Today’s fiction post is the result of a discussion on my experience of shyness vs. social anxiety.
We pulled up outside a small suburban home, brightly lit with music blaring from inside.
“Have fun!” Mum offered as I slid out of the car, handbag slung over my shoulder.
Giving her a wave as she drove away, I took a deep breath and wandered up to the front door, anticipation and nerves warring in the pit of my stomach. The door was flung open as I approached, expelling a hoard of my tipsy friends, all clamouring for hugs. A drink was pressed into my hand as I was dragged inside.
“You have to meet Luke, he’s a friend of my idiot brother, but he’s soooo cute. You’ll like him.” Insisted Emily as I meekly followed along, swept along by her forceful personality.
Not waiting for a response, Emily pulled me along towards the back of the house, where the barbeque being cooked.
“Oi fuckface! Look after Kate for me for a bit, will you?” Emily charmingly asked her brother, ignoring the fact that I was shrinking slightly behind her assertive frame.
“Sure – guys, this is Kate. Kate – this is everybody.”
“Hi,” I mumbled awkwardly, sipping my drink.
One of the guys standing around the barbeque smiled, and offered a hand. “I’m Luke.”
I blushed, shaking his hand. “Nice to meet you.”
Maybe the party would be okay after all.
I took a few deep breaths as we pulled up to the house.
Everything is going to be fine, I told myself.
As though hearing my thoughts, Mum said, “Have fun, just think positive.”
Think positive? I thought derisively as I got out, waving as she drove away. Fat chance of that.
I hope this is the right place…I wonder who’s there – god I hope Jas is there. Oh god. What do I do if I can’t find anyone else I know? I can’t trail around behind Kym all night. Oh, great. My hands are sweating. Do I smell? God I hope I don’t smell. I should have put more perfume on before I left home. Why didn’t I do that? I’m such an idiot…
I knocked on the door, clenching my hands tightly against my sides as I waited, trying to quell the shaking. I had a bad feeling about tonight.
The door opened to a chorus of greetings, and I contemplated bolting as the door shut behind me, cutting off my exit.
A short while later, drink in hand and abandoned by both Kym and Jas, I smiled awkwardly as I tried to insert myself into a conversation with people I had just met.
I was failing miserably.
They must think I’m an idiot, sitting here smiling randomly. That guy is looking at me. Why is he looking at me? Is there something on my face? There’s probably something on my face. I’m not drunk enough for this…I just wanna go home. Why did I even leave the house? It only ever leads to bad things…Oh, great – he’s coming over. What do I do? What do I do?!?
“Hi, I’m Josh. What was your name, again? Meg, right?”
Why is he talking to me? Does he feel sorry for me? Just great, he feels sorry for me. What do I say? I’ll probably sound like an idiot, whatever I do. Is it too late to turn around and pretend I didn’t see him? Maybe I can go find Kym. Or Jas. Or I can lock myself in the bathroom so I can freak out alone. Oh, right – responding…
“Uh, yeah – yeah that’s me. Nice to meet you.”
Don’t blush, don’t blush…
Word Count: 603