The ***, I thought. Pirates drink ***, I decided, because then the world rocks like a boat. My foot was tingling, like it was asleep, but I was just sitting on it, which seemed funny.
I managed to free my foot and the whole world seemed more comfortable.
Then a spider was on my face!
I swatted at it, but it was just my hair, which I managed, with dizzying effort, to tuck behind my ear.
Everett, slid off the couch, in front of me, like an alligator off a sand bank. I hadn’t noticed him before. He worked his way over next to me, on all fours, like a lazy, wobbly panther.
“Everett,” I said, as if to establish the fact that that blurry shape was indeed Everett.
“ANN-Ais,” he replied, and chuckled like we’d exchanged punchlines. He was next to me now.
“You’re very,” he said, as if struggling for the next word, “PRetty,” he said, petting my arm like a cat.
Then, still on all fours, he lifted one hand and touched a finger to my right breast, as if it were a sleeping thing he was trying to wake. I watched him, detachedly. He looked distorted, like a reflection in a funhouse mirror. His backside slumped down, like a lion that was full and ready to nap, and he rebalanced himself on his left elbow and licking his lips reached over again.
I gently, preemptively, pushed his reaching hand away, “Stop thAT,” I said, “yourrrrrr drrUNK.”
“YOU’RE, are TOO!” He said, in sloppy accusation, which made me laugh and then him too.
“Leave me alone,” I managed to say, pretty clearly. Prompting Everett to frown and give me a jerky, dismissive wave as he, the proud panther, began to look for other prey.
I looked around and saw my purse, on the table next to the chair that was holding me up. The strap was just within reach so I yanked on it and my purse thumped roughly onto the carpet next to me. My glass, which was next to it, threatened to tip over but settled itself upright.
I fished out my phone, while fighting a curtain of my hair that had decided to attack me when I reached for my purse. “Hey, Siri,” I slurred, “callllll CHarles.”
It rang once. “Yep,” he said.
“Come get me pleaZ,” I said, trying to get my hair and tongue separated.
Two minutes later Charles was there. He held out his hand, which I managed to take while somehow shouldering my purse. He pulled me to an unsteady stance, shook his head and scooped me, effortlessly, into a cradle carry. “Do you have everything?” He asked.
I nodded and said, “Thank you for inviting me, EVVVV!” While waving wildly as we left.
Once outside, he said, “14-year old's do NOT drink!” With a real edge in his voice.
“I’m sorry,” I said, in a tone of tired melancholia. I couldn’t help resting my face on his warm chest as he carried me to our house just next door to Everett’s.
“You’re GROUNDED for a MONTH.” He said in a growl.
Somehow, I managed to make it upstairs and into bed without encountering my parents.
In the morning, while I was busy feeling like death, Charles told my parents, “She’s grounded for a month.” I was. They didn’t ask why, and he didn’t offer to say.
I love Charles.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Melancholia: a sad tone or quality.