"Don't you ever want to do something, something that's not always right?"
"Vee," Gerard said from his usual spot on the ground next to Maria. "Put the books away. You're making my head hurt."
"Psh," I snorted. "Your head hurts?"
"Vee, give it a rest," Ray tried. "You're always doing homework."
I sighed and twisted around to six heads agreeing rapidly with Ray.
"C'mon guys," I said. "I have to a lot of work to do." No expression seemed to waver. "Don't you guys have homework to do?" I asked knowing full well only Frank could say no.
"Psh, I don't know," Mikey said being the first to answer.
I shook my head finally realizing what my teachers said about brilliant minds being put to waste. "I have an idea," I said cheerily. "Why don't you guys come to my house tonight and we can do homework."
A bunch of blank stares looked at me.
"Are you serious Vee?" Maria blurted. "It's Friday night."
"I know," I agreed. "But this way we can have our homework done and the rest of the weekend to do what we please." I smiled hoping at least one of them would catch the awesomeness of my plan.
Frank answered first. "I think we should go."
"What!" A chorus shot up.
"C'mon guys! Vee's right," he insisted.
I was shocked Frank was actually agreeing with me.
"Are you serious with this shit, Frankie?" Bob asked.
"Yeah, c'mon guys."
Slowly I saw each head turn to agreement reluctantly. "Great!" I beamed.
I had already started my homework that night when everyone started to arrive. Frank, Ray, Bob and Mikey came first and watched TV for a bit while I worked. They said they would join me as soon as Gerard and Maria came. I agreed and decided to enforce later.
The mountain high books that surrounded me at the table were starting to dwindle down when Maria and Gerard arrived.
Maria came trudging in with a clearly drunk Gerard behind her. He stumbled in being led by Maria. He would occasionally laugh or send up an invalid phrase that sent Maria laughing also.
I sighed and pushed back my chair. "What happened?" I asked walking over to the door.
"Well it's like this Vee," Gerard tried to explain. "We were coming to your house and we got lost." He laughed again as if it was a joke.
I heard the rest of the boys snickering behind me also. I looked to Maria hoping I would get some help, but she was laughing too.
"Psst Vee," Gerard was saying in a not so quiet voice. "I brought us some beverages." Then he proudly whipped out two big bottles of vodka.
"Oh no!" I said pushing them away. This was all wrong. We were supposed to be working, not drinking.
"Ah, c'mon Vee, it'll help us think better," Frank said from behind me. I whipped around and looked at Frank smiling from the couch. This was his plan all along, wasn't it?
Mikey went into the kitchen and grabbed glasses for everyone. He set them on the table in a circle and everyone sat down. Gerard was attempting to pour drinks but he kept spilling it so Ray took over.
I didn't want anything to do with this so I sat down on the couch. I folded my arms trying to get the stern look across only problem was no one was paying attention.
"Okay what game are we going to play?" Mikey asked.
"How 'bout Have You Ever," Bob suggested.
"We've played that too many times," Frank said. "I already know everything I want to know about you guys."
"Okay what about categories," Maria said.
"Too complicated right now," Gerard answered.
"Let's just play girls and guys like we always do," Ray said.
"Yeah, because now we have more than one girl," Maria said happily. "Wait, where's Vee?"
Even though I was faced the other way I felt all their eyes turn towards me. I put up my act again and didn't look at them.
"Vee." I was startled to hear a voice so close, so I looked around and there was Frank. "Are you going to play?"
I turned back around not caring to look at him right now. "No!" I said firmly.
I heard Frank sigh and walk around the couch. He sat down next to me and slid close. "You're always so uptight," he said grabbing my shoulders and starting to massage them. I let him knowing it would look weird if I suddenly turned around and smacked him. Well that, and it felt good. "Don't you ever want to do something, something that's not always right?" He was being a little dramatic for drinking, but I knew he wasn't just talking about that. "C'mon Vee," he coaxed.
I turned around slowly and his hands fell maybe he was right. Maybe I was a little uptight. "Okay." I gave in. "But just one." Frank smiled and took my hand.
Gerard cheered from the table. "Yah Vee!" I laughed and got up. "Okay games called girls and guys," Gerard announced as I took a seat at the table next to Frank. "It goes like this..."
Gerard explained to me the concept of the game. First someone would flip a coin. If it was tails, girls would have to take a shot and do a simple dare. If it was heads ("because guys like head") guys would do the same.
"Vee, you can flip first," Gerard said handing me a quarter. I took the quarter and flipped it in the air. I let it drop on the table and everyone leaned in to see what it said.
"TAILS!" Frank announced first with glee. "I'll call it."
I scowled at him knowing he was having too much fun with this. Frank scooted a glass full of vodka towards me and smiled. I looked over at Maria who had already downed hers with a pained expression. Did it really taste that bad? Why would anyone drink it then? It was true. I had never had hard alcohol before. I once took a sip of beer and was disgusted. Was this worse?
"Vee," Frank said egging me on. "Drink it."
I scrunched up my face in contemplation. "Could I drink something with it?"
Frank shook his head with a small laugh. "Hold on," he said getting up from the table. He went to the kitchen and opened the fridge. I sat nervously in my chair pulling on my sleeves. Frank came back with a Sprite and sat down. "Chase it with this," he said.
"Chase?" What the fuck did that mean?
I knew it was one of those ignorant moments because everyone laughed. Frank stopped and looked at me. "Drink the vodka, then this," he said pushing the Sprite forward. "It'll help."
I nodded not entirely sure if it would help, but I didn't want to back out now. I grabbed the glass of vodka in one hand and the can of Sprite in the other. As I brought the glass to my mouth all I prayed for was I wouldn't throw up. I took a sip from the glass and quickly set it back. I felt a burning in my throat as it went down. I quickly took a gulp of the Sprite hoping it would hold it down. I closed my eyes waiting for the gagging feeling to pass. When it did I opened my eyes and saw everyone looking at me.
"Good?" Gerard questioned like I had just taste tested a pie.
I nodded my head knowing if I talked at the moment I would throw up.
He smiled along with everyone else. "Okay," Frank said. "Now for the dare."
I grimaced hoping it wouldn't be too bad, but I knew Frank.
"I dare Maria and Vee to...lick the TV."
"lick the TV? I replied. "Frankie."
"C'mon Vee," Maria coaxed getting up from her chair. "It could be worse."
I sighed knowing she was right. I scooted out from the table with smiles from the boys. I walked over to the TV where Maria already was. "Okay," I said. "Any general area we have to lick?"
I heard all the guys laugh. "No, anywhere you want," Frank laughed out.
I cleared a spot with my hand hoping to clear away dust. Then I looked at Maria. She nodded towards me telling me to go. I sighed again and leaned towards the TV. I stuck out the tip of my tongue and closed my eyes before feeling the touch of the TV. I quickly pulled back and heard the boys howl with laughter.
"It tasted like dust," I complained walking back to the table and taking my seat.
The guys laughed again as Maria took the coin and tossed it. "Heads," she announced happily. All the guys took their shots quickly. "Okay I dare you all to...kiss Gerard."
I laughed finally having a good time.
"Uh-uh I am not kissing my brother," Mikey objected.
"Just on the cheek," Maria begged.
Gerard seemed OK with the dare, maybe because he was so drunk. Mikey and the guys gave in and each gave Gerard a kiss. It was hilarious seeing Gerard's reaction. He even grabbed Mikey in a hug.
The game carried on each dare getting more ridiculous, and each person getting drunker. I felt my head spinning as I was dared to prank call Pizza Hut.
"Um, do you have cheeseburgers?"
Everyone from my end laughed.
"No I'm sorry we don't."
"How 'bout tacos?"
It got old and soon we all sat at the table staring at one another. I was drinking my Sprite trying to get the dizzy feeling to subside. I was defiantly the least drunk of the group. Maria and Gerard got up to lie on the couch together and Mikey, Ray, and Bob had occupied the floor. Frank still sat by me though looking kinda mischievous.
Our hands somehow found each other and my head plopped on his shoulder. I told myself it was all for show but it did feel comforting.
"I'm hungry," Bob announced drunkenly.
"Me too," Ray agreed.
"Let's get food," Gerard said appearing from the couch.
Everyone agreed and started to move towards the door. "Wait guys," I said trying to be responsible. "I'll drive." I knew nobody should be driving, but I felt okay and if it was anybody it should be me.
We drove down the street. Bob, Ray, Mikey and Gerard in the back and Frank, Maria, and myself occupied the front.
"Turn up the radio," Gerard demanded.
Frank grabbed the knob and turned it up slightly rocking to a rap tune. Gerard attempted to sing along, but all I heard was mumbles. We all laughed at him as I turned onto another street.
"Gerard, where'd you get that?" Bob asked suddenly.
Frank and Maria both turned around to look at Gerard.
"What does he have?" I asked.
"Flour," Mikey answered.
"Flour? Gee, why do you have flour?"
Gerard laughed. "I took it from your house. I was hungry."
"You're going to eat flour?"
"If I can get it open..."
"Gerard don't...," Maria said quickly but I guess it was too late because I glanced in the rearview mirror and saw white. It settled and I saw poor Mikey completely covered in flour.
Everyone laughed including me. I couldn't help it. Mikey looked so funny. I glanced in the mirror again and my laughing stopped. "Shit guys," I exclaimed. "We're getting pulled over." Everyone stopped laughing immediately.
"Shit! What do we do?" Ray said panicking.
"Calm down," I said thinking fast. "Everyone buckle up, Mikey try to brush yourself off, and Maria do you have gum?"
"For our breath, quick!"
Maria dug in her purse and pulled out gum for everyone. I stuck mine in, buckled up and slowly pulled off the road. "Okay everyone, don't say anything," I said trying to be calm. Really deep down I was scared shitless. How was I going to get out of this?
I rolled down my window as I saw the clean cut officer approach. He looked maybe 35 with a scruffy beard growing.
"Good evening," he said leaning in. "License and registration."
I smiled and handed them to him. He looked at them briefly then leaned back in. "I pulled you over because..." he stopped suddenly looking at Mikey. "What happened to him?"
I gave a nervous laugh and smiled at the officer. "We had an accident with flour."
To my surprise the cop laughed shaking his head. Everyone else laughed too while Mikey brushed himself off.
"Look kids," he said subsiding his laughter. "I'll give you a warning this time, but please drive carefully."
I smiled and accepted my things back from him. "Thank you officer."
He smiled and walked away. Once he was gone everyone let out a huge sigh.
"Well thanks for bringing the flour Gerard," Gerard said breaking the silence. Everyone just laughed.
After we got some tacos we went back to my house. We sat in front of the TV, and soon everyone passed out except Frank and I. I let them sleep knowing my mom wouldn't come home tonight. I saw Frank nodding slowly beside me on the floor. I knew he couldn't be very comfortable. I grabbed the remote and turned the TV off. This woke Frank up and he turned to me.
"Thanks Frank," I said.
He rubbed his eyes a little and smiled. "For what?"
I smiled too and scooted closer to him. "For…everything. This was fun." It was true. This night was the most fun I had ever had. It was because of Frank. He had done so much for me.
Frank smiled and nudged my in the side. "Well I should thank you. You did wonders with that cop situation."
I laughed silently remembering the heart attack I was having when we got pulled over. "What can I say? I work well in stressful situations."
Frank gave a laugh at this and sighed showing his tiredness.
"C'mon Frank," I said pulling myself off the floor. "You can sleep with me in my bed."
Frank got up and grinned at me. "Not like that," I said giving him a small smack. Frank smiled and grabbed my shoulders in a quick hug. I guided him to my room and we climbed in bed. "Now stay on your side," I commanded.
I heard Frank laugh and the bed shift. "Goodnight Vee!" He called.
"Night Frank," I said. Then I fell asleep smiling.