I don’t know why I always go for vodka when I want to get drunk quickly because I hate the stuff. I gasp and gag as it burns its way down my throat. The fact is, though, that it does the job better and faster than any other drink I’ve tried. So I suppress a shudder of distaste and take another swig, mentally tapping Lee on the shoulder as I do so. There is no real reason to draw his attention to what I am doing, I am just being malicious. The thought mingles with adrenaline and the beginnings of drunkenness to make me giggle.
“Well, what did you expect?” I sneer at him, ignoring the anger and frustration he’s throwing my way, “My flatmates think I’ve lost the plot because of you and now I can’t even leave my home because of the mess you’ve made. You need to understand: You are not welcome.” Frustration fills my soul as I hurl my thoughts at him, but it isn’t all mine. He’s still trying to get me to back down; trying to convince me that he can’t escape this any more than I can. I don’t believe him though. Lola swings between blaming Lee and blaming the consciousness study. I just blame him. How can two people end up entwined like this unless at least one of them wanted it? In the back of my mind I can hear him trying to reason with me; to explain that he never asked for this to happen and he hates it just as much as I do.
“Please!” I’ve never heard him beg before and the force of his entreaty causes me to turn around, to pay him proper attention. “Please,” he repeats, quieter this time “Please, I know I haven’t made this easy for you either. I have done some awful things to you, I know that and I’m sorry. If I could leave I would, but I’m stuck the same as you and I really need this job.” I can feel his remorse, he makes no attempt to suppress it so it washes through me with enough force that I waver; I almost stop. Then I feel the hope that follows it, mingled with dread but also with triumph and instead of convincing me to stop, it only strengthens my resolve.
“How dare you!” I throw back at him, full of self-righteous indignation. “I begged for you to stop toying with my mind, but you treat it like your own personal playground. You humiliated me and threw all my failures, all my guilt back in my face. Now you want me to play nice, because for once I might be able to hurt you? The time for sorry is long gone, Lee. If you meant it you’d have said it when you had nothing to gain but my respect.” I pause, looking over at my MP3 player “what kind of music do you hate?” The hope and triumph disappear as I stumble, laughing, over to it, with a vague sense of relief that at least the girls aren’t in to witness this. I know that I’ve sunk to a new low here, the vodka is starting to take hold and I just want to curl up and cry, but I need to do this. He did it to me fast enough and I am tired of listening to him whining about being friends now that the worm has turned. I wonder briefly if I should have tried tequila instead of vodka, then scroll through for the 1980’s novelty hits compilation my sister put together for me. I switch off the lights and begin to dance like a freak as “Agadoo” begins to boom out of the poor, abused speakers.