30. Damn hiccups!
I sneak my hand out of Mitch’s and start walking towards Louise and Ashley. They are together with a larger group of people, who all have red cups in their hands. I have never actually gotten drunk before even though it’s legal for me. I don’t get invited to parties back at home, so I have never really had the opportunity. When the girls see me walking over to them Ashley quickly grabs another cup and hands it to me. I take it and look down into a clear liquid with bubbles.
“What’s this?” I ask her a little nervously.
“Nothing to be afraid of - it’s just cider,” she tells me and I take a small swig of the cup. Every time I drink something sparkly I either hiccup or burb and in this situation both would be bad. The taste of the drink is good though, but after removing the cup from my lips I hiccup - and again - and again. People start looking at me and my face quickly turns red. Ashley starts laughing and Louise does too. I try to hold my breath to make it go away, but it doesn’t work. More people start laughing and I begin to find it quite funny myself. Then I feel to strong hands squeezing my sides making me jump and do a small squeak. I turn around to find Jason looking at me with a smirk.
“What did you do that for?” I ask with a shocked tone.
“To make you stop hiccupping of course!” he answers with a smirk and then I realize I’ve stopped hiccupping.
“Oh… Well thank you then, I guess?” I say with what I think is a crooked smile.
“Any time, any time,” he laughs as he walks away with a red cup of his own. I look back at the others and Louise comes over and wraps her arms around me sideways and giggles into my ear. She is already a bit tipsy, but that just makes it even cuter.
“That was kind of a surprise,” Ashley laughed and came over to me as well.
We’ve been going for a couple of hours now and its 17 minutes to midnight. The ball already dropped in New York, but it isn’t the New Year in Los Angeles yet. I’ve drunken more cider and some champagne as well. I still have some of the last mentioned in a cup in my hand. I’m walking around the house trying to find Mitch. I find him on the 2. floor talking to Adam on the balcony. I sneak a bit closer trying to hear what they are talking about.
“…I don’t know Adam, maybe there is more to it, maybe there isn’t. The only thing I know is that you would only do something like that if you are really close friends or dating. Jason and her are neither of those.” I can hear Mitch say.
“I think you should talk to Jason about it. He’s drunk and wanted to help her. Maybe it isn’t a big deal?” Adam asks. I can hear that he is sober, but Mitch definitely isn’t. I can see Mitch shrug at Adams word.
“I just don’t want her to get hurt. I can’t even stand thinking about it… I mean with her story and all… She hasn’t had any hallucinations or dreams for a while and I really don’t want them to come back. I know how vulnerable she is.” Mitch says. He really cares about me - he really does. That’s what I conclude from the words.
I looked down at my phone - it’s 10 minutes to midnight.
“I better go find Karoline,” I tell Adam and he walks back inside with me. I find Karoline just inside the door, as if she’s been listening.
“Hi,” she says and look up at me and then to Adam.
“Hey biggums,” I say and snuggle her into my arms. Adam continues walking and eventually walk down the stairs.
“Where you listening to our conversation?” I ask her looking down at her as she blushes. She blushes and nods - she is clearly drunk.
“What was it that Jason did?” she then asks me and I laugh at her question.
“Well isn’t it kind of obvious?” I ask her, not removing the smile from my lips.
“Do you think I would ask if it was?” she asks and nudges me in the side.
“Maybe, sometimes some pretty unintelligent things comes out of your mouth,” I say to her, but I’m of course only joking. She is one of the smartest teenagers I’ve ever known if not the smartest.
“Jason tickled you a kind of sensitive area - don’t you think?”
“I guess so… He just wanted to help me stop hiccupping. Is that wrong?”
“No not at all, I just don’t want you to feel violated in any kind of way. It’s just because I care about you Karoline… Nothing else.” She smiles at me when I say these words and leans up and pecks my lips.