‹ Prequel: Zoned
Status: Part Two

Zoned: Waking Up

Up All Night

"Shhh! You're gonna wake them up!" Richi giggled at me.

I was fumbling over which key to use to unlock the front door, stupid drunk for absolutely no reason. "You shhh, I'm not even loud," I slurred. In that moment, I dropped the keys and we both fell over from laughing. It wasn't even that funny, but who knows what real humor is when you can't see straight. Richi accidentally smacked her hand on the windows next to the front door, making a loud noise.

"SSHHHH!" I kept trying to unlock the door, glitching and slurring every time I got a key in the hole. Just then, the door opened, and Matt was standing there in his boxers and a gray tee. Hair as messy as always.

"Oh my gosh, Maaaatty, I've missed you so much," I gurgled as I hugged his neck. Richi slapped my shoulder and said, "Shh, no you don't, remember," she then looked at Matt and narrowed her brows, "We're mad at him."

We both snickered into each other's hair before Matt said, "You're mad at me? What did I do? Where have you guys been, it's almost 4 in the morning."

"We don't have to answer to you!" Richi exclaimed, definitely being louder than she should have been. She and I both walked inside together, still laughing at each other. We didn't notice it immediately, but some of the boys were still up, sitting in the living room. George was asleep where he sat on the couch, but Jordon and Dylan were awake playing 2k.

"Okay, what's your deal, guys. You two have been giving us attitudes all day, we haven't really hung out in like 2 weeks. You just said you're mad at me and I don't even know what I did," Matt stopped us. That caught everyone's attention. Dylan and Jordon immediately chimed in with a ,"yeah." George didn't move, still asleep in his spot. Being as drunk as we were, Richi and I seemed to have handled the questioning a little better than anyone might think. At least I thought so until Richi opened her mouth:

"We know what you guys did at that strip club. Being mean boys to girls who don't like you," she teased. She leaned herself up against the half-wall that divided the living room from the kitchen. Unable to look away from the beginning of a social car crash, I spoke up, "Victoria told us." The three of them all shared a look.

"What exactly are you guys talking about?" Jordon cleverly smirked. "What did she tell you?"

Glancing at me and then back towards the boys, Richi said, "It doesn't matter what she told us because we know what you did-" "And what did we do?" Dylan quickly chimed in. The pause before Richi responded was long and irritated. I could see her getting angry.

"Do you think girls genuinely enjoy being groped and humiliated, or is it brain damage from the drugs that impairs your judgment?"

"Excuse me?" "What?" "What are you talking about?" The boys all said at once. George, still asleep, was absolutely no help whatsoever. I'd like to hear his side of things, I thought. "Where did you even get that from? You can't just assume what happened based off of what some random chick said! We don't even know her!" Matt said as the others agreed.

"She didn't say those words," Richi defended.

"Then what did she say?" Dylan snapped.

"It doesn't matter what she said-" " It totally matters what she said! You're using some pretty heavy words, we can't just let it go when the word, 'grope' is involved here," Jordon intruded.

Thankfully, George woke up to the shouting. " What is going on here?" he said groggily as he sat up. "Did I hear you say 'grope' a second ago?"

"Yes you did," Richi was almost eager sounding. George turned to look at she and I, waiting for us to speak. "These guys were grabbing those two dancers, trying to take off their masks, even after they said 'no'."

"That's it!? That's what you're mad about?!" Jordon yelled. He and Dylan almost were laughing.

"What's so funny about that? That was a violation, guys," I said.

Jordon scoffed at me. "Dude, we were drunk and tried to unmask some strippers. Literally. That wasn't even a euphemism, it was literally a mask we tried to take off," he shook his head in disbelief, "Why do you care so much?"

I had to tiptoe around what I was going to say. Can't spill all the beans now, I thought. "Because that had to have been terrifying for them. A room full of men, half-naked and forced into a situation where you're unsure if you're going to get violated or not. I mean you guys did kind of violate them, they said no and I heard they even kicked your asses for being such jerks."

"Woah woah woah, I don't know who told you that, but no one got their 'asses kicked', okay?" Matt said.
George rolled his eyes and sighed, "Yes, you did, moron. Most of you still have the bruises to prove it, too."

Matt scoffed and shook his head, "Are you seriously taking their side, dude?"

"I'm not taking anyone's side, I just agreed that you did, in fact, get your ass beat."

"Look, that doesn't even matter," Jordon said as he turned to us, "What do you want us to do about it? It was almost two weeks ago, and I bet that same scenario has happened multiple times by now, I mean who thought it was a good idea to mix up mysterious naked women and drunk perverts, anyway?" Frankly, I was getting tired of how nonchalant he was trying to make this. I rolled my eyes and yawned. Definitely was I not in the mood for such a discussion. "It's not like we can apologize to them now."

"And why not?" Richi said sharply. Jordon didn't really have an answer at first, he just sort of stuttered. Almost pathetic, I thought.
"Look, I'm tired," I started, "and honestly, I would like to be over this."

"Yeah, I don't understand why you're so upset anyway, it's not like you were there," said Matt as he crossed his arms.

I couldn't help but sigh. "I guess you have a point," I surrendered. "Sorry we formed an opinion before talking to you guys first." Richi scoffed to herself. "What?"

"Don't apologize to them, we didn't do anything!" Richi snapped at me, almost laughing. "I don't know about you guys, but I'm trying to enjoy my night, and if we are gonna go in this circle, I would like to not be apart of it," she said raising her hands up.

"Look, guys, I wasn't in the room when it happened, okay. Yeah, I can't really have a valid opinion on this, but I'm gonna do it anyways. A: I don't think you realize just how big of cocksuckers we all actually are. You may have known us for some years, but this isn't anything necessarily new to us. These guys are assholes. I'm an asshole." George was being honest, but it sprung a leak in me.

"Not trying to sound like a jack-ass, but are you defending them, dude?"

"Now-no, no, I'm not i defending them-" "Then what are you saying?" I interrupted.

" I'm saying, 'are you surprised?' Are you seriously gonna get this offended on this personal of a level over something that didn't even involve you? What's the worst thing that happened, they tried to take her things because they thought she was pretty? It's childish," George paused for a moment and thought about what he was saying, and spoke to the guys, "You guys acting like little bullies on the playground, pulling a girl's hair cause she gets your dumb 8 year old dicks hard. Act like adults when we're in public, please. I don't blame anyone for how they feel about the situation, honestly."

Dylan made a "welp" kind of face. Like he just got "Gotch'a'd." A real sense of mild defeat.

"I guess I can't really argue with that one, man," Jordon admitted. He looked at us both, switching back and forth from Richi to myself, then sincerely said, "I'm sorry."

I nodded a little. Richi said, "Thank you," and I said, "Why 'sorry' to us?"

"If this guy is saying something we don't wanna hear, it's probably because he's right, and we should just own it, whatever it is he's talking about. I'm sorry for being a creep, and I'm sorry we let it affect our relationship. I'll make sure to be careful, and I'll keep the rest of us accountable also."

I was a little shocked by how good of a response that was.

"That's good enough for me! Anyone want a beer?" Richi said slightly relieved.

"Yes please, Richards," Jordon was relieved from his duties of responsibility. Dylan and Matt eventually apologized, as well.

It was getting close to 5 AM. Matt and George had gone to bed, while Richi, Jordon, Dylan, and I played Uno on the couch. Sweet Dylan sat on the floor so Richi and I could be comfortable.
Or maybe so he could be almost eye level with Richi's crotch, I swear he didn't look away from her underskirt for an entire minute. Just staring behind his Uno cards. If that doesn't seem like a long time, stare at something random and count to 60. It's a long fucking time. But God forbid Richi change out of her sexy self when a guy is giving her eyes. I sorta wish I had the patience to sit in my make up and outfit for a bunch of hours, but I can't help my passion for comfort. I'll admit, Jordon wasn't looking at me in the way that Dylan was looking at Rich, and I got my feelings hurt. I made the decision to change clothes, I thought. But, wait, he told you he didn't have feelings for you after he kissed you that one time, so what does it matter, I thought again. Maybe if you dressed cuter, he'd like you. Sure. There were lots of civil discussions bouncing through my head until Jordon called out, "Uno!"

"You smell that? Do you smell that guys?" Richi said pretending to sniff the air. " It smells like me winning in here, boys." Ah, Richards, my hero. Winning this game and ending my night once and for all, I thought. Finally.