I’ve never been one for parties. They’re always so loud. And no matter what type of party it is, someone always sneaks in some alcohol. Gag. Disgusting. Smells disgusting, tastes disgusting, makes people act disgusting. The best thing about it, is that it’s flammable.
So, why am I here, at a party? Great question. My boyfriend wanted to come. So, here we are. He’s also not a party person, but it’s his best friend’s birthday.
The kind of parties I grew up with, were close friends and family, usually some pizza, a couple two liters of pop. Or soda. Soft drink? Ugh, I’m from Kansas, it’s pop. We played card games, sometimes board games. Once I chased my cousin with a knee high filled with pickles. Ahh, those were the good days.
The minute we walk in the door, I grab my boyfriend’s hand and look up at him. He glances down, gives me a peck on the forehead, and whispers that we’ll be out of here soon.
I believe him.
After half of the guests have drank way too much alcohol, we sit down for a game. There’s some argument about what game we’ll play, but eventually we settle on the middle-school game of Truth-or-Dare.
Sitting cross legged on the floor, nestled against my boyfriend, we begin. Someone, I don’t know their name, picks me.
“Truth.” I’m nervous, so my voice squeaks. My boyfriend hugs me closer in comfort.
“Have you ever, you know, missed a period?” They wiggle their eyebrows in a way that makes me realize they don’t actually care if I’ve ever missed a period.
My face flushes red. I’ve never had sex, even with my boyfriend. So I say no. The girl who asked me laughs.
Then my boyfriend’s best friend picks him. “Truth or dare?”
He sighs heavily. “Truth.”
“Man!” His friend shakes his head. “I had a great dare for you!”
“Well, still, truth.”
I don’t hear how that exchange goes, I must have drifted off. It’s almost eleven, after all.
Then the guy two people away from me is picked.
The person who picked him, a sullen looking girl who’s been glaring at me the entire night smirks. “I dare you to choke her ‘til she passes out.” She’s pointing at me. She’s pointing at me?!
My boyfriend wraps his arms protectively around me, but the guy is already there, his hands around my throat. My boyfriend is pulling at the guy’s arms, trying to get him off of me. Then my vision starts to blur, and I can only hear myself gasping for breath.
My boyfriend lets go and runs from the scene. I want to scream for him to come back, but I can’t. The hands around my throat are cold, and strong, and—my vision cuts out for a moment, then it’s back. My boyfriend came back, too. A knife in his hand.
There’s a shout of warning, and then there’s a knife in my chest.
I scream. I look into my killer’s eyes. My boyfriend’s eyes. My rescuer’s eyes. He’s stunned to stone.
I cough, and blood comes out of my mouth. He’s at my side, cradling me in his arms.
“No, no, no,” he whispers, showering my face with kisses, trying to hold my blood inside my body.
I hear someone on the phone, feel hands all over me, trying to staunch the blood. But all that matters is his blue eyes overflowing with tears. I want the pain to end, and I want him to stop crying. So I say the only thing I know to say: “I love you.”
©2019 Katie Holm