There are many places I would not mind being right now, like on the Virgin Islands in the warm, Caribbean sun, or navigating my way through the narrow streets of Amsterdam, or even home, in my own bed, wrapped up in my blankets like a butterfly in its cocoon, awaiting the right moment for a triumphant return. In fact, I think I would rather be anywhere but here, in my best friend Sam Keeley's living room, while I watch him kiss Jessica Stavely, resident school slut.

Oh my God

I stumble away from him, away from them, but I cannot make it to the bathroom before I puke, everywhere. Someone takes the red plastic cup from my left hand and holds back my limp, white blonde hair, which was in curls at the beginning of the night but now hangs straight and stringy, so I can hurl some more.

"Damn," the person says, and I recognize the voice as Tip, one of Sam's good friends and his favourite receiver to hurl the football to on Friday nights. "How much have you had to drink?"

"Not enough," I tell him, and I honestly believe it.

"Okay, Mandy. I'm cutting you off." He helps me to the bathroom, wary of any more chunks to be blown, and I settle down on the closed lid of the toilet.

"I'm not even drunk, Tip," I whine, wanting nothing more than to drown my feelings away in Jose Cuervo.

"You were just puking ten seconds ago."

"It was…I just…" I press my face into the black cloth of my dress, distressed and unable to speak.

"Huh?" Tip blinks at me, runs a hand across his mop of rusty red hair.

"Let me show you," I resolve, and I get up, tugging him by the wrist to the living room, where most of the people left at the Halloween party have congregated.

"I don't see…" His eyes scan the crowd, as do mine, and it seems our gazes find Sam and Jessica at the same time. "Oh."

The sight of them makes me sick. Jessica has both her arms slung around Sam's neck, and her eyes are closed. A few pieces of her long bottle blonde hair drape onto his shoulders. His back is turned to me, so I can't read his body language, but I don't need to see him to know he is enjoying it.

Pretty much the entire male population of our school would love to bone Jessica Stavely, or at least make out with her; the guys who don't want to either a) have already done so, b) are gay, or c) are just freaks.

Even I can see why. Her skin is flawless and tanned to a crisp, her hair is long and straight, her eyes are deceptively pretty and always lined in a concise black rim of eyeliner. Her stomach is flat, her bra size has got to be larger than her IQ, and she is as loose as a squeaky door's screws. She's every guy's perfect sexual playground, and she is even kind enough to let them all experience her.

"Gag me," I whisper to Tip, but he doesn't say anything in reply. I feel tears welling up in my eyes, but I manage to contain them.

"Let's go," Tip decides, and I let him pull me along as he makes his way to the kitchen. There aren't a lot of people in it, something for which I am grateful, as a few of the tears do trickle over my lashes and onto my cheeks. "You okay, Mandy?"

"Just fine," I reply, but Tip knows better. He must.

"Liar," he says, tweaking my nose. He hands me a cup filled with something. I sniff it-vodka- then down it. "Jesus, Mandy." I wipe the back of my hand across my mouth, indifferent.

"I'm a beast." He pours himself a cup and then refills mine.

"No shit," he laughs. He lifts his cup up, and I do the same. "Here's to…" He pauses with a shrug.

"Here's to liquor," I finish for him, and he nods. "Because people suck."

"I will drink to that." He taps the rim of his cup to mine before taking a swig.

"Oh, and Tip?" He looks up, raises his eyebrows. "I'm definitely not okay."


Three hours and God knows how many shots later, I'm hovering between laughter and tears, in a state that can only be described as semi-consciousness. Tip is passed out, forehead resting on the tabletop, though I think its more from exhaustion than intoxication, and I am contemplating joining him, until I hear the shuffle of footsteps on the kitchen floor.

"There you are," Sam says, and without another word, he sinks into the chair next to mine. I jerk my head away, letting the tears overtake the laughter rivaling them. In a few short seconds, tiny droplets begin to puddle on the table. "Mand." I sniff, and one of his fingers lifts up my chin, so our eyes are meeting. "Jesus Christ, Mand, you are plastered." I shake my head.

"No I'm not," I argue, but Sam just laughs. "Maybe just a little tipsy." I feel funny, but I cannot quite place exactly what it is.

"Yeah, maybe." His gaze falls to Tip, and he grins. "Were you drinking with Tip?" I nod, and when I do so, I realize that the funny feeling is me about to hurl. I start to say something, but then I remember Sam making out with Jessica Stavely, and I no longer really care. "Mand, are you okay?"

"Yeah I'm-"retch"Just-"retch "Fine." Puke has splattered everywhere, on the floor, on Sam.

"God, Mand, you couldn't have made it to the toilet?" He winces as he takes off the Batman shirt he was wearing that I have completely soaked with my vomit. He throws it into the sink and runs some water over it, after running some of the water over his hands. "Do you need anything, babe?" Normally, him calling me babe is just something simple and sweet, but now, it makes me feel like I am going to puke again.

And I do.

I close my eyes, and once I am sure there is absolutely nothing left inside for me to throw up, I open them again. Sam has scooted his chair so ours are touching, and he has wrapped his arms around my waist. I am too exhausted to stay angry with him, at least for now, so I let myself lean back onto him.

"You still awake?"

"Yeah," I croak. With every passing second, I can feel the effects of the alcohol bearing down hard upon me.

"Okay. Let me get you to the couch," he tells me.

"I can go home," I insist. I do, after all, live just next door. "I don't have to drive."

"Your father would kill me if you did. I would never start another game." My dad is the football coach at our high school, and Sam is the starting quarterback. In spite of assumptions that one might make from that, Sam is different; he had to work so hard to get where he's at today and it shows. He's highly intelligent, soft-spoken, and until tonight, had never been into the sexual side of females. Sure, he has had a few girlfriends, but that was mostly in middle school and our freshman year. As he began to take football more seriously, he sort of put most of his time into that. "You're sleeping on my couch tonight, Amanda."

"I don't wanna sleep alone," is what I mean to say, but my speech is slurring, and Sam laughs.

"I'll sleep with you," he assures me, and then he tugs me upright. He steadies me at the waist as I stumble into his living room. He lets go of me once I get to the couch, and I collapse onto it. He tosses a throw blanket over me and tucks it in at the sides, gently smiling. "Night Manda."

"Night," I manage, before drifting into unconsciousness.

okay this is my second attempt at my nanowrimo, but the good news is i already have like 8 or 9,000 words, so i won't be starting over again with this one. because of balls had too many intricacies to be completed in a month, the way i wanted it to turn out. it was going to disappoint me otherwise, so i just picked up an idea i had previously had and ran with it, and here we are. this is a fairly short story anyway, so i should be good.

hope you enjoyed the first chapter

since this is my nanowrimo, it should be updated at least once a day (no guarantees though) and should hopefully be finished by the end of the month, or else i lose :( haha.

please review!!! pleaseee

and as always, thanks for reading :)