costume parties

This is different.

Sometimes, her sarcasm worries her, but not often. It surrounds her like armor, and with it she has grown bold enough to challenge the world--though she wonders, if everything is a quip and nothing is serious, if any of the friendships she makes are genuine. So sometimes she drinks too much at parties, and her barbs get sharper, and she kisses a boy who is not interested in her just to see what he'll do, and by the time she gets home she hates herself for it, then laughs when she realizes there is no one she can tell.

He is not interested because his boyfriend is also at the party, and his boyfriend is already making fun of his "new drunk girlfriend." He laughs alongside, of course, but somehow he feels the jokes are mean-spirited, because even if she was drunk and abrasive she wasn't a bad person. No one deserves to be laughed at. Eventually, later in the evening, when his boyfriend asks "Are you going to call her tomorrow?" he says, in a voice much more curt than he intended, "Maybe I will," and then spends the rest of the night wondering why he did that.

The party's hostess is very good at throwing parties, but, she has realized tonight, she is starting to hate it. No, she isn't starting--she has always hated it. She does it out of a sense of obligation, which she hates, and to please her friends, whom she doesn't particularly like. But even as she is thinking this she finds herself putting on a smile, engaging in these pointless conversations, and wishing she had an excuse to kick these people out.

She doesn't consider her roommate a host for these parties, but everyone loves him anyway. He tells interesting stories, laughs at everyone's jokes, and doesn't have an unkind word for anyone. But he is afraid of real, intimate connections, so he keeps everyone at a distance, because from a distance everyone thinks he's great. And so long as everyone is happy, what does it matter? But then sometimes someone else's facade cracks, just a little, and he worries that maybe he's lying to himself, too.

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