Maisie had thought going out with a group from work would be fun. It had been a lot of fun joking and talking in the car ride up Alcoa Highway to the club in The Old City. Loose camaraderie was more her thing. The interplay of friends and a place to themselves, away from the world.
Maisie had also enjoyed getting dressed up to go out. It was something she rarely did, and it had been something of a treat, a chance to express another side of herself. One of the young woman, and undergrad in Economics named Tessa, had helped her with her and make-up and choosing her outfit. Maisie went with the same one she’d worn the first time she’d went out with her lover.
But now actually at the club, the music was too loud, and it was dark but cut through with strobes that made her eyes hurt. The drinks were expensive; even soda set her back $7. The others, a mix of undergrad men and women, where having quite the time, but Maisie was feeling like she was backed into a corner, the bass line of the music thumping like a fist into her chest, her mind scrambled and unsettled, and she felt the lizard fight or flight instinct rising in her, telling her she should run for the door.
One of the young men in her group, a sweet Art boy named Skylar, asked her to dance with them. She wasn’t sure about going out on the dance floor, already feeling backed into a corner, but she didn’t want to spoil the other’s fun either. So she danced with him and focused on the melody line of the music, and that helped soothe her.
After, on the empty highway back home, everyone was quiet and content. Maisie’s ears rang and her skin vibrated with electricity. Tessa was half asleep and tipsy, laying her head on Maisie’s shoulder. Her head rocked with the rhythm of the road. Her long hair brushing sweetly against Maisie’s cheek.
They dropped Maisie off at her parent’s house, and she watched them drive into the night, back to their dorms and their carefree times.
Maisie let herself back into her house, and walked down into her basement apartment, and lay on her bed. She turned her alarm clock radio on, to a late night call in show that played love songs and the host offered advice. She felt she was glad she went, and was hoping these were new and permanent friends, but clubbing was not for her.
As a lament to unrequited love played, she drifted to sleep.