For Part I, go here. For Part II, go here. For Part III, go here.
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Suzanne was immediately interested in Jack. It hit her like a semi-truck. She was annoyed by his arrogance, but it somehow intrigued her. He was interesting, popular, and cool. And this guy could be hers.
They began chatting and the convo then moved to the dance floor. They each held a Miller Lite bottle (thanks to Jack - the fact that he was twenty-one made her knees a little weak actually) and held on to it tightly, almost as if the bottle they grasped contained their hopes for the remainder of the evening. Neither one was letting go.
The conversation spread across all the possible continents of the world of small talk. They discussed movies (for her, it was the sappy romantic ones like "The Notebook" or smart comedies like "Adaptation"; his favorite movie is "Dude, Where's My Car?"), music (she really went for anything with a good beat; Jack turned out to be a fan of whatever was popular at the time - he was one of those guys who jumped on every pop/rock bandwagon), and books (she always claimed to like all the contemporary brilliant minds over those ancient classic-writers, be it Nick Hornby instead of Shakespeare or taking Chuck Palahniuk over Dickens; Jack's eloquent response: "Fuck books."). She knew that these responses were not exactly what she looked for in a guy. That didn't matter when she caught his glance, and his baby blue eyes convinced her to keep dancing, talking, and most important of all, drinking. So she did.
At a table just ten feet away, Michael and Allison sat there quietly, not talking. Poor Allison had tried to get things going with those classic conversation starters ("So, where are you from?" and "What do you do?" being two examples), but it was to no avail. Michael was too busy putting beer after beer away while constantly staring at the budding romance in the center of the floor. Michael had never felt jealousy like this before. It was eating him up inside like some kind of animal. And he was doing everything he could to drown that animal with assorted adult beverages.
It was nearly ten o'clock, and Michael was about forty-five minutes passed buzzed. He looked away from the dance floor for just a second and noticed that Allison was no longer sitting across from him. He was in a crowded club, but he was completely alone. As he made his way back to the bar to pick up yet another thirst-quencher, he locked eyes with Jack, who was dancing behind a tipsy Suzanne (in that slow-then-quick, sex-with-clothes-on way). Jack winked at his pal and then proceeded to put his non-beer hand on Suzanne's hip.
It was at that exact moment that Michael cracked. He wasn't sure what he had expected when he invited Jack to specifically hit on Suzanne. All he knew was that it infuriated him to watch his best friend be treated like that by a complete asshole. The night was going to be defined by whatever Michael did next. He could either continue to the bar, drink his frustrations away, and not care what happened between Suzanne and Jack, or he could step in and politely ask Jack to back off from his best friend.
Michael chose Door Number Three.