I swear I tried to be a good person once. When I was little, in fairy tales, I would always identify with the helpful hard-working little girl who ended up marrying the prince she deserved instead of her lazy sisters. I trained like mad for that day to come. I did all my homework, brushed my teeth, did my chores... Outside, I would always share my snacks, give back what I found on the street and convince myself that if I kept smiling and being good, some good wizard would call me the Chosen One and take me away. And then I became an adult and stopped. Waiting is tiring, especially after ten, fifteen years of never cutting yourself some slack. After all, that’s kind of everyone’s objective at some point: when school is over and the money is yours and not your parent’s, why should you keep going to bed at 9 pm? Why should you listen to anyone’s advice whose life you don’t envy? Why keep waiting and waiting and finally commit to B minus guys? Why bother smiling and be nice to people when it won’t make a difference in the way they treat you? This life is harsh enough when you are not the Chosen One. It’s even harder when you still hope you are. So why not turn the page and have some enjoy your younfun at the ball without that loser of a prince charming and enjoy your young adulthood while you still can, before you get those evil wrinkles and back pain? Or worse, kids and husband!
By this time, everyone at the party got my point: my boss, my coworkers, my younger sister I had managed to drag at this promotion party… I’m grumpy at daytime; booze is the best medicine to loosen my tongue. Only the ladies’ room’s mirror as I redid my make-up – your humble servant stunning Kelly K is nothing without her face on- was spared from its share of my autobiography over the sound of the loud EDM music booming from outside. I had nothing to tell my reflection. It said enough on its own. To be honest, I did not want to be there. The one I really wanted to be with right now would never show up since we had basically agreed earlier it was best for us not to come to anyone’s party togther anymore. On the other hand, it was my idea, supported by my stupid colleagues who then nagged at my boss, to celebrate the end of my internship and my promotion at the club everyone knew (the only club in town, actually, with cheap drinks, cheap music and cheap one-liners guys). Even I went there, even though I hated it. I hated this job and I hated these people. But most of all, I hated the idea of being alone at night. Not that I felt less lonely with them; I just needed a pretext to get my sister out of her room and revisions. Besides, with my boss around, we were guaranteed to get wrecked with a chauffeur home. However, that plan was compromised when Sophie -sober as a judge with her sophisticated bun, her neat metal grey expansive blouse and pencil skirt with her back perfectly straight at the counter because you know, it’s good for the toxins in your spinal cord or some shit- tapped her watch with her manucured coral nail impatiently.
“I’m sorry I have to go. I still need to finish some stuff at the office,” she said with a pearly white smile as she leaned to talk in my ear, her tone perfectly firm and clear through the ruckus around us, as always. “I’ll see you at the office on Monday.”
Through my fuzzy mind, I still managed to do an okay smile and nodded at my superior almost trampling on the spot.
“Sure, ma’am. You can count on me. Thank you for giving me a chance at this amazing company!”
That cringed smile she gave in response for a micro-second said it all.
“Don't mention it. I’ll just make sure everything is all done and ready before we start working together so we can start right away. I'm just saying, it's going a whole new rythm for you from now on. So be prepared, ok?”
“Sure will.” I replied and took another gulp of my glass of whatever, preventing an automatic shrug as she grinned and scurried off in the dark.
She had had no active role in my promotion. You could tell. I was not even supposed to work in her service to begin with. It was not my decision either It just turns out her previous intern had had a third breakdown and wouldn’t come back this time. Whatever. If she was ready to overburden me just to invite me to get out, that bitch could do whatever she wanted. I wasn't going anywhere. I would endure her whims until one of us gives up. And since I had nowhere else to go, it wouldn't be me. So was the rule of the adult world.
Well, I had just lost my sister’s driver. However, there was no way I would go home with her yet. I was barely warming up. The real party, my party, was about to start. And I didn't mind her tagging along, au contraire. The latter plopped on the stool next to me, a little tipsy but mostly sleepy.
“K, I wanna go home.”
“Already? Oh come on, Becky! You can do better than that!” I said and held my baby 18 year-old sister’s shoulders like a coach would to his trainee. “Just one more shot, that’s all you need… Where is everyone?” I said and kept looking left and right trying to recognize a familiar face.
“They’re all gone. We’re the only ones left.”
“Really? They all left this early? It’s barely…”
“It’s 2 am.” My sister deadpanned. “Let’s just go. Please? I don’t care if we pay for a cab. I just don’t wanna stay. There's two guys at the bar waiting for me to go dance and grab my ass.”
I glanced at the two thirty-somethings with worn-out jackets, greasy haircuts and tacky tatoos giving dirty looks in our direction. I sighed and handed my sister my last notes which she stared at like I was giving her some alien technology.
“What are you doing?”
“You take a cab. I’ll just stay a little longer.”
“Are you serious? Wait. No. Oh hell no.”
“No way, I’m not letting you do this.”
“You know-- that! You're not gonna go home because you're gonna have sex with another man again, aren't you? It’s disgusting. I thought you said you would stop when-”
“Well, now that it's over, I’m starting again. There is nothing wrong with that.”
“Yes, there is ! Why do you do that?”
“You know why.” I looked at her straight in the eyes and said in a lower voice.
She in turn stared at me and then tilted her head, her lips pursing disapprovingly.
“You shouldn’t do this. They wouldn't love to see you like that.”
“And I would love you to shut up. I had enough of you telling me what to do." I said and put my glass down as abruptly as I could. "Remember I'm the older sister, not you. Now get a drink or get out! We'll talk when-- when--”
“Fine! I'm taking off. Fuck it. You know what, I may not be the big sister,” she underlined with her eyes narrowed, “but neither are you. You know what I sacrificed to be with you tonight? My only night out before my semestrial exams. On Monday. That’s right. So don’t you dare bring any guy home, or girl, or whatever you’re gonna smooth-talk to tonight.”
“Good night, sis. Get a boyfriend first and then we'll talk!” I shouted over my shoulder, pretending not to pay attention to her anymore as she stomped out of the club, now fully awake and sober again. However, before she disappeared she made sure to send me a text since she could not yell anymore:
“When I get a bofriend, he will b so much bettr tahn the trash you cling onto !! Chris did Not even deserve you in the first place !!”
Whatever. Whatever. Whatever. What the fuck-ever.
I love that moment where you get so high you forget names. If I could forget my own, as well as my memories, my home, my job, that would be just perfect. Plus my phone had run out of batteries so nobody could call me and I had no idea of what time it was, which were both the best things tonight. Lost in the crowd, all I was aware of was the blasting bass in my ears to which I was jumping up and down with everyone else. The pop-ish song then preceded some sensual lullaby. Couples started pairing around me. I wasn't alarmed though. Though no male was available close to me, I knew how to call them from afar. With my eyes closed, senses swimming in sweet ethanol, I let my hips slide from side to side, nice and slow. It paid off pretty quickly as usual when some guy in a sweaty dress shirt and tight jeans pressed his chest against me and proceeded to dive his face down my neck. But before I could try any more move, my price was abruptly pulled off me as some tiny skinny chick with crimson hair and huge bracelets tinkling like Christmas decorations grabbed him by the collar and started shrieking at me then at him, which made him start yapping and whimpering too. Ignoring the romantic couple, I rolled my eyes and danced away from them before the little witch and her doggy – serenading her as hard as he could in spite of his massive boner- could bark in my face again. After that one catch, there was no other candidate for an uncertain thirty minutes, then another thirty, then two, until the last dancers left and the staff had to close the club as dawn was showing up. As my sore feet walked up the stairs from the dark place towards the emerging daylight, I felt as though I was sleepwalking in a soundless, colorless world. I was really alone this time. And I knew everyone around me could tell. I felt all eyes on me. It was cold. I was cold. There was no way I would crash in my old bed by myself and sink quietly into some sick, nauseating abyss. I had been craving for a needy tongue against mine, eager hands on my breasts, a warm body to wrap my legs around... a pair of warm arms too, like a blanket, a raspy voice babbling silly nothings, or even a touch… a call of my name, a smile... Anything would do at this point. Just anything but that icy void. Somebody do something, please speak to me! Tell me you can see me! Help me! Somebody please help me! Speak! Speak !
“Can I help you?”
As panic started to rise in my head again and I cursed myself for not drinking enough to drown its annoying alarm bells, I raised my head to meet a friendly gaze. The face it belonged to was childish, and the most beautiful I had ever seen. Carved in a soft oval, it had a round button nose, smooth baby cheeks with high cheekbones, a rosy plump mouth that was slightly parted on pearly teeth, curly blond hair and short pointy ears. However, the most fascinating part was his eyes: round, hazel, bright, curious with, it seemed, some specks of shiny emerald green near the pupils. You could not look away from them, as if only you existed in the world in their concerned stare.
“Can I help you?” the angel repeated politely in that warm, soothing voice before adding shyly: “Or rather… Can you help me?”
Call me, Kelly, a small player but the opportunity was too good to be true and I was too tired to play hard to get. Without a word, I yanked him by the collar of his jacket and crashed my lips against his.