thirty-one. Drowning

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Nirvana had brought along a bottle of "water" for the Uber, but the clear liquid inside was actually vodka, and we'd sipped and winced, and sipped some more until we'd drained the whole thing.

If the driver had noticed, he didn't say anything.

It's crazy, the things you can get away with when you're young and beautiful.

Right before we spilled out of our Uber, Nirvana leaned in real close and pressed something very small into the palm of my hand.

"Some extra fun," she whispered, almost seductively, her black eyes glinting dangerously the dark.

I opened my palm ever so slightly and gasped when I saw the small, white pill resting there.

I had never tried any kind of drug. Never as much as taken a drag of a joint, even though I knew T&T did indulge occasionally.

Usually, I would have declined. My old self never would have as much as even considered this an option.

But as I looked into Nirvana's beautiful eyes, I realized that I actually wanted to do this with her. Deep down, I knew I shouldn't, but the restlessness I felt deep inside of me made me bolder, matching the dare in her eyes with a defiant smile of my own as I raised my palm to my lips and swallowed the pill.

She did the same and linked her arm through mine as we exited the Uber, passed everyone who stood in line and the bouncer. Nirvana simply winked at him and he untied the red rope that blocked the entrance without as much as a word.

It wasn't long before it hit me.

I felt unstoppable, and maybe slightly unstable. I wanted to text Gabe some things I would definitely regret, made me want to go to him right now and wrap myself around him, and never ever let go.

The pounding music felt like it was a physical thing gliding over my skin, and everyone around looked otherworldly. I felt my eyes widening trying to capture all the sights all at once. The beams of silvery and blue light that flashed around looked almost physical as though if I reached out, I could feel them beneath my fingers.

Nirvana pulled me to the packed dancefloor and we moved as one; I wasn't sure whether I mirrored her or whether she mirrored me but we were in perfect sync, as if we shared the same mind, only in two different bodies.

Some of her friends had joined us, and every time I finished one drink, someone replaced it almost instantly.

But the best thing was... I had succeeded. I didn't feel like myself anymore –I was someone else, something else. Among these people, in this dress, I felt alien and strange, detached from my thoughts, overwhelmed by the taste of alcohol, the sound of the music and the feeling of Nirvana's hands on my hips.

I felt happy, and even though somewhere deep down, I knew that it was a fake happiness, fabricated by the buzz of drugs, alcohol and the frenzied rhythm of the music, I still seized the feeling, let it submerge me, drowning out the despair that had clung to me in the last months.

But then, right as I dipped down, hands skimming along Nirvana's body teasingly, my heart nearly stopped as I spotted a familiar face in the crowd.

I pulled away from Nirvana, who looked at me quizzically, and didn't bother explaining where I was going before I dived into the crowd, following behind Aidan with a drug-induced fearlessness, pushed along by alcohol.

I wanted answers so badly –I deserved answers. I needed to know why he'd chosen me to harass. What had I done to him to deserve months of anonymous threats? What could I have possibly done to him? Was it because of some perverted obsession with Alexei?

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