The day before my first drink, Sally Bodenhammer snuck a flask into the girls' locker room and passed it around. I stayed outside the circle, peeling off my sweaty gym strip, watching. Someone tried to hand the flask back to me. I shook my head. Shocker, Sally sneered.
Mrs. Felk was my favourite teacher. The thought of her walking into the locker room mid-guzzle was enough to keep my lips off that flask.
I wondered if Mrs. Felk had ever been in the teacher's lounge when my art teacher, Mr. Dash, was trashing me.
"Piper Crest? Stuck up? I don't see that, Corey."
"Eh. She's like the rest of the French Immersion snots when they find themselves in a mostly-English class. She thinks she's better."
"Corey. You're projecting. Don't be a dick. And PS, your fly is open."
She spins on her non-marking heel and disappears. Take that, asshole.
I made an excuse about needing to get to science and hand in an overdue assignment. I could tell by Sally's smirk that none of the girls believed me and would say so the minute I left. Fuck them.
Danny Stilleto said Justin Derby is mad at me. Mad at me? We don't even talk, Danny. Mad at me for what? I asked. I think you know, Piper. He made his voice deeper to deliver that last doozie and then walked away. Jesus. That sat in my gut like Cheeseburger Regret for the rest of the day. Teenagers are such assholes.
I couldn't stop imagining the taste of alcohol. When Mr. Starb called on me in Social, I had to pretend I hadn't heard. I wondered how long the girls stayed in that circle, if they missed 4th period, if they actually got drunk. I wondered if Mrs. Felk walked in, mentally purging her list of faves, clearing space on her top shelf. Choose me. See me. Know me.
Mrs. Pollick told my mom during second-term parent-teacher interviews in grade 7 that I seem lonely and quiet. She said to tell me that her door is open if I needed a friendly ear. I didn't know she even knew my name. I waited two years too long to take her up on that offer and now she's gone. Probably transferred to a school with kids who don't suffer from oily hair and deforming acne. Where the halls have no flasks.
When I opened my eyes that morning, I knew I'd find a way to taste alcohol before the sun set. Everyone said they were leaving the house at the same time. It was meant to be. Dad was taking Kerby to physio and then a movie. Mom asked if I wanted to come to Safeway. "Mom. Do I ever want to come to Safeway?" I was already sweating, playing it cool. Like it was just another day for a well-behaved teenager to sass her parentals.
I remember slowly opening the liquor cabinet in case it creaked even though I was alone. I remember not knowing if I should start with rum or vodka or if there was a special way to drink either one. I settled on rum. It smelled better.
I'm currently taking a course on shorty story writing. This piece is from my most recent assignment on plot and drift. It's not full or polished, but I had fun writing it and thought you might have fun with the reading part.