by KC Hampton
virgin Bloody Mary
Anne hides away in a corner, tugging on the sides of her skirt that is one inch too short, as an empty red solo cup rolls to the tip of her Chuck Taylors. Lights strobe in and out, as music blares from every speaker that the mansion size house owns, as the drunken teens sway from one side to another. The cutest boy in her school leans against the living room couch sipping on a beer. She gets lost in his wavey blond hair and sea of emerald-green eyes that melt in a pool of sapphire blue.
“Hey, Anne! Come do shots with us!” a girl with an even shorter skirt shouts out from the kitchen.
Anne turns around to find the corner where she trapped herself and has no way of going any further. “How does she even know my name?” Anne whispers to herself as she turns around, giving a polite smile, then waves her off.
“Oh, you’re no fun! Come on, what’s a little drink going to do to you?” the girl says in a squeal of temptation, racing over to Anne, pulling her over to the drinking game.
Reluctant, she lets the girl drag her over to the other delinquents and scrunches her nose at the shots of tequila burning their throats. “Oh, I don’t know, Kayla. I’m not a big drinker.”
“Don’t be such a goody-two-shoes. You don’t always have to be the good little straight-A student, you know? There’s no teachers or parents around. Loosen up!”
“I’m not a goody-two-shoes, it’s just—”
“Just what? Are you too good for us, little Miss Perfect?” Kayla asks, taunting her with a red solo cup full of who knows what.
“Of course not! I just, umm…” Anne says, flustered, taking surveillance of her surroundings, only to catch the eyes of wonder boy.
He gives her a slight nod and a crooked smile as he lifts his beer toward her. She lets out a heavy sigh, taking the cup from Kayla’s grasp.
She sips the mysterious liquid, scrunching her face with disgust. “Ek! Why do you like this stuff?”
“Don’t worry it gets better after a few sips,” a male voice from behind her says with a laugh.
Anne turns around, as her face grows in horror to see the cutest boy in the world standing before her. Trying to recover, she forces an awkward smile. “Oh… good to know.”
“I’m Johnny,” he extends his hand toward her. “You’re Anne, right?”
“Yes, she is. I’ll let you two get acquainted,” Kayla winks, as she stalks off to another room filled with beer pong.
“Ignore her. She can be a bit… much,” Johnny smirks.
“Yeah, but she seems nice,” Anne replies.
“You don’t know Kayla then! I mean, she has her moments, but trust me, she won’t hesitate to push you under the bus if it meant you or her.”
“Well, then I’ll make sure not to stand in front of a bus with her anytime soon.”
They both laugh as he brushes her shoulder. “You know you’re pretty funny, Anne.”
“Oh, I don’t know about that,” she says with a blush. “Hey, how did you know my name? I mean, everyone seems to know my name. It’s a little weird.”
“We like to get to know the new kids. It’s all about living in a small town, don’t worry, you’ll get used to it.”
She sips at her mixed concoction, giving another gag.
He laughs and takes the drink from her hand. “Here, let me get you something better. It will help calm your nerves.”
She smiles as he takes her drink.
A moment passes, when he arrives back with a fresh beverage. “Here, this should be better,”
The first sip tasted like licorice; then, the music starts to drown out by the buzzing coming from her ears. She loses her balance as the red solo cup spills onto the floor, all over her brand-new boots. She falls into Johnny’s arms and grabs her head. “What’s going on?”
“Oh, don’t worry, sweet little Miss Perfect. They said we could have some fun tonight.”
She’s carried into the bedroom upstairs and placed carefully on the freshly made bed. Anne pleads through her haze but is paralyzed, left with nothing to do except lie still and focus on one thing. She turns her attention to a pile of red solo cups that littered the floor, waiting for the pain to subside. Anne’s tears fall from her rosy cheeks into the red solo cups creating a puddle, amongst the leftover beer, with her skirt, that was just one inch too short.
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