The First Lesson From Alcohol

It’s Rachel again! Thanks for coming back.

In my last post, I told you how I was having a hard time fitting in at my new school. I had heard about a party and wanted to show up and make some friends.

The party was Saturday night, so I spent all day Saturday at primping. I took a bubble bath, painted my nails, straightened my hair, and reapplied my makeup twice until I thought it looked more like what the girls at school were wearing – eyeliner, lashes, and tons of lip gloss.

I rode my bike to the party, which was only about a mile away from my house because I didn’t want my mom to drop me off. It would look lame and then she might know what I was doing. I had lied and told her a girl from school had invited me over for a sleepover.

When I walked into the party, I was nervous. I hadn’t thought about what I would say if someone asked me who had invited me.

The party was no different from school. Nobody was mean to me exactly, but nobody was friendly or talked to me either. I walked around the house and nervously kept refilling the red plastic cup I had grabbed off a table. I didn’t even know what I was drinking. It tasted terrible, like the smell of nail polish remover, but everyone else was drinking, and I didn’t have anything else to do with my mouth or hands, so I just kept on drinking.

Eventually, my stomach and cheeks felt warm, and I felt so comfortable I struck up a conversation with the cutest guy in the room. His name was Mark, and he was definitely one of the cool kids. I was chatting with him when Carmen walked up and grabbed his arm. I guessed they were dating.

“Do you guys wanna play beer bong?” I asked, trying to show Carmen I was harmless.

“Sure,” she said, eyes glittering. “But who will be your partner?” This was her way of pointing out I was here alone.

“Actually, I was thinking girls against boys,”  I said firmly, with confidence I usually didn’t have, but the alcohol gave me. “You and me versus Mark and…” I grabbed the sleeve of a guy walking past. “This guy.”

Carmen laughed at that. I was winning her over! “Alright,” she said.

We played round after round of beer pong until I can’t remember what happened. I got so drunk I blacked out. I remember waking up the next morning on a pool lounge chair outside, and a puddle of puke next to me.

When I checked my phone, I had a text from an unknown number. It was Carmen, sending me pictures we had taken together the night before.

“Hey New Girl,” her text read. “You sure know how to have a good time! Let’s do it again soon XOXO.”

It was my first lesson as an alcoholic: alcohol will win you new friends.

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