One of her actors had just turned 21, and they used the following Saturday night to really celebrate. They hit up a lounge that was for older people, but for some reason the theatre crowd liked to visit ironically. It had a dance floor, and bad drinking, but it made for a good time.
A mix of her old cast and new came along to celebrate, as well as SD. The drinks and shots worked their way into their systems as they talked, and she spent most of her time making sure 21 was having a good time. She let him into the women's restroom to see the good lighting everyone used for photos, and bought him shots with the understanding he would get the signature beverages for closing night celebration.
Once they had enough to drink, the dancing started. She mostly stayed with one person as the rest of them danced, but then SD convinced Acrobat to pull her onto the dance floor.
Acrobat was unlike any guy she had been interested in before. They had met last year on a show, and had been good acquaintances since. He was in the pre-show for her current show, and he was in her next show. They were about to be spending a lot of time together. The flirting started while she had her fever. He was making fun of her, then asked her for help shaving his legs for a future show he had.
"Listen, if I'm helping you shave your legs, we better be fucking is all I'm saying. Ask the stage manager for that show for help, not me!" He found that endlessly amusing, and continued to encourage her to say inappropriate things. He joked about how he was far from perfect, and she would counter with "Of course you aren't perfect...you aren't in love with me yet." The conspiratorial wink that followed cinched their flirtationship.
Alcohol only made their flirting more, and being theatre people, the touching only escalated. Not only for them, but for anyone else around. He encouraged her to "let go" and let him lead. She squealed and said she was trying. He dipped her low to the ground and everyone around them clapped.
They shut down the bar, and decided the fun shouldn't be over yet. They got into separate cars and decided on another bar. 21 and SD fought over who would drive while she sat in the back, convinced she wasn't the most sober one. SD flooded the engine twice in the parking lot before 21 took over and got them there in one piece.
The second bar had already had their last call. She bitched on social media about how last calls were horseshit, and they decided to walk down to the next bar that was sure to be open.
She ended up walking with Acrobat, with their arms around each other they talked about relationships. She boldly asked him if he had been with anyone intimately since he broke up with his girlfriend a year ago. He said no.
"What? Acrobat, you've got to get over her by getting under someone else, for real. I mean, I'm not volunteering or anything but...you should." She told him.
"You're not?" He joked with her, pulling her closer to his side. The comment, though made in jest, stung her heart. "No, I'm not the girl you randomly sleep with to get over your ex. I'm the one you have a relationship with." She might have said, or she might have just thought drunkenly.
The flirting continued at the next bar, with more shots and 21 going into the crowd and scoring more shots from someone else. SD left shortly after they arrived, ghosting and walking home. She got a from SD after she left. She was a little hurt, as they lived in the same building, that she wouldn't at least ask if she wanted to walk with her.
Acrobat quickly turned her attention back to him, buying them all a shot. He asked her to lean closer to him, as another actor sat between them. "I'm going to kiss you."
He did. It was a peck, nothing to it kind of kiss. She was too drunk to let it turn into some creepy make out session over another person. It was trashy enough as it was.
Then he said something to her that she emotionally blocked out right away. Maybe it was something about using her for sex, maybe it was something else. All she could remember was pushing him away and saying "If that's the case, then stay the fuck away from me." He laughed and didn't take her seriously, but she was very serious.
She and 21 decided to call it a night shortly afterward, and they walked back to 21's car. 21 insisted he was okay to drive, and he would drive her home. He did so successfully, and she said to text her when he was home safe. But because she was drunk, she fell into bed as soon as she closed her door. She knew the sun would wake her in mere hours anyway.
She woke to three text messages from 21; he had a flat tire, where was she, and then one final "I'm arrested."
She threw on some pants and walked around downtown to where he would have gone, wandering and checking parking garages for an hour. She called and texted to no avail. She became worried sick.