Concentrating on one of her, Laura said, ‘it’s cool.’
‘Steve’s parties usually are. Do you want another drink?’
‘Why not,’ Laura said, and waved her empty glass in the air.
Julie disappeared into the crowd of people. Not sure of how to act, she turned to her right. A man, about eighteen years old, gave her a lopsided smile.
‘You’re beautiful,’ he said and gave her a peck on the cheek.
A blush rose, not only because the alcohol had boiled her blood, but because nobody had ever said she was beautiful before. The room, span like she was on a fairground ride. She touched her cheek where a moment ago he kissed her.
‘Can I kiss you properly?’ He said.
A quick nod of the head, he went in for a cuddle. He softly kissed her on her lips. Laura liked the taste of his fruity bubble gum. She wasn’t sure how to react but allowed his tongue to explore hers.
Laura didn’t answer, as she hadn’t come up for air, since the boy had latched his lips on hers.
‘It’s four am. Didn’t you say you had to get home then?’
‘But she’s enjoying herself,’ the boy said, pushing his arm against Julie’s chest.
Prising them apart, Julie took hold of Laura’s hand. ‘Yea, a little too much.’
‘But I want to stay.’
‘Come on Cinderella, you need to go now, or you’re going to lose more than a slipper.’
A kiss blown towards the young man, she weaved in and out of the dancers as she was steered outside.
The fresh air hit her like a brick wall. Her legs buckled under, and she promptly fell to the floor.
‘You don’t drink much, do you?’
Laura giggled, and pulled herself up on Julie’s legs.
The contents of her stomach churned. She was sick on the concrete. All her lunch that evening in a mixed-up mush of carrots and bile. When there was nothing left, Julie held on to her arm, and led her down the stairs.
‘I don’t feel too good,’ Laura said.
‘I’ll take you to mine first, unless you have a key to get in,’ Julie said.
‘No key, just tree . . .’ Laura giggled, and her legs gave way again.
‘My place it is then, Mum and Dad will be sound asleep, and you need some coffee inside you.’
‘I don’t like coffee,’ Laura said.
After her fifth cup of coffee, and being sick outside a few more times, Laura slowly started to sober up, but her stomach was like a washing machine on spin.
She was feeling no better when she stood outside her house. She stared at the only route to her bedroom. Luckily, confidence, from the cider still in her system, helped her climb back up and through her window.
‘I’ll call you tomorrow,’ Laura said.
It was the last thing she remembered before falling asleep on the bed fully clothed. Hours later, she woke up, her mouth dry and metallic. The covers were over her, a glass of water beside her bed.