In the evening, Evie shows up with promise circled in her eyes. She has two dresses in her hand-one very black short dress for you and the other one peach colored and strapless for herself. You smile, wave her in but she holds out your dress and says she's got to go do some errands before the party.
You nod like you understand but you're not stupid. For two months ago since Lia got locked up, nothing has been alright.

You stare at yourself in the mirror. Brown eyes meet yours, regret imprinted in with a cursed trail. You should have made Evie stay. You'll never make it to the party. You know that now. Even with the dress on, even with the unsteady mascara that you never wear highlighting your small eyes, even with the desire to get drunk and go over the edge-you will not make it there. You'll pretend life is one big joke, take out your dad's whiskey from the kitchen, switch on the tv and lie on the bed still wearing your dress.

You'll pretend you're having more fun than ever. That you don't need Lia or Victor or Evie to pump up the volume of your life so that you can headbang.

The whiskey spills and disappears into the black cloth of your shimmering dress. Black, so powerfully sad that it absorbs everything. 'Shit!' you say. Just how will Evie forgive you now? You've not shown up for the party and now you've got her dress reeking of alcohol. And she doesn't even drink.

But the part of you that calms down pulls you back on to the bed. Makes you think of John who would have thought you weren't interested in him and would be in someone else's mouth now. You do really like him. You wonder if you should call him and apologize for not making it. Evie would definitely making out with a guy by now. You decide to call her even though it would piss her off big time.

'Hello?'
You can barely make out her voice through the music that flushes out of your phone. You don't say anything for a minute.

'Hello,' she streams in again but breaks off to tell someone else, 'Not now. Get off me, I'm on the phone...'

'But baby-'
Clearly John's voice.

John. This just keeps getting better. You cut the phone and drink another quarter of the whiskey in your glass.

Its my fault, you tell yourself. You didn't go. Now you just have to deal with it.

Fifteen minutes later, Lia rings from prison. She is allowed extra talk time because she's been on good behavior.

'How ya doing, kid?'

'God, I miss you, Li. Eve's being a bitch.'

'Sugar, we're all bitches.'

'I know.'

You don't know how to fill in spaces. Lia knows though. She's already figured-Evie's got something you want. Its always been that way. Anything you want, she will take it.

Lia says softly, 'Listen girl. I get out next month. After that, we'll have fun okay?'

'Not like before though.' You say, rememebering the string of parties, drugs, shoplifting and the other ways to get speed your way into jail.

'Yeah, not like before.'

Silence claws back. She knows she's fucked up big time. You don't need to remind don't even need to tell her that once she comes out, she'll only go back. There is no stopping. So even though its killing you, you'll tell her what's on your mind.

'I'm moving to my Mom's next month.'

'What?..Why?'

'I don't know, Li. I'm just fed up.'

She'll understand. You know that anyway. You're fed up. Fed up of her. Fed up of Evie. Fed up of life not going the way you want. You don't want to end up dead by twenty. You're only eighteen and fucked up.

'Okay.' She says.

'I'll miss you. I'll come to see you sometimes.'

'Yeah. Okay. Bye.'

Bye, you mouth back to the flat clicking voice in the phone.

You don't know how you'll survive without them. But like all difficult things, it has to start with you. Outside, the sky is a complete shade of black. You do not even see a single star. The moon hiding behind the house so the black seems limitless now. Black is the only colour that can suck you in and leave you in fractures.

But in the fractures, you find the real you. That's what gives black its respect. It strips off all the bullshit and leaves you peeled, an onion without her skin.

You make a list of things you need to do before moving out. You've never been good at lists. Evie's good at it. So you'll call her even if the conversation leaves your mouth dry. You'll tell her you're leaving this place. It'll shock her because even though you both have pulled each other down so much, you are her constant just like she is yours. There is a comfort in having someone familiar around, even if you're jealous of them.
Even if they cut you open and let you fall apart.

The fucking clock stops. Its frozen at 11:59, five seconds to midnight. You see it stop. And even though, you realise real time has already pushed past into the next day, your time never moves ahead. Like when you've choked on something and its stuck in your throat, refusing to move either up or down.

Evie will be here. Even though she's upset. She'll extricate her limbs from John and she'll be here in flat 20 minutes. She's dependable.

You wait. Without the clock, there is not one stir sifting in the house. Your own movements hardly make any sound. You wonder what it will be like when you're gone. If there will be any change or if life will go on in this place, forgetting the girl who lost her own time. You wonder if Lia and Evie will talk every day about you or casually mention your absence once in a while-like the occasional cigarette.
Or never.

She's here. You press your nose against the glass. The cold jumps into your skin. Even while she's locking the car door, she's looking at you straight in the eye from ten feet away. After that, she simply leans against the car because she's as confused as you are.

But this is the right way. The only way. So you run down the steps to retreat into your dependable-back stabbing friend's arms because whether you like it or not, its the only thing you need at the moment.

On Evie's watch, your time has started once again.


Note: Crazy, thats what I'm thinking at the moment. This is probably really crap. Took me 20 minutes to write non-stop. I had to let it out. Okay, dig through it. Find my flaws.

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