My first story here. A cathartic one-shot musing on drunken parties. Heavy themes. Fiction? I wish.
I was drunk. I wasn’t so drunk as to disillusion myself, but I was definitely drunk. It was a Mexican party, sombrero’s and Margaritas abound. I had danced half the night away, and was now desperate for a pee. I stumbled slightly to the toilet at the base of the stairs; so intent was I on my destination that I noticed nothing else. Walking back up, however, I noticed a small group of my friends, sitting at the base of the stairs, all centred and focussed on one girl (aside from the girl dressed as a chilli who was coma-ed out). Melody was a close friend, and I knew that she had been going through some family trouble, an abusive dad. She had kept quiet all these years, but now, on the stairs of a house party, she was breaking her silence. I wanted to join; I wanted to support her like a good friend, but, I admit, there was a less honourable motive as well, heck, I wanted to hear gossip. So I sat down and listened for a bit. She was talking about her dad, talking about how cruel he was; he threw a chair at her sister, the fucker. I sat there with sympathy, until, unexplainably, I had the overwhelming desire to leave. So I lurched away, finding the room with all the bags, crouched over mine, and let the tears flow. I didn’t really know why I was crying, I was just so sad. I pretended to get myself a drink from the vodka in my bag, in case anyone came in, facing the wall so no one could see me distraught. I leant against the plaster and let my thoughts rise from the depths of my alcohol fogged brain. I realised I was crying for her father, and mine. Funnily enough, I even felt slightly jealous of her, a completely unjustified emotion, I know. But mum had told me my own dad was so depressed that she feared he was seeking a way out. Suicide. For all my bravado and faint obsession with death, I was not willing to confront it, in fact, I was mortally afraid of it. And it was my fault, it seemed. I held onto the childish notion that dad’s depression was my fault for not being a better daughter, not being perfect, not being happy. So I cried; hot, silent tears that released my anguish and sense of hopelessness and racked my body with fear. I don’t really know how long I stood against the wall, but I felt safe and alone in the dark. That is, until I heard the door open, and the light spilled from the hall into the room of my despair. I knew I would have a lot of explaining to do; who stayed in a black room with smudged makeup when there was a party raging outside? Thankfully, it was another close friend, Sam, and she wasn’t exactly sober (was anyone at the party?) I dried my eyes quickly and fended off her concerned questions with stammered excuses about alcohol making me emotional for no reason, that I was being silly and begged her non to mention it to anyone. I was saved by others bursting into the room, and made my escape. Wandering outside, I found a group of strangers and started talking until I was completely in control of my emotions. One of them was in a matador jacket and was smoking. Never had a cigarette smelt so good. He gave me one and I lit up sneakily, guilty in the knowledge that not half an hour ago I had assured my chilli-clad friend I didn’t, and wouldn’t ever, smoke. Well, I had lied and I was desperate. The feeling of release was beautiful, and it let me forget. When it started raining I returned to the refuge of inside, wisely abstaining from more alcohol. I wandered past the group on the stairs, their D&M was in full swing, and I couldn’t listen to it without getting emotional. I fettered the night away; dancing, eating and talking nonsense until I was safe again, then I sat down at the base of the stairs and tried not to think. It worked, in a way. I wasn’t thinking about my family, instead my thoughts were focussed inwards and the suppressed guilt of my calorie intake, never far from my mind, began to surface. My face probably betrayed my consternation, and two friends came over to talk to me, one of them being Melody. After being so brave, she wanted to help me. I felt rotten and worthless, and tried to divert them, but they cut to the quick;
“What’s wrong? You know, I kept stuff bottled up all these months, but it felt so good to let it all go. Talk, you’ll feel better” Melody pressed.
“No” I smiled weakly through my impending tears “I’m fine, I’m just being silly…”
“Is it the eating thing?” my head snapped up, so honest, so on the target of my own thoughts that I think I blushed. And, goaded by gentle words and alcohol into answering, I choked out;
“No. Well, not really, it’s…it’s not just that, I...”
I wanted to yell; ‘My dad’s suicidal. I’m anorexic. I want to take up smoking. I slashed my wrist at school. I don’t deserve friends like you. You shouldn’t be around me, I’m toxic. I’m so fucked in the head.’ But I didn’t.
“I, well, you have to promise not to tell…”
Two pairs of earnest and anxious eyes bored into mine,
“My…I’m…” Could I do it? Could I lay bare my soul to these people? Without fearing their betrayal or desertion? Could I trust them?
“Look, It’s…silly. Just, forget I said anything, and don’t worry about my eating. I’m fine, really, I’m just being…silly.”
My courage deserted me; I left them and spent the rest of the night looking after my friend bent over the toilet. I didn’t socialise. Instead, I taught a chilli how to throw up.