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by Amy Slack

Tomorrow, you will wake up on Rebecca’s living room floor, your cheek stippled pink by carpet fibres. Daylight will burn through unclosed curtains. You will tread carefully around sleeping bodies and diamond shards of smashed glass. You will drink tap water from a sticky mug and taste stale vodka on your tongue, then notice the capsized lager can at the bottom of Rebecca’s sister’s fish tank. You will wonder what happened to the fish.

Armed with a roll of bin bags excavated from the sink cupboard, you will move from room to room to start clearing up the mess before Rebecca’s parents return home. You will find a pair of jeans on the staircase, Jack and Martha asleep in the bathtub. You will not find Sophie.

***

Monday, you will hear a rumour that Sophie did it with Michael at Rebecca’s party. Notes will pass from hand to hand. Barbed grins will flash across the faces of those who weren’t there. You will be told that it all happened on Rebecca’s sister’s bed.

You will spot Sophie across the sports hall during PE, staring down at the intersecting lines of different games painted across the varnished floor.

***

Tuesday, the teachers will find out. They will call Rebecca’s parents, send Sophie to see the Head of Year for a “chat”. You will all be lectured about the dangers of alcohol.

During Maths, you will raise your hand and ask to be excused. You will find Sophie crying in the second-floor toilets. You will say all the wrong things. She will unlock the cubicle door long enough to warn you to stay well clear.

***

But first, tonight. Tonight you arrive at Rebecca’s house wearing a brand-new top and your favourite strawberry lip gloss. You dance and laugh with your friends, cheer when Jack drops a glass, and watch Martha down a can of lager beside the fish tank. Tonight, you taste vodka for the first time, followed soon after by Sophie’s lips as she takes you by the hand and leads you into Rebecca’s sister’s bedroom.


Amy Slack is an editor and aspiring short story writer from the northeast of England, currently based in London. Her work has been featured by FlashBack Fiction, The Cabinet of Heed, and Visual Verse. You can find her on Twitter @amyizzylou, or follow her blog, Amy’s Ever-Growing Bookshelf, at amyizzylou.wordpress.com.

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