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*Sneak Peek* [Currently Untitled] - First Draft


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Saturday -


The music was too loud, too repetitive and they'd gone way over the top with the smoke machines and lasers, but with the amount of alcohol coursing through my veins at that moment I didn't give two shits. It was the end of my first day as a student and I felt fucking amazing.


Six hours earlier and I had been dreading the idea of meeting everyone, of trying to keep up this new persona I was trying out. Mikey was gone, this year I was Mike. I liked Mike. Mike was cool and collected, maybe a little sarcastic, not the timid quiet nerd that everyone talked about behind his back. Mike wore contacts, Mikey wore glasses. Mike worked hard and played hard, Mikey just worked.


I kept repeating my brothers advice to my self “Let yourself go, you only get one freshers night”. But my half-organised room had felt infinitely more inviting. I'd almost finished unpacking and sorting all of my 'essentials' when someone had barged into my room and informed me I would be joining everyone at “The Union” that night. Mikey said no, Mike said yes.


Yeah I was definitely turning over a new leaf, I wasn't at school any more, no-one here knew me before today, I could be anyone I wanted to be, and I wanted to be the one everyone knew.


Three hours earlier and I'd met most of my floor-mates, shared a few drinks and finally loosened up a bit. There were thirty six of us on my floor, a mix of guys and girls. My corridor had already declared themselves to be the Y-block frat, breaking out beer-bongs and drinking games. We'd piled into our kitchen, drinks in tow and been as rowdy as a bunch of eighteen year-olds could manage. Someone brought their laptop and speakers in with them and was manning the music for the festivities. I took it easy, nursed a few beers, but didn't say no when shots were offered. Mikey didn't do shots.


I had a drink put into my hand, and only recognised the anonymous donor by his over-the-top hair colour and the bright yellow steward teeshit as he retreated into the crowd. I'm not sure what the drink was but it came with a nifty swizzle-stick informing me that I'd been spiked. That was their thing this year apparently, there were a bunch of 'guides' wandering around putting them in drinks. It was supposed to teach us how easily people could slip something into our drink, but I'd already seen three people using them to hold their hair into buns.


Some lesson.


I took a deep swig of my new drink before fighting my way through the undulating crowd back to my new friends. I was shocked at how easy the day had been.


“Come dance!” I'm not sure who it was but they'd shouted it into my ear and I could still barely hear it over the music. I mean I knew who they were but I couldn't for the life of me remember their name. Mikey didn't dance.


“Fuck yeah!” I screamed back a them. I threw the remainder of my drink down my throat then grabbed the girls arm and dragged her into the middle of the pulsating spinning room.


It took me a few moments to loosen up, a little voice in the back of my mind saying 'everyone is watching you, you're making an arse out of your self' but with the way that my partner was rubbing up against me I didn't care. Soon I was dancing like the rest of them. A three hundred strong mass of drunken sweaty teenagers and whatever shitty dance music they were playing.


I liked Mike.


I looked up when the song changed to find that we'd set a trend, the rest of my floor had joined us, enjoying the party. Some more steady on their feet than others. My neighbour, I later found out his name was David, pushed a plastic 'glass' into my hand and we stopped for a moment to down the shots he'd bought. Vodka, maybe tequila, maybe both. I didn't know or care, but whatever it was kicked me in the back of the throat.


I danced with Dave for a bout half a song before we shared a look that said 'yeah, this is a bit gay' then paired off with one of the girls that had joined our group. I think she was from our floor, but I couldn't tell. The room was lit only by the laser show they were putting on and I could barely see the stage for all the smoke being pumped into the room.


Two songs later and I felt a hand on my should, looking round I could see Dave making the universal hand gesture for 'do you smoke'. I paused for a moment. Does Mike smoke?


Five minutes later and we'd managed to force our way out of the building, down some stairs and into packed smoking area.


There were already a few people nursing water glasses looking decided worse for wear as their new friends watched over them. One girl sat head bowed over a bin as someone wearing a 'steward' teeshirt coaxed her to her feet. A guy grasped the fence in the corner as he repeatedly hurled. The blanked out windows to the union rattled every time the subwoofers kicked in.


David handed me a cigarette from a half-smoked pack, and I lit up. The first drag smashed into my lungs, instantly I started coughing and spluttering.


“You don't smoke much do you Mike?” He looked amused as he said it, and pushed his fresh beer into my hand. I had no clue where he'd gotten that from, he certainly didn't have it when we were inside. I think. I could hear the bass throbbing from inside the building, the world spun around me as I struggled to remember how to breathe. Dave took a calm drag on his own cigarette as he pushed the glass towards my mouth, the luke-warm liquid instantly quenching the fire in my throat.


“Nah, not really, but fuck it. I'm drunk!” I blinked the tears from my eyes as I took another drag. This one smaller. I held it in for a few moments before slowly exhaling, consciously fighting against the cough building up in my lungs. Another swig of Daves drink, then I handed it back to him an appreciative grin on my face. Apparently Mike did smoke.


“You having fun?” I looked at my watch as he spoke, his words barely cutting through the high-pitched ringing that filled my head. It was barely eleven and I was propping myself up on a wall.


“Not hardly.” I looked around, we were far from the worst for wear, but both of us were definitely far from sober.


In a blink our cigarettes were finished, stubbed out on the paved floor and we were making our way back inside. My head spun in a new way, different from alcohol, I could get used to this.


As we approached the dance floor I grabbed Daves shoulder and made the hand gesture that asked 'do you want a drink?' He knocked back the remainder of his beer then nodded before pushing his way back through the crowd, I turned and pushed my way towards the bar and into one of the least organised queues I'd ever encountered.


Ten minutes later, shoulder to shoulder with god knows who I spotted Liam. He was working the bar now, he gave me a nod and took my order. Mikey had just jumped the queue, Mike didn't give two shits. I pushed a tenner into his hand and took the offered coins, shoving them deep into my back pocket before grabbing the three 'glasses' and pushed my way through the crowd. It was only once I was free of the crush that I was left to wonder why I'd been given three, when I was only buying two drinks. Fuck it.


Standing on my tiptoes I scanned the crowd, my block-mates had moved to the edge of the room again for a well deserved breather. I weaved my way towards them and pushed a glass into Daves hand. My extra being passed to whoever was stood with him, I think it was Katie. I took a large gulp. Rum? Something and coke definitely.


Soon I was being dragged back into the throng, whoever's hand it was felt warm and comfortable in mine, and Katie looked back towards me laughing as Dave and I stumbled after her. I wasn't entirely sure who I was dancing with, Dave or Katie. She pushed her way between us and once again Dave and I shared one of those looks; this one could only say one thing 'this rocks!'


The crowd shifted and we started being pushed further to the front, the music had changed to something more poppy, and the crowd filled out in response. I could barely move, especially with Katie pressed hard up against me. Her hand snaked up and around the back of my neck as she pulled my lips to hers. 


The room melted away for a few seconds, we were the only ones there and she plastered her body against my own. We battled tongues, intent on tasting each others molars, until she broke away for air. She then turned and did the same with Dave.


I suddenly felt hot, I needed some air. Mikey was freaking out. Forcing my way through the doors and into the cool night air I descended into the smoking area, the 'outback' apparently. I made my way over to my previous smoking spot and took a few deep breaths, calming the queasiness in my stomach. The floor lurched and I held onto the fence to keep my self steady. I was beyond drunk and well on my way to fucked.


I felt a cigarette being pressed to my lips and a pint 'glass' being pressed into my hand. Dave was swaying around in front of me laughing at my predicament. Laughing at me. I laughed with him and took a drag, the harsh smoke filled my lungs and I fought the urge to cough again. I took a mouthful of my new drink. Lager, I knew that one for certain. Dave had one too.


“Fuck,” he exhaled. I looked at my watch, having to try a few times to focus my eyes on what the dial said.




“Dave, dude, you're trashed.” at least I think that's what I said, I could feel my speech slurring as my brain fought to catch up.


Somewhere in the far corner of the 'outback' I saw Liam, his blue hair clashing with his Steward teeshirt. It took a few moments for my eyes to focus on him, but I saw him flash me a grin and a thumbs-up as he assisted some drunk guy out towards the front of the building.


“Who was that?” Dave enquired.


“No clue dude, but he's even more trashed than you!” I took another drag of my cigarette, as my head began to clear, the cool air finally starting to refresh me.


“No, you idiot, the Steward, he knows you?” David had his hand on my shoulder and was talking right into my ear. It felt like I was taking half of his weight. He smelled of a mixture of sweat alcohol and something else I couldn't put my finger on.


“That's Liam. My brother.” I was definitely slurring. The world was spinning. I took another drag at my cigarette.




We finished our cigarettes, finished our drinks then made our way back inside. The wall of heat hit us both as we stepped back into the building proper. The queue at the bar was thinning slightly so I stumbled my way over, dodging between small crowds of people in the same state as I was. A tall, very attractive girl, that I was certain I didn't know, grabbed my shoulder catching me completely by surprise, it took a moment for me to register what was going on. She pulled me over towards her group of friends, five or six of them stood in a loose semi-circle. She pushed me towards another guy I'd never seen before, almost smacking our heads together. He wrapped his arm around my shoulder to steady us both.


“Alright boys, gay chicken time. Winner gets three drinks!” She shouted at us. I could hear her friends cheering her on. My eyes struggled to focus on his face as it moved closer.


For the second time that night I felt lips against my own, my mouth opened instinctively as my unknown partner pushed his tongue into my mouth. I could taste liquorice, and mouthwash. I felt my self melt into him as we deepened the kiss to growing cheers.


I don't know how long it lasted, but he broke the kiss first, the girl leaned into me and pushed a glass into my hand.


“Triple Jaeger for you stud!” I knocked the coke-like drink back, expecting the cola-like taste that the drink looked like, instead I was met with some sort of gross concoction that barely hit my stomach before it forced itself back up.





I woke the next morning sometime, my head pounding in time to the pounding on my door. My mouth tasted like a sewer and the room was still spinning slightly. The world was excessively noisy, a constant high-pitched screech in my ears, I swear I could still feel the bass. I pushed back a feeling of nausea as I rolled out of my bed. I was still wearing the same things I'd had on last night.


I opened the door to Dave wearing some trackkies and an old teeshirt. He passed me a bottle of powerade and stepped into my room. My hangover chose that moment to make itself known. A bolt of pain split through my skull and I felt the floor spin almost as much as it had been the previous night.


“Where'd you disappear to last night?”, his hair was all over, and he was clearly almost as deep into his hangover as I was mine.


I thought for a moment, trying to clear the fog from my brain. Where did I go?


“I got kicked out.” I croaked, the memory rushing back to me, as I felt myself blush all the way to the top of my ears. “Kinda threw-up.”


“Dude. It was fucking awesome wasn't it?” Dave took a deep swig of his matching bottle. “Man, you should've seen Katie after you disappeared, she wanted her dance partners back. I think she likes you bud.”


I drank from my bottle, the cool liquid bathing my parched throat, and with it knocking away the acrid flavour of hangover breath. “Man, I'm wrecked, I didn't know hangovers could get this bad.”


“Dude, welcome to university! I assume you're joining us tonight for round two? I don't think we're hitting the U though, probably just chilling in the kitchen.”


I opened my mouth to protest. My stomach lurching at the mere thought of drinking for a second night in a row. Mike.


“Sure, sounds like a laugh.” I'm sure my voice must have sounded strained, another wave of nausea had struck, accompanied by a hammer drill to my temples. Fuck Mikey, I could do this even if it killed me.


Half-way through my doorway Dave paused, I'd already sat back down on my bed ready to take another nap and sleep off the remnants of last night. “Also, you might want to clean out your sink before you bring anyone back to your room, it's kinda gross.” I felt my stomach twist again, and an embarrassed blush spread to the tips of my ears. At least I'd hit the sink, Liam had told me the unfortunate story of his first night out, and the load of washing he'd needed to do the next day.


I took a deep breath, steeling myself against what I assumed was going to be a horrific mess, then pushed my way off my bed. Change clothes, clean sink, check emails, sleep. That was my plan.


I got as far as change clothes before crashing out on my bed.


Some time later, I'm not sure how long as I'd never actually looked at the clock the first time I work up, I was jerked from my nap by the incessant chirping of my phone. The buzzing in my ears was subsiding, and I almost felt human.


“Mikey, you alive?” I hadn't actually checked the call-ID, but I could tell straight away it was Liam.


“Just about.” I paused for a moment, a flash of something from last night, someone holding me up as I hurled into a bin. “I got pretty messed up last night didn't I?”


Liam just laughed. It was comforting somehow, hearing his laugh, it made me feel less alone. I knew he was only living maybe ten minutes away, and I'd seen him last night, but I barely knew the names of the people I was living with, we were pretty much strangers. Mike might be able to cope, but Mikey was freaking the fuck out.


“Look kiddo, don't worry about it, it happens to everyone, but I'd probably suggest not chasing after that chick you were with when you puked, it's not exactly the classiest way of making an impression.” He laughed again. I felt my blush touch the tips of my ears again. “and don't let mum catch wind of you smoking, she'd have your throat.”


“Kris won't know, it was a one time thing Lee.” The memory of the first coughing fit came back full force. “Fuck, my lungs feel like hell.” Mikey didn't smoke.


“No shit buddy. Have you eaten yet?” My stomach twitched, deep at the pit of it was a feeling somewhere between nausea and hunger. “Get some food in you, drink some water, then head out and act like everything is fine. Just be glad we didn't have to call you an ambulance, I had to do that for one guy last night.”


I blinked a few times at that revelation, it was comforting hearing that I wasn't the worst, that other people had been the same way. I could work with this. Own it. Maybe even try not to blush like a fucking post-box the first time anyone mentioned anything.


“Yeah.” I stood from my bed and grabbed a pack of instant noodles from my food shelf. “Yeah, that sounds good. I'll talk to you soon Lee. Thanks for looking out for me last night.”


He simply laughed in response and hung up the phone.

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