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Drama Friendship Teens & Young Adult

CW: language, hints of previous addiction

Someone spun the bottle. 

You didn’t know their name but you watched, pressed against the living room wall, how they giggled politely before necking Ziza on her purple lips. Ziza produced a forced blush and glanced at their own white, fluffy carpet from Target. You downed a few more potato chips and a baby carrot doused in ranch, silently judging everyone else at the party. Your brain unconsciously counted the calories entering your mouth and you tried to ignore it. 212 calories. Ziza examined their nails before standing gracefully and heading towards your private corner. Did she know what you were thinking about?

You stuck your face in your Solo cup to avoid looking them in the eye. Your drink tasted sour and burned a path down your throat like a White Claw or something. What is in this punch? Ziza’s glittering eyes were waiting for you when you finished your sip. 

“Stop,” they said, and grabbed the drink from your hand. It splashed around and dripped down the side onto Ziza’s palm. “You’re a fucking single bisexual at my house party and I order you to stop acting weird.” 

You tugged at the end of your shirt so it covered your  stomach and touched the beginning of your girlfriend jeans. Ziza noticed, pursed their lips, and took you by the elbow into the hallway. They abandoned your drink on a countertop and you frowned, missing its sweet, foggy relief already. 

“Where are we going?” you asked. 

Ziza sighed, “Somewhere where you can be yourself.” 

“What?” All you wanted to do was shame-eat in private. Ziza led you to a door that read “no entry, bitches” in a delicate cursive, written with a thin blue Sharpie. Ziza entered, and you followed. It was their room. 

DIY appeared to be their style with a large cot in the corner of the room, music posters hung by Scotch tape, and makeshift newspaper curtains. Usually this would scare you, like a serial killer’s small apartment, but it was just quirky Ziza. 

“Come on,” they called, already disappearing into a small step-in closet. “I’ve got loads for you to try on.”

Ziza was already sporting a showy outfit: a cropped maroon Mickey Mouse sweatshirt with a thin black tank top underneath. Their skirt hung low on their waist and made their belly button visible. You wished you were brave enough to wear something like that. They held a barely-legal shimmering magenta dress that had pieces missing on the shoulders and stomach. 

You were speechless . . . not in a good way. “Uh, it’s just, uh, not my style.” 

Ziza frowned, “Don’t fuck with me. This is totally your style. Try it on and I’ll be back in a few minutes with my phone to take some pics.” They shoved the dress into your arms and marched past you. Their door shut softly and you were stuck staring with googly-eyes at your reflection in the mirror. Could anyone tell that your hips are too wide and your eyebrows too thin? 

You unconsciously let the dress drop onto the floor. The sequins made a soft whisper and you quickly picked it back up before anyone noticed. The zipper opened the back of the dress like butter and you peered at the inside. It looked uncomfortable, to be honest. But Ziza had already done so much for you, helping you rehabilitate after the incident and inviting you to all their house parties. The least you could do was try on a stupid little dress. 

You unbuttoned the front of your jeans and watched them slide down your hairy legs. When you stepped delicately into the dress, it felt cold against your ankles. As you were pulling it up, you realized with a jolt of disappointment and shame: this dress is probably too small. 

Wrestling it over your hips, you tried not to look in the mirror at your naked struggle. Your shirt came off easily, the perks of wearing baggy clothing. The dress had two thick straps that secure your shoulders and once it was on, you observed it. 

No one else was wearing such clothing at Ziza’s party, but they were always encouraging you to stand out. You noticed how the royal purple material ran down your body like paint and how your belly sagged a bit when you twirled. It’s nothing, nobody will see, you knew. 

As you folded your clothes onto Ziza’s bed, preparing to make a grand entrance back into the party, you heard a light knock on the door. 

“Ziza?” the voice was low but not too quiet, like a stage-whisper. “Ziza, I know you’re in there. Your light is literally on—” The door squeaked open. 

You gasped, tripping on the leg of the bed and falling into a heap of lightning amethyst dress and a tangle of limbs. Once you sat up, you remembered you didn’t zip the back of the dress . . . 

Someone stood before you, a guy, you presumed, with shoulder-length penny-colored hair and black too-long jeans. They had a hand on their hip and they were wearing a cropped white t-shirt that flashed a bit of their hairy chest with the words “Themme Fatale” typed across in a large font. You were too busy reading the shirt over and over to hear them sigh dramatically. 

“It’s Ziza’s. Don’t ask.” They eyed your dress. “Seems you got a makeover, too. Poor us.” 

“Yeah . . .” you said, and stuck your eyes to their face. “I’m Hallie. She/her.” 

“He/him,” Themme Fatale answers without actually mentioning his name. 

You shook yourself free from this momentary brain fart, trying to remember if you’ve met this guy before. Probably not. “Ziza is my friend and I actually love her makeovers,” you lied, standing up and readjusting your straps. The guy looked unfazed. “Who even are you anyways?” 

He stayed silent, crossing his arms over his iconic Ziza shirt. “Nobody you’d know.” 

What a dick, you thought. Must’ve been one of Ziza’s classmates. 

“But I know you. Powder girl.” 

You clenched your jaw. What? How did he know? You pretended to not know what he was talking about. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve never seen you before.” 

Themme Fatale laughed and tucked his hair behind his ears. “Yeah you were unconscious when we met. Oh well. Missed opportunity.” 

You brushed past him, trying to reach for the door. “Indeed, you wish you could know me.” 

He didn’t block you but he sneered as you twisted the doorknob. “Not with that dress on, Ivanka Trump.” 

You paused. “Speak for yourself, Themme Fatale. What, you spill your drink all over yourself? Pee in your pants? Vomit?” 

You don’t wait to hear the answer. Once you were out of the room, the familiar party hum filled your ears, as well as the screeches of embarrassed people playing Spin the Bottle. You bent your arms around your large ribcage to zip the dress up and tugged at the zipper as much as you could. A quick check in the mirror told you that you were ready. Not chic like a Themme Fatale but enough to crack your rough turtle-shell. Time to find Ziza. 

February 02, 2022 14:35

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9 comments

18:47 Feb 02, 2022

Why do you hate it? You captured a trapped-at-party death spiral perfectly 💀 So many relatable moments. Spin the bottle. Binge eating. Friends dressing you (and misjudging your size). The jerk at the party. This piece makes me remember why I’m a devoted introvert.

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Scout Tahoe
23:54 Feb 02, 2022

❤️ Dammit how are your comments always flawless? I love being around people but I definitely need to be alone sometimes. (What does that make me?) Thank you for your kind comment after my sucky day.

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01:12 Feb 03, 2022

It makes you Scout Tahoe. And that's pretty amazing :)

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Calm Shark
01:21 Feb 03, 2022

Hi Scout, I really like the story and I loved the 2nd person point of view. Something different. If I may ask, how do you come up with your stories? Like what is your process?

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Scout Tahoe
01:27 Feb 03, 2022

My… process? That’s a good question. I just study the prompts and take examples of what’s happening in my own life. One of my close friends just came out as non-binary, so I felt inspired to write about a character just like them. Also, I wanted to write about a party for some reason. It all just comes together, although I got lazy with this one and it turned out horribly. (Adding on: I myself had a “makeover” this week. I cut my hair very short…)

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Calm Shark
01:28 Feb 03, 2022

Ok, thank you, Scout, have a good day or evening where you are.

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Anna Nonymous
21:30 Feb 02, 2022

I don't hate it either, Scout! I actually loved some of the details - like the penny-colored hair (promise to credit you when I steal that line someday). That said, I really enjoyed the second person in your last story, but I'm not sure it's as effective here? I'll have to let it simmer a bit and give a second read at some point.

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Scout Tahoe
23:56 Feb 02, 2022

Ah yes I didn’t know what to use and 2nd POV is actually easier for me so that’s what I used. Thank you, Hannah!

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Scout Tahoe
14:36 Feb 02, 2022

Sorry I accidentally deleted this story - but I still hate it nonetheless. Hope it can inspire someone else.

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