The girl in front of him swims in and out of his vision, the tequila and vodka melting the colors of the strobe lights until they swirl and mix together. Green and grey, green and grey. Sounds fade in and out of his ears, and all he wants to do is lie down and sleep, because everything, everything hurts. It’s not the kind of hurt that a doctor can heal, not something they can set or fix in surgery. It’s something deep and dark that’s taken place in his heart and decided to settle there.
At this point, he’s starting to think drinking won’t help either.
So instead, Derek focuses on the girl in front of him, shutting the lights and sounds of the club out, choosing to just stare as the girl slides over to him from the other side of the bar. She’s one of those tiny, tiny, things, the ones who look too skinny to even be standing, all sharp cheekbones and hollow eyes. Her face is caked in too much chalky make-up, edgeless grey eyes surrounded by layers upon layers of cheap eyeliner. He can tell she’s been crying, but right now there’s a smile on her face, as if someone drew her and then scrawled it on haphazardly. Drugs, maybe.
She’s wearing a little black dress that shimmers every time she moves closer to him, nonexistent hips swaying with the pounding music. She inches her way forwards until she’s practically on Derek’s lap, and in any other circumstance he’d push her off, throwing her to the ground, but he can’t. There’s who-knows-how-many shots in his system, and as he throws his head back and downs another, he realizes how plastered he is. Or maybe he doesn’t. Time stopped moving in a straight line as soon as he entered the dingy little Colorado Springs night club and sank into the stool.
Suddenly Derek finds he’s welcoming this girl onto him, stroking her coarse, long hair and not bothering to move it when it sticks to his sweaty collar bones. She turns and looks at him as if in a trance, all starry eyes and burnt out self, her body probably containing enough s*** to keep a cartel running. Turning and straddling Derek, she reaches out a delicate, bony hand, fluttering her fingers over the copper freckles that dot his face. Under his eyes, over his cheeks, pitter-pattering across his nose.
When he reaches out a hand to lock her wrist in a hold, he finds his hand is shaking like the cheap laundromat drying machines, flicking back and forth without any control. Derek draws it back down and bites his lip in frustration, willing his hand to stop shaking. The girl tilts her head back and lets him lean in to her, lips closing in on the base of her neck and kissing, kissing until he’s practically pulling her skin off, an animal like instinct telling him to hurt her. She smells of cheap liquor and too many lonely nights, but she doesn’t seem to mind when Derek veers into her like a crashing car, all flames when his lips ignite her collar bone.
Another one of her hands comes up near his face, opening like a wilting flower and revealing a little red pill. She doesn’t speak and just looks him at him with huge owl eyes, prompting him to take it, to take it, and never look back. He doesn’t want to look back, ever. At anything that’s happened in the last few months, at how much salt’s been rubbed in the wound that is his world. He sighs and reaches out with a trembling hand, his whole body shaking now, too much booze and too little sleep short-circuiting his brain.
If he could just-