Sarah’s Challenge

Name: Jen
Setting: Party
Object: A beer bottle
Emotion: Curiosity

Jen and Rob had been flirting back and forth for a couple weeks now. She didn’t think she could call what they had a relationship. At least, not yet. For her, it was just exciting to get attention from a senior on the basketball team. Sure, he wasn’t a starter, but she was starting to feel popular by association.

So when Rob’s parents foolishly left him home alone while they left town for the weekend, Jen expected the stars to align for the kind of party you only see in the movies. Jen and her friend Samantha were both invited directly by Rob, but she had heard enough others talking about it to know it wasn’t going to be a small gathering.

Samantha rode with Jen and they arrived at Rob’s house a little before 8:00. By the look of things, the party had already been going on for some time.

But it wasn’t quite like the movies. There weren’t a bunch of high schoolers hanging out on the front lawn with red Solo cups in hand, laughing and talking about who knows what. Entering the house, they were greeted by a few of their peers rather than being ignored by an overwhelming, standing room only crowd.

Some people were standing and talking. Some were sitting comfortably. Jen had pictured herself struggling to maneuver her way through the crowd, but that wasn’t the case as she and Sam made their way to the kitchen.

That’s where Rob was hanging out with a couple other guys from the basketball team. When he spotted Jen in the doorway, he put his arm around her, then introduced her and Sam to Jermaine, Steve, and RJ, even though they all already knew each other. From the smell of things, Rob was already a few beers into his evening.

Rob handed Jen a freshly opened bottle. She took it, but was hesitant to take a drink. At 16, she had never had beer before and there were so many thoughts flying through her head at once.

First and foremost, she was curious. A lot of her friends liked beer, so she had been wondering if she would, too. She thought it smelled good enough, so why not? But she also thought about the fact that she had driven to the party and she had a passenger to think of.

It was just one beer… right? Jen reasoned with herself that, if she only drank this one beer, by the time they left, the alcohol wouldn’t even affect her anymore. But then, what if she really liked the beer? Could she stop with just one?

She took her first sip. She made a face.

“You don’t like it?” Rob asked, noticing how Jen had winced.

“No, it’s fine,” she said, trying to maintain her composure in front of these cooler, older guys. Besides, Sam was already halfway through hers.

Jen gulped down more of the cold beer in her hand and made the decision to just go with it and enjoy the party. Maybe things weren’t like what she had seen in Can’t Hardly Wait or 10 Things I Hate About You. But that didn’t mean she couldn’t enjoy a more subdued get together.

Before she knew it, Jen was finishing her fifth beer and she was feeling really tired and more than a little sick. Samantha, on the other hand, stopped with her second bottle.

As people were slowly leaving Rob’s house, Sam had enough awareness to realize she needed to figure out some way to get her friend home, or, at the very least, get back to her own house. She arranged for an Uber to come and pick them up and practically dragged Jen out the front door, shouting good-bye to Rob as they went.

Rob rushed over to them before they could close the door behind them and tried to insist that Sam just let Jen stay the night. “Nice try, lover boy,” Sam said as she helped her friend down the two porch steps. “She’s gonna go sleep this off.”

Drunkenly, Rob said a few choice words to Samantha that she knew he would not remember tomorrow. But she sure would remind Jen about it once she was over her hangover.

Waiting at the curb for their ride, Sam propped Jen up on the hood of her car. “Do you wanna go to your house or just go home with me?”

Jen’s speech was slurred, but Sam could understand when she said she couldn’t let her parents see her drunk. Sam thought fast and grabbed Jen’s phone. She sent a text to Jen’s mother letting her know that she’d had a fight with Rob and was staying with Sam tonight. She got a simple OK in response just as the Uber pulled up.

“What about my car?” Jen asked as they carefully climbed into the back seat of their ride.

“You can come back and get it tomorrow,” said Sam.

But Sam was certain Jen heard none of that, as she replied with a light snore.

Thanks to Sarah for this week’s challenge! Head over to her page at Teenage Crusaders to see what she‘s up to! I have one more challenge for next week, but if you want to add your challenge to my list, just click here and drop it in the comments!

Feature Photo by Wil Stewart on Unsplash

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