Status: Completed

Chasing the Missing Paths

The Fourth Encounter

The fourth encounter wasn’t a strange one. It wasn’t like the one that happened before, which was very coincidental and relatively impossible. This encounter happened back on the east coast, close by to where they had first met. It didn’t happen at the karaoke bar, neither had been there in a while. It occurred at a normal backyard party. Though, normal might have been an understatement. There were quite a few people, but it also wasn’t like a frat party. The backyard was quite large, and the host must have spent ages organizing it. There were tents, free drinks, food, lights, and even a bonfire.

Alex was newly singly--or at least he considered himself that way. It had been over a month and it was finally starting to hit him that he really had lost his girlfriend this time. So, when a friend asked him and Jack to come along to a party, he couldn’t say no especially when the open bar was mentioned. He wouldn’t just let an opportunity like this pass him by. Maybe he was going to meet his soulmate, and he couldn’t afford to miss that… or at least he wanted to find somebody to hook up with. It had been a while.

He had a plastic cup filled with beer in one hand as he scoped the party with Jack. There was one thing they had agreed on that night. It wasn’t who was going to be the responsible one, it wasn’t who was going to be the one that made sure they made it home safe, and it also wasn’t the one who was going to get all the drinks. No, they agreed to be each other’s wingman that night, and it was a title they were going to honor.

“How about that girl?” Jack asked Alex, pointing in a general direction where Alex could see at least five girls.

“Which one?” Alex questioned, unsure which one of the girls Jack meant. Granted, if any of them really stood out to him, he would have gone for that one, and none of them really did anything for him.

“Blonde, pink tight shirt, nice boobs,” Jack clarified, keeping his eyes on said girl and really liking what he was seeing.

“She’s more your type,” Alex commented, chuckling softly at how infatuated he was with her already, “not really mine.”

“Okay, okay,” Jack shook himself out of the trance he was in and continued to scan the place for somebody for Alex. He knew that he could easily get somebody he wanted, it was just Alex who needed a little help and a little push.

“Hey…” Alex softly hit Jack on the chest with a single motion to get his attention and was focused on another blonde girl in a completely different direction. Her hair came to her shoulders, bouncing with every movement she made. “Is that Emma?”

“Huh?” Jack looked in the same direction, no idea who this ‘Emma’ girl was. But when he looked, his gaze immediately fell upon the girl who he still hadn’t gotten a phone number from. “That’s the girl from karaoke!”

“Yeah, Emma!” Alex agreed and lit up for the first time since he had broken up with his girlfriend. He was way too excited to see a girl he had only encountered three times before.

“Well…” Jack urged and gave his best friend a nudge.

“What?” Alex looked at him, oblivious to what Jack was suggesting.

“Are you going to talk to her and ask her out or not?” he pressed, trying to get his friend to talk to the girl they kept running into.

“Oh…” Alex’s face dropped and gazed in Emma’s direction again before shaking his head. “That would be a little weird, wouldn’t it?”

“Umm… no?” Jack shook his head, thinking Alex was being ridiculous while also understanding where his insecurity was coming from. “But you didn’t say no, so that means you are interested! I’ll come with you, because that’s what I, as designated wingman, am here for.”

“Fine,” Alex groaned like he was a teenager that was forced to come to a family event by his parents, while he was actually very eager to talk to Emma again.

As he and Jack started their journey to Emma, who was standing by herself and seemed a little lost, Alex quickly downed the rest of his beer feeling the need for some liquid courage. He had been so cool around her all the other times, he was afraid he was going to fuck up just because he had a different motive this time. This wasn’t just him being friendly, this was him being friendly in hopes of getting a date or maybe even taking her back to his hotel room for the night. He would take anything he could get.

“Hello, stranger, we just saw you from across the yard,” Jack smoothly made their presence known after he noticed Alex was having trouble formulating the right words in his head beforehand.

“Oh my god,” a bright smile appeared on Emma’s face and she laughed in excitement, “Alex?!”

She proceeded to hug him enthusiastically, catching Alex off guard who still reciprocated the hug. At least she still remembered him, so that was something. He just didn’t know if that was a bad or good thing. Either he had made a good impression or a really bad one for her to still remember.

“And I don’t know your name, but hi!” she exclaimed, stretching out to hug Jack as well. “What are you guys doing here?!’

“Oh, you know, it’s a party,” Alex grinned widely, feeling a little more confident that earlier.

Simultaneously, Jack tried to introduce himself, but was having trouble breaking through the bubble of joy the two had and the mumbles drowned out, “umm, Jack, my name, I’m Jack…”

“I didn’t think you would like these kinds of parties,” Emma was still so surprised to see them, unsure why she was so excited to talk to people she really didn’t know.

“These kinds of parties?” Alex frowned and looked around to see if there was anything they were missing.

“Oh, you know…” Emma shrugged and made the devil hand sign. “It’s not very punk rock.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It’s not really a party to go hard at. Nobody’s here to get blackout drunk, nobody’s out to smash a TV and dance on a table,” she explained, looking around at the white tents and fairy lights.

“What? We don’t just go to those kinds of parties, we go to others as well!” Alex tried to act nonchalant to impress Emma.

“It’s true, though,” Jack interrupted, “we mainly do go to that type of party.”

And Jack was completely right. They always went to parties and got completely trashed. Alex was known as the life of the party. He knew how to get everybody going. They could turn anything into the most epic party ever. But even he knew when it wasn’t the right time. For example, as soon as they had arrived at the mansion and had entered the backyard, they realized this was a more mature party. Nobody was going to frown upon flirting and trying to find a one-night-stand, but everybody would judge if you were to drunkenly jump into the fountain.

While Emma had seemed completely lost to Alex and Jack, she actually wasn’t at all. She knew exactly what she was doing and had been at these parties before. They possibly weren’t as expensive and large, but she knew exactly how to behave. This was her crowd. Calm and composed, but not afraid to let a little loose to have a good time. She knew quite a few people around her, she just happened to be waiting for somebody and had promised she wouldn’t move to prevent losing each other.

Before Jack could get to the proper ‘wingmaning’ and put Alex up on a pedestal or Alex could subtly start flirting with Emma, the person she had been waiting for joined the group.

“Here you go, m’lady,” a guy handed her a see-through plastic cup of white wine and winked at her.

Alex felt his heart drop when he wrapped an arm around her. He was tall, just like Jack, only built a lot better, though not as muscular as Zack. It was more like an ‘I work out to be healthy but also happily eat some junk food’ type of body. His dark brown hair made a perfect upward swoop, the sides shorter. And although he wore dark-rimmed glasses, it somehow made his eyes stand out more. Alex was praying that this guy just happened to be a friend of Emma’s, because he definitely didn’t have a shot otherwise.

“Alex, Jack,” Emma started introducing, putting a smile to Jack’s face when he found out she had heard him, and put a hand on the man’s chest, “this is my boyfriend, Evan.”

“Oh, nice to meet you.” Alex remained polite and shook the man’s hand. Jack did so too.

But before they could continue their conversation or start a new one with a different path than Alex had in mind, a girl with black hair came up to Emma as well.

“Ems, you need to meet my director friend,” she insisted, taking hold of Emma’s arm.

“Oh, right! Let’s go do that!” Emma nodded and was being dragged away. Before she left, though, she turned to Alex and Jack and said, “I’ll come find you again later.”

Ethan, who they also didn’t get to know at all, followed the girls. While he could have stayed with two strangers, he preferred to go along with the two people he did know. If that wasn’t his reason, then he wanted to be there with his girlfriend when she had this talk. You see, Emma had gotten a small role in a play off-broadway, and was trying to work her way up to eventually get to her dream. She was going to take any opportunity she could get.

“Damn,” Jack sighed in disappointment.

“It’s okay,” Alex also breathed out, although he really had hoped this could have been something, “we’ll find me somebody else.”

“No, not that, I still didn’t get her phone number!”

And they never saw Emma again that night. Alex, did however find her on Twitter and followed her that night while he was all alone in his hotel bed.
♠ ♠ ♠
So now he's single, but she isn't!!! Goddammit.