The smell of smoke lingered in the air, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find the source.
As we walked around the crowded house, a pillow of smoke appeared down a hall that I thought lead to the front door. The closer I got to the pillow, I could see through and beyond it and into the room where the smoke erupted from. A half dozen people sat in a circle on the floor of the otherwise barren room, candles burning outside of the circle, taking hits off a bong and passing it around. One girl caught my eyes and smiled and nodded as if to ask if I wanted some. I mouthed no thanks and kept walking like I knew what was happening, where I was going.
It was just like a scene from a teen flick where all the underage kids gather in someone’s home whose parents went away for the weekend and partied partied partied. Music bounced from every surface. You had to shout to talk to someone and you had to really pay attention if you wanted to hear what someone else was saying. Everyone had a cup or a can or a bottle in one hand and a cigarette in the other. The house soon became the inside of a smoking cigarette, and we were all the itty pieces of tobacco on fire or about to be set on fire and inhaled into someone’s system.
I don’t know what the fuck I was thinking going along with my cousin to this damn party. It’s just not who I am, even if I think it’s what I want. Still, I went along. Stupid girl that I am. I hoped maybe someone would notice me. I hoped I’d make eye contact with a guy who wanted to keep looking at me. I hoped he’d approach me and we’d talk and sneak away to a more private area. I hoped we’d get along fantastically and he’d want my number and we’d start dating. I hoped I’d finally find out what it was like to make out with someone.
None of that happened though. It never did.
I just followed Shayla around the party like my little sister toddles after Ma, telling her, in my mind, that we should leave: Let’s just go to White Castle and have some sliders.
“Did you see him?” Shayla asked as soon as the cold air from outside smacked us in the face. “He was leaning against the sink in the kitchen. He’s wearing a black leather jacket.”
“I didn’t, sorry.”
“How could you miss him? He’s beautiful!”
Our feet crunched the dead leaves on the ground as we shuffled through the grass toward the back of the house.
“Where are we going now?” I asked.
“There has to be another entrance near the kitchen,” Shayla said with a smile.
Just then I thought I would vomit. I didn’t think I could go through with going in the house again. I started breathing heavily and forced myself to think of something other than feeling the tears well inside and the burn in my throat. How I wished I hadn’t let Shayla talk me into going out with her. How I wished I could be anywhere but there.