Eight months after I had broken up with Trish I met Joan on a party of a mutual friend. A party I still remember as if it had been yesterday. She wore a red dress – such a beautiful contrast to her black hair and hazel eyes. In fact, I think it was only then I noticed she got hazel eyes. When I saw her standing there with Jake who’d just given her another glass of vodka lemon – Joan’s favourite drink at the time – I felt as if an invisible hand had reached through my rips and held my heart, preventing it from beating. I had never felt anything that painful before. There was absolutely nothing going on, it was Jake’s party, so it was normal she talked to him. Besides, Jake told me the week before he wanted to propose to Melinda. Still, there was this unbearable pain in my heart I understood for what it was but not where it came from; even though the world hadn’t completely stopped turning for this girl, it had suddenly slowed down. But before I could even decide whether to ignore the feeling or try talking to her a guy I didn’t know grabbed her hand, kissed her and they went to the living room. Black. Pitch-black.
I wouldn’t call it love at first sight – actually, we didn’t like each other much. When Joan’s best friend and I still formed a couple we got along quite well. We had our arguments but it was nothing more than a bit of quarreling between friends who always ended up laughing together about how stupid the differences were. I don’t even remember the reason why I broke up with Trish but Joan didn’t talk to me for months afterwards although we ran into each other more than once. Her ignoring me didn’t matter to me at the time though.
They woke me up with a pint of scotch over my head. I tried to recollect what had happened and when I looked up I saw half a dozen students staring at me. Most of them were so drunk they wouldn’t have been able to call an ambulance so I reckon I was lucky they woke me up at all – even if their method was a bit doubtful. To them anyway I was nothing but yet another student who got too drunk at a party. I have no idea if Joan saw me lying there, I couldn’t see her. Perhaps she had already left. Jake helped me get up and helped me over to the couch. I can’t really remember what happened next because I was still a bit dizzy but I must have stumbled some phrase containing the words “Joan” and “boyfriend” because Jake stood there staring at me as if I was out of this world.
I decided to leave the party. I didn’t search for Joan before I left as I knew there wasn’t any use in it. And that knowledge cauterised a hole in my heart.