Author: Emma Swan


          ‘What the hell am I doing here?’

          Those words went on and on in Navy’s mind while sitting in a booth near her friend and roommate. The ice cubes in her glass clinked together as she stirred her vodka-cranberry drink and took a sip.

“Hell, Navy… Could you at least pretend you’re having a good time?” Paige leaned in and yelled against her ear to be heard over the music. “This is the hottest nightclub in Seattle… Look at us! We’re absolutely fabulous and we’re getting a ton of male attention tonight.”

          As if to make her point, Paige waved to a group of men at a nearby table who were looking in their direction.

“I’m so sorry, Paige,” Navy yelled back.

          Well, she wasn’t that sorry since all Navy really wanted was to go home. But she cared deeply about her friend and didn’t want to ruin her friend’s night out. Paige had put a lot of effort into dragging her into that nightclub.

          Earlier that evening, at home, Navy had spent far too long preparing… Seeing herself in the mirror, with that hair-do and the make-up… well, it was too much… She was about to change into sweatpants and a t-shirt and curl up on the couch when Paige had selected her littlest black dress and strutted into Navy’s room proclaiming it the one.

‘This is THE DRESS for you… The perfect one to wear tonight… Babe, every guy in the club is going to be drooling over you once you enter wearing THIS,’” Paige had assured her.

‘Great…’” Navy had replied, without much enthusiasm. “‘I hope all that saliva comes out at the dry cleaners.’

          But Navy was forced to admit, thanks to Paige’s instruction and final touches with styling, makeup, and hair techniques, she had never looked better.

“Paige… Listen… I’m getting such a headache. And I should really get home. Finals are coming up. And we’ve got that early class tomorrow…”

          Navy grasped for any reason to not be at ‘The Sin Nightclub’ on a Thursday night.

“Oh, my God, girl!!! You’re practically living the life of a nun!” Paige huffed in frustration.

“I’m not… I’m just an introvert, and it’s super trendy right now…”

          ‘It’s okay being introverted,’ Navy thought defensively.

          Words she wouldn’t dare say to her friend. It’s good for a female to be a little mysterious… And who’s more mysterious than a girl who never leaves her house?

“Either way, you’re not going anywhere!”

          Paige pulled on Navy’s wrist until she was seated at the table with her.

“Don’t worry about class. Professor B. invited some guest-speaker… So, it’ll just be some old, old, old colleague of his. They’ll turn down the lights and we can nap in the back of the class.”

          Navy opened her mouth, but Paige plowed over her, running her fingers through her own flawlessly styled, bleach-blond pixie haircut.

“Come on! We’re here to have some fun. For the past few years, I’ve watched you lock yourself in your room, hibernate in the library and never take a minute to look up from your books. We are graduating in two weeks, Navy…” she reached out to grab Navy’s hands in her own, “and I need to see you act like the beautiful, exotic, sassy young thing that you are before we part ways, become old hags and never see each other or have any fun ever again.”

          Paige took a long pull on her beer.

“Please, babe! We need to act young and stupid… this one last time…” Paige pleaded. “For heaven’s sake, BE IRRESPONSIBLE… for once! Live a little with me!”

          Navy laughed.

“For your information, I have a lot of fun.”

          Paige raised an eyebrow, clearly not convinced.

“I really do…”

“Are you kidding me? Staying home on Friday night and binge-watching some TV series isn’t the type of fun that a single twenty-five-year-old woman should be having. Especially a complete knockout like yourself. When was the last time you had sex?”

          Her mouth dropped open… Navy was shocked that her friend would even go there.

“Excuse me?!”

          Paige smirked.

“That’s what I thought…”

          She relented.

“Okay, when was the last time you were even kissed? Like properly kissed?”

          Navy remained silent.

“Let’s make it even simpler… When was the last time you had a date?”

          This time, Navy sighed. Her best friend was right. It had been so long since she’d been on a date, or gone to a club, or even let herself focus on anything but her studies. Far too long… And she was twenty-five… Such a nice age to find the right guy… if there was such a thing.

          But Navy had no time for such nonsense… She was so close to the end. She’d spent every waking moment of the past five years working diligently toward her goal, completing her master’s degree in Business Administration.

          For the entirety of her short adult life, it was her dream to pursue a career in hotel management, running an upscale resort hotel. Probably on a beach somewhere... Most definitely somewhere hot.

          She dreamed of a life in Miami, or the Bahamas, or any other exotic location in the Caribbean. Somewhere where the sun was always shining and the sea was always blue… She could only smile at how close she finally was to that life.

“We’re part of the hospitality industry, Navy,” Paige continued, pressing her argument, at which she was so talented. “So, in order to be successful, we need to monitor trends to stay on top of our game. And at least one small part of that, my friend, includes visiting nightclubs and having fun! Trying new drinks, networking, schmoozing a little, and learning to talk to people to get information about things they like and things they don’t.”

“Really?” Navy asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Yes, really… Getting a sense of what’s hot and what’s not… And this place is hot, by the way. Don’t you want to be at the top of your game, Navy?” Paige finished with a smile.

          Her friend was obviously proud of herself for putting their girls’ night out in terms of their studies, knowing Navy would respond favorably. Paige knew it was her only hope of getting her to stick around.

          Navy smiled back at Paige. She loved her friend dearly, despite the fact she sometimes wanted to strangle her. But once again, her friend was right…

“You have such a big mouth, Paige… You could’ve been a lawyer, you know?” she said with a laugh.

“Yeah… One in our family is quite enough…” she replied shaking her head. “So… am I right or… am I right?”

          Navy sighed and brought her glass to her lips and drank back a fortifying gulp. When the glass was empty, Navy slammed it down on the table.

“Fine! You win! Let’s have fun.”

          Then she stopped and looked at Paige quizzically.

“How do we have fun?”

“Welcome to ‘How to party right! 1.0’. My name is Paige Turner and tonight I’m going to be your teacher… Let’s start by getting more drinks.”

          Paige stood, picking up Navy’s empty glass and her own empty bottle.

“That round didn’t last long enough.”

          Paige straightened her crop top and smoothed her hands down over her skinny leather pants and she made her way back to the bar. Navy pulled out her phone to check her email. Nothing new!

Then she flicked through some I***a pictures that some of her friends had posted, people her age going out to clubs and having parties. They somehow managed to juggle their studies and their social lives. She scrolled lower and lower and saw more friends having drinks at pubs and eating in restaurants, hiking, playing paintball, and riding on party buses.

          Navy tapped on the icon to view her own profile. There were no pictures, and at no time had she ever ridden on a party bus. Was Paige right? Had she let a good part of her twenties escape her without getting out there and doing wild things?

          ‘Girl, you’re twenty-five… You’ve never gone skinny-dipping or drunk a bottle of wine by the ocean. You’ve never traveled the world… Never took chances… You are nothing more than a wuss…’

She looked in disgust at her mostly pathetic I***a profile and grimaced.

          ‘Take a break from this absurd existence, Navy… Live a little! Go crazy! Have some damn fun tonight or die trying!’

“And you just might,” she whispered to herself, as Paige walked back to the table, holding two fresh drinks for them. “That was quick,” Navy remarked, accepting her glass.

“Yeah, but I schmoozed the hot bartender earlier, so when he saw me walking up, the good lad skipped everyone else at the bar to serve ‘yours truly’.” Paige smiled.

“Nicely done, I say…” Navy proffered her glass in salute and Paige clinked it with her beer bottle. “So, teacher… What are we going to do?” she asked.

          Paige pursed her lips, deep in thought. Navy watched her as she scanned the club, searching for inspiration.

“How about a little… ‘truth or dare’?”

“What?” Navy scoffed. “Paige, babe… We aren’t twelve anymore. I’m not going to play such a game.”

          She giggled. It seemed that the vodka in her cranberry was working its way through her brain.

“Okay, how about dare, then?”

“Mmm, Paige… I don’t know...” Navy said with hesitation.

“Listen, you said you wanted to have fun, right?” Paige pleaded. “Come on! I’ll do anything you dare me to do.”

“Well, that’s easy for you,” she replied, smiling broadly as she put a comforting hand on her friend’s arm, “because you, my dearest Paige, have no shame whatsoever...”

          Paige laughed.

“Even so…”

           She continued scoping out the club.

“Oh, I’ve got it!”


          Paige pointed to the bar. Well, she was actually pointing to a gorgeous… god who was standing next to it, chatting with the hot bartender.

“See that guy?”

          ‘Am I blind? How could I possibly miss a man like that?’

“Yeah, of course, I do.”

          Paige pasted on her most devilish smile and directed it at Navy.

“Very well, then... Because you, sweet girl, are going to walk up to him, wrap your arms around his neck and you’re going to kiss him like you’ve never kissed a man before.”

“Are you out of your damn mind?! No way in hell! I’m absolutely not going to do that,” Navy exclaimed.

“It’s a little harmless dare, Navy… Come on! What have you got to lose?”

“Hmm, let’s see… My pride? My dignity? Should I go on?” Navy trailed off.

          She glanced at that magnificent man... It looked as though he had left work and decided to hit the club. He wore tailored pants that showed off his very nice, round butt. He had unbuttoned the top button of his shirt and had rolled up his sleeves.

          Her breath just got caught for a second… She saw him laugh as the bartender said something to him. What could it hurt to walk up to him and kiss him?

          ‘It’s not like I’ll ever see him again…’

          Navy thought of her sad, little, unexciting social media profile… She slammed her glass down, sloshing some of the pink liquid over the edge and onto her fingers and the table.


          She looked determinedly at the man.

“I’ll do it!”

“That’s my girl! Go and make me proud!” Paige exclaimed as Navy walked away from the table.

Comments (1)
goodnovel comment avatar
Bella Jersey
Damn you go girl. I want to see his reaction. Because Navy is kissing him just to kiss him

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