Chapter 3: Crystal
I can never tell what Kevin is going to do next. I couldn’t help but laugh at him. I wish I could be carefree like him. “What made you think that farting in front of Jessika was going to impress her?”
“Hey, I just wanted her to get to know me. All of me. Gas and everything. You never really know anyone until you’re comfortable with farting in front of each other.” Kevin adjusted his wire thinned glasses. He was about 5 feet, but stocky, he referred to himself as the real life version of Mario from the video games. That’s who he was dressed like tonight. In red overalls, blue shirt, brown boots, and a red hat. books.There was never a dull moment with him, that’s why I liked him. “Did I tell you that’s how I met my last girlfriend? I farted in front of her and she laughed. We talked, joked, and then she farted. We were a match made in heaven.”
“Just promise me, you won’t fart around me, please. I’m comfortable with you, but I don’t need to know you like that.” I said shaking my head at his story. The sad thing is I believed him. Kevin could be so eccentric that I think women found him appealing, interesting.
“Too late.” he said. The foul smell punched my nose. I pinched my nose and wave the air around me with my other hand. It was disgusting and he made me a little mad. He stood there waving his hand too. He had a hint of laughter as he gagged on his own smell.
“Kevin! I have guest!” I looked around and no one else seemed to noticed. They were all drinking and talking in their costumes. His stench started fading away thanks to the smell of beer and body odor.
We were by ourselves by the door to the suite my roommates and I lived. The cinderblock like walls led you into the living room. The hallway went to the right where our pantry bathroom and three rooms were located. Each room we had a beer and food for everyone to get ready for the costume party at the campus center. Although I like my quiet time, it was nice to have a party every once in awhile. Although Halloween was two days ago, one of the student activity groups was hosting it for a community service benefit.
“Relax, Crystal, everyone is too drunk and far from us. I know how far I can-“
“Just, shut up.” I said still pinching my nose. Not from the smell, but from annoyance and disbelief.
“What time are we going to the Campus Center?” he didn’t even acknowledge that I told him to shut up. He reminded me of the Energizer Bunny, he kept going, and going, and going.
“I guess in a few minutes. I guess it’s just the two of us. I thought you said you had a friend coming, hope it wasn’t Jessika.
“Naw, it’s my friend Lauren. She still studying at the library.”
“Is she going to meet us there?”
“Yeah, you’re going to like her.”
“If you say so.” Isaid
There was a knock at the door, but then someone with a key started to open it.
“Hi, Crystal.” My suitemate, Dorothy said, stumbling into the room. She had too much too drink already. I could smell the booze on her and her friends. She was with a tall, stocky man with glasses and an equally tall blonde with rosy cheeks.
“Hi Dorothy.” I didn’t really care for her too much. She was taller than average. Milky white skin which was tanner than mine, but not by much. Her brown hair contrasted with her skin and although I hate to admit it, it looked beautiful. She came from Hackensack, up in North Jersey. Her family had money, but she chose to come here instead of Princeton.
“This is Roy and Tyra.” she pointed to both of them as they kept her upright. They smelled like a mixture of different boozes. The smell almost as strong from their breath as Kevin’s gas from earlier. Did I smell like that? I only had a few beers.
“Nice to meet you.” Roy said. He started to look me up and down. God, most men were annoying when sober. Get a little alcohol in them, and they become dogs.
“Is she going to be okay?” I asked. Last thing we needed was for our suitemate to have alcohol poisoning or going to the hospital for binge drinking.
“Yeah, she’s fine, we just came by to get her purse.”
“And to get more beer.” Roy said.
“Nothing like free beer!” Kevin said. Holding his own up in the air. The three of them looked at him with tired eyes. Dorothy was judgmental, why wouldn’t she have friends like her? Dorothy seem like she was coming around though. She managed to pull herself away from them and leaned against the wall that led to the bedroom’s hallway.
“Just, don’t get sick, okay Dorothy?” I said crossing my arms. I didn’t care for her too much, but I still didn’t want her to be hurt. We could get in trouble for drinking underage afterall. I started to walk away and Kevin followed me.
“Oh, don’t worry about me,” Dorothy yelled, unaware of how loud she was speaking. “I’m not like the whore he disappeared.” Her friends started laughing. Laughing at someone who the reports said was kidnapped. They increase security around campus because of Bianca’s disappearance. I couldn’t believe Dorothy could be insensitive. Actually, yes I could.
“Her family was murdered.” I said, my voice steady and low. I turned back to her and if looks could kill, she would be dead. My anger was trying to free itself, but I was keeping it back. I kept trying to remind myself that she’s been sheltered her whole life, from the few conversations we had as suitemates and meetings.
“And?” Dorothy raised her arms with an inquisitive gesture. I wanted to let it go, but my pride wouldn’t let me. Women like her made me sick. We should be empowering each other, not tearing each other down. She didn’t care at all that the poor girl could be dead or being tortutred right now as we speak.
“And, it’s possible she may be getting raped or killed.” I pointed at her. “How can you be so insensitive?”
“Did you see what she was wearing that night? Of course you didn’t you must of been fighting for some other kind of social injustice. If she gets raped it’s her own fault. You don’t see women of my stature getting raped” Dorothy put her hands on her hip. Her friends flanking her sides. My blood was on fire. Literally, I was boiling. For a brief moment, they looked like they were glowing. I must’ve been really mad and was seeing things. I exploded.
“Are you serious, both poor and rich women get raped everyday. Some of them are so ashamed that they keep it to themselves, because of people like you and your little elitist friends over there.” I started sweating from the heat in the room and aggravated by my own anger. Kevin flanked me from my left and for the first time in a long time, he wasn’t smiling. “You make me sick.” I spat out.
“Oh, Crystal, that’s just the alcohol talking, we’re both pretty messed up.”
“No, this. Is. me. Talking” I stressed every word. I felt my face tighten and I scowled. They look like they were glowing again and from the corner of my eye, so did Kevin. He was surrounded by a green light, but no one seemed to noticed and then the glowing stopped.
“As another woman, how could you say that? It’s women like you why rape culture continues to exist!” The boy, Roy step in front of Dorothy. He still had a smile on his face. I wanted to punch him.
“Now, now, I’m sure she is alright, don’t you think you’re overreacting?” He raised his hands in a defensive manner. Trying to be cute and charming. He was failing and he was about to see how much when I wiped that cocky grin off his face. I hated guys like him, the kind that think they are God’s gift to women.
“No, I’m not overreacting. Rape has gone up over 32% last year. You and your friends are basically saying that it’s okay for her to be rape, bcause she was dressed in a certain way?”
“Look all I’m saying is that if she dresses like she wants to get fucked.”
“That doesn’t make it right, it doesn’t matter, if she doesn’t give consent, then she has the right to be left alone. Even if she was walking around naked, that isn’t consent.” I argued.
Dorothy rolled her eyes, “Here she goes on her soapbox. She dressed that way to get attention.”
“What way?” I asked.
“The slutty way.” The other girl, Tyra said from behind Roy. Playing with her hair and staring at me. I wanted to punch her too.”
“Like you?” Kevin pointed at her costume. She was dressed in a catwoman costume that exposed her stomach and legs. The shorts where the tail came out clung around her groin area.
“What’s with you, dude, leave her alone.” He faced up towards Kevin. Nice to know Kevin had my back. I don’t know if he could fight, but it’s looking like we’re about to find out.
“Why don’t you all just leave.” I said. Trying hard not to punch any of them.
They turned to walk out. “We were already doing just that,” Dorothy chimed in. “But tomorrow, when I’m sobered we’re going to talk about you and your disrespect. Watch yourself.”
“Is that a threat or a promise?” I balled my fist and breathing hard. Kevin put his hand on my shoulder. I shouldn’t let them leave, but I can’t take them all on. Even with Kevin’s help. I noticed the music was lowered and the other guests were trying not to look over at us.
“I guess we will see, now won’t we.” Dorothy and her friends slammed the door.
“You okay?” Kevin asked. Truth was I wasn’t. I felt like I failed. That I just settled. No, I need to make this right. Tomorrow be damned. I turned to Kevin.
“Are you ready to go to the Campus Center?”
He smiled and understood my plan. “Anytime you are.”