Ecstasy. Harmony. Bliss. Elation. Peace.
I had found cloud nine.
“Isn’t this great?” Ryan shrieked in my ear. He paused to take a swig of the warm liquid in the bottle he clutched in his hand. A lazy smile stretched across his handsome face. “What’d I tell ya?”
I was giddy. “It gets better and better, every time.” A little happy sigh escaped from my lips, ending in a giggle. “Hey, dude, don’t chug all of that! I want some, too, ya know.” The bottle dangled from his hand and, in slow motion, I watched my arm reach for it…and miss. This struck Ryan and me as very funny and we collapsed in a fit of giggles.
Suddenly, Ryan shot up off the couch, alert and wary. But his equilibrium refused to adjust and he fell forward into the coffee table, which only made me laugh all the more hysterically. “you…you…OK?” I gasped.
Ryan clutched his head as he sat up, but looked around cautiously. “I thought I…I saw…little red…fairies?” He looked at me for confirmation.
“Hey, all I saw was you bashing your face into the coffee table! And now I think it’s affecting your brain!” My whole body shook with uncontrollable laughter. At least, that’s why I thought I was shaking.
When I looked up again at Ryan, he was staring with wide eyes at my bare shoulder, as if it repulsed him. “There’s a…a f-fairy on your…” He couldn’t finish the sentence, so he just pointed at my left shoulder.
I was sure Ryan was hallucinating, but just to make him feel better, I inspected my arms and shoulders and even looked in a mirror. “No little red fairies on me.” When I turned to face him, my mouth fell open. “But, dude,…you…you’ve got one.”
Again, Ryan flew out of his seat. “Where? Where, Krista?” I laughed as he wavered and stumbled to the mirror on the wall and examined himself. “I don’t see any,” he accused.
“No, seriously, Ryan.” I gasped for air. “There’s this little red fairy thing doing…like a victory dance—ya know, kinda like what you do when you score a touchdown? a celebration dance?—on your left shoulder. I ain’t kidding, I swear it’s true, dude. And it’s kinda funny!”
Ryan’s eyes kept moving between the mirror and me. “I don’t see it. On me. There’s one on your shoulder, though, doin’ a dance. But when I look in the mirror, I don’t see it.”
Soundlessly, Ryan grabbed two beers and tossed one to me. We drank, as if it would help clear our foggy minds and blurry vision. But when we looked at each other again, we still saw the dancing fairies, glowing an unearthly red, with gleaming horns on their heads and small wings that were burning with dark orange flame. They were undulating and gesticulating suggestively to a dark music unheard by us, their pointy tails swishing hypnotically. I jumped off the couch and tugged Ryan’s arm to do the same. “Cum’on, dude! Let’s dance with the fairies!” So I began to move my body like the fairy I saw dancing on Ryan’s shoulder.
Ryan stared blankly at me for few moments.
“Dude! Snap out of it. Lighten up.”
So Ryan and me danced with the little red fairies, giggling all the while.
It’s noon, the day after the night of the little red dancing fairies, and I awake in the middle of my bedroom floor. I don’t know how I got here, but my party clothes are still on and the contents of my stomach lay all over and around me. My head throbs and the bright sunshine from my window only makes it worse.
I can hear my mom and her latest boyfriend arguing downstairs. My sister is crying from fear. My blood boils with anger when my mom screams from a harsh blow to her face, but there is nothing I can do. He is drunk. I have to get out of the house before he calls for my attentions…again.
In eight and a half minutes I have showered, dressed, and slipped out the back door. I am hungry, but there is no food here. I think I will go find Ryan. Besides, I need another joint. Getting high and drunk are the only things that let me, if only for a moment, forget the living nightmare I call life.
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