Party like you're trying to forget how you feel.
I had never hated my phone as much as I did in the moment that it wouldn’t stop ringing, falling off of my bedside table. I could still hear it on the floor, ringing and vibrating. On any other day I’d be more excited about who was calling me. I’d happily answer, ready to face the day.
Not today though.
My head was exploding in pain from the ridiculous amount of alcohol I’d consumed the night before. I knew my body was probably craving water and a handful of ibuprofen. I didn’t want to move though. I just wanted whomever it was that was calling to stop and find someone else to bother. I wanted to curl up under my blanket and never move again.
“For fuck’s sake!” I screamed, throwing my pillow across the room. “What could you possibly want from me?” I glanced down at the phone, hoping it was done.
I reached for my cell phone but couldn’t quite get it. As I reached a little further I fell off of my bed, causing a loud crashing noise as I knocked against my bedside table, forcing all of the items off of it.
By the time I’d finally reached my cell phone it was done ringing and the missed call was from an unknown number, simply igniting more anger.
I slumped against the floor, holding on to my cell phone. I was hurt and I was cold. I was tired and even more tired of being tired. Why did everything have to be such a fight? I didn’t want to be a teenager anymore. I wanted to move out, not because I was ready but because I didn’t want to see his face anymore. I didn’t want to know that how I felt was wrong because I had no choice but to feel that way. There was no ‘off’ button for my emotions. The alcohol didn’t even help; he was still all I could think of. I didn’t want to go to school anymore. I didn’t want to hear all of the other girls talk about the boys they liked. I didn’t want to encourage them to go for it when I would never be able to. I didn’t want to be different anymore. I wanted to be like everyone else. I wanted to feel the way everyone else did. I wanted to hate my brother like every other sister seemed to. I wanted to worry about clothes and parties, not about what it would feel like if he just kissed me. Sometimes I thought about that just because I wondered if it could kill my feelings for him. Sometimes I hoped he’d kiss me and the kiss would be so terrible that I’d never want to feel his lips upon mine again.
Sometimes I wished it were that easy.
But inside I knew it wasn’t and never would be.
I jumped as my ring tone loudly played once again, the vibrations playing over the skin covering my hand.
The number was unknown once again.
Now, who was it that was set upon disrupting my sleep?
“Hello?” All I could muster was exhaustion because I was too fucking tired to be properly angry.
“Hey, how are you feeling?” I nearly dropped my phone.
“Ryan?” Well, I knew it was him. I wasn’t sure why I felt the need to double check. I’d been hearing that voice in my dreams for the last four years, while awake for the last seventeen. “Why is your number showing up as unknown?” That was a better question, masking my stupid one.
“I left my cell phone at home so I’m using Jon’s home phone. I don’t think you have it saved so that’s probably why. How are you feeling?” The repeated question forced me to acknowledge that my stomach was now rumbling and my headache was growing substantially worse.
“I feel like I got drunk and slammed my head against the wall a couple dozen times.” Which for all I knew I could’ve, though I was really, really hoping that I hadn’t. “I didn’t do that, right?”
Ryan chuckled, “No, you didn’t do that.”
“Good.” It was weird having such a casual conversation when everything seemed like it was shattered. We were walking disasters because of our actions, or more because of my words. Why did I have to go and be a bitch to him and then be mad because he called me a bitch? He was just being honest. Honesty was something that used to be valued but now it was always frowned upon, when it wasn’t just quite what you wanted to hear. I didn’t want to hear I was a bitch but I knew I was being one.
“So, I’m guessing you don’t remember much of last night?”
“I remember most of it.” Or I was pretty sure I did. “I wasn’t that drunk.” I really was. I was just lucky that I remembered everything. I didn’t get blackout drunk but I was working on it.
“Oh.” I could picture Ryan biting his lip. He was so damn predictable and I loved that about him. “Are you hungry?”
“What do you want?”
“Are you heading home?” It made me kind of sad to know that he wasn’t just a few bedrooms away from me, as he usually was when I woke up. I was so used to him always being there, what would happen when he wasn’t? He was heading to college next year after all. How would I survive? Though it would probably be for the best, despite how miserable it might make me.
“I can if you want.”
“It’s up to you. I could just cook myself something…” Yeah, right.
Ryan laughed, “I’d rather you not burn the place down while mom and dad are out.” I heard him say something to someone else before he spoke clearly in to the receiver again. “Jon wanted me to tell you there is a party at Allison’s tonight, if you wanted to come…”
“I was actually going to focus on homework tonight.” Liar. I was so good at lying though. Who would’ve known? I’d spent my whole life telling Ryan everything yet when it came down to it… lying to him just came so easily, though the guilt came even easier.
“That’s probably a good idea.” It was obvious that the news of me studying instead of drinking came as a relief to Ryan. He probably didn’t want me to get drunk and embarrass him again.
“Probably, I’ll talk to you when you get home…” I just wanted this conversation to come to an end. It was getting harder to listen to his voice. It was getting harder to resist him. He was everything I wanted but he was something I could never have.
“Wait!” Ryan breathed out, “What did you want me to pick up on the way home?”
“Don’t worry about it.” I didn’t want him to rush home just for me. Okay, so I did but at the same time I didn’t.
Ryan didn’t say anything but I could hear him breathing on the other end of the line. Without another word I hung up, not sure of what I was supposed to say but I felt as if there was something missing from that conversation. It wasn’t just the lack of goodbye; it went deeper than that. It was like he was fishing for something but I didn’t know what.
Five minutes later my cell phone rang again, “Hey Lily, what’s up?” Tell me about your day, about your latest crush, how it feels to not love your brother since you don’t have a brother at all… Tell me anything. I just didn’t want to hear my own thoughts anymore.
“Hey, hear about Allison’s party tonight?” Damn.
“Yeah, I was gonna skip out on it.” I really didn’t want to go. I wanted to go out and have fun but not where everyone else from our school was having fun. That didn’t sound like fun at all to me.
“Well, if you didn’t wanna go then I have another plan you might be interested in… It involves a certain boy who has been trying to get in your pants for like a year now…” Lily giggled.
I couldn’t help but laugh as well, “I don’t want to have sex right now. I’m just not interested.”
“It would be fun to string him along though. It’ll be a giant tease fest! I could invite Eric too, because I sure as hell am not opposed to teasing him.”
“You know what? I’m game. Let’s do it.” I was going to have fun tonight. I was going to forget about Ryan for just a little while, with a boy that was the complete opposite of who he was.
Derek was a bad boy and Eric was his best friend. They were who you went to in our school if you wanted drugs and they weren’t shy about sex. They were everything Ryan wasn’t and tonight I would finally give in and hang out with them, though I had no intention of ‘putting out’.
Lily laughed, “Tonight is going to be so much fun. I’ll call you once I have the plans set up, okay?”
A smile slowly crawled on to my face. It would feel good to be wanted. It would feel good to just be a normal teenager for the night, stringing along some not so innocent high school boy.