Chapter 4 - Intoxicated
“Stop.” Someone yells, their hand on my chest snapping me out of my trance. “You can’t go in there.”
I look down at Martha, or so I call her, visibly confused.
“What do you mean? I need to s—” I start, cut off in the middle of my sentence.
“New policy, kid. Sorry.” She shrugs, her weave slipping with her movements.
“New policy my ass, this is rubbish!” I yell, clearly agitated.
“Yeah, well bring it up to the Deans if you want it changed. Yelling at me isn’t ’gonna make a difference.”
I sigh frustratedly, pinching the skin between my eyebrows.
“Can you just get the girls for me?” I ask her grudgingly, huffing when she gives me a look. ”Please.”
I lean on the railing as she goes to fetch them, knowing the ins and outs of our friendship since observing us from the fourth grade.
“Did you hear?” Holly calls out as I turn towards her, Sage and their new pal stringing along next to her.
“Yeah, where is she?” I question, my eyes frantically scanning between the three of them. “What did he say?”
“She went to Dean Carthrow’s office, and, uh,” Holly says quietly, shifting in the awkward silence.
“And ‘uh’ what, Juls?” I question again, frustration bubbling up inside of me.
She sighs in annoyance, exhaling dramatically. “I don’t know, Ev. Ask her yourself if you’re so ******* concerned.”
“Why do you have a stick up your ass I’m just tryin—”
“Woah, woah, woah, okay, calm down.” Rue side comments, trying to release the pressure.
“God, Everest, she’s not a child! Calm the **** down and stop acting like you’re her dad.” Holly spits, brushing off Rue’s hand on her shoulder.
“You’d be surprised.” I comment, chuckling to myself.
Sage snorts, breaking the tension between the four of us.
Holly whips around to face her, anger and betrayal flashing in her eyes.
“Oh come on, Holly! Even Sage sees it for ***** sake. Her and Lilac are like the epitome of a child.”
“Hey, no I’m not! This is about Lilac, not me.” Sage whines, a frown appearing on her face.
“You’re practically twins, Sage. You’re inseparable, and are copped as it by the whole school. Everybody has known it for years.”
She squints at me, shoving at my chest.
I look down at her in amusement, rolling my eyes.
“I rest my case.”
“Is she in trouble?” Rue asks softly, worry woven into her voice. “I mean, with like, the Dean?”
“Probably not too much, he’s more of a father figure towards her than her own is.” Sage says. “If anything he’d call her parents if he was that angry, and even then they wouldn’t care much about it, just shrug it off.”
“Isn’t he her legal guardian?” Holly queries, picking at her nails.
“Mhm,” I hum, looking around to see if Lilac decided to come back. “Well, I’m gonna try to look for her now.”
“Maybe she needs some space, Everest.” Rue chimes in quietly.
“Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised. She hangs out with Holly all day.”
I smirk as I walk away, Sage and Rue bursting into laughter as Holly tries and fails to stomp on my foot, leaving her glaring at my back.
“Lilac?” I whispers from behind her, my accent thick and noticeable.
She hums in response, continuing to walk around the empty halls, her shoes pattering on the tiled floor.
I don’t continue to talk, but follow in her footsteps instead.
Her shoulders tense, irritability exhibiting openly form her aura.
“I’m fine, Everest. Go away.”
“I’m good, it’s good to get a nice walk.”
She snarls, whipping around to face me.
“Go away, Everest, I don’t want to be around people right now.”
“I’m just walking here, Meals. No need to get riled up.”
“Fine, I’ll go somewhere else, then.”
She walks the other direction quickly, growling in anger when she hears me following her once again.
“Leave me alone!” She huffs, her hands balled up into fists.
“Nope.” I respond quickly, crossing my arms as I lean on a nearby wall, a smirk laying across my face.
“Everest, go!” She yells, louder this time.
“Lilac, I’ve known you for almost as long as I’ve known Sage. I’ve spent countless hours with you while you just sat there and cried, and have known you for years. It’s been seven years since you’ve came into my life, and I’ve payed attention enough to not just be reassured by your ’I’m okay”’s, and ’I’m fine″s.
She rolls her eyes, biting the inside of her lip.
“If you don’t want to talk to me and tell me what happened, then talk to someone else, like Sage or something.”
“I don’t want to talk to Sage about it.” She deadpans, keeping her eyes on the floor.
I give her a questioning glare, cocking my head slightly. “Why? She’s like your sister, Meals. You always talk to her.”
She drags the tip of her foot in a circular motion on the floor, the action creating a loud squeak. “I know, I just..”
“I’d usually talk to Willow about it first, and I’m just..”
“Afraid she’ll understand.” I finish for her, already knowing what she’s going to say. “Yeah, she most likely will, and thats why you should talk to her. She won’t ever judge you for what you have to say, and you know that.”
She just shrugs helplessly in response, looking back up at me.
“I don’t know, she’s just been going through a lot and I don’t want to bombard her with my own problems too.”
I pull out a picture from my wallet, walking closer to her.
I hand it out to her, watching her analyze the image.
“This was our first year together in the third grade, and it was my first day of school in a different country. Plus, it was also picture day. Sage got to campus the day before and forgot all her luggage except for what she was wearing and a raincoat, but none of that mattered to her. She knew I was scared to be in a foreign place for the first time, so she put her problems aside and helped me get ready and was the first real friend I had at this school.”
A smile peaks on her lips, her eyes softening at the site. “I remember this day. This moment.”
“Yeah, we were all in the same class that year.” I smile, wrapping my arms around her shoulders as I walk her towards our dorms. “I don’t know what exactly Rivers said to you, but I know it’s not something good. Sage was there too, so you might be helping her as well as yourself by talking to her.”
We continue to walk in silence, paddling towards the girls’ dorm room and ignoring a flustered Martha.
Lilac pushes open the door, only to see her criss-crossed on the floor with Holly chugging down a couple of beers.
A bottle of vodka sits next to Sage’s left calf, half open and cap-less.
“Hey!” Lilac whines, a frown appearing on her lips. “You drank without me!”
“What are you trying to do, scare her off?” I exclaim, nodding my head toward a cowering Rue.
Rue smiles softly, laying her chin on her hands.
“Oh my god.” Lilac gasps, cringing slightly. “Dean Carthrow’s coming later. To talk to Sage and Juls.”
“****.” I curse, watching them continue to swig their bottles of poison. “I thought he was having a meeting with the boys for the lacrosse season.”
“He was, but he ended it an hour early so everybody could get ready for the new school year. The boys texted earlier and said they’d be here around eight,” She stops for a second, checking the time on her phone. “Which should be in a couple of minutes, actually.”
I huff, walking over to the babbling girls and pick up empty beer bottles, discarding them into a cotton bag in their closets.
“Holly isn’t that bad actually, so she should be easier to just get her sobered up a little bit and put to bed or something.” Lilac inquires.
Clover and Canyon walk into the room, wooing at the site in front of them.
“Sage, give.” I hear Rue grunt, groaning silently as she hugs her bottle in response, her eyes glazed over.
“Mine,” She slurs in response, shrugging off her touch as Lilac ushers Holly out of the room to try to sober her up with some coffee and bagels.
“Does this happen a lot?” Rue questions lightly, wincing when Sage pulls away from her grip again, yelping at her to not touch her bottle.
“Uh, not really.” I state. “Usually only at parties, but I don’t really know why they decided to do it today. Maybe to get their last fun in before the school season starts.”
She hums in response.
“Okay, Sagey.” Clover breathes out, snatching the half empty bottle of vodka from her arms before she can turn away.
I groan, the putrid sound of Holly throwing up in the bathroom echoing into the living room from the open door.
Sage wails on the floor, drunkenly babbling about something that happened to a seagull she saw and demanding I give her her bottle of Vodka back.
“Jesus Christ, Sage,” I wince, both Rue and I concerned by the lack of alcohol left in the bottle.
Canyon looks at Rue, his eyes pleading. “Please tell me she didn’t drink this all. I don’t even care if they shared it, it’s still too much.”
Rue shakes her head, looking up at him and CLover innocently. “No, they probably drank a quarter of it on top of the beer, though.”
I shakes my head, picking up the half asleep idiot and tossing her onto the couch.
“Okay, first rule.” CLover begins, gaining Rue’s attention. “If you see Sage with Vodka, just stop her before she even opens the bottle. That’s like the second worst combo you could have including her and alcohol.”
“What’s the worst?” Rue asks apprehensively.
“Rum.” We all say in unison, our eyes widening in memory.
“Vodka brings out the sad one,” I point, our eyes following to her asleep on the couch. “And rum..well it either makes her pass out or just go ******* crazy.”
“Noted.” Rue answers back, throwing a blanket over Sage’s legs.
A knock at the door makes us freeze, and I hold my breath in anticipation.