It's been a long time since I've gone to a party. The last ones I attended were for my 16th birthday, as well as my 18th. My friends, Tristan and Melody, are big on partying for age checkpoints. Tonight, they’re holding yet another party at a club they’ve been frequenting ever since they turned 21- I wasn’t allowed to attend, thankfully. I’m hoping that this will be the last of the partying for me.
I hurried around my yellow decorated room to prepare for the big night, grabbing products to make my red curls look at least a little less like a bird’s nest. I put on a little black slip on dress paired with strappy heels to match. I really wanted to keep this as simple as possible and try to be on the down-low as much as I could. All I have to do now is touch up my makeup and wait for Melody and Tristan to pick me up. Soon enough, Melody’s car pulls up outside my apartment and we’re off.
Worrying about the party was one thing, but showing up was entirely different. The place looked packed; cars lined up as far as I could see in front of the building with people queued out front. My stomach jumped up to my throat as I imagined how much attention would be on me, even if no one cared. Surely, people celebrate loudly at clubs all the time when they turn 21, right? We make our way through the lethargic line and finally pass through the door to see… exactly what you’d expect at a club. There were lots of people dancing together in front of a set of really big speakers and a live band, whom I don’t remember the name of. More people gathered at the bar and sat huddled at tables talking and laughing and shouting with excitement over alcohol and food.
Of course, Melody pulls me by the arm to the bar and excitedly yells over the music, “You have to let me buy you your first drink! C’mon, it’ll be fun!” I begrudgingly follow after her until we get the attention of the bartender.
“Three fireball shots please,” Mel orders. I jabbed her in the ribs.
“What are you, insane? I’m not drinking that! That’s like, level ten drinking skill and I’m a negative one!” I stared at back at Tristan, hoping to get some help with avoiding Mel’s dangerous choice of alcohol. He just looks back at me with a pained but curious expression, as if Melody convinced him to go along with it.
“Dude, you have to try this at least once in your life, plus I want to see the look on your face. You’re, like, an alcohol virgin.” The bartender places three full shot glasses down on the bar in front of us and gives me an amused look. Melody starts counting down from three as I pick up my shot. “THREE… TWO… ONE!”
I down the whiskey as fast as I could and immediately felt it burning down my throat. I gagged and coughed, bending double over the bar and banging my fist. Yup, this definitely was a bad, bad idea.
“I need something else, holy crap. Rum and Coke, please?” I coughed a few more times after my request and gave the evil eye to Melody and Tristan, who were laughing their asses off at me. Ugh. How fast are you supposed to feel this stuff? I already feel woozy but that might just be the nerves talking.
I slowly sipped my rum and coke and then forcibly downed more shots of whatever else my ‘friends’ ordered. At this point, I’m really starting to feel it. Mel and Tristan made their way over to the dance floor and left me to sway awkwardly at the bar. I looked around me at the wishy-washy world and eyed the people sitting next to me. On my left were a couple older people sipping what my inexperienced mind would think was the good kind of whiskey. The other side of me was only one person though who was eating some french fries. He looked to be about my age and had dark, wavy hair. It may have been the alcohol taking over, but I leaned over to him.
“H-hey,” I stuttered, trying to get his attention. He looked over at me with the most beautiful green eyes I have ever seen. They were like two emeralds had taken residence in his face, specifically under his eyebrows. I have no idea what I look like now that I’m pretty drunk, but I am sure that I look amusing. I can see it in his eyes.
“Hey, yourself. What brings you here?”
“I just turned twenty-one about,” I checked my phone, seeing that it is now one-thirty in the morning, and hiccuped, “ten hours ago. My friends dragged me here, probably to get me drunk, which I think worked.” I slurred half of the words that came out of my mouth and he laughed.
“Wow, congrats. Where would these friends of yours be now?”
“Probably still dancing. I’m honestly ready to crash. Can you take me home, stranger?” I laughed at my own joke and took another sip of my drink.
“Well, I could, except for the fact that we don’t even know each other’s names. I’m Damion Somers, by the way.” He smiled at me and held out his hand for me to shake.
“I’m Eliza Ruge. Pleasure to-” Hiccup, “-meet you.” Damion laughed at me again and held my hand in his for a few seconds before helping me up. I didn’t realize I needed the help until I nearly face planted due to my jelly legs. Stupid legs. We stumbled out the door together into the crisp, cool night air and led me to his car. As soon as I sat down I began to sober up as soon as I realized I what I was doing. Getting into a stranger’s car, whom I just met at a club was definitely something the normal me would never do. I didn’t have much energy to get back out, so I decided to just roll with it, which is also not like me.
Damion got in and closed his door, leaving just the two of us in the confined space. It was probably the fact that I was drunk, but my instincts seemed to be the only actions I took in the moment. I leaned forward and pressed my lips to his. At first he stiffened underneath me, but then he kissed me back hard. He pulled away and started driving (to his house, I assumed). The next thing I knew, we were going into an apartment and were kissing all the way to the bed. Damion stopped for a moment.
“Are you sure you want to do this?”
I nodded and put my lips back on his.