I was allowed to go the party under one condition. No drinking.
We rush into the house and straight into the room with the blaring music for a dance before we get ‘liquored up’. It’s so loud I can feel the beat reverberating inside my chest. Finally the song ends and we rob the drinks table, dropping skittles into the vodka shots and opening all the beer. Feeling light-headed after one shot I pour my second into a plant and slip outside to sit on the porch for some air.
‘Mmmkay. Think I’m liddle bit drlunk.’ I squint up to see Oli peering down at me and sober up immediately.
‘Lightweight. I saw you do one shot and I think you killed the plant.’
I grimace feeling the vodka sloshing against my empty stomach and start to answer but not trusting myself to keep the alcohol inside me, I clamp my mouth shut.
‘Fancy a dance?’ He grins conspiratorially and I feel myself getting up and walking back into the house with my hand in his. After three songs, I was sufficiently sobered up and I hit the drinks table for another round. Ashley pours a foul-smelling drink into the last clean bowl in the kitchen. We laugh at the odour and gag at the first repulsive sip. Bets are being placed on the table in front of Ashley, Maegan, Ailsa and me? Oli drapes his arm over Ailsa’s shoulder and drawls something into her ear that makes her squeal. Feeling myself jealous and drunk I turn away from the table but my hand is tugged back.
‘Where do you think you’re going? I placed ten quid on you.’ Oli stares furiously at his money and then back at me. I nod, annoyed at his sudden patriotism to my pathetic cause and brace myself for the nauseating drink.
I rest the bowl against my lips and stop breathing to avoid inhaling the toxic fumes. The smell was the first warning to stop drinking and the taste was the next. Amid screams and cheers of encouragement, I gulp down the acidic liquid and feel it burn my throat and pool into my stomach with the vodka. Three mouthfuls. Two. I feel drops spilling out of the corners of my mouth. I can’t drink anymore. One last sip. There’s just one left. Please. Tears cloud my vision but I can see more notes being thrust in front of me. People think I can do this. One. My lips search for another drop but the bowl is dry. I drop it and listen to the hoards of people reaching for their money.
Not waiting any longer, I shove through the crowd. Out the door. Fresh air. Bush. I thrust my head into the foliage and empty my alcohol filled stomach.
‘What did you think you were doing?’
I turn around to see my mother standing staring at me in shame.
‘Drinking and don’t think I didn’t see you sneak back into the party with that boy. Where were you? Bedroom?’
I wipe my mouth on a leaf and sigh in humiliation. The people who were dancing so furiously minutes ago are now standing watching my mother yell her entire twisted version of the night’s events at me. Gasps echo around the crowd when they hear that I supposedly slept with Oli and I can see him staring at the ground with interest.
‘I swear. I’m -‘
It is not worth the fight. In her eyes I am guilty
until proven innocent. The crowd parts as she strides through and I follow sheepishly in her wake. As I pass Oli, he slips something into my hand.
Here’s the tenner. You won the bet. Rumours will be flying on Monday. Oli x
I grin and whisper ‘I will never drink again’ under my breath whilst my mother utters profanities under hers.
Truth or tale? You decide 😉