Grandma waltzed into the house, looking around. Mom ducked into the kitchen as soon as she saw the door rattle, therefore the only two people in sight were Rupi and I. “Noelle, did you get...tanner?” Grandma asked, squinting at Rupi. I heard Noelle snort in her room, where she retreated after her announcement.
“Hey Grandma,” I greeted politely, holding a hand out to Rupi. “This is my best friend, Rupi Day. Rupid, this is my grandma.”
Rupi smiled thinly. Grandma blinked at her once before turning her attention to me. “You’re getting thinner every day, Chess. Isn’t your mother feeding you? I thought all that child support she collects actually goes to something worthwhile.” Grandma tossed her bag into the living room and walking to the bottom of the stairs. “Did she escape before she could say hi to me?”
Mom walked out of the kitchen, wiping cream soup off her hands. “Hi, Mom,” she said, kissing Grandma’s cheek. I exchanged looks with Rupi but didn’t say anything. Mom attempted to smile, but she looked like she was in physical pain. I guess being grossed out by affection runs in the family. “The girls have to be in bed by ten with their alarms set. Chess and Rupi have school tomorrow, and Noelle needs to do some chores around the house before she can go anywhere.”
Grandma rolled her eyes. “I told you my grandma was cool,” I whispered loudly to Rupi. Mom shot me a glance and I looked down at the carpet.
“Whatever makes you happy, Grace, I’ll do it,” Grandma told Mom, looking around the tiny hallway. She vanished into the living room and came back out a few seconds later. “If I remember correctly, you married a rock star. Right?”
Mom scoffed but turned beet red. “Stew is retired, Mom.”
“Still a rock star.” Grandma pursed her lips at my mom’s clothes: she was wearing a fitted blazer and nice pants, her signature work outfit. “At least he pays for his daughters to look good. Have a nice night at work, sweetheart.”
“Thanks, Mom,” my mom replied sarcastically, grabbing her purse from the tiny stand near the stairs and slamming the front door on the way out.
Grandma looked around for a moment before catching my eye. “So are you old enough to drink yet?” She asked.
Noelle burst through her door then, wrapping her arm around me. “Grandma!” She exclaiming, already smirking. “Welcome to our humble abode.”
“Don’t give me that shit, Noelle, just get the liqueur and meet me in the dining room.”
I went to glance at Rupi, but she was already following Noelle down the stairs.
I was swaying side to side in my chair, blinking slowly at Noelle across the table. She was trying to grasp the shot bottle, but her fingers wouldn’t clasp around the neck of it. “Stupid bottle,” she slurred, resting her cheek against the lace mats our mother tatted. When she finally was able to somehow close her hand around the bottle, Noelle put it straight on her mouth and took a swig.
Grandma was laughing at Noelle, clapping her hands. “I haven’t had this much fun since I’ve tried Columbia’s purest,” she choked, slamming her palm against the table. The vibration made Rupi, who was previously passed out, flutter her eyes. She let out a small snore and fell back asleep. Grandma shook her finger at me. It looked like there were two of her, just wagging their pointer fingers at me cheerfully. “Now don’t you try cocaine, kiddo, it won’t bode well for you.”
“What?” I asked, squinting at her. Everything was warm. My mind felt like liquid. I couldn’t stop swaying or else everything else swayed, and that made me kind of uneasy.
“Columbia is known for coffee and cocaine.” She cackled, groping for the shot bottle. “I was shitfaced there a few months ago. Kind of like you right now.” Grandma kept laughing, shaking her head at Rupi laying on the table.
I reached over and yanked Rupi’s arm. “Dude, my gramma jus sed we were shitfaced,” I slurred, groping Rupi’s wrist.
“Yay,” Rupi muttered. She pulled herself up on her elbows and blinked slowly at me. “Why am I a virgin?”
“Because you haven’t had sex yet,” Noelle interrupted, pulling the bottle away from Grandma. She took a swig before slamming it down on the table.
Grandma cackled, dipping her finger in her shot glass and licking the vodka off. “I lost my virginity when I was fifteen years old, on a trip abroad.” She took the entire glass and dropped it down her throat. I was completely astounded about how excellent of a drinker my grandmother was. “I’m always abroad...a broad. Ha, I’m a broad!”
Rupi was barely listening, lost deep in thought. “Maybe I shuld jus hire someone to fuck me,” she pondered aloud. “I think I’m pwetty enuf to get a diss-count.”
“Don’t do that,” I scolded her drunkenly. “You can find a nice boy in school.”
“Don’t listen to Chess, darling, male hookers will be privileged to take your virginity,” Grandma countered. She just kept getting more sober even though she was chugging down booze at an alarming rate. She was like, super sober. Grandma checked her watch and frowned before squinting through the kitchen archway to the window. The night was pitch black. “Shit. I guess it’s time to get you two into bed. Noelle can stay up for a little more, I need another drinking buddy.”
Noelle smirked to herself as I struggled to pull Rupi up. We stumbled up the stairs, and Rupi fell a few times. On the last round of her legs going out from under her, she decided to crawl up the stairs on all fours. We made it to my bedroom and I hauled her into my bed. “Just don’t puke on my sheets,” I told her tiredly, turning the light off.
The next morning, my head felt like it was caving in. I almost broke the alarm by ripping the plug out of the outlet and throwing it across the room. My head was swishing from side to side, and the pounding was coming from somewhere near my temples. Rupi turned to me, groaning. Her black hair was sticking to her cheeks, old mascara flecks right below her eyes.
“Did we get drunk with your grandma last night?” She asked.
I nodded slightly, wincing as my head pierced with pain from the little gesture. “I think she admitted she had a cocaine problem,” I added.
Rupi thought about that for a second. She fell back into my pillow, closing her eyes. “Your grandma is fucking awesome,” she told me in a quiet voice.
Noelle opened the door to my room, peeking inside. She looked like shit. “Just wanted to review: we’re not telling Mom about this.”
“Of course we’re going to tell Mom about this,” I muttered into my pillow. “Hey Mommy, thanks for getting our dear grandmother over here. We got shitfaced. Love you!”
After making a scoffing sound, Noelle glanced at Rupi. “We’ve got coffee and headache pills in the kitchen.” She closed the door again.
She looked at me in the dimness. “Did I say I wanted to fuck a male hooker last night?”
“Yes, you did, dear friend.” I reached over and patted her cheek.
She sighed. “I have really good ideas when I’m drunk. Until I become sober again.”
“Happens to everyone.”
“It’s still kind of a good idea.”
“Enjoy your STD’s when you get them.”
Rupi sighed into the pillow. “Fuck you, Chess McAvery.”
“Do I look like a male hooker to you?”
She punched me. We slowly fell back asleep listening to the sound of Noelle making breakfast downstairs.
YOU ARE READING
Here's what's wrong with my life: my dad's a washed up rock star who is determined to ruin my reputation, my mother is washing down her regret of birthing my sister and I with booze, and I think my therapist has the hots for me. Also, my Latin tea...