There is nothing in the world that I hate more than the telephone.
It expects more of me than I do. It always asks something of me that I never want to give.
Ring, ring, RING.
I never want to answer it. I want to-
I pick up the phone.
They want to go out again. Just like every other Friday night. Every week we pile into someone’s car. They’re usually already drunk. I pretend to laugh while they “pretend” to poke fun at me. But we all know they mean it. Every word.
This week’s party is at some jock’s house. None of it is any different. I do what I’m supposed to do; I smile and I flirt and I flip my hair like I’m having the time of my life. They fall for it every time. They actually believe that I want to be here. That I’m one of them.
But I’m not.
I sip water from the bottle I brought with me. They all think I spiked it with straight-up alcohol. They all think I’m hardcore.
Good. Let them think that.
There is never anything in those bottles but water. I’m just not stupid enough to drink in a room full of idiotic, vicious, socially bloodthirsty teenagers. Or maybe I’m not brave enough.
The room is spinning now. A vertigo of noise. And people. They’re nothing more to me than colors. They’re only faceless blobs. Identical, faceless blobs.
Not a single one of them is real.
I’m not even sure I’m real. Not anymore.
The hours wear away and finally we can leave. We all get ready to pile into the car again. The guy I’ve been talking to offers to drive me home. I refuse, regretfully. He’ll turn out to be just like every other guy out there, no matter how sweet he is to me. But I won’t fall for their tricks. I’m different. I’m different. I’m different.
They’re calling me, yelling at me to hurry up in their unbelievably snobbish voices. They’re used to getting what they want. So I hurry over to the car, faking a smile when they ask me what took me so long.
Nothing, I say. It’s not important.
The drive home is almost as obnoxious as the party. They gossip, laughing and giggling. I’m too busy trying to blend in with the upholstery to say much of anything.
They’re driving like manics. They’re way too drunk to be driving. I think I’m going to puke. Maybe I should take the wheel. I hang my head out of the window instead. They think I’m funny. So I stick my head further out the window. I’m rewarded with more laughter. It’s so easy to keep them happy. It’s not as easy to calm my stomach.
Finally, finally, they screech to a stop across from my house. I practically fall out of the back seat and onto the pavement.
All I’m thinking about is how glad I am to be away from there, away from them. I’m walking really fast now, towards my house. Trying to keep my keep my stomach in line. At least until I get inside and they can’t see me. I don’t want them to tell me I’m weak. I can still hear them giggling as they rev the engine, the tires squeaking on the pavement.
I walk faster. I want to run. Far. Fast. Be anywhere but here. I’m going to be sick. I don’t want them to see me be sick. But I can’t let them see me run. They’ll call me weird.
I’m different. I’m different. I’m different. It’s a good thing. I’m different.
They’re screaming my name. I turn towards the car. I had never really noticed how fast a car can go until it was coming towards me. I see panic in their eyes. I feel it thrilling through me. The car’s going faster now. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. What am I supposed to do?!
But I’m free.