This was such a mistake. I can tell that we’re all thinking the same thing as we sit in relative silence in the living room. Everyone has had a pretty shit week: Tristan lost his job, Scarlett got evicted, Nathan had his car stolen and I got dumped two days ago. Oh and there’s Will, who is pretty much always miserable because he has been pining over Nathan for years. What a beautifully pathetic bunch. Scarlett decided in her infinite wisdom that what we all needed was a getaway to let our hair down and get drunk. So here we are, in Nathan’s family cabin with luke-warm beers, wallowing together about our individual problems. I swear the sound of the clock in the kitchen was getting louder the longer we sat there.
Scarlett stood up and clinked a fork against her beer bottle, which in itself was pretty underwhelming because of where she held her hand. We all looked up anyway and she cleared her throat.
“Right, you miserable bastards. We’re going to play a game and you’re going to like it.”
Tristan and Will let out a reluctant groan but the rest of us chuckled with her. She gestured to the floor and we all sat in a circle. Scarlett took her time but set out a bunch of different games in the middle. Twister was the first to be banished, hell no, we were all far too miserable for that. After an agonising fifteen minutes of trying to figure out what the hell we were doing, all of the options had been dismissed and Scarlett was less than impressed.
“You know what I’m going to do before I strangle one of you? I’m going to put all of the options in a hat and we can just bloody pick one. Okay?” There were mumbled sounds of approval across the group and she tutted at our lack of enthusiasm. The conversation around the circle was picking up at least.
“What’s the betting that all of those pieces of paper are just going to say beer pong?” Nathan said drily, prompting a laugh from everyone.
“I might like beer pong but I’m not a cheat!” Scarlett calls from the table.
“That’s exactly what a cheater would say!” I holler back at her and she flips me off in response. She brings the hat (a very sad looking beanie that was hanging on the coat hook when we got here) and gestures to Tristan to pick one. The circle falls silent again as he unfolds the paper.
“Spin the bottle? Really Scarlett?” He says in disbelief.
“What? I just wrote down the name of any games that I could remember! You’re the one that picked it.”
“I don’t mind to be honest, nothing heals a broken heart like beer and awkward make out sessions…” I surprise myself by replying.
“I don’t mind either.” Will chimes in and I suppress my smile – I really hope the bottle lands on Nathan for him. Nathan is one of those people that wouldn’t realise if someone was interested in him even if they wore an ‘I like you’ sign around their neck. Bless him. That just left Scarlett, Tristan and Nathan to agree.
“Well, why not?” Tristan shrugs and chugs some more of his beer.
“I wrote it so I can’t exactly object at the point, can I?” Scarlett laughs and everyone turns their attention to Nathan. I can feel Will holding his breath from here.
“Sure, I guess if you guys are in then I’m down.” Nathan finishes his beer and lays the bottle down in the middle of the circle. The suspense grows in the room as we morph back into teenagers, giggling and waiting for the next load of gossip to obsess over.
“You first then Nathan, seeing as you’re the bottle provider.” I don’t hesitate before throwing Nathan under the bus. Everyone hates to be the person who kisses first.
“Wait! We haven’t set the rules yet.” Scarlett pouts.
“There are no rules? I swear you just spin the bottle and kiss who it lands on…” Tristan responds.
“Well yeah obviously, but are we going straight in for it on the first kiss or do we up the ante every time someone lands on the same player?” I guess that does make more sense.
“Okay, so first time landing is a peck then?” I suggest and see Scarlett smile.
“Yeah, and then second time can be kissing with no tongue.” Scarlett responds enthusiastically.
“So what, third is with tongue?” Will asks quietly and I can see the blush in his cheeks.
“Okay then, I hate to state the obvious but what happens after that?” Tristan asks drily and I expect Scarlett to back down but she fires back straight away.
“Well we can cross that bridge when we come to it. That’s not exactly likely is it?” Her eyes roll so hard that I wouldn’t be surprised if she saw through the ceiling.
“She’s right – we’d have to be spinning the bottle the whole bloody evening I think for that to happen.” Tristan nods his head and makes a noise of agreement. We all turn our eyes to Nathan and everyone stops twitching. I find myself praying that it lands on Will – I glance at him quickly and the nerves are all over his face. How can Nathan be so oblivious?
He spins the bottle clumsily and it moves from the middle of the circle. It lands on Scarlett and I can almost see Will deflate. He leans over and gives her a peck on the cheek before pulling back slightly, pausing and licking up the side of her face.
“Eww! For fuck sake Nathan.” She proclaims in outrage but she bursts into giggles straight away, and we all join in. The tension seems broken and the game goes on like this for a little while: Scarlett to me, Me to Will and then Will to Scarlett, from Scarlett to Tristan. The more we all drink the funnier it gets and we all decide to make the most exaggerated kisses we can. Scarlett decides to blow a raspberry on Tristan’s cheek and we lose it. The giggles stop though when Will gets a turn and it lands on Nathan. I can see the panic cross his face but he recovers quickly. He crawls over and kisses him slowly on the cheek. Nathan glances at Will’s lips as he pulls away and the tone changes. I feel goosebumps growing on my bare arms and I’m sure that they’re about to kiss, but Will moves away. My eyebrows nearly hit the roof with shock.
Nathan spins the bottle but I can’t stop staring at the blush in his cheeks, he lands on Tristan and gives him a quick peck on the cheek but he can’t stop looking at Will. At last, I think he’s bloody got it. Tristan lands on Scarlett and I do the math quickly in my head. He has already kissed her cheek and moved away before I shout (a tiny bit slurred) that they should have had a proper kiss. I see Scarlett about to brush it off but Tristan grabs her head gently to turn it towards him. The no tongues rule goes straight out of the window and all at once, the sexual tension in the room feels like it’s crushing me. I realise quickly that I’m a fifth wheel here and wonder if it’s too late to make an excuse to go to bed. Tristan and Scarlett pull apart and she spins the bottle again. It lands on me and she smiles in a way that I haven’t seen before. One side of her mouth raises up and I realise that she’s up to something.