Read Life of the Party Online

Authors: Christine Anderson

Tags: #romance, #god, #addiction, #relationship, #cocaine, #overdose, #bible, #jesus, #salvation, #marijuana, #heroin, #music fiction, #rehab, #teen addiction, #addiction and recovery, #character based, #teen alcohol abuse

Life of the Party

BOOK: Life of the Party
8.79Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
Life of the Party


By Christine


Copyright 2012
Christine Anderson





Smashwords Edition,
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For the one who will
always love me,
even though I will
never deserve it



Life of the Party





My father was
peering at me over his newspaper, watching in disgust as I
sprinkled yet another spoonful of sugar on my grapefruit.

“I think that
defeats the purpose, Mac.” He grinned. The look I gave him was as
sour as the fruit.

“It’s gross.” I

“Mac.” My mom
frowned as she bustled about the kitchen. “You’ll give yourself a
cavity. What’s the matter? You always liked grapefruit.”

I had no answer
for this, stabbing at the poor fruit with my spoon instead. Mom
shook her head and yawned. She had just walked in the door from
another nightshift at the hospital and was probably in no mood to
deal with me. She poured herself a coffee instead.

I pushed the
fruit aside as my father shook his head and returned to his paper.
My black nail polish was chipping. I sat back and picked at it.

“You know Mac;
it’s supposed to be a really hot day.” Mom eyed my hoodie, “maybe
you want to wear something lighter. What about the skirt I got

“I don’t do
skirts, mom. You knew that when you bought it for me.” Of course
she did, but the fact that I didn’t dress up all pretty for school
bothered her. She felt inclined to leave these none too subtle
hints upon my bed from time to time, skirts and trendy shoes and
button up blouses. They all became smunched into a pile in the back
of my closet, which really isn’t saying much because even my
preferred clothes ultimately ended up that way. It’s not that I
don’t care about my appearance, I’m not a grunge or anything, but
I’m not into the valedictorian-wear my mom feels is necessary. My
typical outfit involved blue jeans, some sweet t-shirt, a hoodie,
and any kind of dark skater shoes that made my size nine feet look
at least two sizes smaller. Today I was wearing my favourite shirt,
a dark blue Three Stones sweater with orange cuffs on the sleeve
and a flaming fireball emblazoned on the front. I knew she hated

“I’m wearing a
shirt.” I informed her. She sighed and nodded curtly, yawning into
her cupped palm.

“So, Mac.” My
father set his paper down. “How goes the job search?”

I scoffed and
rolled my eyes. “This again?”

“Yes, this
again. You’re seventeen years old with no plans for higher
education. You can live here, that’s fine, but not for free. You’re
plenty old enough to get a job. When Marcy was your age—”

“I’m well aware
of Marcy’s fantasticness, thank you.” I interrupted him. I turned
my focus from him to the ends of my long, curly dark hair,
pretending to look for split ends. I hoped he’d get my hint. He

“Well, fine.
I’ve leaving town until Saturday. When I get back, I’d like to have
some answers. Maybe you could get a job at the hospital. Are they
still hiring, Deb?”

“Oh, there’s
always work.” Mom perked up. “You may have to Candy-Stripe at
first, but that always looks good on a resume. Do you want me to
speak to Doug for you, Mackenzie?”

I looked at
their hopeful faces incredulously. There was no way in hell I’d
volunteer to clean up after a bunch of sick people. “Uh … we’ll
see.” I answered. I was saved then by the loud, off key baap of a
car horn out front.

“Oh, Riley’s
here.” I said with relief. “I gotta go.”

Mom made her
face then, almost on cue, the face that makes its appearance
whenever Riley’s name is mentioned. It’s not that she hates him
exactly, but she feels I could do with better friends, a bunch of
girl friends preferably. Also, she considers Riley the boy from the
“wrong side of the tracks.” I like to remind her from time to time
that Riley and I only met because we lived next door to each other
for years while my mom was still in school, before my parents
became “established.” Apparently she forgets that, and the fact
that she and Riley’s mother used to be very, very good friends.
Until we moved into a new house in a new neighbourhood, that

I rolled my
eyes at her and waved absently to my father.

“Alright, bye.”
Nothing annoyed me more than “the face.” I grabbed the books that I
brought home last Friday, and hadn’t touched since, on my way out
the door.

Riley’s car was
a sight. It was giant, purple and rusty, with red velour upholstery
and a beaten up dashboard, but it was my chariot to freedom. My
first sincere smile of the day was given for his benefit as I
hastened happily towards his car.

“Hey man.” I
sank into the front seat beside him.

“Hey.” He said
warmly. He sat back in the seat and gazed at me for a minute.

“What?” I asked

“Nothing.” He
decided, pulling the car into the road. I shrugged and lit my
cigarette, taking that first precious drag and blowing the smoke
satisfyingly out the window. I felt the tension melt away.

“So,” he
sounded nervous. “That was some party, hey?”

“Oh, yeah.” I
groaned. “I felt so sick yesterday.”

“Is that why
you didn’t call?”

“I guess so.
Why, did I say I would?”




We rode in
silence for a moment, and I gazed at Riley through the corner of my
eye. He was acting very strange. I had known the guy since we were
in kindergarten, and such a close relationship enabled me to know
instantly when something was amiss. He was without a doubt my best
friend in the whole world, better than any girlfriend I’d ever had,
someone who really understood me and didn’t judge me and someone I
could have tons of fun with without having to worry about the
petty, trivial shit that accompanies most high school
relationships. We were totally accepting of each other, no matter

Riley looked
different today. His hair was dark, short, messy curls, but today I
detected some kind of styling product in it. He was wearing his
good Darkstar shirt too, the one he usually saved for going out on
the weekends. I leaned closer and took a whiff, inhaling the deep
scent of men’s cologne.

“… Mmm. You
smell good today, Ry. Alright, who’s the girl?” I smiled
conspiratorially. He was too easy to figure out.

“What do you

“Come on, tell
me. Who’s the girl you’re so dolled up for?”

“Um … I don’t
know … Mac, how much did you have to drink the other night?”

“Ohhhh ….” I
groaned again. “So much. Too much. I can remember up until the
Quaalude and then it’s all just a black patch in my memory.” I
laughed. “Why, did you hook up with someone? Oh, I’m so pissed I
can’t remember. Don’t make me guess, just tell me who it was.”

“It was … it
was nobody.” He mumbled. “No one you know.”

“Oh really? Was
she hot?”

“Yeah, she

“Really? Oh ….”
I laughed and groaned. “Who brings ‘ludes to a party anyway? This
isn’t nineteen seventy-four and we’re not in California.”

“You need to be
careful with that shit.” Riley warned as he turned a corner.
“Mixing that stuff with alcohol can mess you up.”

“Right, like
you can talk.” I accused. “Mr. E. I’m surprised your heart still

“Not only does
it work, my heart could out-beat your heart any day.”

I laughed with
him and sunk back into the seat, glad that he had relaxed.

“So, are you
going to introduce me to her then?”

“No, I’m

“What?” I
pretended to be upset. “Why not?”

“You know why,
Mac.” Riley shook his head and shot me a sideways glare. It was
true, I did know why. Something seemed to come over me every time
Riley had a girlfriend … not exactly jealousy but … possession
almost. I’ve tried to be a good supportive friend and accept his
new relationships, but I can’t help myself. As soon as he and his
girl of choice become “official,” I panic at the thought of losing
my best friend to the claws of a she-devil that will occupy all his
time and energy. My fear is that one day he will become so
enamoured with one of these girls that I’ll be out of the picture
indefinitely. And it’s not like I want him for myself; Riley is
like my brother. But I don’t want him with anyone else either.

Super selfish,
yep, that’s me. I looked over at Riley and smiled. He was good
looking; I couldn’t blame the girls for wanting him. And he was
special, to me anyway. He was loyal and caring, one of the good
ones. I guess I knew it was only a matter of time before he did
meet someone that replaced me as the #1 female in his life—next to
his mom of course—but I wanted to avoid that for as long as

I shrugged and
changed the subject. “Man, Mitch won’t get over this whole job kick
he’s on.” I complained. “I’m supposed to make up my mind by Sunday
when he gets back. They actually mentioned me taking a job at the
hospital. Could you imagine?” I scoffed.

“Why don’t you
sell insurance like your dad?” Riley joked.

“Yeah. That’ll
be the day.” I rolled my eyes. “Do you think he has a bunch of
affairs when he travels? He’s gone nearly every week.”

reaching, Zee. Your parents have the perfect marriage and you know

I shrugged

“You could get
a job at the restaurant.” Riley offered. “They’re always hiring

I laughed
outright. “Yeah, okay. The only place worse than the hospital would
be a restaurant. I don’t know how you do it. Customer service? No

“What do you
want to do then?”

“I don’t know.”
I flicked my cigarette out the window. “Be a bum? Laze around?”

Riley laughed.
“But how would you support all your habits?”

“Well, my dear,
that’s what I have you for.” I batted my eyes at him

Riley smirked
and pulled into the student parking lot. I groaned automatically,
eyeing the ominous red brick school building with much disdain.

“Two more
months, right?”

“Two more
months, yep.” He nodded. “Then we’re done forever.”

“I can’t

“I know.” He
turned off the ignition. “Two months until sweet, sweet



Sweet, sweet
freedom. I thought of this mid-math class, smiling in anticipation
of the thought. The teacher was droning on and on about quadrants
or something or other, and I half-listened with my head curled into
my arms, doodling randomly on the loose-leaf pages in my binder.
Mr. Lemmon noticed my disregard for his teaching; I know he did,
but he’d given up trying. I could always sense the disappointment
that emanated from my teachers whenever their gaze came to rest
upon me. I think for a moment they picture the freshman I had once
been, chubby and fresh faced, dressed in the pretty clothes her
mother bought, eager and willing, hand raised needle-straight in
the air whenever a question was posed. Just another Marcy in the
making. Now, their heads shake sadly at what might have been and
their eyes roam past me, on towards someone who might actually live
up to their potential. Not that this bothers me. It took years to
convince them I wasn’t anything special and unworthy of the
effort. Now we’d finally reached an understanding—they leave me
alone for the most part and I try not to fail their exams. No more
honour roll hopes here, only the bare minimum of effort.

I’m not sure
what happened to me. There’s no defining moment in my life that
separates the good girl I used to be from what I’ve become. It was
like a gradual transformation, and one day I realized that I just
didn’t care anymore. I started living to please myself instead of
everybody else, and realized there’s more to life than school and
studying and going to college to get a good job and make the most
money possible. There’s fun, friends … life outside of how we’re
told to live. Basically, I just started rebelling.

And I’ve loved
every minute of it.



“Quit hogging
that, jerk.” I slapped Riley playfully on the arm and stole the
joint from his outstretched fingers. “Puff, puff, pass … ring a
bell?” Riley laughed and coughed as the smoke poured from his

BOOK: Life of the Party
8.79Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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