Leon spotted Vivian in the darkness ahead of him. She was easier to hear than to see. Viv wasn’t known for being very quiet. She wasn’t alone. As always. He was used to that. But today Leon had expected something else. “Leon!” she shouted and raised the bottle in her hand. She stood on top of a little wall. Her high-heels careless in the grass, her feet naked and frozen red. Her dress was way too short for such a chilly night and she also didn’t bring a jacket. The only thing keeping her warm was the alcohol. Leon had no illusions, she must have had plenty already. And the others seemed to do their best to keep up with her. He knew Lisa and Christy by sight. He had never seen the other girl sitting on the wall with them. Leon nodded in their direction. The strange girl didn’t so much as look at him. Among the boys he couldn’t find any familiar faces. And they didn’t look like the kind of people he actually wanted to know.
“Come here Leon.” Vivian shouted and waved him closer. She jumped right into his arms, laughing. “This, guys, is my best friend in the whole wide world. I swear, he’s the best!” she said. The others ignored her words and kept on talking to each other in low voices. “Here, have a drink.” Vivian offered him the bottle. Leon shook his head. He had a feeling it was better to stay sober.
“Can we go now?” one of the guys asked annoyed. “Of course! Let’s go!” Viv said overexcited. She led the group on, dragging Leon behind her. “Where are we going?” he asked, wondering whether she would take his jacket if he offered it. He figured out that it wasn’t very likely. She never did. “I haven’t got a clue. Does it matter?” “That you haven’t got a clue?” “No stupid, where we are going.” “Well I thought you knew, cause you’re in front of everybody.” “We just keep going till we find a good place to party. That’s all I know.” Leon didn’t know how to answer on that. The party usually was where Viv was, so there wasn’t really need to search for one. And the way the other guys looked they were more likely up to crash a party.
They kept on walking and drinking. At some places they stopped and stayed for a little while. But they all seemed to get bored of the places as fast as they got bored of the people there. Leon met a lot of his and Vivs friends and would’ve loved to stay with them, but Viv wanted to leave and so he went with her. He would never leave her alone with those people. The more time he spent with them the less he liked them. And the less he understood why Viv wanted to be with them.
Leon was sure that they were just getting ready to start a fight. He wasn’t afraid of them. They might be massive guys, but he wasn’t small either and he had the big advantage to be sober. The only thing that worried him was that Vivian might get hurt. It was better to leave them as soon as possible.
He fought his way through a crowd of strangers, but when he was only a few steps away from her he stopped. She was standing there with the one guy he disliked the most. He watched them with disbelieve. Did he really just see this? He ran over to them and pushed the guy away from her. “Hey man, what’s wrong with you?” he complained. “What did you put in her drink?” “What are you talking about man? I didn’t put anything in her drink.” “What did you put in her drink?” Leon shouted at him. “Nothing!” “Leon?” asked Vivian uncertain. “Don’t drink that, Viv.” She looked wasted. He turned back at the huge guy in front of him and pointed his finger at him. “Stay away from her!” He told him. “Or what?” The other one grinned. “Don’t try me.” Leon stared at him, waiting for a reaction. Then he took Vivian’s hand. “Let’s go Viv.” But as he headed towards the door he saw the guy moving from the corner of his eye. He evaded the punch and pushed Vivian aside. He heard her scream, but couldn’t take care of her. He grabbed the guy by his shirt and hit him hard in the face. He let go of him and looked at what he had done. Blood was shooting out of his nose. Leon guessed that he broke his nose. That should keep him busy for the moment.
He turned around, searching for Vivian. Many people were looking at him, but nobody said a word. He found her on the floor. Some girls kneeling next to her. “Are you ok?” Leon asked her. She nodded. He looked at her for some time, uncertain what to do. Then he picked her up and carried her outside. It was time for her to go home.
He walked and walked until he found himself in front of her house. He hadn’t even realized how heavy she was until then, because his thoughts had been running. He put her down and got the front door key out of its hiding place. He opened the door for her and lead her inside.
Leon stood in the door and tried to find the right words to break the silence. Then he said the only thing he could think of. “Why?” he asked her.
She gave him a sad look. “What else is there left?”