Sitting on a high leather chair, I watched as a chunk of hair fall off my head to the floor. Saying goodbye to the hazel brown strands, I also bid goodbye to the life I have previously lived. Not to be too dramatic or anything, what I pertained to as life, I mean the good-ole-jerk- that broke my heart. I was eighteen and undeniably smitten with my boyfriend - James. He was the typical jock, as I thought at first, but then he grew on me. Never minding the flock of girls that tailed behind him, I always reminded myself that he was mine, and I was his. Of course, a year together didn't stop him from giving into his temptations and finally snogging a cheerleader that was present in his sight.
Although he begged for forgiveness, and I was naive enough to give him a chance, he repeated his actions - that's when I called a truce. So here I was, thoughtful and impulsive, staring at my new hairstyle with my twinkling green eyes. I was dragged by my mother to a beach to spend the last week of summer and I must admit, this is the most productive thing I've done these past few months.
My hair hang low just above my shoulders and like all new people who just have had their hair done - I hated how I look. Still, with high hopes, I walked out and began playing through the sand as I made my way to the cottage.
"My goodness," my mother had exclaimed as she saw my newly found hair, "your hair! What did you do to your hair?" A child would think a mother would be supportive at these moments, I guess not. Besides, I didn't exactly expect to get a wow or a honey you're beautiful statement out of her.
Brushing her off, I made my way to my bed. Her gaze was still fixated towards me the entire time and I wasn't relatively new to this kind of reaction. Thankfully, her phone rings and she gets out of sight to answer it.
"Hello?" I hear her whisper and for a few moments she was silent, "Of course I'll be there... seven o'clock sounds wonderful... alright Greg, I'll see you later." Greg. Greg was a guy she met as we settled in the beach earlier this week. I made a mental note to stir clear off of her and Greg's sight at seven o'clock and onward. Frowning, I realized that I didn't have any plans. It was the last night before our vacation was over, tomorrow we would drive home back to the familiar.
I was out and about even before the clock turned seven. The sand felt warm on my feet and the breeze caressed me as the cold quickly seeped in. I was thinking about James, again. It was inevitable for us to see each other now that school will be on a few days from now. This year... I thought. This year, I won't mope around. This year, I'll start standing on my own feet. It was my last year in high school and I won't let some heartbreak take over my life.
The sun was quickly dying down the sky, painting an orange color all throughout. I had to start now, I thought. I have to do something more productive than cutting my hair; I have to take a bigger risk, I have to take a farther leap. Not knowing where to start, I unconsciously drifted to the beach's outdoor restaurant. Through the glass, I spotted my mom and a bald guy seated just across the door - Greg. The sight made me cringe.
My mother and father have been separated for over five years now. I was constantly with both parties - getting swapped through the days, then days grew into weeks, and then months... until my mom finally settled in with me. My dad, only visiting me on my birthday, traveled around the country. Maybe he was like my mom, or maybe not. I didn't really know.
The bar just by the side of the restaurant looked terribly comforting despite the sappy music and the crowded people. I walked to the bar just where the tender is, and act all-so-coolly. I racked my brain of alcoholic beverages I've heard actors order in movies but then my nerve got the better of me so I decided to settle with a shot. To down the nerves, is all.
"I'll have a tequila shot, please." There was no doubt I was a spazz, no point in hiding it. Before I could rethink anything I suddenly grabbed the tender, "make that two." I said in a shy voice - holding up two fingers in the process.
Boys were eyeing me here and there and the thought of it made me feel uncomfortable. I quickly felt like a fish in a bowl. Scanning the area, I spotted a good looking guy seated alone on the couch in the middle. "Miss," The bartender have brought me my two tequila shots and quickly went away to tend somebody else's needs.
"Ah," I said to myself, eyeing the two shot glasses before me. "to a new life." I raised the glass to my lips and felt the pang of heat shoot down from my tongue to my throat. I coughed a little then repeated the process with the second glass.
"Woah," my head cocks to where the voice came from. A lady with a long beach-dress looked at me with a small grin, "somebody's going to have a long vague night." I was taller than her by a few inches; her long dark hair crawled through her shoulder down to the side of her chest. "Do you want another one?"
It took time for me to process that she was asking a question, "No, thank you." I said simply. "I'm not much of a big drinker, just downing a couple to loosen the nerves."
She nodded with a smile, "Well, can I join you?"
"Sure." I was thankful to have some company in this testicular crowd. When she was seated on the bar stool, she quickly ordered a martini dry and again took a glance at me and smile. "I'll have what she's having." I told the tender.
"So, is the martini for the nerves or for something else?" Her light brown eyes looked at me and all I can think about was the word beautiful. When I didn't answer, she gently chuckled, "You don't know how to flirt do you?"
Flirt? I asked myself. Was that flirting? Was she actually flirting with me? But-oh god say something quick. "Uhm, I'm sorry, I'm not..." I couldn't find the words to tell her.
Our drinks came and quickly the conversation died out, she smiled at herself. "I didn't think you were." She took a brief sip out of her martini then turned back to me, "I'm Sara by the way, Sara Blake."
Trying hard to not feel awkward I reply, "Allie, Allie Collins."
"So what brings you here to this alcohol drenched place?" I shot her a knowing glance and I knew she could see through my guise.
Slumping my shoulders, I quickly gave in to her question. Thinking about James and mom and Greg. "You know, shit." That was all I could say. "I don't normally drink - hell I hate alcohol. I just need something to soothe out this night before I go home tomorrow."
"I know what you mean. If I didn't see you here tonight I might be the one chugging down tequila straight from the bottle." She paused for a moment and drank her martini bottoms-up. "Good thing I start new tomorrow..." Noticing the frown on my face and the seemingly distant look, she had to ask a daring question, “do you have the case of heartbreak too?”
I nodded, "I'm actually here to make a toast to myself for a new beginning. I'm on my last year in high school and I'm more terrified of seeing my one year ex-boyfriend in the hallway with his jersey cliques than I'm terrified of the possibility of not graduating. And that's saying something."
"Ouch," Sara gestures for another martini to the tender, "high school's the worst, I know I definitely hated it. So, what did this douche do?"
Gently sighing, I let out the words, "He cheated - twice."
"He's a double douche with a kick of jerk ass then. I hate cheaters, and I'm sorry for what happened to you." Again, she looks at me with her light eyes, "I'm one-hundred-percent honest when I tell you that you deserve better, darn him for wasting your time."
I order another glass too, the alcohol has started to kick in by this time. Unconsciously, my hands went to Sara's shoulder for no reason. I faced her and I was getting a bit woozy already. "Wow, I feel great." The alcohol made me brave and thick-skinned somehow, making me a bit hard to talk to because of my frankness. "So, what's your ex like?"
Sara chuckled a bit before my semi-drunken state, our drinks came while she did so, "She’s a jerk too, we have that in common. I don't really like to talk about it. All I know is, I, too, will be starting a new this year. I got a job though I've freshly graduated, which is nice."
"Mmm-hmm," I nodded downing the whole martini glass, "your voice sounds so nice." Her voice sounded nice while mine was slurry and not understandable. "Erm, sorry." I raised my hand to gesture a don't listen to me to let her know that I was not sober anymore. I swirled around a few times, putting my head on the bar and raising it up again, and repeating the process." All the while, Sara was trying to straighten me up.
A terrible ache in my head woke me up, lights were uninviting, seeping through the open window. My eyes slowly opened and through the same rhythm, I got up. Sara was fixing up two cups in a distance and as my eyes adjusted, my consciousness came.
"Sara..." I tried to speak out. I had just noticed that I was only wearing my underwear, the image of last night was a blur. "Sara..." She hears me this time and quickly fills the gap between us, carrying hand in hand the two cups of what smelt like coffee.
"Hey, you're finally awake. Here," she handed me a cup, my eyes were still half closed but my sight was clear, "drink some, it'll drown the hangover."
"Sara..." I say, taking the cup. "Why am I half naked?"
Sara looks at me playfully like she had a secret to tell, "Well, last night..." She looked to the side, teasing me in a way that I couldn't handle but just ask what. "You had fun." She chuckled a bit to herself, "You had lots of fun." She says then giggles.
My free hand makes its way to my head, "Ugh, my head."
"You look cute with your hair all ruffled up like that." I look at her, half flattered and half - I don't even know. "And about your clothes, you don't want to be near them any time soon."
My eyebrows shot up, "What? Why not?"
She took a moment of silence and made a face. "Well, you kind of threw up on them."
Imagining the sight of me throwing up in such a non-sober state made me cringe. I was embarrassed Sara had to witness that. "Oh my god," My hands covered my face, I wished it could shield away my shame, "I am so sorry. I must have been difficult to handle last night."
Sara laughed at my embarrassment; she waved a hand to let me know it was okay. "It's fine. At least you know how to flirt when you're drunk." She made me glow with happiness just by her smile, and her eyes, and her voice. I don't know. There's just something about her that's so comfortable.
I smiled before I said, "I need to go..." her eyes told a story I couldn't decipher, "Mom and I are leaving today."
She let out a breath, "Well, okay." She looked kind of bummed out and I felt bad just a little bit. It took a few minutes for me to get ready. The shirt she gave me was too short and we had to find one that fit me right. She walked me to the door and just before I turn the handle I thanked her.
"You know, last night was pretty great. Though I must admit that it is quite vague it was still a night to remember. I want to start being a little bit... ballsy this year." I smiled.
She folded her arms, "Well, you did scream and shout and cursed James a little bit so that's a start." Her eyes were dead on to mine, "What are you going to do next?" What am I going to do next...? I asked myself. Not even trying to count, I impulsively lean in and kiss her.