LII. Soft Lips
“N-No reason.” I turn my head towards the bright light in the swimming pool.
“You don’t have to buy anything.” Madison sways her hair to the other side. “Chill in town. You need to get away from those stocks.”
“Well, sorry. Not everyone has rich parents.”
Madison smirks, “Why don’t you ask your step-daddy for some money?”
Taniyah glares at Madison, “Don’t.”
Madison places two hands in the air as her way of surrendering.
Jasmine was staring at me.
“What?” I ask, unable to keep my gaze on her.
“You have a lot of stretch marks.”
She saw it.
She noticed my stretch marks.
Which meant everyone else did too.
Those stretch marks I got from when I was fat.
Crystal notices my discomfort, “What’s the big deal in having stretch marks? I have them too.” She stood up and turned around. With both hands, she smacks her butt, “Mother nature, baby.”
Everyone burst out laughing.
Taniyah shrugs, “I got stretch marks.” She held up her boobs, “Everything comes with a price, baby.”
I couldn’t fight the smile that steadily raced across my face as the girls continued to talk about their imperfections.
Jasmine was still staring at me, not as openly as before, but still strong.
“So-” Madison said, with a mischievous smile. That smile is never a good sign. “I got something.”
“What?” Crystal asks.
Steadily, she grabs her bag and pulls out a bottle of alcohol. “Let’s have a little fun tonight.”
I raise a hand. “I’m fourteen.”
Madison waves the bottle slightly, “So?”
“I cannot consume alcohol. It’s illegal.”
“Fine. We’ll drink without Hailey.” She grabs a bunch of glasses and lines them up on the bench.
I look at Crystal and elbow her.
“What?” She asks.
“Don’t tell me you’re going to drink,” I whisper.
She scrunches her nose and shrugs, “Meh. Why not?”
“Crystal. You’re fifteen.”
“Going sixteen,” she smiles softly, “Hailey. You don’t have to drink if you don’t want to. No one will tease you for being sober. I, on the other hand, kind of want a few shots.”
Madison passed out the glasses and gave me one with clear content. “It’s water,” she said. I took it, rolling it around the edge of my fingertips.
Madison raised her glass, “To another great year with old and new friends,” she said.
Our glasses clang together, and everyone dove into their shots.
After one glass.
Taniyah fell asleep.
“Wow. She’s a lightweight,” Madison said.
More slurry talks.
Jasmine threw up and left to go back to her room.
“I’m impressed,” Madison said.
Crystal flips her hair back, showing off her deep Asian glow. “I know. I’m talented in everything.”
Madison bursts out laughing, “Cute.” She pours Crystal another glass.
I sip on my water.
“Come on, HayHay,” Crystal said. “Even if you’re drinking water. At least, throw your head back like you’re taking shots.”
Madison chuckles lightly before re-filling my glass. My eyes waved back and forth, and with all my might, I threw my head back like I was taking a shot.
Madison and Crystal clapped for me.
“That’s my HayHay!” Crystal kisses my cheek.
Madison scoots closer to my right side, pressing her breasts against my arm. “Aw. Little Hailey is growing up.” She squishes my cheeks together.
I can feel Crystal’s breasts being pressed further on my left side. “You know, I remember when HayHay was a little girl, and she would always hide behind my back. She’s so adorable.” Crystal kisses my cheek again.
Madison sighs, “That’s so cute!”
“Yes! She would always cry about everything. It’s freaking out of this world.” She kisses my cheek again, but this time closer to my neck. My eyes widen when she wraps a hand against my thigh, “I would so fuck you if I was a dude, HayHay.”
“I wish I could be there,” Madison exhaled. I can feel her lips on the other side of my neck. “But it’s okay. I’m here now.” Madison presses her hand on my other thigh.
They are getting way too close.
Crystal moans into my shoulder.
Madison did the same.
“Okay,” I said, pushing them away from me. I hop out of the hot tub and allow the cool air to caress my skin.
Madison chuckles, “Getting hot in here?”
I nod, waving my hands in front of my face. “Just a bit.”
Madison stood up and took two steps until her face reached mine. “Have you ever done something you’ve always been curious about?”
I lean back, still hot and extremely confused.
Madison leans forward, “Come on, Vaughn. Have a little fun.” I can feel her lip scraping against mine. “Just a little bit. We won’t tell anyone.”
Without my control, I close my eyes. Madison’s lips went closer towards me, and I can hear the uncontrollable drumbeat.
Then, it happened.
Madison fell asleep on my shoulder.
I look past her head to see Crystal passed out on the other side.
I exhale and push Madison off of me and onto the edge. Cautiously, I laid her head down to ensure nothing happened.
I jump out of the hot tub and towards my bags. With each step, my wet flesh smacks against the floor. “What were you doing, Hailey Vaughn?” I ran my fingers up my hair.
I look around the balcony to see three girls completely passed out—two in the hot tub and one on the lawn chair.
I took out my phone and dialed for Josh. The phone clicks, “Hey.”
“Josh. Can you come to the balcony on the second floor?” I look around again, “And maybe bring a few friends.”
“I need help...carrying a few things.”
“I’ll call some friends,” he said.
Once the call ends, I tug the phone back into my bag. With a deep breath, I put my clothes back on and went towards the hot tub. I dip my legs in it, shorts slightly wet, and with all my energy, I lift Crystal out from behind.
My hair sticks against my cheek, and I groan with every step. Crystal is heavier than she looks. My arms feel heavier than my legs, which isn’t a surprise. I’m a runner, not a lifter.
At that moment, I regretted rejecting Josh’s recommendation in weight lifting together.
Once I threw Crystal down, I staggered towards the second weight. With bent legs, I lift Madison with all the energy left in my body. I puff my cheeks, dragging her to a free lawn chair. After I threw her down, I grabbed a towel and rested it on top of their heads.
Wiping off the sweats, I grab their clothes and tug them back on. I realize it’s extremely difficult to put clothes on limp limbs, but I don’t want to leave them half-naked when the guys come. Hunting down for more towels to wrap their bodies, I found some bathrobes. I grabbed the complimentary - or I assumed it to be - bathrobes and went back towards them.
My eyes were pinned towards the bottle of alcohol. I twist on the cap and pack it into Madison’s bag. Grabbing each glass, I threw it into the potted plants. “Sorry,” I whisper to the plastic plants, stacking the glasses together.
With all my energy, or what’s left of it, I covered each of them.
Exhausted, I grab the bottle of water and pour it into the glass.
Then, I made the biggest mistake that night.
My face cringes at the taste.
I look down at the glass.
I look at the bottle of water.
It’s not water.
I shook my head and put everything away. “It’s okay,” I told myself. “You only drank a little.” I grab the water bottle - read it this time - and chug it down. “You’re fine. You’re fi-.” I looked at the end and gagged. “Where are the waters?!”
The harsh scent of drink can be smelt off of everyone. I know it, and so does everyone else. Hopefully, it’s strong enough to overpower the fact that I drank one small cup.
I stumble slightly, struggling to keep my balance.
It’s the first time I tasted alcohol.
It tasted like fizzy water.
I tried to walk straight. My legs don’t work as I tell them. Neither do my hands. Or my fingers. Somewhere, deep inside, I know my brain is sending signals telling me what to do. Whether or not my body is listening is a different story.
I can feel it moving. I can feel it doing what it wants. Can I stop it? We all know the answer to that. It’s doing as it pleases.
There’s a part of me that knows, it feels good, being numb.
I shook my head and sat down. I need to calm down. Exhaling and inhaling with all my might, I laid down on the lawn chair. My eyes trace the stars in the sky, and I continue deep breathing.
I was taught not to drink until the proper legal age. If my parents found out I drank even one cup, I will be sent back to California.
The longer I laid there, the sleepier I got.
Then, it all goes dark.
I can feel it.
Soft lips press against mine.
“Woah,” is all I heard from all around.
Steadily, my eyes open to meet closed ones. I move further away from the person in front of me. My head drifts towards the sounds to see several tall stilettos, then ocean blues.