Before his big day, I was invited to Dave’s bachelor party at a rented penthouse by the shore. I thought we would hang out on the beach and enjoy the calmness of the waves and sunset. But I knew I was wrong when I arrived at the party in the late evening.
I could feel the vibration of the pumping music from outside. Taking a deep breath, I rang the doorbell. The front door swung open with great force and I was face to face with Dave, his goofy smile shined and his hand strongly clasped a glass filled with brown liquor. “Hey, Vincent! Glad you could make it! C’mon in!”
As I walked in, friends greeted me in a tipsy stupor, constantly giggling at their own giddy antics. Dave attempted to hand me a beer but spilled most of it onto the floor.
“Sorry about that,” he slurred. The others shrugged and sipped from their glasses.
I also ignored the spill and grabbed the half-filled cup. I let the party ambience slowly suck me in and eventually I joined the drunken foolery.
When the doorbell rang, Dave jerked his head toward the door and sheepishly smiled. “Our ‘surprise’ is here…”
Before I could ask Dave anything, the three-tiered white cake exploded and a woman dressed in black panties and bra appeared. The guys cheered, making dog-like sounds and ogling over her.
“Hi,” she cooed. She was beautiful with her golden hair and doleful eyes. I just stared at the wall not sure how to react to all of this. Somehow, I managed to block out the guys’ whooping and drooling, and the woman’s “sexy talk”. But it sounded unusual like she was nervous instead of excited. They didn’t care; they all got lap dances and slapped her behind. Frozen in my seat, I dug my fingers into my knees. The room was becoming a kaleidoscopic blur. My heart was about to burst out of my chest when I realized she was heading over to me. I tried to say that I had too much to drink, but all I heard was slurring.
The guys’ cheering burst into my ears as my turn begun; my body was rigid as she did her routine.
She timidly asked, “What’s your name handsome?”
“Vincent.” My eyes remained glued to the wall behind her.
“Ooo, I like that name.”
She danced a little more and I collapsed with relief when she went back to entertain the others. My stomach began reject the alcohol and I ran into the bathroom to throw up as the room turned pitch black; I passed out.
I woke up again with a pounding headache. Glancing at the clock, it read 4:03 am. I knew I wasn’t going to fall back asleep, so I went on a search for aspirin.
After checking the empty cabinet, I begrudgingly headed downstairs. I was not surprised when I saw my friends passed out on the sofas and the fancy carpet. Just as I was about to enter the other bathroom, a cry rung out.
Curious, I traced the cry to the front entrance. I was taken aback when I discovered it was the woman from the cake. She was trying her hardest to contain her sobs. Her eyes were rimmed with crimson, and she was only wearing a faux fur coat and black stilettos.
Standing in uncertainty, I finally said something, “Hi… What’s wrong? Are you okay?”
She looked at me with scared doe eyes. “I’m sorry. I-I just want to go home, but I don’t have a ride. I would’ve called a taxi, but,” She tilted her head down and stared at her outfit. “I’m not really wearing anything.” Cheeks glowing red with humiliation, she began to cry again.
I ended up in a mental battle in whether or not I should kick her out or not. I didn’t ask her to show up, but then again, no one else was conscious to help. Before I could stop myself, I blurted, “I’ll take you home.”
Her eyes sparked with gratitude, but hesitant to grab my hand. We headed out and I ignored my headache as we drove off. She told me her address and the rest of the car ride was followed by silence. I wanted to attempt at small talk but became nervous when I saw her leaning the window, shedding tears.
I pulled up and right before she could leave, I asked, “What’s your name?”
“Elena,” she whispered.
“That’s a pretty name.”
Elena hopped out of the car. She took a few steps, turned suddenly towards me, smiled, and sadly waved. “Thanks for the ride, Vincent.”
When she disappeared from my sight, I couldn’t help but think that her smile was just as hollow as the cake she popped out of.