Sophie DeChazal just finished three years of university life. However, she returns home with a debt of nearly £10,000 and no degree in hand. As her once close-knit family adjusts to the news and tries to understand what happens, Sophie attempts to justify her behaviour. The story takes us through those three years of self-discovery and self-mutilation.
How did a responsible straight-A student with great hopes for the future turn into a savage party animal, devoid of principles or morals?


10. My Fairy-Tale Ending

I stood dumbstruck and utterly smitten in the middle of Hannah's room. Even though I was wearing a full-length dress, it became one of those moments when you feel completely naked in public. Bryan, looked as if he had just strolled off a runway show and his casual leaning against the door just added to this model personna of his. I turned crimson and, knowing that the giveaway to my flushing would be my bright-red ears, I turned away from all four of them and busied myself trying to flatten my carefully poofed-up bob on my head. Demi gave out a groan of disapproval at my massacring her hour-long work on my hair and thus turned the whole room's attention to me. Bryan gave out a low, chiiling whistle as his athletic figure straightened itself up and he propped his suit jacket back properly on his shoulders. 'Someone polishes off quite well, isn't that right, Sophie?', I turned coyly towards his and flashed him a somewhat embarassed smile, 'yeah, well, it's just a dress and some make-up', I mumbled back. All of a sudden, Hannah, Demi and Zakir all started shuffling around and clearing out their throats, turning an already awkward moment into an unbearably embarassing one.

'Right, Demi and I have to get ready now, could we go to your room, Sophie since you guys are already settled here? Zakir, didn't you say you'd take care of pre-drinks? You'd better hit Tesco's before everyone else does....Oh, and get some mixers as well, yeah?' Hannah, being her not-so-subtle self then pushed the two of her accomplices out of the room whilst shoving Bryan in before she closed the door behind her. I could have peed my knickers, I was so stressed out. Bryan plopped himself on the bed, his head against the wall and his hands resting on his stomach and allowed his gaze to linger towards me.

'So, who else is coming to this ball thing? Is it just the five of us?'

'I think there's Amelia, Julie, Bernadette, Robert, Jake and the two german girls who are going to join us there, but I'm not too sure...To be honest, Hannah and Demi literally forced me into this dress and painted me up so that they could drag me there! I'm really not a ball kind of person, I'm more of a hoodies-with-popcorn-and-a-good-movie kind of person' I blurted out in reply, all in one breath. 

'Zakir said you'd get free booze with your ticket, so I said fine,' was the non-chalant reply from Bryan.

'Fair enough, I guess,' I replied, dejected at the lack of interest or wish from my evidently bored Prince Charming to share any kind of personal information back

And that was all the conversation we had whilst we waited for the gang to come back. After ten minuted, my phone buzzed with a text message from Demi: 'Do you need to be saved or do you need more time?' Glancing at Bryan who was seemingly busy on his phone as well, I promptly replied 'SOS, NOW!'.  Five minutes later, in trooped the pair of them, all decked up in formal gowns and looking as stylish as a pair of socialites. My heart fell, once again, as I noted the perking up in Bryan's demeanour and how all three immediately fell right into friendly conversation.

Was I ever going to fit in anywhere?

Some moments later, the door was kicked open by an overloaded Zakir trying to balance two twelve-packs of beer and a couple of plastic bags weighed down by two bottles of vodka, one of wine and two huges coke bottles. He was followed by the german girls, Caroline and Sarah, Amelia, Robert, Jake and Ian, all of them IH-ers and people we had been hanging out with.  'Come on guys, drink up! We've got 1 hour before we leave! Hannah, do you have a party playlist and a pair of speakers?' Zakir was obviously in party mode and so was everyone else. I stood in a corner, my right arm flung across my front and clinging on my left elbow, feeling ill at ease and so out of place. I couldn't ruin the night, specially not for the girls who had put so much effort in making me up. So I pasted on my rehearsed plastic smile, poured myself a vodka-coke - 3 parts vodka, one part coke - because that was how the guys were drinking theirs, and I wanted to fit in with them.

Half an hour later, the music was still pumping away and everyone was zig-zagging their way to everyone, somehow managing to mingle quite easily even though the standard dorm room could comfortably accomodate at the very most three people. I was smiling goofily at everyone, screeching out random song suggestions to the automated playlist on Hannah's laptop and looking to someplace to sit down. After my third glass, my head had begun spinning, but the night was still very young and the atmosphere was quite nice, I had no wish to sober up. Unused to Demi's heels and having my balance aptitudes temporarily handicapped, I kept tripping at every two steps, somehow, Zakir was always around to catch me and he kept insisting that I take some water. But Drunk Sophie has a split personality, at times, she is Happy Sophie and listens to everyone around her and at other times, she is Tantrum Sophie, behaving like a five-year old atention-seeking brat who refuses to listen to anyone. Having had a dose of both sides of Drunk Sophie in quick succession, poor Zakir was left very much confused. I would dutifully take the glass of water from him, have a sip and then, scowl at him and hurl the cup out of the window. After the second time, the guys had decided to take bets out of this : How many sips of water would Sophie have before she threw away the cup. Naturally, Tantrum Sophie adored the attention and felt like she was the centre of the world whilst the game was going on. Zakir kept scolding the guys and urging them to stop encouraging me. Tantrum Sophie, not appreciating this interference hurled the next cup of water right into Zakir's shocked face...and conveniently fell to the floor, half unconscious and back to Happy Sophie.

'Hurrum , it's already half-nine, I think we should head out,' Bryan cleared his throat and pointed at his watch.

'Yeah, but what about Sophie?' was Zakir's angered response

'Ah, well, she's a big girl, she got herself this drunk, just put her to bed and let's go, man,' was the unconcerned reply

'No, you guys just go, I'll wake her up and make sure she's fine. I think I'll stay back with her'

'As you wish, man, just text me if you're going to make it, okay?' Even if I was slumped down on the floor, face-down, I could hear the surprise in Bryan's voice. As the music was turned off and all the cups, cans and bottles thrown into plastic bags to be disposed of, I heard everyone shuffle out of the room in a sombre manner. Suddenly, the room was quiet and three voices remained behind, whispering amongst themselves.

'Are you sure you don't want us to stay as well? We'd be happy to,' that was Demi

'No, it's fine guys, you go ahead. Besides, when Sophie wakes up tomorrow morning and learns that all three of us stayed behind, I'm sure she'll feel even worse than she feels right now. You go ahead, I'll see you guys at lunch tomorrow.'

'Alright, but if there's anything, seriously, you guve us a call, right?' With that, Hannah and Demi said goodbye to Zakir and hurried off to catch up with the others.


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