The taste of vengeance and vomit were the first things Beth noticed as she came to in her parents American king sized bed. Vengeance: The punching result of mixing Diamond White, cider, Carlsberg, Special Brew and a double Vodka. The race to neck them had been fun at the time but the puking in the bath an hour later whilst Oliver had held her hair back from her face, wasn’t. It hadn’t worked. The crusty remnants of dried sick were evident as she tried to peel her head from the oversized pillow. The room swayed and her head felt like it was holding a thrash metal concert.
She sat up gingerly and brushed against a body beside her clad in skinny jeans and a tight vest top. A thick padded bra, protruded from the skimpy t shirt and the scalloped edges were caught on the girls pendant necklace. Mid length, mousy brown hair covered the girls face apart from the gold sleeper in her pierced nose. Who the fuck was she? Beth didn’t even recognise her. And why was she in her parents bed with a random girl and not in her own? She tried to remember but needed a drink fast. She clambered out of the side of the bed, heat building in her body from the toxins and made her way to her parents en suite, pulling down the short, black body dress that had made her feel so sexy not a few hours back but now made her feel like a sullied tart. The toilet was being hugged by an unconscious lad with dark curly hair. His left cheek, moulded to the porcelain and his body coiled around the base as support. She recognised him as one of the upper sixth form. Not someone she spoke to but a mate of Charlie’s and his lot.
Beth ran the tap and slowly bent her mouth towards the cold, gushing water. She gripped either side of the basin to stop herself from falling. The rush of last nights poison filling her head as she drank, slowly, trying to sate her parched tongue but not boff up in the sink. Events began to flood back to her. The party had doubled from it’s original invitees. She remembered seeing loads of new faces amongst her crowd of friends and colleagues. The night had been warm and the revellers had spilled out onto the patio and the lawn. She remembered someone falling into the garden statue of a water nymph and it cracking in half. Shit. Her Mum was going to kill her. She needed to go and survey the house. Find her best mate, Helen, to help her make things right before her parents returned from their cruise tomorrow. And Oliver, where was he? Had he gone home? She vaguely remembered him having a football game this morning. The last she’d seen of him was when he was holding her hair back. She felt the mortification wash over her as she recalled his soothing words. Their relationship was only a few months old but she really loved him and was still anxious to be at her best for him. Maybe he was pissed off at her drinking too much. She needed her phone so she could check for any messages and so she could text him too. Where the hell was it? She looked under the covers of the bed and on the dressing table. God knows where that was.
She crept out of the bedroom and saw a couple of bodies on the floor. Two girls were sat up, leaning against the anaglypta wall paper in the hallway, talking and giggling and wildly oblivious to her presence. Empty beer bottles cluttered in groups along the stretch of carpet where they’d landed and glasses with half filled vodka concoctions, rimmed with smeared lippy, sat on the sill of the large hall window. Broken glass littered the stairs like confetti and she moved her bare feet carefully on the tread so not to cut herself. The place was a fucking state and panic started to creep into her being. Downstairs, more bodies huddled together on sofas and where they’d dropped, paralytic and spent. Random shoes were discarded amongst slices of pizza and crushed crisps on the floor. It looked like some giant ogre had picked up the house and shook it. As she wandered through the open lounge she noticed Ben flat out on the dining room table, on his back, mouth open. He looked like he was dead but the catching snorts that escaped from his throat, proved otherwise. She peered closer, stepping on an upturned, metal wine cap. She winced at the pain and hopped on one foot as she pulled the circular top from her sole. Someone had shaved off Ben’s eyebrows and drawn on false ones with a kohl pencil and written “Bellend” on his forehead. She giggled, in spite of the throbbing in her foot. She wandered through the lounge looking for Helen amongst the bodies and over to the patio doors that were still open. Fag ends and shared spliffs were scattered over the paving blocks. The statue still down and cracked in half as she remembered and the patio table stacked with what looked like the contents of the whole neighbourhoods, glass recycling box.
Steve and Jack walked round the corner from the garden. “Spanking night, Beth” Steve said, opening up his arms for a hug. “Feel like shit, though. We’re off to get a Big Mac and back to kip, mate.” She let him hug her. His David and Goliath T shirt smelt like a sweaty pub at closing time.
“Have you seen Helen? She asked him as he released her.
“Nah. Not since she was doing her erotic dance show in the kitchen. Got a video if you want to see it..” He patted his pockets for his mobile.
“ No, you’re alright. “ She laughed. God, sounded like Helen had downed one too many. They’d have a laugh about that later. The lads went back through the house and she followed them in. This time she noticed the can of Fosters lager floating on the top of her Dad’s tropical fish tank. Fuck. One fish lay lifelessly nearby it in the discoloured water. Two others swimming on their sides. Pissed up fish. She was so for it.
She opened the front door to let Steve and Jack out of the house at the same time as her next door neighbour, Mrs Cullen arrived back from the supermarket. She gave Beth a filthy look as she pulled her shopping bags from the car and slammed the door shut. Beth wanted to die. Mrs Cullen wouldn’t be able to wait to tell her Mum and Dad about this.
Beth closed the door and decided to go upstairs to her bedroom and get changed before she got rid of people and cleaned up the mess. She gripped the bannister hard as she climbed, trying to keep the nauseating feeling of wretchedness and shame at bay. She opened the door to her bedroom and her heart began pound. Vomit threatening to surge forward again but not from the drink this time. Gasping, she steadied herself on the yellowing architrave to her room. There in her bed was her best friend, Helen. Naked but for the coil of friendship bracelets she never removed from her arm and a simple white sheet, swathed over her buttocks as she lay on her front. The strong, masculine arm of Beths boyfriend, Oliver, draped lovingly across her bare shoulders as he too, lay naked, holding her close.
Labels: alcohol, atozchallenge, betrayal, doors, hangovers, party