Red lips and smouldering eyes, I was ready to welcome the New Year like never before. One of the best places in town, with one of the best people in life. A skater skirt I got as a gift and another printed shirt. My mother didn’t approve of my outfit, but I rolled my eyes and wore my heels and ran out the door.
Stares from neighbours and their dogs as I walked out the gate and into a car that wasn’t mine. They saw a girl, barely 19, walking out into the night, unguarded and unnerved. I hugged my friend and she put on Ed Sheeran and I Snapchatted the journey that seemed like something out of a movie.
Long lines and tall people, chipper and annoyed at the time it took. Some scuffle about the entry into the club, and then finally an in. UV marks on my wrist, which I found particularly cool. No stamps and no wristbands and nothing that I had to hide or scrub out next morning. We head to the bar and fight the crowds for drinks.
Four shots, he heard five. I gulp down the extra one and squeeze a piece of lemon in my mouth. We don’t have IDs and nobody cares, he just gives me some water, and then another coke and vodka. My first stumble as we walk to the dance floor. The crowd reeks of the unparalleled enthusiasm and carelessness of youth, a shared sense of euphoria.
Loud music and trippy lights, I try to Snapchat it but my fingers fail to draw my password. I give up and take another sip of the water I so desperately need. Someone offers us seats at a table and we decline and move closer to the DJ. We laugh at the old creep trying to hit on us. Our favourite song and my favourite memories come rushing back and I move my hips with the beats.
Two guys, out of the darkness. Blurry faces, blue shirt, comfort of soft fabrics and a soothing scent. I ask his name and I forget. My friend is dancing with a guy with glasses and I am dancing with a person I cannot see clearly but he keeps me from falling by holding on to my waist and hugging me with strong arms I fail to forget. I bury my face in the hollow of his neck and dance.
Random hands over me, and I whine and protest with whimpers. Hands up my skirt and I jump, turn around to meet the eyes of the man whose hands were stroking my legs. Just smirks and smiles and darkness with those bright lights. More men, hands, imprints and bruises. Pulling and shoving and begging and yelling.
A midnight countdown unremembered and finding my heels in the darkness in a corner of the club. The washroom with the staunch smells and girls gossiping and wishes. We walk out, and I fall down, and I get up again to walk out. Men in black help us and into our cars and I’m home but where is my bag?
Ringing the bell and lying and going to bell. Underage drinking, so wasted at night I didn’t worry about the gut-wrenching feeling inside of me. A thought about the new year and the old year and my ex, and I closed my eyes to remember the world, the better and the worse.
And next morning, nausea and shame and anger over a night I recall only in flashes. I feel dirty and I shower but I sense the un-consented touch over my body, leaving bruises and marks over my mind. A tear down my cheek, thinking of a night that feels like a distant memory. But I remember too well, my protests going unheard.