She downed the whole glass in seconds.
It was all quiet downstairs. Her head felt like it was going to split in two. Sure there was a choir singing a hymn in her head, Laura sat on the side of the bed. But despite it all, she had a good time, and thought about when she could try and go again.
If Julie wasn’t too embarrassed that is.
Her mum peeked her head around the door and whispered. ‘Laura – are you getting up. Remember the church has a jumble sale and you are meant to be helping.’
Laura thought about feigning illness, but Julie would be there too. She looked sober enough, and she wanted to find out what she had done, in her missing hours.
‘I’m just coming Mum.’
A towel and some fresh clothes grabbed she went to have a quick bath. Her top still had the heavy aroma of sick and stale cider. Laura looked in the mirror. She brushed her teeth, but it still felt like they were covered in grime and the bags under her eyes, had their own little pouches.
Downstairs, Laura threw her dirty clothes in the washing machine and turned it on. A glass filled to the top with water, she drank it all in one go. Her teeth still felt gritty even as water washed over them.
‘You look like you’re coming down with something,’ her mum said, handing a her a plate of toast.
Laura felt her stomach churn, at the very thought of food.
‘It might help.’
‘I’ve got to go, or I’ll be late.’
Once inside the small hall, covered from side to side with tables and old clothes, Laura searched the room for Julie. She stood by the bric-a-brac table, putting price tags on the items they needed to sell.
‘Blimey, the dead look better than you.’
‘Don’t remind me. My mouth is like a desert,’ Laura whispered.
‘How much did you have to drink?’
‘I lost count.’
‘You were kissing that man, like he was the last person on earth.’
‘Was I? I don’t remember any of that.’
‘I thought it was time you went home.’
‘I didn’t do anything . . .’
‘No luckily I caught you in time.’
‘Thank goodness, I can’t remember even getting into my bed,’ Laura said, with a stifled giggle.
‘Go easy next time, boys take advantage of girls like you.’
‘I had a good time though, what I can remember of it that is.’
‘Steve’s got another party next week if you want to come,’ Julie said.
Laura thought for a second and nodded. Despite the effects of the alcohol and the memory lapses, she had been a normal teenager and it felt good.
There had been a few parties after that. In each of them she had managed to drink more than she should, but they had been fun. She wondered what happened to Julie. Was she married? Did she have children too?
She climbed out of the bath, wiped away the condensation from the mirror. The teenager inside her wouldn’t recognise the adult she had become today.