihood, she wouldn't come back, and he'd finally get the chance to get some laughs in before calling it a night.

She was barely out the door when he turned his attention over to a petite blonde who was sitting on a desk in the other room, while a strange man was holding a glass up to her mouth, practically forcing her to drink it's contents. Her name was Chelsea. Stuart had seen her hanging out with Lisa a few times, but didn't really know much about her. Chelsea was the exact opposite of Lisa. She loved nothing better than to hang out with the guys, drink, laugh and have a great time, and it was at parties like this one where she could really shine. One of the few times Stuart had seen her, she climbed up onto a table and began dancing and tearing her clothes off. She was almost completely naked when the table collapsed, sending her flailing into the crowd of onlookers. Things got kind of crazy from there.

"Is everything alright over here?" Stuart asked, pulling the glass away from the couple. The man gave him a cold glare, as if ask him what the hell his problem was.

"We're just fine." He said in a dull tone, just loud enough for Stuart to hear over the music. "So if you don't mind."

"I don't believe we've met." Stuart replied, hoping the man would take the hint and leave the poor girl alone. Her expression made it quite clear to him that they were not just fine.

"I don't think I've made myself clear." He said, still keeping his voice down, though the look on his face made it quite apparent what he was about to say. "This ain't none of your business, so get the hell out of my face."

"Is everything alright over here?" A deep voice asked, seemingly out of nowhere. Attached to this voice was a rather muscular hand, which had gripped tightly on the man's arm, and pulled him slowly away from the other two. They turned around to see that the voice and the hand both belonged to an equally large and muscular man. His name was Gavin, and he'd been hired by the host to make sure that nobody got hurt. Before long, Gavin had pulled the strange man out of the room, and then out the door.

Stuart then turned his attention back to Chelsea, who was visibly shaken by the incident. She climbed down off the desk and stood up, the look in her eyes indicated that she intended to say "thank you," but what wound up coming out was "I'm sorry you had to see that."

Stuart wanted to say something a little more reassuring, but the only thing that came out was "You're Chelsea, right?" She nodded. "I'm Stuart. I've seen you around a few times."

"I don't... really remember you." She stammered, "Did we ever talk?"

"No, I don't think so." He answered. As he said it, he suddenly realized just how close together the two of them were standing, and politely took a step back. looking around, he noticed that several people were staring. The whole ordeal had attracted a fair bit of attention, so they decided to head off to another room, where they could sit down and calm their nerves. There were no empty seats to be had, so they just leaned against the wall of an empty hallway instead. There, they stood across from one another, avoiding eye contact and waiting for the other person to speak.

"So," Chelsea started, occasionally looking over her shoulder, "you've seen me around, have you?" Stuart nodded sheepishly. "I wasn't doing anything too embarrassing, was I?"

"Well..." Stuart stumbled on that question a bit. After all, how do you go about telling someone you just met that you've seen her flash her breasts on more than one occasion?

Before he could say anything, Chelsea interrupted. "It's okay." she said, "If you've seen me at party somewhere, there's a good chance that I was getting a bit wild."

"Well, the thing is..."

"No, no. Don't worry about it." She said, cutting him off before he could mention Lisa. "Most guys don't pay much attention to me unless I'm taking off my clothes. Almost turned me off of men completely." She tilted her head back and gazed at the ceiling, "But I'm trying, you know? I'm trying to settle down."

"I'm sorry." Stuart said, walking over and standing next to her.

"Don't be," she replied, "It was fun while it lasted, but now it's time to move on." She looked back down the hallway, then leaned slightly into Stuart, just close enough for their shoulders to touch. "So what's your story anyway."

"Not much to tell, I'm afraid." he said, not wanting to step away, but avoiding physical contact. "just got my bachelor's in fine arts, not quite sure exactly how the thing's gonna help me land a job, but I've got to find something decent, if only so I can pay off my student loan. Other than that, I've been trying to take it easy."

"Wow." Chelsea replied, "I never got into University, you know, but I knew someone who did." She let out a quiet, almost sad laugh. "I used to beg her to take me to the parties."

Chelsea was about to elaborate on that point, when her eyes briefly fluttered shut. When she opened them again, she was standing askew to one side, the weight of her body resting on Stuart's shoulders. She tried to stand upright again, but felt increasingly dizzy, and soon fell back onto Stuart. She blinked a couple of times and tried to shake the haze out of her eyes, but it was no use, the hallways was now spinning furiously and was having trouble staying in focus.

She heard what sounded like Stuart saying, "Are you alright?" but he had to say it about three times before she could make it out. "I'm fine," she said, talking slowly. "I'm not drunk, if that's what you mean. I don't even feel drunk, just kinda fuzzy."

"Are you sure" Stuart asked, now completely responsible for keeping the girl upright.

"Yeah I'm sure." She moaned. "I only had one drink... And like two bong hits before I came here."

As she said this, Stuart's mind flashed back to moments earlier, when that strange man was pouring something into her mouth. "You mean the drink that creep gave you?" He asked.

Chelsea said nothing, she just pulled her head up and pressed her face against his, then she nodded slowly. "Could he have put something in your drink?" He asked. Her eyes rolled off to her left shoulder as she tried to remember earlier that evening, then she looked back at Stuart and nodded. "Come on." He said, "Let's get you out of here."

As they arrived in the hotel room, Stuart found it almost offensive just how little attention anyone paid him as he escorted Chelsea to the hotel across the street. The music could still be heard, but the hotel staff didn't complain. The house parties would be good for business later in the evening when people, too drunk to drive home, discovered that they needed a place to crash, or hook up, as the case may be. This room had been reserved earlier that day.

Stuart helped Chelsea onto the bed and then turned his attention to closing the blinds, which was prudent, given the hotel's notoriety. By the time he'd turned around, Chelsea had, while still in a daze, managed to remove her shirt, revealing her small, but firm breasts, and was in the process of unzipping her jeans. "What the hell are you doing!?" he said, trying not to raise his voice. He grabbed her wrists just as she was reaching down her pants.

"Come on." she slurred, barely able to pronounce the words. "Touch it, you know you wanna."

"I'm serious." He said, half shouting and half whispering. "Just get some sleep." As he was about to let go of her wrists, she grabbed his hands and pressed them up against her chest. She tried to say something else, but it was unintelligible.

Just then, Stuart heard a door close quietly, and before he could pull his hands away from Chelsea's chest, he turned his head to see Lisa standing in the room with them. There was a moment of complete silence while Stuart tried to think of what to say. Somehow, telling her that this wasn't what it looked like probably wasn't going to cut it. Chelsea eventually looked over at Lisa, smiled, and managed to slur the words "hey baby girl." before falling off the bed, collapsing onto the stained carped and passing out.

"There really is a reasonable explanation for all of this." Stuart said in perhaps the least confident tone possible. "It's not what it looks like." He continued, wishing he'd just said anything else.

Without saying a word, Lisa turned around, and locked herself in the bathroom.

- Lisa's Story -

Lisa walked out the door in what she hoped would look like a casual pace. Internally, she felt like she was gasping for air. The night had proven to be just as hopeless as she had feared. Even though she'd only been feeling nervous like this for the past couple for years, she never really enjoyed the party scene, she felt crowded in a most uncomfortable way. Somehow, the rest of the world remained oblivious to her situation. She'd told Stuart that she was going for some fresh air, and he responded by saying "goodnight" to her, as if he already knew whether or not she'd come back to the party. This thought got her head reeling, as she leaned up against a tree not far from the party.

"I see I've found the real action!" a familiar voice had just come around the corner. It was David. Lisa walked over and hugged the man without saying a word, then pushed her hands into her pockets and leaned back up against the tree. Lisa and David started dating in their last year of high school. Their relationship carried on into University, then abruptly ended. "So," David continued, "how have you been?"

"Well," Lisa started looking down at her feet. For a brief moment, she felt like telling him everything, after all, she had already confided so much over the years, even after they had broken up. "I've just been debating something with myself."

"Really, what?" He asked.

Lisa thought about it for a moment, then looked back at David and said, "Nevermind, how have you been?"

"Same as usual." He answered. "Dead end job, alone and miserable." There was a hint of sarcasm in his voice.

"Ain't a girl out there whose good enough for you, is there?" Lisa flashed him a coy smile.

"Er... Yeah, that's gotta be it." He smiled back. "And you, I suppose you came here with... someone in particular." The smile slowly died from her face as she nodded. "So, where, might I ask, is this particular someone?"

"Still at the party." She replied in a low tone.

"Everything okay?" He asked. When they were a couple, Lisa had made it pretty clear to him that she didn't like going to parties, especially where she didn't like crowds much, and didn't feel at all comfortable getting drunk in front of people she didn't really know, let alone trust. David, didn't drink at all, and was just as content with a good book as he was with a gang of friends, but even then, she used to get dragged around to all these parties almost completely against her will.

"Well," Lisa thought for a moment about how to answer his question. "Do I ever give the impression that I'm having fun when I come to these kinds of places."

"You?" He said, half mockingly. "Never."

"Exactly!" She continued. "And yet somehow, I get dragged to one party after another under the pretence that I'll have fun and it'll be good for me. Well, it's never good for me, I just watch other people have fun and go home feeling even more miserable!"

"And I take it this... particular someone doesn't seem to notice." David was still awkward on the subject of Lisa seeing other people. The breakup had been hard on the both of them, but for him, it had been such a complete shock. Lisa didn't say anything, she didn't need to. "It's pretty much over between the two of you, isn't it?"

"I guess people just don't change." She said, pulling her hands out of her pockets and folding her arms across her stomach.

There was a tense moment between the two of them. David finally broke the silence. "So." He said in an upbeat tone. "Does that mean you've reached the cheating phase?"

Lisa looked at him, confused. "And what, pray tell, is the cheating phase?"

"You know." He said, with a mock confidence in his voice. "when a relationship is on it's last leg. That's prime time for cheating."

"What?" She started to laugh quietly to herself.

"Oh yeah!" He continued. "It gives you a chance to play the field, so you have a head start after your breakup. Or you can just cheat in order to cause the breakup itself. Or better yet, if someone were to come along. Some smart, intelligent handsome lad." Lisa laughed out loud. "Hey, come on." He was now trying to talk over her laughter. "I'm not going to stay eligible forever just for you, you know."

"Oh yes you are!" She said.

"Well..." David made a mock display of agreement. In reality, he had no idea why Lisa had fallen for him all those years ago, and his prospects were far more grim than he let on. Lisa's laughter died down, but the mood remained lifted. The two just stared at each other in silence for a moment.

"I'm still crazy about you." David said in a frank tone.

"I know." Lisa replied. "I still have... feelings for you too."

"So..." He had no idea how to ask. "So, why not?"

"You know damn well why not!" she answered.

"Fine," he said "I was just thinking that, you know, if it's already over between you and... your particular someone, it might be best to just call it off early, you know, before things have a chance to get really ugly."

Lisa seriously pondered this point. Maybe it was the best course of action. Call it off clean, avoid getting burned. The thing she had avoided telling David was how fondly she remembered the time that they were together. He understood her in a way that no one else did, and if things hadn't turned out the way they did, she would gladly take him up on his offer. Unfortunately, things did turn out the way they did, and they couldn't go back. Lisa's face once again had an air of tragedy. David placed a hand on her shoulder and she leaned into him. Soon, they were in a full embrace. No words spoken, she looked up had his face and kissed him slowly, just once, then pulled away and looked back down at her feet. "I'd better go." She said, barely whispering, then she turned around and headed for the hotel.

As she walked, she was more confused than ever. David's words had just completely lodged themselves into her mind. What if he was right, after all? What if the best thing she could do was call it off early? Keep everyone from getting really hurt. Of course, she knew that she'd be the only person who'd look at it that way. She already had a reputation for being "difficult." As far as the rest of the world was concerned this would be just another example. Looking at her watch, she noticed that it was still roughly midnight, so at least she'd have some time to herself in the hotel to think about it.

She felt no better about her situation when she arrived at the hotel. As she slowly opened the door and closed it quietly behind her, the last thing she expected was to walk in on the middle of what she was about to see. Just as the closing door made one final click, she turned to find Stuart standing over her bed, where Chelsea was slumped, half naked and completely out of her mind. Stuart quickly pulled his hands off of Chelsea's breasts and, as one would expect, tried to claim that this wasn't what it looked like. Chelsea simply muttered the words, "hey baby girl", then fell over and passed out.

Without listening to a word of whatever Stuart was trying to say, Lisa ran for the bathroom and locked the door. This couldn't be what it looked like. This was merely the result of too much drugs and alcohol. But that was exactly the problem. It proved beyond any doubt that the people around her were completely oblivious to her feelings. She didn't know how she was going to deal with them from then on.

This had been a pattern in Lisa's life since university. Slowly, she was cutting herself off from everyone she knew. Friends she was no longer comfortable around, places and groups that had drifted away, she'd even had a rather acrimonious falling out with her parents. It had been a year since she even tried to talk to them.

She used to be such a sweet girl.

- Chelsea's Story -

Chelsea had been feeling elated all day. Another boring week was done , and she actually had the entire weekend off for a change. As luck would have it, a mutual friend of hers and Lisa's was going on tour with his new band, and as a send-off, was having a party at the old rooming house. Nobody lived there, the owners just kept the place in half decent shape and rented it out for parties and "all ages" rock shows. Best of all, the place was at the edge of town, far enough away from anywhere, save the hotel across the street, that they didn't have to worry about bothering anybody.

She had been bright and cheerful since her shift had ended, and that mood carried her over to the door to her apartment to see who was ringing the bell. She pulled the doorknob, slowly at first, and looked out, then gleefully swung the door completely open and smiled. Still standing at the door, preventing the person from entering, she coyly glanced around, then quietly said "Hey Baby Girl."

She then pulled Lisa into her arms and into the apartment, leaving the door wide open behind her as the two kissed wildly, then simply stood there, foreheads pressed against one another. The smile soon faded from Lisa's face. "You know, I was thinking." she said, "why don't we take off for the night. You know, head someplace really private, open a bottle of wine, and just chill, you know?"

"Come on," Chelsea replied, as the two slowly moved apart. "You know Jason's party is tonight. I've been waiting all month for this."

Lisa turned around and closed the door behind her. "I know," she said, "It's just so rare that we both have the same days off, I just thought this would be a good time to do something together. Just the two of us." She made her way back into the apartment, and gave a coy look of her own. "I'd like to have you all to myself once in a while."

Chelsea walked back over and hugged her. "You can have me all to yourself anytime, baby girl, but tonight, I want to go out and have fun."

Lisa let the remark slide. She knew from past experience that Chelsea didn't mean it the way it came out. The two exchanged brief glances, but before Lisa could press the issue any further, Chelsea had run off into her bedroom, then re-emerged with three different shirts. "So, which one do you like best?" she said, then proceeded to talk at high speed about all three at the same time, noting that she had recently changed hair colours and somehow, it made all of her outfits look strange. In reality, she had only switched from one shade of blonde to another, and Lisa couldn't tell the difference to saver her life. It was a moment later, when she was no longer caught up in the moment, that Chelsea had noticed Lisa sinking into the couch, looking purposely in the other direction. She walked over slowly, "What is it?" she asked, as she sat beside her.

"I can't do this anymore." Lisa said sullenly. "I don't know why, I just can't do it."

"Oh, come on, you say that every time we go out." Chelsea replied, placing her head on Lisa's shoulder.

"No, I don't say it every time we go out." She continued, "I say it every time we go to a party, and you insist that it'll be good for me, and I end up going and standing in the corner while you have a great time."

With that said, and before Lisa could say more, Chelsea leapt back to her feet and headed for her room, "I know exactly what you need." she said, coming back out with a small, pink, heart shaped bong, and a lighter. Still acting before Lisa could get a word in, she'd lit up and taken a small hit. Still holding down the smoke, she tried to pass the bong and lighter to Lisa, who refused without saying a word. "Come on," Chelsea said, exhaling, "it'll calm you right down. Then you won't be so shy at the party tonight."

Lisa finally relented and took a small hit, then passed the bong back to Chelsea, who promptly took a second hit before putting the bong down. Chelsea once again sat down next to her, and placed one hand on her shoulder, the other on her thigh. "Okay?" She asked. "We staring to relax yet?"

Again, Lisa turned and looked the other way. "I really mean it this time." she said, finally.

"Really mean what?" Chelsea was now playfully trying to climb on top of her.

"I mean I really don't think I can handle going to these parties anymore." She answered, not particularly trying to stop Chelsea from groping her. She reached over, and took another hit from the bong. "I don't really know how to explain it. I'm just not comfortable being there."

"Come on baby girl. Can't you just do it for me?" She said as she finally managed to push Lisa onto her back. She then crawled on top of her.

"I want to." Lisa said, "but I don't know if I can."

The two girls were starting to feel a bit light headed. They proceeded to kiss for a while, Chelsea reaching under Lisa's shirt. Then, as she started to feel the second hit, Lisa blurted it what she was thinking. "I don't think it's working out between us."

There was a brief moment of silence. Chelsea withdrew her hand from Lisa's chest, then sat up. "What the hell's that supposed to mean?" She sobbed.

"I mean," Lisa was suddenly at a loss for words. She wasn't really sure what she meant, let alone how to explain it. "I don't know. I feel like I'm changing, but like us, like we're not."

A single tear ran down Chelsea's face, smudging her makeup. "but," she sobbed, "can't you just change back?" Lisa shook her head. "Then just tell me what you need me to do."

"I don't know." she answered. "I wish I could just be happy with the way things are, but I'm not, and I don't know how to fix it." There was another moment of silence. "It's so typical of me to do this." she continued.

"No, Lisa." Chelsea said, leaning back into her face. "I just want you to be happy. We can do something else tonight. A party is a party, right?"

Lisa shook her head again. "You've been looking forward to this, I don't want to take it away from you."

"So now you want to go?" Chelsea asked.

"Not really" Lisa replied.

Chelsea stood up and moved to the other end of the room. "This would be a whole lot easier if you'd make up your damn mind!" she said, looking out the window.

"I know." Lisa said, sitting up. "How about you go ahead, I'll see you some other time this weekend."

Chelsea took a deep breath and then turned around. "I really wished we could go together."

"Even if we did." Lisa said, getting up, "within a minute, you'd be off going nuts and I'd be in my corner, watching you."

"I don't have to go nuts." Chelsea answered. "I'll have maybe one drink, just to be polite, but after that I'll be totally good." At that moment an inspiration struck her. "And we can get a room at that hotel!"

"Chelsea, I don't know if that place is..." Lisa tried to protest, but Chelsea had it all worked out.

"It's perfect!" She said. "I'll go to the party, say hi to everyone, have a few laughs, and then we can slip out early, head to the hotel and have the rest of the weekend to ourselves." She walked over and grabbed Lisa's thigh. "Then you can have me any way you want."

Lisa simply smiled. It was absurd, but it just might work. She leaned forward and gave Chelsea a kiss on the cheek, then whispered into her ear, "You might want to check your mascara first."

Then, Chelsea charged off into the bathroom and began fixing herself back up, nearly oblivious to Lisa, who was busy once again making the arrangements for them to get to the party, booking the room, and, of course, paying for it. Chelsea emerged from time to time, partially clothed, locating something that had been left lying around, then she'd disappear again. It would be a while before Gavin would be able to pick them up. He was going either way, and had promised Lisa that he'd try to keep Chelsea from getting in too much trouble. If she could keep Chelsea from smoking any more pot before before Gavin arrived, then she didn't have to worry too much about the girl getting carried away without realizing.

- Epilogue -

Lisa felt a sigh of relief come over her as they arrived and Chelsea had insisted on just having a can of pop when offered a drink. Gavin was keeping his eyes peeled, and before long, the two were separated, though Lisa could see from her corner of the room that Chelsea, despite laughing and carrying on with her little gang, was indeed keeping her word. Just then, a guy Lisa knew from work walked over and said hi. His name was Stuart, and he'd been trying to get a date with her since they had met. She tried to explain that, even through he was a sweet guy, it was complicated, and had things turned out differently... The two maintained pleasant enough conversation.

As the night wore on, more and more uninvited guests began to show up, and everyone was starting to get unruly. Gavin was having a hard time keeping up and Lisa was having just as hard a time keeping an eye on Chelsea. The wilder things got, the worse she began to feel, and was already feeling like, in the end, that nothing had really changed. She looked over at Stuart, and could tell from his expression that he was anxious to get in and have some fun before things got too out of control. Of course, he was much too polite to say it out loud, but it was all the more obvious to Lisa that she was preventing him from partying and carrying on with his friends.

This made her feel more uncomfortable than ever. In the end, she asked Stuart if he knew Chelsea. He said he'd seen her around. She asked him if he'd glance over and check to see if she's okay every now and then, and get her away from trouble. If need be, she had a key to a hotel room in her pocket. He agreed. Shortly afterward, feeling far too nervous around so many rowdy, drunken idiots, she told Stuart that she was going to go outside to get some "fresh air."

- End -

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The following comments are for "Three Stories"
by eleventeen

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