The bottle of wine Noelle got for ten bucks is already empty. She’s not too concerned because it was a two for one deal and there’s plenty left in the second bottle. Everyone else is gone, was already gone out somewhere when she got in from another night of doodling at the library, occasionally stopping to scribble in her notebook or type something to seem like she was doing homework.
Her phone chirps with a notification: Dani Laurent and 5 others have checked in at Chuck’s Tavern.
“Fan-friggin-tastic,” Noelle slurs as she attempts to toss the phone on the table. It clatters to the floor and the back comes off. She reaches down to gather it up and it takes 5 minutes to line up the little pegs and click it back into place. “Damn childproof…” she mumbles, trailing off as sudden inspiration hits her.
She stumbles down the hall after dropping the bottle on the couch, dodging discarded glitter shirts and spilled drinks from the girls getting ready to leave, until she reaches her room. Sitting at the shaky desk she opens her lap top and runs the home movie program. The camera turns on and she stares at herself in the frame. Bloodshot eyes try to focus on her place on the screen and her hair is a big halo of uncombed, unwashed, curls. She presses RECORD and the haze seems to fade.
“You know, when I met you guys, you were the kind of people I always wanted to be friends with. The kids who do whacky shit and don’t care, yet still get their crap done, a little group, a clan of cool weirdoes who lit up this whole town.”
Noelle paused as her mind went into overdrive compiling a list of things the wine thought needed to be said.
“You’re all watching me drown. I know you are. You can’t say ‘no Elley we aren’t what are you talking about you’re totally on the couch and whatnot’ because I am legit drowning and you clowns won’t pull me up on your stupid boat. Your little stupid Shiny People Boat where everybody is shiny and sparkly and…and whatever,” she said, losing her train of thought.
“I’m drunk in case you can’t tell. I started at about nine this morning after I ate your cereal. Quick question: is it really a start if you were already hung over? That’s a rhetorical philosophical question in case you couldn’t tell…idiots.”
She surprises herself with a burp and leans her head to one shoulder before readjusting her position.
“I listen to all of your voices yapping about how you’re soooo grown up now, you’re twenty-one and you’ve got all your shit together. You aren’t a “babysitter”. Well you know what? YOU are the baby. Constantly one-upping the next person on how self-sufficient you think you are while failing to notice you have no clue how to function without instruction.”
Noelle paused as some part of her brain sent out little pings of “Hypocrite! Hypocrite!” as if an alarm system had been triggered.
“None of us know what we’re doing,” she mumbled, “but am I the only one scared by that?”
To be continued….