A/N This happened about 10 months after the events in my essay, I Believe: The Power of Love. (.com/s/2995311/1/I_Believe_The_Power_Of_Love) It's a true story, (so I bet none of you can guess DoomTaco's first name. )

8:05 PM, Alice in Wonderland Cast Party

Rebecca crouched in the corner of Taylor Lawritson's fancy dining room, madly rummaging through her red and black plaid backpack. Hands shaking, she tried to gulp down the hysteria rising in her throat. What was she looking for? She whipped out a brush and ran it through her hair for the fifth time. All she needed was a distraction. She looked across the wide hall way to the front room of the richly furnished house. A group of her friends from the most recent show crowded around an enormous television screen, playing Rock Band. They were playing one of her favorite songs, Bohemian Rhapsody. One of Erik's favorite songs as well… She held her breath so as not to let the distressed, maniacal laughter take her over.

She swallowed, wiped her moist hands on her skirt, and started over to the crowd. She took a little detour around a pillar to the kitchen to snag a brownie. Stuffing it in her mouth, she marched up behind the crowd and flopped onto a plush white couch, pausing to remove her leather sandals so as not to track dirt on the equally clean, fluffy carpet. She closed her eyes and took a deep, jagged breath and let it out with a sigh. She tried to block out all save for the song, however, that was nearly impossible. These kids don't know the first thing about guitar, even on a video game. She groaned and tried to focus on keeping her hands and breath steady. She needed a Coke. Badly.

All her brain power was concentrated on leading her body through the kitchen to the back porch, where a cooler sat. Ah….. she said to herself as she claimed the last two Cokes in the cooler. She hastily opened the can, flicking the top first to diffuse the carbonation. Rebecca let out a small giggle as she remembered the bet that she and Erik had made about their methods in soda diffusing. He SWORE it didn't work... Winner got the soda... I had won… Erik drank it anyway…

FLASHBACK

Approx. 3:30 PM, 2 months before Opening Night:

After mooching 65 cents off my buddy, Joey, I headed to the Green Room's soda machine to purchase a well-begged-for good ol' Classic Coca-Cola. I hummed an old John Denver tune to myself as the coins clinked into the machine. I pressed the button advertising Coca-Cola Classic. "Come on, Come on, Come on," I coaxed the red can out of the machine. It crashed down to the hole in the bottom, undoubtedly shaking it all up. I flopped into a chair, set the can on the table and smirked at my best friend, Erik, who was sitting at the table, as I flicked the top of the can and opened it.

"Why do you always do that?" he said with a quizzical look on his face.

"Why do I always do what?"

"That. That… Tappy thing. With the soda can." He motioned like I was an idiot (which I partially was anyway, but he didn't need to know that.)

"Oh. I do that because I don't want Coke all over my shirt."

"I don't see how tapping the can helps. I think that it's another one of those weird OCD habits you have and you're trying to give an excuse for."

"Okay, no. I tap the can because this shirt cost twenty bucks at Hot Topic and I don't want to buy a replacement. And besides. What OCD habits am I 'always' covering up?" I challenged playfully.

He raised an eyebrow. "The obsessive washing of the hands?"

"I don't want a disease."

"The obsessive drawing on the hands?" He pointed to a little drawing of a robot Gir on the back of my hand.

"I get bored."

"The obsessive popping of the knuckles?"

"I don't want arthritis."

"The obsessive-"

"OKAY!" I cut him off. "Okay, so I suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder."

"And the can-tapping thing is just the same thing."

"No, it isn't."

"Wanna bet?"

"Why not?"

We stared each other down. He pulled out a dollar bill and started towards the machine, his lanky body easily squeezing in between the cramped chairs.

I watched from my seat and continued humming John Denver lyrics. As the machine cranked out a Sprite, he said, "Okay. We shake the can up like crazy and then do the tappy-thing with the can. The method works, it's yours. If it doesn't, I get the Coke." He pointed to the Coke in my hand.

"Fair enough."

We took turns shaking the can. We rolled it back and forth on the floor, shook it vertically, etc. until we were sure it was on the verge of explosion. He held his breath as he held it over the sink and began to flick the top. After a few good taps, I gave a drumroll on the counter for dramatic effect. We watched with undivided attention as he pulled the little tab. The Sprite gave a little hiss, and then made that satisfying pop sound.

"HAHA! Mine!" I shrieked as I dove for the well-earned Sprite. He pulled it away and took a huge gulp.

"Not fair." I pouted.

He smiled, his innocent blue eyes blazing with a feeling of self-proclaimed awesomeness.

A/N Don't worry, the story gets better. I'm dividing up the account of the party with sequences of flashbacks to gradually give you an understanding of the story, bit by bit (just as I did). The account of the party is written in third person POV because it hopefully gives an understanding of my feeling of being out of my mind, if you know what I mean. It will continue to be written that way throughout the story. I promise to update regularly, as long as you wonderful readers review! Love you all! DoomTaco out.