17 // Pimp My Cow

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     An hour later and somehow I found myself next to Wyatt in Britta's kitchen, both of us on 60's restaurant style bar stools and spinning around more than any two respectable high school seniors should. But I was there, and honestly, the somehow in the equation wasn't much of a mystery. The fact that I'd already chugged two Palm Bays out of nervous habit when Reese, being the asshole that he was, had disappeared and the relief when I saw Wyatt stumble in with a bottle of vodka probably had a lot to do with it.

     And now, we were spinning.

     "Do you think I could ride a cow? Would it let me ride it? They're basically like fat, spotted horses right? But way more chill than a bull, so... I should be able to ride a cow..." Wyatt mused with a significant slur rushing his words, propelling himself off the counter to spin his seat faster, his face a thoughtful blur as I quickly passed by him.

     I was more focused on trying to keep all my insides in and not collapsing on the ground in a dizzy mess than to answer his life questions, though. And really, by the third time he'd done this, I'd caught on to his little game. I was not going to get distracted and lose again, mostly because I was already beginning to feel the buzz of intoxication in my bloodstream, and I wasn't sure what two more shots would do to me.

     "Would I have to train it at birth? Would I have to rear this baby cow as my own?" Wyatt continued, and I felt my jaw clench. 

     I was not going to lose, I told myself. I just needed to hold out a bit longer, but then, I felt my stomach lurch. 

     Oh no. Defeat was coming.

      Just as I was about to throw up the white flag (and other things), Wyatt caught the counter and brought himself to a startling halt. I stopped just as fast with a crashing wave of relief, pushing out a steady breath to calm the nausea.  When I was no longer in danger of throwing up my intenstines, I looked over to the boy.

    I was surprised to find that when I studied Wyatt's face- it betrayed nothing.

      Whatever.

    "Ha!" I cheered, throwing my hands up in the air. "I won!"

    Triumph swelled within me- or that could have just been the vodka coming back for round two, but winning was too sweet not to relish in.

     And then Wyatt collapsed on the ground.

     I jumped, a quick gasp winding me as his limp body thudded against the tiled floor. A shocked and confused frown found my face.

      Pausing with my arms still uncomfortably held in the air, I peered down at my drinking partner. Wyatt was still, his body showing no signs of life, and for a moment I wondered if I could legally be charged for murder. Orange was, unfortunately, not my colour. I grimaced. I was much too cool-toned for that.

     "Uh, Wyatt?" I asked, slowly.

     His body twitched, calming my nightmares of plastic shanks and lumpy mattresses, and he rolled over. A couple people were now sniggering and pointing at him, probably keeping a watchful eye on him to pass out first, but Wyatt only grinned.

     As quick as he was down, he jumped on his feet and threw his hands in the air. "Time for shots!"

      I blinked. "You're... you know you don't have to. I mean, really."

     Wyatt shot me an incredulous look. "Those are the rules, Stella. We can't just abandon rules. Then there would be anarchy."

     I paused again but then opted to just shrug innocently in response. I'd come to find that trying to understand Wyatt was a lost cause, and he took this as his opportunity to throw back the two shots one after another. Still, I couldn't keep my eyes from widening as I stared at him in awe, wondering how he managed to still be even kind of alive, let alone shooting back vodka like it was water.

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