The pulsating music thrums through her veins, the adrenaline confusingly welcomed.
She leans back against the cemented wall, briefly touching her temple as the lights flash and the bass drops.
She shouldn't be here. She knew this was a bad idea.
Echo tugs at her skirt hemline, neck flushing at how ridiculous she must look. The tight and revealing attire bares an insecure vulnerability she swore to never succumb to.
Sweaty, drunken bodies crowd her sober space. She crosses her arms, hoping to sink into the shadows and dark walling.
The group she came with has dispersed and found activities to occupy themselves.
Yet, Echo remains on the wayside, proving yet again she doesn't know how to let "loose" and "have fun".
A hard body slams into her, sloshing their alcohol down the entire front of her sparkly chest. There is no apology, just shouted lyrics of the wrong song.
Echo slides along the wall, heels pinching her toes with each step. She uses the obnoxiously sparkly sleeves of her dress to contain the drip off her chest, not wanting to ruin the floor.
'The floor? How fucking pathetic can I be?' She scoffs disgustingly at herself.
'Quit being such a pushover'
Echo pauses in her journey to the bathroom, frowning to herself. She might as well leave. It's clear none of her "friends" care about her.
Her "date" found another tongue willing to play with his.
There is no place for her. She isn't meant to belong.
A cell-phone flash catches in her peripheral.
She turns to her right, trying to see through the seizing purple lights. Another body, softer this time, bumps into her.
Echo flattens herself against the wall, trying to smile at the glaring girl, who brushes past with an unnecessary shove.
A sharp scratch from the live DJ station causes another round of deafening screams and a severe ear ache for Echo.
She redirects her path slightly, heading towards the front door rather than the bathrooms.
Fighting through alcohol induced bodies and wearing four inch heels begins to take its toll on her fight against an anxiety attack.
She squints against the smoky haze and flashing lights, the distance to the exit seemingly growing.
As the crowd begins jumping at the song choice, the jostling against her body becomes worse. Echo wobbles as her heel lands awkwardly on the cracked cement flooring.
She stumbles into the person beside her, who grips her elbow in an effort to stabilize her.
The grip on her arm tightens briefly, before helping her maneuver through the crowd. Echo looks to her right, catching a fleeting glance of the poor person she rammed into.
His demeanor is terse, his grip almost bruising. Yet a touch of sadness is within his quick strides. He braces a suit jacket arm in front of them, deftly navigating the drunken horde.
They finally break from the mosh pit of a room, the crisp night air cooling the flush in Echo's cheeks. The draw of fresh air clears away some of the panic and each breath becomes easier to take.
She turns to thank him, for dragging her out from the hell-hole. But he's started down the street, shrugging off the black blazer.
"Hey! I, uh, wanted to thank-" She calls out, stumbling after him.
Eric pivots, striding back to her as she leans down to slip off her heels. He drapes the large suit coat around her, tugging it closed to gain her attention.
"You're welcome. But do yourself a favor; quit trying to fit into places where you don't belong. Own your fucking shit."
Echo teeters back in surprise at his bluntness, clutching the coat. He gives her an efficient perusal, nodding to himself. He runs a hand through his hair.
"And try not to break the poor fucker's heart."
Eric resumes walking down the street, leaving the stunned girl. He reaches the corner, ready to disappear into the night's shadows, when he hears her breathless shout.
"Echo! I'm Echo!"
He hesitates, sparing a final glance. His stupid jacket fits her frame snugly, probably wearing it better than he ever could.
Her make-up is thick and smeared, hair a frizzy mess, heels idiotically high and thin.
Yet, a quiet sadness lurks beneath her superficial appearance. The anguish is dangerous, pulling at his bleeding heart.
But he leaves, knowing it's the best for both of them.
And she watches, knowing it's just begun.