I figured if I was going to have to spend anymore time with these two, I was going to need a drink. I suggested a drinking game. This would accomplish two things. One, the alcohol would help me tolerate the terrible entity that was my friends. And two, I could finally one up Mike and prove to myself (and to Tory) that I was stronger than him.
I left to go to the bathroom and came back to find that Mike had already lined up some clear shot glasses for each of us.
“Alright Johan, first one to finish ten wins.”
I was a little skeptical because I didn’t think Mike drank. But I didn’t want to deny a challenge in front of Tory. But it really pissed me off when she yelled, “Go Mike!” and then he winked at her. Tory would see how a real man drank quality vodka that he stole from his mom.
Mike took a shot first and then I followed quickly, taking five in less than a minute. “I won,” I said when I finished the tenth and final shot.
“Oh no, you did,” Mike said. He started to frown and went over to Tory for sympathy.
“Congrats, Johan,” Tory said. “Want to play alcohol hide and seek?” The first person who’s found has to drink whatever the seeker mixed together for them.
I thought this would be a breeze. They even let me hide first. I went upstairs and found the perfect spot in my mom and Arthur’s room. They left a while ago for a romantic dinner. I shimmied underneath the king-sized bed and got cozy on the plush blue carpet.
Ten minutes went by. Twenty minutes. Thirty minutes. After an hour, I worried my friends were the worst seekers in the world. But when I heard a creak in the hall, I knew they were getting close and I couldn’t wait to scare them.
When the door opened, I jumped out from under the bed and said, “I win!”
“Ahh,” my mom yelled. “Shit,” Arthur said at the same time. He moved to pat my mother on the back.
“Johan. What are you doing here?”
“I was playing hide and seek. Where’s Tory and Mike?”
My mom took a deep breath. “They’re cuddling and watching High School Musical 2.”
Oh my god, they ditched me! I thought to myself. At least my mom has no idea that I’m drunk.
“Well Johan, they didn’t ditch you. They’re downstairs like I said. And second, you’re drunk?!”
Right then I realized I talked to myself far too loudly. Either that or she smelled the vodka on my breath. “I’m not drunk, I’m confuzzled.”
“Confuzzled? Johan, your friends are watching a wholesome movie and you’re drinking alone.”
I wouldn’t quite consider High School Musical 2 a wholesome movie. But when I went into the living room, I found them sitting with Liam and Patricia watching It’s a Wonderful Life. Even worse, all four of them were hugging each other and CRYING. Apparently High School Musical 2 had already finished.
My mom followed me into the living room and gave me her signature disapproving glare. “And to think, while they’re all in there doing this. You’re sitting under the bed in my room and getting drunk.”
“I promise drunk, I’m not mom,” I said.
I recognized my mistake immediately after I said it. Rather than wasting time trying to defend myself. I figured it would be best if I just went to bed.
I woke up with a terrible hangover to the sound of everyone laughing in the dining room. I was pissed enough that they were eating breakfast without me, but the sound of them laughing made my headache so much worse. Then I heard them reminiscing about the day they just had on the beach and I realized they were having dinner.
How long have I been asleep?
I rolled over to look at the clock next to my bed. But the quick head movement along with the scent of my dried vomit next to me caused me to get sick and I ended up vomiting again.
“Oh, my head and my stomach,” I said to nobody.
It was 6:00 pm already and I had slept since midnight. I knew I couldn’t eat anything, but the thought of everyone having fun without me sent shivers across my body. I slowly made my way to the dining room and took my empty seat. Everyone went silent and their eyes went wide. Then they all covered their faces and turned around. That’s when I realized that when I passed out I didn’t just vomit in the trash can…
“I’ll be back in a minute,” I said. I showered, changed clothes and came back down in less than ten minutes. Everyone looked at me with skeptical expressions when I took a sip from my full water glass.
“Honey, I think we should go home tomorrow. You’ve been acting out a lot on this trip.”
“No, I have one more day and I’m going to enjoy it. I wanted one more chance to end whatever was happening between Tory and Mike.”
“Sweetie, why are you narrating your life? This is what I’m talking about!”
“Okay, but the day after Tory and Mike will go home and then I’m going to New York City for dance camp.”
Tomorrow will be the best day yet. I gave a maniacal smile, but everyone just thought I was going to puke again and ran away from the table.
After sleeping for almost an entire day straight, I thought I would be up for the rest of the night. But I ended up passing out for another thirty hours! I woke up to my mom tapping me and yelling at me to wake up, saying they had just gotten back from a late lunch and had finished packing up the car.
“Wait, mom, can’t we stay just a little bit longer?”
“No, Johan. When you said that you wanted only one more day I decided to move some of our appointments. So you have an orthodontist appointment in three hours back home and then you’ll pack up everything you’ll need for the rest of the summer. Mike’s dad generously agreed to stay at the house tonight with Mike and Tory and to take her to the airport tomorrow since she couldn’t change her flight.
“But they get another day together?”
“Yes, Mike’s dad is taking them to the aquarium. But I think maybe you should see someone about your alcohol problems and anger management issues. You’re lucky those two stick by you. Mike brought up that he saw you take a lot of shots the other night.”
“He did too!”
“Johan, be honest. He had water and Tory confirmed.” Damnit, no wonder he never got the hangover.
“Mom, I promise. I don’t have any anger management issues.”
“Johan, your behavior has been appalling this entire trip. Liam even suggested military school for you. His college roommate went and it changed his life. We have a lot to talk about today. Now, go say goodbye to your friends and get in the car.”
Begrudgingly, I limped downstairs to find Tory and Mike kissing on MY couch. She had her arms wrapped around his neck and his hands stayed pressed to her hips.
“Are you kidding me? I came down here to forgive you.”
Mike and Tory pulled apart. Both of their lips appeared red and swollen. “Forgive us for what?” Mike asked. “Because you’ve been insane ever since Tory and I became close. I’m beginning to think you just have feelings for Tory.”
“I don’t!” I yelled at Mike. “I have feelings for Melody!”
“Then why did you tell her you just wanted to be friends?”
“I didn’t. She told me that.” Mike gasped and I covered my mouth with my hand. Shit, they were never supposed to know the truth. I can’t believe I let that one out. Before I could say anything, mom came in and asked, “Did you say bye?”
“Yeah, we did,” Tory said with a cold tone. She got up to hug my mom and then walked past me to the back porch.
“See you after dance camp,” Mike said and followed Tory outside.
“Oh Johan, what am I going to do with you?” Well, at least I had an entire summer in New York City to reinvent myself. And there would be plenty of girls who would want me.