Part One

It smells like weed. Callie regrets straightening her hair for this. Too much heat will fade out the purple dye. Her cousin, Abby, pulls into the grass and rubs the access make-up from under her eyes. “Are you ready for your first high school party?”

No. “You said your hot friend’s here?”

Abby reapplies her plum lipstick for the fifth time. “Totally. He doesn’t miss a party.”

“What about Imogene?”

“Don’t just hang on my friends. Go make your own.” Abby hands me the keys. “Also, you get to DD.”

“That’s exciting.” Callie sticks the keys in her jean shorts. At least I can drive myself home whenever. As soon as they’re out of the car, Abby disappears into the crowd. Callie makes her way into the house, conscious of her low-cut tank top. She crosses her arms and stands by the food table.

It takes approximately five minutes for some guy in a tacky t-shirt to start hitting on her. “You come here often?” The alcohol on his breath burns her nose.

“Yeah. It’s kinda lame.”

“Psh, yeah! Stupid freshmen always crash these parties.” He gestures to the drinks behind the kitchen counter. “What do you want?”

“Nothing, thanks. I have the keys tonight.” Which sucks cause there’re screwdrivers. 

“Just one jell-o shot?” He hands her a red one. “Come on, your hair’s purple. Don’t tell me you don’t live on the edge.”

Callie takes it, and he grabs one for himself. “Ready?”

Someone steals the shot from her, Abby’s friend Vic. “No drinks for the DD.” He gives it back to the drunk dude.

“I get it. I’ll stop hitting on your girlfriend.” The drunk guy eats both shots and heads to the backyard.

Vic’s blond hair is almost silver in the dim kitchen lights. His pale blue eyes avoid hers. “Be careful, kid. Some guys are assholes.”

“Noted.” She grabs a handful of goldfish, waiting for him to leave. He doesn’t.

“So what do we do for fun at these parties?”

He shrugs. “Get drunk. Smoke. Go swimming. Hook up.”

“And which one do you do?”

“Get drunk.” He raises his rum and coke. “Sound like fun?”

“Yeah, if I wasn’t DD.”

“Maybe you could convince Imogene to do it. She doesn’t drink much.”

Callie scans the room. All the girls in the living room are half naked and none are Imogene. “I”m going to look outside.”

She relaxes when Vic doesn’t follow her. Tiki torches burn in the backyard around the pool which is jammed with people in swimsuits. Callie walks around the pool edge before spotting Imogene dancing with Abby in the grass. Imogene’s red hair shines in the firelight. Her green dress hangs on her in a way that wouldn’t work on anyone else. Abby dances so close to Imogene that Callie’s face burns. Callie starts to turn away when Imogene grabs her hand.

To be continued…


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