My favourite kind of night used to be those sizzling, almost sticky, summer nights that were so full of potential and anticipation that you could smell it in the air. I was certain that everyone loved those sorts of nights. They were the nights when you would simply throw on a pair of shorts, a tank top and light cardigan in case of an unexpected cool summer breeze; you would grab your best friends and just lie in the garden drinking homemade cocktails while the world slowly went on by in a haze of summery perfection. Some nights you could cycle or walk down to the beach front and sit watching the waves lap against the rough sand. You would sit while the hot summer air made you feel drunk with happiness and optimism.
On the other hand, you could get dressed in that brand new dress you had been dying to wear out, you would wear those shoes that your mother secretly detested with a passion because they were too high to walk in normally and you went out with your best friends, acting like the world was yours simply because you were a teenager and you could get away with acting like you knew everything because everyone around you acted the exact same way.
I loved those nights more than anything, they were my nights. I never assumed that they could be ripped away from me…
That night started out as one of those nights. One of my closest friends, Amy, had made me dress up so I was ready to 'hit the town' and I could actually smell the exhilaration in the air. I never realised that things could go so wrong on what was supposed to be one of my favourite nights. You never think that really, you never actually think that a night as perfect as that night could end up changing so quickly.
Looking back, I think it was Amy's idea to go out that night. I honestly cannot remember anymore which is odd as I go over and over that night in my head all the time. Maybe I blocked it out as a way of coping, as way of not partially blaming Amy for what happened even though it wasn't her fault. I don't think I'll ever really forget certain parts of that night even if I tried with all my might. Some things never leave your memory I guess even if you try your hardest to block them out…
The infamous one and only Amy Sinclair burst into my room like a human cannonball before she threw several, overly stuffed I might add, bags down onto my freshly made bed. She literally launched herself at me with a loud giggle and the pair of us fell down onto my bed next to Amy's bags. See what I mean by human cannonball? This way of entering my room was typical for Amy to be perfectly honest. She was a tornado of fun mixed ever so slightly with chaos and one too many opinions.
"Well hello there beautiful." Amy giggled as she grinned at me, wrinkling her small button nose. "Tonight is the night." She added with a cheeky wink. Tonight was the 'big night out' according to Amy. For the past week she had talked about nothing else, I had heard about it nonstop until I began to become a tad annoyed at her. Amy had convinced her nineteen year old cousin to let Amy borrow her driver's license so Amy could get into one of the local bars in town without any hassle. We had done this several times before even though my mother hated that we did it but we were teenagers, this was what we did even if our parents hated it. "Tonight is the night, we're going to make this a night to remember!" Amy started to sing as she shimmied her hips while sitting next to me. Amy always reminded me of a squirrel when she bounced around my room turning on music, pouring drinks into two glasses or simply dancing. Sometimes Amy made me tired just looking at her if I was being perfectly honest but I still loved her, she was still one of my best friends.
I had known Amy since I was eleven years old. We met each other on the very first day of high school when Amy tipped an entire bottle of Cherry Coke down Bradley Thompson's trousers after he had spat into my school lunch. Amy may have been sent to the head teacher's office and given a week's worth of detentions detention, while Bradley had to find new trousers, but ever since then we have been the best of friends. Amy was one of those girls who used to look like a little angel even though on the inside she was, ever so slightly, wicked. That was until she hit fifteen of course; that was when she dyed her curly blonde hair a deep brown, got several piercings in her ears and developed a new style which was a mix of 'hobo-chic', 'hooker-chic' and stuffy librarian. She should have looked insane but instead she just looked like Amy, crazy, somewhat bitchy but still incredibly sweet Amy. Then again it did take a while to get used to her septum piercing, thank God she took it out a few months ago. Amy always lived for the moment even if the moment was insane or painful like the tattoo on her hip of a unicorn that she had done last year 'just because'.
Tonight Amy looked particularly 'Amy' in an over-sized grey shirt with actual spikes on the shoulders, this was, according to Amy a 'look'; she had spent hours sticking each spike to the shirt. Insane heels I doubted she could even walk properly in, several pieces of jewellery she'd probably picked up in a second hand shop and a soft looking leather jacket she's brought four years ago in Oxfam for £15 completed her look. Her lips were a deep blood red and her hair was all over the place with voluptuous curls. Most people would have thought she did look ridiculous but she just looked like normal old Amy to me, but with insane heels. I could see myself giving her a piggyback ride sometime during the evening as it happened most nights when we went out. As Amy finished applying her second layer of electric blue eyeliner, she turned to me with a wicked grin on her face. Oh God, I knew that look.
"No." I said instantly because I knew what was going to happen next. Maybe I could try to get a running start. Amy just grinned and tackled me onto my bed before grabbing several outfits out of her bag and throwing them at me. "Amy I'm not wearing fur boots, leather hot pants or anything like that. I do not have the legs." I said throwing back a pair of leather shorts that Amy wore far too often. She rolled her dramatic looking eyes at me.
"I don't really have the legs, mine are too stumpy, but that doesn't stop me and it's why I wear crazy heels." Amy said with snort. "Plus they aren't hot pants, they're leather short shorts."
"That's the same thing Amy." I pointed out while I threw back different items of clothing. Finally, after Amy sat on me and viciously tickled me until I gave in, I agreed on a dress with a nice flared skirt, shoes I could actually walk in (because apparently I wasn't allowed to wear high tops out) and Amy sat about doing my hair and make-up, much to my chagrin.
"You're going to look amazing if I do say so myself." Amy said gleefully as she advanced towards me with a mascara wand. No I was going to look like a cross between a Drag Queen and a high-class prostitute. I was truly terrified.
"As long as I don't look like you I'll be fine." I said with a smirk. Amy poked me on the arm with her finger. "Ow!" I snapped. "I've got a point; you could rival drag queens when it comes to ostentatious make-up." I pointed out.
"Oh just shush, the Queens have serious glamour. Now sit tight and let me work my magic." Amy said. The buzz of my phone, which was sat next to the laptop blasting out music that Amy had chosen, saved me from whatever Amy was about to do to me. Amy rolled her eyes, grabbed my phone and passed it to me. I looked down and saw a message from my second best friend Tom. What time on you planning to leave the house tonight? Jeremy, Harry and I are leaving at about 9 x
"What time are we planning to leave?" I asked Amy.
"When I've finished creating my masterpiece, Picasso didn't finish the Mona Lisa in a day so be patient." Amy said as she began to attack my face with make-up.
"No he didn't, because it was Da Vinci that painted the Mona Lisa not Picasso, you uncultured idiot." I said with a sigh.
"Picasso, Da Vinci; same difference really." Amy said with a shrug. "It's all boring art to me."
"You know I hate it when you say that stupid saying, it doesn't even make sense." I said as I quickly typed out When Amy has finished turning me into her mini-me. Tom quickly text back a simple Dear God help you. I chuckled until Amy shouted, "Stop making me smudge!" We'll see you sometime next week then Tom quickly text back. Once again I chuckled which caused that wrath of Miss Sinclair.
Music from the bar was flooding the street outside as Amy and I climbed out of the taxi. Amy had been, not so silently, panicking about her cousin's I.D for the entire taxi ride, which was highly annoying and pointless as she had used it several times before and had always gotten in. Then again I think it was all the wine that had drunk at mine which has made her slightly panicky, I had told her that she shouldn't have had that third glass of wine but would she listen to me? The answer to that was a huge resounding no.
However, Amy was proud of her masterpiece (me) as, according to her, I looked amazing. I honestly thought the false eyelashes she was making me wear were ridiculous and that I looked a bit like a WAG. Well a WAG from the fifties thanks to the dress but still a WAG; I was not WAG material, I didn't even like footballers to begin with and I had no inclination to ever shop in Liverpool. When I mentioned the whole WAG thing Amy simply told me to shut up and that I did not look like a WAG, I looked like a 'Fifties siren'. I was just going to carry on thinking that I looked like a WAG to be honest. I would have to go to the toilets and scrub some of this make-up off once I got the chance.
Amy and I waltzed up to the bar and Amy handed the bouncer 'her' ID with a large grin. Amy's theory was that if you simply smiled and slightly flirted then the bouncers didn't look at your ID as closely. As I was using my sister Bianca's ID, I did not have this problem because we looked very much alike in the face even though she was a few years older than I was. The bouncer waved Amy through; she turned and winked at me before she tottered into the bar.
"Right let's get the most important thing out the way shall we, drinks?" Amy said. I nodded, the best thing to do with Amy was to go along and agree with her. To be perfectly honest I could do with a drink as I hadn't drunk anything since Amy had pounced upon me with her clothes and make-up. "Sweet! It's drinks ahoy then my little Elo-Jello!" Amy said with a loud clap of her hands as she literally skipped to the bar. I amazed she didn't fall face first thanks to her insane shoes. I raced after her while several people turned to glare at Amy; well this night was turning out like most nights.
"Shall I text the others to see where they are?" I asked Amy when we were at the bar. Amy waved at one of the bartenders and gave him a wink. How Amy got away with this all the time I will never know.
"What do you want to drink?" Amy asked me when the bartender walked over.
"Urm…a diet coke please." I said. Amy scoffed and rolled her eyes.
"We'll have two diet cokes, one with a shot or Jack and the other with a double shot please." Amy said as she whacked her money down on the bar. I rolled my eyes back at her. "We're not having you be Miss Sobriety all night, you'll be boring!"
"No, I'll be sensible." I said.
"They're the same thing!" Amy said with a giggle when the bartender came back with our drinks. "Cheers handsome." Amy said. She shoved her change into her bag and grabbed her drink. "Down in one?" she asked me. Ok I'll admit that both Amy and I had a 'talent' when it came to downing drinks in one, we could also do it without getting any lipstick on the glass. I was slightly embarrassed yet somewhat proud over somehow managing to achieve this.
"Fine I'll do it but only this one time!" I said. Amy grinned widely gave me a countdown with her fingers. Three, two, one! We both began to down our drinks with me finishing just a few seconds before Amy. "Now, shall I text the others and tell that where we are?" I asked. Amy sighed loudly.
"Do you really have to? I love Tom and the guys to pieces but Leah and bloody Chirstina are more boring than my economics class!" Amy said. This was probably the only problem I had with Amy. While my friends such as Harry, Tom and Jeremy loved Amy my female friends such as Leah and Christina hated her, they claimed Amy was stuck up while Amy claimed they were boring. My God girls were annoying sometimes and I say that as a girl.
"That's lovely to hear, we love you too Amy!" Someone said from behind me. I felt an arm snake round my waist then fingers dug into my side. "Well hello there Miss Elodie." Tom said with a grin. I shook my head but smiled. Jeremy and Harry both smiled at me while still shaking their heads over Amy. That seemed to be people's general thing when it came to Amy.
"Tommy!" Amy cried before she kissed Tom on the cheek leaving a huge red lipstick print on his cheek. Tom stared me with terrified eyes. Amy then went to kiss both Jeremy and Harry.
"Did she really just kiss me?" Tom asked. I nodded. "Jesus help me." Tom muttered.
"I'll grab us drinks." Jeremy said. "Beer?" he asked Tom and Harry and they both nodded. Jeremy moved over to me and leant in closer so I could properly hear him. "El, do you want anything to drink?" He asked me. I shook my head. "Are you sure?" he asked. I nodded.
"I'll have another double Jack and coke before you ask." Amy said with a wink in Jeremy's direction. Jeremy nodded with a sigh. "There's a good boy." Amy said with a grin as she lightly slapped Jeremy on the cheek twice. Before Jeremy walked towards the bar I tapped him on the arm.
"Had a rethink about the drink?" He asked. I shook my head.
"No I'm fine but can you make sure Amy's drink is a single; she's already on her way to being comatose after the wine she drank at mine." I said into Jeremy's ear. Tom, who had heard what I said, smirked while Jeremy chuckled.
"You're so very responsible aren't you?" He said.
"Well someone has to be." I pointed out. To be honest I actually did have a point as well. I was the one who kept an eye on Amy during most nights out, I acted like 'Mum' and made sure she didn't drink too much or make a fool out of herself.
"Still I can't believe you of all people are able to down an entire drink without burping or coughing." Tom then said and there was some admiration in his voice.
"It's a very useful talent she's gained thanks to moi!" Amy said with a slight curtsy. "I could teach her several more of my talents but she is too much of a prude." Amy added.
"I remember you when you were sweet, whatever happened?" Tom asked. Amy stuck her tongue out but then grinned. "I even remember the My Little Pony stage. You had the socks and everything."
"I never had a My Little Pony stage!" Amy said with a gasp. "I've always been this naturally cool. Plus you met me when I was eleven; there wasn't room for a My Little Pony stage."
"I remember the socks!" Tom said with a smirk.
"I was always this naturally cool!" Amy protested.
"You dye your hair twice a month, hardly natural." Our friend Harry pointed out. Amy gave him the finger before she clapped with delight. Jeremy had returned with her drink. Like the drink before she downed the whole thing in one and afterwards she turned back to me with a bright smile.
"Dance time?" she asked. Before I could even answer Amy was dragging my towards the dance floor as fast as she could in her heels. "Let's get our boogie woogie on my little Ello-Jello!" She giggled loudly.
"I'll see you later." I cried to Tom, Harry and Jeremy. All three of them gave a pitying smile.
Amy twirled, bumped, stomped and spun around on the dance floor like the crazy girl she was. The pair of us dissolved into giggles over our dance moves and I could feel that buzz you always got from laughing too hard.
One of Amy's favourite songs had just started and the pair of us were about to start our own dance routine when I heard excited cries and someone hugged me tightly. I smelt coconut shampoo and fruity perfume before Leah's smile was in my face. I hugged her back and smiled at the other girls while they looked dubiously at Amy. I sighed and simply went back to dancing. Both Leah and Christina mimed that they were going to get some drinks but then they would be back. As Leah and the other girls walked off Amy mouthed Boring at me. Behave I mouthed back and Amy just winked me. Honestly.
After five minutes Leah and the others returned and began to dance with us. Amy looked clearly put out but she must have decided to behave because she didn't say anything. The music continued and we danced until I could no longer feel anything. It was wonderful.
As the hour went on Amy had convinced me to drink more. I know it was bad but I lost count after after the third. I didn't mean to get drunk but the music was so freeing and I felt so alive that I honestly couldn't stop myself. Then things went a tad strange.
The music was too loud and the air was too heavy. I felt like I was almost drowning in the weight of it. I'd probably drunk too much as my brain really wasn't focusing as well as I wanted it to. Damn Amy for getting more drinks while I had been dancing with Christina. I hated being drunk, I truly hated it. I needed to get out of here but as I looked around, I couldn't see Amy or Tom anywhere. Amy was probably off at the bar getting a drink or she had passed out in the toilets again. I was still looking round wildly when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I looked up and saw Jeremy. I couldn't help but breaking out into a relieved smile at the sight of him.
"Thank God I've found you" I cried.
"El? El are you ok?" Jeremy asked as he gently placed his hand on my arm. I nodded and carried on looking round for either Amy or Tom. "Are you sure that you're ok? You look a bit peaky, do you want to go outside and get some fresh air?" Jeremy then asked. To be honest I felt terrible so I nodded and followed Jeremy outside to the smoker's area. I had spent many a time outside with Tom and Jeremy pretending that I wasn't smoking when Amy came looking for me; for a girl so crazy Amy had some pretty serious thoughts against smoking. She once poured a whole glass of water over Tom when he lit up a cigarette. "I'd ask you if you'd want a fag but I know that the nicotine witch would kill you." Jeremy said as he grabbed a pack of cigarettes out of his jeans.
"That might be helpful actually, just don't tell Amy or she really would kill me." I heard myself say. Jeremy chuckled but passed me a cigarette. "Thanks. I really should quit before Amy brutally hurts me. Can you light me up?" I said. Jeremy nodded and lit the cigarette for me.
"Well so should I but then again screw Amy and her ideas; you know the whole live fast, die young bullshit." Jeremy said. "Just quote that to her and she'd understand seeing as it is Amy." Jeremy said as he lit his own cigarette
"And that means…what exactly?" I asked.
"Just that it's 'Amy'. She dresses like a high class hooker crossed between a stuffy librarian." Jeremy said bluntly.
"She shouted at me once for saying that, she said she was classy/trashy chic." I said. Jeremy snorted loudly.
"She's such an oxymoron it is unreal." Jeremy said as he blew smoke out from between his lips.
"I say that to her as well." I said with a smile. The summer air and the cigarette were actually helping in making me feel better. As Jeremy chuckled to himself I had to admit that Jeremy was making me feel better as well. He looked down at me and smiled back.
"Great minds think alike." He said with a wink. "So are you feeling better now?" He asked. I nodded. "Are you sure?"
"Are you asking as a concerned friend or because if my brother finds out I was this 'peaky' and you didn't help he would kick your butt on the football pitch?" I asked. Jeremy chuckled once again.
"Mostly the former but it's also some of the latter." He said with yet another smile. I smiled back once again. "Then again it wouldn't be the first time I've done something Elodie-related to piss off Aiden." Jeremy added before he inhaled his cigarette deeply. I looked at him questioningly.
"When was the last time you did something 'Elodie-related' to piss him off?" I asked. Jeremy shook his head. "Oh tell me" I said with a slight giggle.
"It's really nothing." Jeremy said. "Back during the summer before Year Eleven when I was at your house most weekends at a party I thought about asking you if you wanted to go out for something to eat or go to the cinema one time. Something like that I guess."
"We saw each other most Saturdays at football and at the café after my brother passed his test." I pointed out. Jeremy shook his head.
"No not like that; I thought about asking you out, like on an actual date type thing. I asked your brother if it was ok and he got funny with me over it. He told me you were his baby sister and it would just be weird seeing one of his friends ask out his sister." Jeremy said with a nervous chuckle. I just stood there and stared. "I know, it's completely stupid now. Plus you always seemed so above everyone whenever your brother had a party so I just assumed that you were too cool for the rest of us. Good thing I never asked you out in the end because you would have rejected me anyway." Jeremy added with a shrug.
"How did you know that?" I asked.
"I guess I just assumed."
"When you assume you make an ass out of you and me." I said with chuckle. Jeremy snorted once again and slung his arm around me before kissing the top of my head.
"You really do make me laugh sometimes Elodie, you know that." Jeremy said.
"Glad to be of service." I said with a grin. Jeremy was still smiling when I flicked my cigarette onto the floor and crushed it under my shoe. "Now I may not be the greatest looking person in the world or the brightest but I am damn funny sometimes." I said. Jeremy chuckled as he rolled his eyes. For a moment I thought he was going to say something but he clearly thought better of it and just coughed.
"Yeah…you're a laugh a minute." Jeremy said. His arm was still around me but it felt so wonderful that I didn't mind. I didn't mind standing there with him at all because he was such a good friend. I looked up at him and smiled at him yet again. His hand was stroking my bare shoulder sending shivers up my spine. It felt right, it felt safe and secure.
As I fought my way through the bar, trying to get people to move out of my way, my stomach felt like it was in my throat and all I wanted to do was vomit everywhere. Several people pushed past me, no one seemed to see my distraught and I doubted that even if they did they would care. I needed Amy. I needed Tom. I needed anyone. Anyone who would listen to me, who would tell me that it was all going to be ok even if I knew there was no possibly way that this was ok.
I felt hands on my arms and my stomach convulsed. Gagging I pushed my way through the crowds, almost having to scream to get people to move as far away from me as possible. I pushed myself into the now cold air outside. It was amazing how quickly the air could chill. Once again my stomach convulsed, once again I gagged. I found the nearest gutter and swiftly threw up in it, shaking the entire time as tears coursed down my cheeks. All I wanted to do was curl up and cry myself into a stupor.
"Elodie?" Someone said. I threw up once again as I felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked up and saw Tom, a cigarette in his hand and a shocked look on his face. "El what the hell's happened?" Tom asked. Despite the fact that I had just thrown up I flung myself into his arms and began to sob uncontrollably.
Author's Note: This is chapter number one of my first non-fanfiction work in a long time so please be gentle. Reviews would be very helpful in telling whether to continue writing. Thanks!