In lieu of pain

There are lots of ways to to deal with pain. Some people scream, some people cry, some people get angry and fight and argue, some people play relentless pong or gently tickle the piano until the feeling washes away. The question is do they work?
And maybe the bigger question for our still-spinning protagonist is how can you start life at sixteen years old, with nothing but fuzzy memories of the past year and a nice pair of new shoes?


3. The Influence of Alcohol-the fuzzywuzzy bits

 I wasn't popular, to say the least. So yeah. It can't be denied that Bo's was my first ever proper house party involving the consumption of alcohol and wasn't really the event to um ease me in gently. 

 I actually managed to get lost on my way to Eve's to get wasn't entirely surprising because I didn't and I don't know her side of town but given that I've lived about two miles away for my entire life it was considered a little air headed by her and Lexy. They'd been out all morning trying to find a birthday present for him for under a fiver between them, and when I arrived they were attempting to figure out how to gift wrap a pack of Wilkinson's basics condoms, a pack of Wilkinson's basics tampons (or whatever the next cheapest thing was...), some felt tips, a comb, basic hair gel and lubricant (pretty much exactly the same) and a pineapple. As they welcomed me in, they began trying to wedge a spare, unwrapped tampon in the leaves a-top the pineapple; Lexy's "shall I break out the red felt-pen?" seemed to cross Eve's un-carved line, provoking a slightly nightmarish glare, and then they turned to me. "I um...maybe I should have got a birthday present too um...." I murmured.
"Nah it's fine-we spent exactly a fiver between us on worthless crap" replied Lexy, not looking up from her as yet unwrapped pineapple art. "And it's not like you really know him anyway is it." That doesn't warrant a question mark for being a rhetorical question, not offensively, just to stop me feeling bad for not getting anything, so I forgot about it, applied half a tonne of lip-gloss and dumped a huge bottle of cheap vodka or cider or something in Eve's bag before slipping past her mum out of the house. It was pretty dark and I didn't know the way, so I stumbled a lot and Eve walked into like three different bushes (hehe) on the way. She had absolutely NO excuse because she lives there and it's the exact same as her walk to school so me and Lex thought it was entirely justified to take the piss, and we dragged out a quarter mile walk for almost half an hour. Alcohol Units-0, an altogether great start.

 We were lead through an impeccably clean hallway to a white wooden door, from behind which came muffled giggles and squealing...opening the door the noise was amplified by like ten bajillion times. The room began with a fairly narrow kitchen full of giggly swaying teenagers, leading into a conservatory lined with fairly comfortable looking dinner chairs and beanbags and suchlike. On the right worktop were stacks and stacks of clear plastic cups, then every other surface contained either bottles and cans or other half-full cups. Walking into the conservatory  we watched Bo opening his presents slightly inattentively but with at least some degree of comprehension-he wasn't all that pissed. The "ways to use a condom" chart I'd drawn up at Eve's to go with their gifts was read out to him by Lexy, containing six suggestions of varying sensibility, from "contraceptive" to "Jimmy slapper", all illustrated with diagrams, and she also explained that the tampons would be useful for cleaning up the mess after the condoms were all used. He gave her a strange look, shrugged, and started arguing with Trix about Harry Potter books.
Alcohol Units-Still Zero (although I was about the only one in the room with such a perfect record.)

 I looked over the selection of drinks on the sideboard. The variety was pretty impressive, I couldn't think of anything I'd ever drunk that wasn't either lined up by the plastic cups or whose empty bottles weren't scattered around the room. So I started out small, with my favorite (don't laugh) blue WKD and went out the back door, where it was less crowded. There were small groups of people standing/swaying on the spot, dotted around the garden. I found some of the private school girls (one of the more swayish variety, the rest fairly sober), and the swayier one filled my almost empty plastic cup with Bacardi, making very slurred small talk. I smiled weakly and downed the contents of my cup. "You-you're gorgeous you are" she muttered. "Because went to my primary school and....and it was sunny....sooooosunny. But now it's dark! Dark! The sun's AAALLLL gone away." The other girls giggled. One was in my French class, the other I'd seen before...she'd earned her respect from me by working at my favorite toy store, which I'd noticed on her Facebook, and was currently wearing a HUGE flower in her hair and grinning at Swaying Girl. "Slow down on that my dear, slow down..." she laughed, as she attempted to prise the bottle off her highly intoxicated friend, met with a "NOOo. Nononono I need my drinkies! I need my drinkies sometimes. Don't you? Don't we all need a lickle drinky-poos? Have shuum moaaaaaa..." 
 Now by this point I was starting to get a little bored of conversing with a very drunk girl I didn't know. I didn't know a lot of people in this place, honestly. Still, the night was young and I was keen to make new friends, so I headed back for the kitchen.
Alcohol Units-Five...that was fast... Bizarre drunken encounters-one. YAY :) State-slightly tipsy

 I was trying to get back through to the kitchen to find maybe some lemonade to slow things down a little bit, but I couldn't get through because Lexy's ex was sprawled across the floor with his head on a doghair-coated beanbag and a barrier of dancing people forming some kind of obstacle course I couldn't quite navigate. Forgetting his name, I kicked him gently in the stomach. "Oy. Move! You're in the way." L.E. rolled a little and sat up, slumped against the wall. "Oh. It's you."
"Yeah. Hey. Thanks. You're clearly having a good time..."
"My head's hurting but yeah. Yeah. Are you? Good.....good time?"
"I haven't been here long..." I replied "but it's a good party yeah I just don't know anyone really" There were a lot of "yeahs" and awkward silences in this conversation. I wasn't very sure what was going on. And I kinda needed a wee. "Um I have or coke or something...." I added.
"Nahhh. No that's not what you need." slurred L.E. "What you need is a little more DRINK. Reaaaal drink". He waved his almost full can of lager at me as he leaned back onto his beanbag and shook his head. I looked at the lager. I was nowhere near drunk enough. Nowhere NEAR it. And that was when we heard a scream from the garden.
 Now the first thing I should say is that Eve was actually fine. Nobody even knows what happens, except that something hit her eye and it went red. Some people say a can-opener, some people say a marshmallow, but she was dizzy for a long time and those who weren't fond of the belief that all she was was a little over-intoxicated made a point of telling everyone she was concussed and she took a long time to stop panicking about it. "IT'S PAINFUL" she wailed, "WHY DOES IT HURT SO MUUUCCHHHH?"

I curl up as tight as I can and pretend I don't exist but I can't. Why does it hurt so much? There was the question I was continually asking myself. Over and over again, but I can't make it stop. I CAN'T and I'm most definitely trying. But the pain won't stop. I want to cry out but it won't. And that's the thing about pain..

Nope, I told myself. Not today. Not anymore. I didn't want to remember anymore. My lager can empty, I grabbed the lemonade I'd come in for and staggered outside where I found Trix on a bench with a random dude.
Alcohol Units-Fourandabitish...maybe a liiiiittle bit mroe but idkkk it;s not ttto muchhhhhhhhhh Bizarre drunken encounters-three xD State- Getting on for pissedish

 The guy Trix was with looked a little intimidated. "'re my best frieeeeennnndddd" she was telling him. "you're my neeeeeeeeewwww best frieeeennnddddd".
"Okay that's nice..." he replied, escaping as fast as he could. I was a little dizzy and a little confused, so it took my a couple of minutes to stand up, and I grabbed a swig of Trix's drink as I did, provoking her to (try to) leap up and follow me. It was crazy. By this point most people were in the garden, so I staggered round them making random conversation with random people. It turned out Trix's "new best friend" had recently gone on a swimming teaching course with one of my friends. The posh girls had only turned up for networking but were enjoying the free drink. Eve had totally forgotten her accident. I wasn't great at walking straight with any amount of alcohol in my system.
Alcohol Units-UUHHAAWHUUUUUUUUUUHEGGOTRIXYBESTYFRIEND Random Drunken encounters-Beyond count State-Rather confused

 The line for the toilet was huge and I was already stumbling a little when Bo all but fell on my back, waving one arm with a bottle in his hand. "heyyyy" he murmured, as I almost collapsed under the dead weight behind me. I reeeeally needed a wee. And the second Trix came and saved me, Booberella (whose name I can't remember) turned to me, saying "HEY. OMG you have an amazing butt! Lemme show you how to WIGGLE IT GOOD. Like this...Uh-uh-uuuuh---uhh-huuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhh........" 

 Coming back, I sat down on a rare available chair for a rest and leaned against the window. I squinted. I shook my head. I wasn't THAAT drunk. Nowhere near as drunk as the paralytic Bo that about three different people (including Lex) were trying to position on the nearest chair. He was being commanded to eat and someone put a crisp from the bowl behind him in his hand, then changing their minds emptied the crisps into the next bowl and placed the first in front of him. He was just shaking his head with a finger in front of his face and hazy as I was, I wasn't really processing anything that was going on. My boob was a little itchy. Better scratch it. Also my plastic cup was a little empty. Completely empty. Maybe I could do something about that. Maybe....
 And then my leg and shoe were covered in vomit and the graceful host was half unconscious on my shoulder.

 I solved the problem with more drink. And the rest is history. Or something. I forgot.



 I woke up the next morning in Eve's living room with Lexy and Trix and a lot of hazy memories. So here's what happened after Bo got taken to bed...

We all got kicked out early.
We all went to The Park.
Various sexual acts took place in the bushes.
Lexy got off with about the grossest guy possible on a climbing frame.
Me and Eve went to drop Booberella back at Bo's, waited for ages, and didn't come back for 45 minutes.
When we got back, they were still making out.
Trix got a beer hair wash.
I had an extensive discussion with les posh girls about my disgusting vomit problem, and other random stuff.
They were still making out.
We snuck in at a time of which we're not entirely sure.






 My second big drinking night was Trix's party. 
There's probably no necessity to go into extreme detail. Nobody I was really friends with was as drunk as anyone was at Bo's, but there were a couple of exceptions. Lex had to lift Nancy Morgan off the toilet, having used it whilst still wearing trousers. Abbey had to be carried to her mortified mother (who was Lexy's doctor)'s car. I ate a tonne of pizza, drank not toooooo much, and hid in the living room. I lay on the floor for much of the night, using Trix's belly as a pillow, then Shadow (the dog), and then Bo's belly. Eventually, Eve entered into a state of absolute drunkeness. We watched Miranda. Eve fell down the stairs. I got teased for allegedly fancying Bo. Eve woke up the next morning with bruises all over her legs and vodka in her bag for absolutely no reason. Success. 

 My third was the school night out, at a tiny little club, over full of people and given just how quickly I got drunk, there's very little I remember. I drank everything Trixie drank, and Trixie has a higher tolerance than me. I remember a lot of dancing, a lot of Jagerbombs, a lot of Trix tipping her hand at her face which was basically the international sign for MORE DRINK and a lot of texting. I remember falling down the side of a sofa and having to be pulled up by a scary guy I don't really know, and I remember Trix feeling sick at like half twelve and how early we went home. As we were falling asleep I was giggling and we were both trying to remember the funniest things that had happened that evening and she was going on about how we're all going to be BESTEST FRIENDS FOREVER and I suddenly felt guilty for anything I could ever have kept from her. "Trix...." I whispered suddenly. She turned to face me. 
"Suuuuuuuuuuuup" she replied.
"I know it's only been a week but....."
"Aww babes what happened?"
"I..." there was a long pause.

"I did it with Bo."

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