My skin feels like paper and my bones feel like glass, there’s a pounding in my head that won’t let up. I try to open my eyes but they feel glued shut, prying them open causes an aching pain through my head and down my back.
Sitting up makes the whole room spin, and it takes several moments to steady it. It’s a mess around me, I’m laying on a smelly rug in a pile of red solo cups and various bottles of alcohol.
I scratch my sore head and pull myself to my feet, I’m missing a shoe and I don’t know whose shirt I’m wearing. I find a random pack of cigarettes on the sticky liquor coffee table and I light myself one with a lighter in my pocket.
After a deep inhale the pounding in my head subsides slightly and I’m able to process deeper thought, it’s still dark outside but the sky is dark indigo; so it means it must be early in the morning.
On the couch I find my friend slumped over the armrest, her hair strewn over her face. I nudge her with my foot causing her to mumble incoherently at me and wave me off. I roll my eyes and nudge her harder with my foot and take another long drag off the cigarette.
“You need to wake up Amber, I don’t even know where we are,” I say to her, my voice raspy from my Sahara of a mouth. She mumbles at me again and rolls over, turning away signaling the end of our conversation; if you could even call it a conversation. “Some friend you are,” I say to her and she responds with a closed eye middle finger.
Whatever. I toss the leftover of my cigarette into an over-spilling ashtray and I scour the room with my eyes for some water, my burning throat begging for comfort. My search brings me to the kitchen, where none of the cups look sanitary enough to trust so I just go for the faucet. Coldwater that tastes strongly of iron cools my throat and drips down my chin onto the shirt that isn’t mine.
My lower side twinges with burning pain so I pull up the shirt to find an angry red tattoo. “A tattoo? Really?” I roll my eyes and drop the shirt, how teenage drunk cliche of me.
Sighing I find my way around the small trailer where loads of teens are passed out in weird positions. The screen door opens with a loud bang and I step into the warm summer air, there are still stars in the sky but the horizon is a lighter shade of blue.
I find my cellphone in my back pocket with a crack spiderwebbing the screen, putting a line through a picture of Amber and me. How symbolic.
I know if I don’t find myself a ride then I will be here all day, and either way, my parents will wake up to me not being asleep in my bed; there truly is no avoiding the hammer. I dial my mom’s number and put the phone to my face, the crack pushing into my cheek.
“Come on, come on,” I mumble, cuffing the toe of my converse on the morning dew damp grass. The dialing tone sounds very loud to my hangover, and I hope for my mom to pick up the phone even though I know I’ll be grounded.
“Hello?” She sounds like she’s in a tunnel, half asleep and safe at home thinking that her two daughters are asleep across the hall. I furrow my brow and let out a long breath, dreading the next moments of my life.
“Mom?” I gulp and take in a deep breath, fighting off all my fears of confrontation. Maybe I would be less afraid of upsetting the people around me if I would behave better, stop being a partier and start doing better in school. But who knows if I’ll ever stop. “Mom, you’re going to be mad at me.”