Note: I’m trying the YA fiction genre lately. Here’s what I am playing with. There’s no title… and quite frankly, it’s just a blip in my brain.
“Just stuff it in your pants,” Charley says completely serious but giggling. She looks at our friend Bre and then back at me; she’s looking for approval. The bottle of Black Velvet is nearly full – maybe three shots shy – and I grip my hip-huggers and tug outward. The bottle fit. I wasn’t a ninja or anything, but my hoodie was long enough to cover my abdomen. This may work.
I’m a sophomore in high school. Barely old enough to have a driver’s permit and I’ve just shoved a bottle of BV down my pants. Not to mention my purse contents: two 16-ounce Mountain Dews as chasers and a pack of Marlboro Reds with my green lighter. Now I have to get away with it. The ultimate adrenaline rush – get past the parents without getting caught. I’ve done it a million times…
It’s Halloween night; we, three best friends, are applying finishing touches on our typical but genius costumes. Charley and Bre are identical in their fishnet tights, safety pin jewelry, black and red plaid mini-skirts, and black tiny-cleaved tanks. I, on the other hand, went with the last minute approach – baggy jeans, navy blue Nike hoodie, matched with my boyfriend’s Slipknot beanie outlined with even more safety pins. We stand stair-step order in front of the mirror applying black lipstick – I’m the tallest of course, then Bre and Charley, the shorty. Two more minutes (we promised) and we’d be ready to go. My mom is giving us a ride, like always, to my boyfriend’s house. One last order of business…
“What are we dressed as?” Bre asks, looking us over all together in the full-length mirror. “The three devils?”
“No.” Charley adds. Lame name. “The three Goths?” No one answers – too predictable. Our heads tilt to the side as we try to make it epic.
“I’ve got it,” I say with a wide, mischievous grin. “I’m a pimp… and you guys are my bitches.” Laughter echoes down my long bathroom in agreement.
“Am I the chauffeur?” My mom poses, slightly annoyed, as all three of us pile in the backseat of her Grand-Am. No one sits shotgun, especially not me. We laugh in response, nervous, but so high on adrenaline.
We’re stricken sober after we back out and hit the first bump in the road. Swoosh. I hold my pants to muffle the sound. Bump. Swoosh. “So, uh, Mom, turn on the radio…” She does. That’s not unusual – a quiet car is the unusual part. Charley twirls her long brown hair as she glances over to meet my eyes then her round browns move to my pants. Her mouth turns from a line to a fully intoxicated grin. I have to admit, this is kind of fun.
I exit the car like a pregnant women standing up from a couch – bent back with my hand on my stomach – so the BV doesn’t bust us by falling out. We enter the chipping white house and are directed downstairs where the black lights are on and the strobe light sputters in the corner. It’s one big room separated by two-by-four framework where the walls should be. The cement floor and brick siding ricochet the music screeches into my eardrums – Marilyn Manson. We step through what looks like a doorway and I immediately find Ryan – my boyfriend.
Ryan and I are perfect for each other – me, a rebellious girl who typically wears black pants with straps and dangling chains matched with my black shirt that reads “Wanna neck?” in red sparkling letters, and Ryan, Slipknot t-shirt with baggy jeans hanging just passed his ass, just high enough so the teachers couldn’t call him on it. He had those intriguing eyes from the start. Eyes that look as if they were determined to cause trouble, his Kottonmouth Kings t-shirt told me he was a bad boy, and getting kicked out of his first history class pushed me over the edge with ambition to be his next girlfriend. His Louisianan accent added to my thrill-ride of conspiring to work my way into his mind. He was the tough guy, the one nobody messed with, and I was his girlfriend, inheriting all the perks.
I sit down on Ryan’s lap and we kiss before I reach into my pants. Charley and Bre are holding their hands out to me before I can find the nozzle to grip. “Get it out!” They demand almost in unison. Ryan cocks his head, but straightens and smiles when I pull the rabbit – err bottle – out of my pants. He slyly nods in approval; he taught me everything I know.
I remember when he taught me how to inhale. We were sitting nearly a year before this Halloween on his twin bed in his old wood-panel trailer. The black lights were on, so was Ice Cube singing “You Can Do It.” I sat there with Ryan as he lit his first cigarette of the night. I’d taken up smoking cigarettes to be cool. I could bring the stick up to my mouth, make an O with my lips, suck the pollution in, and make smoke come out of my mouth. That’s all there was to it, right?
“You’re not even inhaling,” he smirked after handing me a pre-lit Red. “You’re wasting it. Here, let me show you.” He took the stick between his pointer and middle finger, brought it to his mouth just like I did and made smoke blow out his mouth. What’s the difference?
“Now take a drag like you usually do,” he instructed the cigarette between my fingers now. I repeated my process. Once the smoke was inside my mouth, he said, “Now breathe in…” I did. I coughed hard, but eventually learned to enjoy every bit of buzz.
The night continues the normal way – normal for us anyway, not for others in our grade. The three musketeers are sitting hip-tied with a Mountain Dew in one hand and, on every three turns, the BV bottle in the other. Plug nose, swig, chase, make puckered face, exhale, pass bottle, and repeat. By our fifth round half the bottle is gone and we are happily fluttering about the room. Our reality: blurry; our heads: spinning; our lives: good. Anyway to escape from reality for a bit, we do. Drinking and smoking cigarettes seem to fill the void most weekends. This Halloween isn’t a special occasion, just an excuse to look crazy doing it.