Zach x Reader: “Say You Won’t Let Go” (Prologue)
“Some people just sneak up on you and the next thing you know you’re wondering how you lived without them.”
you in the dark, you lit me up
You made me feel as though I was enough
It was a normal Friday night, in a normal party and of course Zach was tipsy. Zach looked around the dining room and everything seemed to go in a slow motion. The dancing bodies, the laughter, the distant chatters wherein everyone was talking too much and not listening enough: it was all too much for Zach. He pushed himself off the wall, quickly flashing an apologetic smile to the girls hanging around him, and started his march upstairs, barely giving another distant Jessica a glance as he pushed his way into a random room; away from the circus they called a party downstairs.
He dragged a chair towards the window overlooking the suburban neighbourhood it was in. Zach stared at the solo red cup in his hands and his face crumpled in disappointment as he threw the useless drink outside with too much force necessary and watched as it spilled and tumbled on the street. Zach didn’t want to be tipsy, he wanted to be drunk. He wanted to be drunk enough to forget his problems, to forget his sins, to forget that he caused a girl her life because he was an insecure and emotional asshole who is used to getting everything he wants. He scoffed, placing his face in his arms; it was all too fucking useless for Zach. Him being sorry would not take everything back, it would not heal everything he fucking destroyed and it will never bring Hannah back. Hannah is dead and it will forever be in his shoulders.
He was so confused, what should he do? What can he do? Is there any redemption in … murder? Zach shivered in this realization. It was murder, he murdered Hannah Baker: that was the silent, bitter truth.
Suddenly the door slammed wide open and a familiar stranger stumbled into the room. “Holy shit – I’m sorry – shit you’re Zach, I am so sorry! I didn’t—I wasn’t – “He watched as you tried to blabber your way out of the awkward situation the both of you were currently in. He watched as a piece of your hair fell on your face as you stubbornly tried to place it behind your ear in your drunken haze, the way your hands gestured too much as if to prove your point, the way your lips twitched every once in a while, and the pleading in your beautiful eyes as you explained yourself over and over again to Zach.
“Hey, hey,” Zach cut her off and tried to smile.”It’s fine.”
Your face fell, what’s up with him? You knew him, of course you knew him, who wouldn’t know the great Zach Dempsey, he was high school royalty. With his previous group into pieces, Alex’s suicide attempt, Justin’s sudden disappearance and Bryce’s transfer, he was the king of their school but in that moment you realized that sometimes being at the top can be lonely even for a king.
“Are you … are you okay?” You straightened up when you saw him look at you but he just chuckled, still staring at his hands as if it wasn’t his own.
“It’s that obvious, huh?” he asked, glancing at you.
“Well,” If you weren’t so drunk you would’ve known that this was the first time you have actually talked to him throughout your whole high school life even if you have at least five classes together every day. “This party is for your win this season and … um, for someone who was supposed to be the guest of honour you don’t seem very thrilled.”
Zach suddenly sat straighter, his walls automatically wrapping around his cold, dead heart, afraid of what you might know if you get too close, figuratively and literally. “Well, aren’t you observant.” He mumbled to himself but he immediately realized the small poison in his words when he saw your friendly aura fall. “Sorry, I’m … I’m not usually an ass.”
“It’s fine,” You tried to console him. You knew, from the way he handled himself, he was not in a very good place right now. With the awkward silence that followed you could almost hear the slow song playing below.
Zach decided to end that. “Wanna dance?”
Zach chuckled, standing up. This was his party; he might as well have fun with a pretty stranger. “You can’t say no to the guest of honour. It’s simple party etiquette.” He took two of your arms and placed it on his shoulders as he carefully placed his on your waist, making sure not to cross any lines. He’s crossed enough lines to last him a lifetime and he didn’t want to ruin this moment by being insensitive.
“I can’t dance.” You confessed already a blushing mess when you realized how close your face is to his and goddamn he was fine.
“We’re at a party,” he whispered, almost as if it was a little secret. He took one of your arms and slowly turned you around, wrapped his arms on your waist and dipped you a bit. You couldn’t help the squeal that left your mouth making Zach release a small laugh. He couldn’t believe he was actually having some fun trying to teach a drunk girl how to dance. “You are supposed to dance.”
He took your right arms in his, the difference of the size was remarkable, and placed it on his chest as you slowly swayed to the faint music on the background. You tried to study him, his careful movements, his barely-there freckle below his right eye, his strong jaw, and his tragically sad eyes. You wondered what broke this beautiful boy to make him so guarded from the world but somehow managed to crack himself open to a stranger.
It’s when people started opening up to strangers rather than their friends that you will know they’ve hit rock bottom.
He smirked and gave you a twirl again; probably realizing you were seeing too much. You decided to stop making him uncomfortable and decided just to enjoy the moment that you know will end the moment you will walk out of this room. When you return to becoming a nobody and he will turn back into being Zach Dempsey.
Zach realized that too and if he wasn’t so broken already he would’ve felt sad. For now, he was just thankful that he was given this sliver of happiness and tranquillity in the mess that was his life.
Your safe haven was disturbed by the ringing on Zach’s phone. Zach sighed, letting go of you, ignoring the pang in his chest as he took his phone from his pockets. “It’s my mom.” He said, looking at you.
“I’ll give you some peace and quiet then.”
He looked at you as you stood there for a moment, waiting for his response but when he said nothing to stop you, you opened the door you accidentally closed and started walking out.
Then you smiled over your shoulder,
For a minute I was stone cold sober.
“Wait.” You froze in your spot when his booming voice stopped you from disappearing from his view.
Zach could’ve sworn his heart stopped when the light from the hallway hit your face just right to make you look like a glowing angel.
An angel, Zach silently laughed, he didn’t deserve an angel.
“I’m Zach,” he winced when he realized you already knew his name and he literally just made a fool of himself in order to look nonchalant and cool. Typical Zach. “I mean, who are you – what’s your name?”
You could tell him, but you thought he was probably just trying to be nice. Plus, getting to know him would be tricky and might get you too attached to this broken yet beautiful boy who was living in a different world as you. This meeting was a mistake, you both knew that, that you weren’t meant to meet, fate did not plan the two of you to cross paths. You were supposed to be just two strangers that would be too familiar but also too hazy to be someone important. But somehow in a shitty party in the dark, wherein everything was too much but not enough you have become a source of safety for the other even for just the night.
You smiled sadly, deciding being strangers would be the road with less resistance.
“I’ll see you around, big guy.” You chuckled, slowly closing the door. “Tonight was wonderful.”
HOW IS IT??? OMG I AM BACK AND ALIVE YALL
Shoutout to @jazminblake for the request love you xxx