The wheels of a rolling chair scuffed against the floor in her dorm room. Turning her attention away from her desk and her makeup mirror, Amanda stared at the clothes on her bed for a few seconds, shook her head, and sighed.
Amanda had been, in a word, incredulous.
It wasn’t that she didn’t find the outfit that laid there to be sexy. If it was anything, it was that, even above being what she would call a costume. All that it consisted of was a microskirt that she was sure wouldn’t be able to cover the entirety of her rear end, and a piece of cloth that might have been a shirt if she squinted at it, but the more she looked at it, the more she doubted it. The underwear she was wearing, red lace in the very case that she got lucky tonight, was less revealing than the outfit that she had been given by him; her tank top obsoleted the shirt.
Amanda understood that this was supposed to be a college frat party. It was the perfect time for her to let loose, to forget about the incredibly rigid standards her parents had set for her; it was a place where showing skin was paramount, but even wanting to escape from the stresses of her life, this was going too far for her. It felt exhibitionistic in all the wrong ways. To have chosen it herself would have been one thing, but to have someone pick it out for her was what put it over the edge for her. It felt wrong.
Pulling her attention away from her thoughts, her phone buzzed against her dorm desk. She saw her phone screen light up, and it was from James.
Are you excited for tonight’s party?
Amanda let out a small huff. As much as she wanted to thank James for bringing this party to her attention and giving her the much needed post-midterm relief she sought, it was the one message from him in their conversations since he brought it up that didn’t hold that mildly repellant yet wholly intangible vibe that radiated from his messages. She couldn’t bring herself to scroll up the messages, the flurry of texts much more green than they were grey, but even the messages above held this kind of gross current to them.
You should go as a schoolgirl.
I’ll give you the outfit. Promise.
And give her the outfit he did. This miserable excuse for an outfit was entirely his design. The only aspect of it which was any bit interesting was the glasses, which were beside her phone on the desk. At least those could be useful. She wished that he was able to read the disinterest in the messages that she sent, and that every solitary ‘k’ was a request to leave her alone; regardless, he was able to get it into her hands through campus mail and a messaged dorm number.
It would have been one thing if she knew James; she did know him, but only as a fellow student that shared the same Biology class in their first term of college together. She only had his number because they were a part of the same study group, one that James had pushed to make himself, consisting of himself, her, and a few other people. Compared to how many texts he had sent her, he practically didn’t even exist in the group chat, leaving the others to make it into a personalized hodgepodge of test answers and biology memes. It felt like an excuse to get to know her better by barging into her personal space, and the texts he sent regarding the party felt like a recapitulation of that bullshit.
Rolling her eyes, she gave yet another disinterested reply; as much as she didn’t want to deal with him, she knew that being quiet would mean that she was out of a ride for the party.
Almost immediately, her phone buzzed in her hands; it was another message from James.
Great! I’m on my way 😉
Amanda put her phone down, feeling the slightest need to grab her hand sanitizer. There was that vibe again.
And looking at the outfit on the mattress, barely breaking up the floral pattern on her sheets, she felt it once again, a dawning realization as to why he had been so adamant on having her dress up as a schoolgirl and have her wearing something that worked more for a porno than a frat party. He didn’t even have the respect to make sure the outfit worked; the big ribbon looked straight out of something from an anime. She reached as far as she could and picked up the clothes, keeping them as far away from her as she could before putting them in the trash. She knew that she could cobble something together that was better than that ill-informed disaster.
Opening her closet, she already found what she was looking for.
Numerous business-related meetings and interviews had already supplied her with all the clothes that she could have possibly wanted for her outfit. Sets of blazers and pencil skirts she kept in her closet made only choosing which would look best on her for the night difficult, in various different colors and makes. She chose a black polyester set, one that she remembered getting long ago back in high school.
Putting it on, it was tight, but not too bad. Keeping a few buttons ankara dansöz escortlar undone on her blazer, she noted the peeking white of her low-cut tank top, the slightest bit of edge to remind her that this was for a costume party instead of an interview. Even with the peeking cloth, it was also too tight for any other occasion, hugging her curves just enough to provoke but not enough to cause discomfort. Her skirt was much the same; while it hadn’t been the miniskirt that James requested she wore, it barely covered her thighs; the pair of black sheer leggings she wore did the job better and only went up to her mid-thigh, and even then there was a peek of uncovered, tawny Korean thigh when paired with her heels.
This might not have been the costume that James had in mind, but Amanda certainly liked it a lot more. Bringing a finger to the bridge of her nose, she adjusted her glasses–the one thing James got her that she actually wore–, surprised that she could see out of them perfectly.
Her lips curled up into a bright red-lacquered smile. She could feel herself wanting to grab the ruler on her desk and smacking it against the wall as if it were a blackboard. It didn’t hurt that “Doctor Cho” had such a nice ring to it, especially as she said it aloud to herself, even if it did elicit the slightest of giggles. Bringing her hands to the back of her head, she quickly pulled her thick black locks into a tight bun that rested on top of her head. Her smile grew more; it looked like she was about to get tenure, and she hadn’t even finished her bachelor’s degree yet.
Although it was conservative, it was definitely better than looking like a character out of a porno.
She rolled her shoulders as much as she could with her outfit on, testing the limits of her range of motion, and turned her body slightly, giving herself one final once-over. She smiled at herself as she struck a slight pose, sticking one of her legs in front of the other and bringing her hand to her glasses, as if she were a teacher who had been informed of something and had to pivot to it immediately. It gave her a sense of power and control, one that made her cheeks flush a slight bit more pink than her blush.
This was going to be a fun party, she could already tell.
Before she could strike a final pose in the mirror, she heard the door knock. A mixture of excitement and trepidation increased her heart rate. James had arrived. She finally had a ride, but the closer she approached the door the more the urge of walking to the frat house filled her mind. She swallowed the thought as she grabbed onto the doorknob, telling herself that she promised him–as much as she felt pressured to do so–and pulled it open.
James had the same idea as her: on his lanky, pale body he donned a pair of black slacks and a light blue button-up shirt, tight enough for his muscles to bulge through the cloth. His blue gaze was originally bright, but as he scanned her, a bit of the edge softened, and the smile on his face shrank just a bit. He looked down at her, even if it weren’t for the difference in height. He nervously brought a hand to his short, brown locks, gingerly scratching them as if looking for something to say.
“Hey, James!” Amanda tried her best to feign excitement, but felt it come easy to her; something about his diminishing enjoyment gave her a bit of additional energy.
“Hi, Amanda,” James replied. “I thought you were getting ready for the party tonight…” There was a slight teasing edge to his words, and he lifted an eyebrow; his smile grew just a bit more, as well.
“Oh, this?” She asked, looking into his eyes like she was trying to see herself in the reflection of his pupils. “I made a few last-minute changes to my costume. What do you think?” She stuck her foot out and brought a hand to the bridge of her glasses, striking the same pose she did before in the mirror, but with a brighter smile on her face.
James averted his gaze, clearly disinterested in the whole affair. “Oh, yeah, well, uh, it’s nice.”
Amanda squinted for a moment before straightening herself up, keeping that smile on her face. “Thank you!” She closed her eyes and made her smile larger, hoping that he didn’t see the burning rage in her gaze; could he have been more obvious about his distaste in her outfit? “You look great too!”
“Th-thank you!” He perked up, and as Amanda opened her eyes, she was treated to James smiling. “I thought it would be a perfect match for your costume!”
There came that alien urge again, this time directed straight at her gut. It took everything in her power not to grow weak at the knees from that statement. The smile, no matter how innocent it looked on James’ face, looked like a shit-eating grin with those words coming out.
“It still is, though,” Amanda said, trying to hide the extent to which his words knocked the wind out of her sails. “Twin professors, right?”
She gave a nervous smile and a peace sign, nerves elvankent saatlik veren escortlar turning into slight amusement watching James’ blood boil. His eyelid twitched and his hand curled up into a fist, squeezing into itself just a bit before he relaxed.
“Right,” came his final answer, his tone bereft of any emotion. “Twin professors.” It sounded like a defeat coming from him, and a victory for her. Regardless, he turned slightly and extended a hand out to her, looking towards the nearest exit of her dorm building. “We should get going.”
Amanda looked at his hand for a few seconds, and then back at his forlorn expression, and back at his hand. And then the excitement came back.
“Let’s go!” She said, her words almost echoing throughout the hall as she grabbed her purse and stepped out of the dorm room, walking right beside him.
As they walked through the hall, Amanda couldn’t help but feel a slight pang going through her chest whenever she felt James’ hand graze against the back of hers. It always felt accidental, but at this point, she wasn’t sure she could be sure about that. Even as she took the slightest step aside, he would follow her, letting his hand graze against hers as if trying to make some level of gesture towards her.
Ignoring it, Amanda started the conversation. “So, are you excited for the party?”
James answered, albeit after a slight pause. “Of course! Why wouldn’t I be excited for this party! It’s the biggest one of the year! As long as the cops don’t come along I expect it to be a lot of fun!”
“Same here,” Amanda said. “The most fun part about costume parties is seeing what everyone decides to wear.”
“Uh, yeah,” James remarked, as if his voice was about to trail off into a tangent.
“I’m still surprised we decided to go with the same thing, though!” Amanda added, the slightest of smirks forming underneath her smile. “Two professors at a college party! Imagine that! Or maybe you’re a teacher assistant?”
James’ eyebrows furrowed as he turned to look at her, only to be met with a cheeky brown gaze back.
“Kidding, of course.”
James forced a chuckle and looked forward. “Yeah, I wonder what everyone else decided to wear. People really are full of surprises when it comes to this sort of thing…”
Amanda wanted to shake her head; the only “surprise” here was if she decided to wear that glorified lingerie to a party. Alas, she had to keep up her appearances as the upbeat professor, for now. “But that’s the fun part! You don’t go to a party without hoping for something surprising to happen, right?”
At that point the hallway had ended and they were at the elevator, which James immediately called the first chance they got. He let out a sigh and leaned against the wall while waiting for the elevator to come to them.
“I guess. Not all surprises are good surprises, though.”
Amanda shrugged. “Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m going to the party to have a good time.”
James stayed quiet until the elevator pinged and the doors opened. Inside there were a few people wearing casual clothes, college students who were spending the night in ways different from going to a party; and they were the ones who looked more ready for a party of any kind. Amanda slipped in first, and James followed, as if waiting for an invitation. After a prolonged silence as the group descended to the ground floor, they had all made it to their destination.
James tried to grab Amanda’s hand and lead her out of the dorms. Amanda thought it was an accident and brushed him off before he could step foot out of the elevator. At least, that was the excuse she had in her mind. Between the actions James had taken, the outfit he had chosen, and his words sounding like a high school actor who was forced to improvise after a few key props were lost on opening night the moment he saw her improvised costume, Amanda knew that there was one thing that was needed for her to have a good time at the party.
And that thing was to leave James behind as soon as she could.
Thankfully, either because he had taken the slightest bit of the myriad of hints she had shown since the text messages or because her costume was quite warm and asking if she needed to be warmed up in any way was unnecessary, James stayed rather quiet as they left the apartment, letting the music of the cool October winds fill her ears. It wasn’t what she would call that late, but the moon was already starting to rise from the horizon, bringing with it a sea of stars whose beauty was covered by the streetlights that lit the sidewalk. Amanda smiled, and turned to face James to make some level of conversation.
“It’s so pretty out…” She marvelled as they walked past a local café, the scent of pumpkin spice filling the air.
“Yeah,” he said. “Fall’s pretty nice, isn’t it?”
“Mhm,” Amanda nodded before they continued their silent walk, the slight breeze once more etimesgut azeri escortlar grazing their faces. Amanda slipped her hands into the pockets on her blazer, keeping them warm; she also felt reassured as her right thumb toggled a small bottle of pepper spray. “It’s my favorite season.”
“I’m more of a summer guy myself,” said James.
“Summer’s way too hot.” Amanda remarked. “I like being able to wear layers.”
“I don’t,” James coyly teased as they approached an intersection. Amanda followed as he turned right and walked past a lane filled with cars until he stopped at a red sports car. Pulling out his keys, he unlocked his car, and the car remarked with flashing headlights and a distinct beep.
“Is this yours?” Amanda asked, her eyebrows rising slightly.
“Sure is,” he said as he walked towards the driver’s side and opened the car for himself. Amanda opened her door and peered into the car, adorned with leather upholstery and enough leg room. There was no speck of garbage, but whether that was how it always was or how it was because he knew she’d be riding with him, she wasn’t sure. She slipped into her seat and closed the door behind her, making sure to buckle her seatbelt.
James shut the door behind himself and slipped the key into the ignition, making sure to do it slowly before giving Amanda a look that made her want to undo her belt. She took a deep breath and bit her tongue; the party’s only a mile or so away, she reassured herself, slipping her right hand back into her pocket and cradling the pepper spray. She really hoped that she didn’t need to use it, but as James had said before, not all surprises were good surprises, even if there was a difference between her choice of outfit and having her party ruined by needing to use a self-defense weapon.
Amanda had never been more thankful that James was the kind of driver who needed both of his hands to be on the steering wheel. At a few moments, he had pulled his right hand back and towards the center console, but it was only to grab onto the gear stick; Amanda looked down and noticed that he drove an automatic. Regardless, his fingers slowly ran up and down the shaft in a manner that seemed teasing. Whether or not Amanda was pulling things out of her head or if James was genuinely trying to tease like that, she didn’t know, and she didn’t care; she turned her attention towards the window, watching as the road grew more clogged the closer they got to the frat house; a giant mansion with colorful lights pouring out of its windows with a bunch of cars in its lawn was hard to miss, and James parked as close as he could to it.
“You brought your ID?” James asked.
“It’s in my purse; don’t worry,” Amanda reassured. “Did you?”
“Mhm,” James nodded as he opened the door and got out of the car. He started walking towards the house, and Amanda opened her own door, slipping out of the vehicle and taking a breath of fresh air.
It was only then that she realized how much James’ car smelled of Axe, her lungs retroactively burning now that she had a chance to smell fresh air. Even if there was the whiff of beer and sweat radiating from the house, it was practically unnoticeable compared to the inside of his car. Amanda let out a small cough into her elbow before heading towards the entrance of the house, up the car-filled driveway and letting the sound of muffled bass grow louder the closer she got to the door.
As she walked up to the door, she could feel James try once more to graze his hand against hers. She stepped away from him right before they were at the porch, where two bulky men wearing dress shirts and black capes stood watch.
“Hello,” said one of them in a bad Eastern European accent. “I vant to see your ID.”
Rolling her eyes, Amanda grabbed her wallet out of her purse and showed him both her student ID and driver’s license; she had heard from a few friends that they checked those at the door to make sure that everyone was at least 18. As a sophomore, it was of no issue to her, and she was let in. She slipped her stuff into her bag and kept it close to her as she entered the darkened foyer of the house.
The music grew clearer the moment she pushed open the door, and the woosh of hot stale air hit her body. The telltale mixture of body odor and opened beers filled her nose; she came at the perfect time, where the party had enough people for there to be games of beer pong going on, but not late enough for there to be any people who were completely wasted. She closed the door behind her and looked around, seeing a few tables set up with people in various costumes playing pong and two teams of sorority girls dressed as cats playing flip cup. For the time being, she merely looked around the front area, walking around and scouting the place while keeping one hand on her bag and the other on her pepper spray.
At the very least, she was able to leave James behind, but she had to be on her toes when it came to a party like this. Perhaps it would have been best to come with some other friends instead, but James had been first and James had been persistent. He definitely hadn’t been persistent enough where it counted, though, thank the fucking Lord. That was at least one lecherous pervert whom she didn’t have to deal with tonight.