It Could Get Worse

It\'s Just Another Day

Disclaimer: This episode is for mature audiences only. There are themes of drugs, alcohol, and intended assault. This is a work of fiction. Viewer discretion is advised. Don read if you
e triggered by any of the subjects above.

I wake up and for once thank god I don have to go to school. The flyers aren a big deal, but all the snide comments all day are obnoxious. Today is going to be fun, though. Not only is it my day off, but I get to party. Charlie is picking me up at 5 tonight. The party starts at seven, and its going to be great. I haven been to a party since Charlie, and I started going out. Once we got together, he wanted to be more mature, or at least thats what he said. Im ready to drink and just relax. Most of the friends Charlie parties with aren in high school, so I don have to worry about any of the flyer bullshit.

My phone makes a little ding with a text from Oliver. ”Whats the address? ” I send him the address of the shitty house they always party at. Before we got together, I used to party with Charlie every weekend. Charlie doesn drink or take anything, so I always had somebody to watch after me. For the rest of the day, I just lay in bed. I don have many clothes, but Charlie bought me a costume. Their party is supposed to be a costume party since Halloween is coming up soon. I take out the leather jacket, black shorts, and tank top. He didn want to go as anything too specific, so we
e going as ”greasers. ” ”Like Grease. ” He said, not that Ive watched it. Its a cute look, though, so Im excited.

I get my make up on and do my hair up in a very subtle 50s style. I hear a honk from outside which annoys me a bit. I apologize and get out quickly. When I hop into the car Charlie is wearing a white jacket and blue jeans. ”I thought you were wearing black? ”

”Oh yeah, I totally forgot I got you a greaser costume. Sorry babe. ” He says with a little shake as if it just slipped his mind.

”Oh well, we still look cute. We fit into The Outsiders instead I guess, huh? ”

”Yeah sure. ” He drives off. I wait for him to say anything, but hes completely quiet.

”Do you know what today is? ”

”What? ”

”Guess. ” I say trying to lighten the mood.

”Its Saturday. ” He sounds bored.

”True, but what else. ”

”Your day off. ”

”Correct again. Next guess, though. ”

”Oh! I remember. ” I smile, for a second. ”Its Jacobs birthday today. Hey, can you remind me to text him when we get to the party? I don want him to think I forgot. He gets so pissy when you forget stuff like that. ”

”How silly. ” I chuckle and enjoy the quiet. There are already a lot of people at the party when we pull up. We just walk into the house, and people shout out to Charlie. We make our way through the party and say hello to everybody.

”Charlie! I haven seen you in ages. ” A long-haired guy in a stripe shirt hugs Charlie.

”Yeah, stopped partying for a while. ”

”Whos this? ”

”The reason I stopped partying. ”

”Not a drinker? ” He addresses to me. Before I answer Charlie does it for me.

”Oh, shes a party girl. Thats why we stopped going out. She can be a handful when shes drunk. ” The laugh together and I put on a little smile. He told me he didn want to be around drunk people anymore. ”Hey, can I talk to you for a sec? ” Long hair nods, and he tells me to go get a drink while they talk. I obey like a good little pet and get a cup.

Theres a spread of beer, wine coolers, vodka, rum, tequila, and every juice out there. I make myself a screwdriver and go to leave the kitchen. I notice the table of weed, pills, and miscellaneous stuff. ”Want some? ” Calls out the guy handing it out. I shake my head and continue out. Rule 1 is never taking stuff in public. I scan the room for Charlie, but instead see Oliver. He stands awkwardly by the stairs looking around. Its very subtle, but I can see hes scanning the room.

I go around and come up behind him. He jumps when I grab his wrist. ”Jesus christ Mona. ” He sighs out.

”Sorry you looked so out of your element I thought maybe I could scare you out of it. ” I laugh and take a sip of my drink. ”Want a drink? ”

”No thats okay. Im driving tonight. Also, I promised my dad I would wait to drink till I got into college. ”

”Wow, strict huh? ”

”Maybe compared to irresponsible parents. ” We watch as two guys start yelling in each others faces. ”So, wheres your boyfriend? You came with him, right? ”

”Yeah, I don know he went with a friend. Told me to go get a drink. ” I take a drink and try not to show how annoying I find his attitude today.

”You two have matching costumes? ”

”We were supposed to, but he dressed like a socs. ”

”And you a greaser. ”

”Yeah. ” I say with a chuckle. ”I don know how he forgot. He bought both of the costumes. ”

”Well at least thats all he forgot. He couldve come here without you. Then Id be all alone thinking you invited me here as a prank. ”

”Oh, I fully intend on robbing you before you leave. ” I say with a straight face. He cracks a smile and laughs.

”Shut up thief. ” We laugh together as the song switches. I notice his low effort costume. He put on a cat tail and ears. I guess his type of cat wears leather jacket, pants, and bracelets.

”Your costume is so… From your closet. ” He looks down and laughs while his fingers make their way into his hair.

”Yeah, I didn really know what to come as. I had the cat tail and ears from a costume I wore when I was little. ”

”So, the leather. Is that what you wear when you
e not in a uniform? ”

”Yeah, my dad is a motorcyclist, so I just kind of grew up with the leather look. ”

”It looks good. I mean better than the white school suit. ”

”Well, you shouldve seen what I was going to put on. I thought about wearing little vampire teeth I found, but I didn know how dressed up everybody else was going to be. Didn need a Cady Heron situation happening. ”

”Oh my god. You
e a nerd. ” A tall body steps in front of us.

”Make a friend? ” Charlie says lined with an attitude.

”Hey Charlie, this is my friend from work. Oliver meet Charlie and vice versa. ” Oliver puts out his hand, and Charlie reluctantly takes it.

”Nice cat ears. ”

”Uh thanks, I put it together last minute. You look like a soc, though. Good job. ”

”Yeah, well, the guys told me I should do it. ” I glance over to him, but he doesn look at me. Oliver notices the different story as soon as I do.

”Nice. ” He says with a smile.

”Hey babe, the guys want us to play beer pong with them. Want to play too… sorry what was it? ”

”Oliver and Im good. Ill just watch. ” Charlie gives him a little side smile and leads us to the bear pong table. Once we
e by the table and out of ear shot I get his attention.

”Hey, why are you being a stuck-up asshole? ” I say with a smile trying to look normal.

”Maybe because you invite your ** buddies around me. ” He pushes a stack of cups into my arms. ”You
e on a team with Lee. ” Long-haired guy comes over with a smile.

”Hey, Mona right? ” He touches my back with a smile.

”Yeah, ” I smile and slide forward. I start to set up our side to not seem rude. A guy I recognize from old parties sets up the other side. Charlie stands with his arms crossed and a neutral face. His eyes stab me with daggers. I sigh and stop looking at him. If he wants to be insecure, then he can do that alone.

We start playing and I learn something. Charlie is surprisingly good, and my teammate sucks. His first throw doesn even hit the table, the second one he hit the edge before it fell on the floor, and the third he got in our cup. The stronger my buzz gets the more annoying Charlies smug little face gets. The whole game he has a gross little smirk on his face. To no surprise we lose, and Charlies team only drinks one cup each. ”Here you go. ” Long hair hands me my screwdriver. Id set it under the table while we were playing so it didn get spilt.

”Thank you. ” I take a sip. ”You know you suck at beer pong. ” He doesn say anything just smiles. I walk over to Oliver who watched us play. ”He sucked. ” I say as I bump my shoulder into his.

”Yeah, I don how he could be that bad. Kind of looked like he was trying to make you lose. ”

”Why would he do that? ”

”I don know, but your boyfriend seemed peeved about something. ” I glance over to Charlie laughing with his friends and accepting his congratulations. He looks over to me and shows me that smug face again. I immediately lick my finger and flip him off. He looks taken back a bit. ”Stop it. ” Oliver grabs my hand and puts my finger down. ”Ew! Why did you lick your finger? What are you an animal? ” I stare Charlie down. ”Hey, do you want to leave this room? ” Oliver asks once he notices the feud going on. I nod but throw one more middle finger before leaving the room.

”Isn he an asshole? ” I say before downing the rest of my cup.

”Yeah, I guess. Hey, don you want to slow down? You just drank a lot during that game. Also, technically playing games while drinking gets you drunk faster because you drink faster. They say you want to be careful playing drinking games, because its easy too overdo it. ” I place my hand on cheek. Why? I don know, it seemed right, and I thought it would stop him from talking. Which it does.

”I used to get free drugs. A little beer pong is nothing. ” I laugh and take my hand off his face. His cheeks are a little red, but hes quiet. A group of four guys walks through the front door, and I recognize the one in front right away. ”Oh god. ” I sigh to prepare for bullshit.

”Hey moan! ” Calls the guy at the front, Phil, as they walk over.

”Sorry about this. Hes gonna be a nasty asshole. ” I whisper to Oliver. ”Hey Phil. ” I say with as neutral of a tone as I can get.

”I haven seen you around for a while. We missed you. ”

”I can imagine why. ”

”Well, who doesn love watching Charlie try to stop you from stripping. ” He looks at Oliver and smiles. ”Don worry she never got far. This who you left Charlie for? ”

”No, still with dick face. Hes in the game room. ”

”Oo, trouble in…well paradise I guess? ” He asks in a confused tone.

”Not for me. ” Phil bites his bottom lip slightly and laughs.

”Why don you come find me later, okay? I want to catch up. Its been too long. ” He taps the bottom of my chin before they leave for the game room. I hear him loudly call out to Charlie when they get in the room. A couple of his followers glance back to me.

”You didn mention the pervert part in your warning. ”

”Well, I had to leave a little bit of his personality a mystery. Come with me? I want a drink. ” When we go into the kitchen long hair is making drinks for people.

”Hey teammate! ” I sigh and walk over to him.

”Hey. Sorry what was your name again? ”

”Oh, they call me Lee. ”

”Is that your name? ”

”No, but I don answer to my real name anymore. ” He laughs full force. Like head back holding his stomach laugh. ”You want a drink? ”

”I was just going to make myself another screwdriver. ”

”Oh, let me make you a drink! ”

”Uh, thats okay. I can make my own. ”

”Let me make it. Ive been making everyone else my special mix. ” He motions to the other people around.

”Whats in it? ”

”Little vodka, little juice, little wine cooler. ”

”Theres nothing infused or anything right? I don take shit anymore. ”

”Nope, all drugs are over to the left. ”

”Uh, okay, I guess. ”

”You want one buddy? ”

”No thanks, Ive gotta drive home tonight still. ” Lee shrugs and turns around. He grabs the vodka bottle and then a few bottles from the drink cart hes mixing on. ”So, what do you normally do at these parties? ” I glance over to Lee.

”Drink. ” He nods. ”We just kind of drink and hang out. People start dancing once they start getting drunk, and we play games to get to the dancing part. ”

”How long are you staying? ”

”Im not sure. We normally leave between 12 and two. It just kind of depends on how fast we get bored. ”

”Hey Mona. ” I turn around as Lil grabs a beer.

”Hey, didn know you had friends here. ”

”I have friends everywhere. ” She says following an empty laugh. ”And whos the kitty? ”

”This is my work friend Oliver. ”

”Work friend? ”

”Experience cram. Can let colleges think I don have experience being responsible. ”

”What school do you go to kitty? ”

”Preston and its uh Oliver. ”

”Fancy school there Olly. ”

”Here ya go Mona. ” I turn and take the drink.

”Ready to go? ” He nods with a smile and waves goodbye. We sit down on one of the couches in the living room, and I hand him a water bottle.

”Whend you get this? ”

”I grabbed it while we left the kitchen. Figured you might be thirsty. ” I take a sip of my drink. Not bad, very fruity.

”You know they say fruity drinks are also dangerous. Its easier to drink something that tastes like juice. So, fruit drinks can be more dangerous because you don notice how much you
e actually drinking. ”

”Did you look up alcohol fear facts before you came? ”

”Sorry, my dad reminds me every time I go to parties. ” He looks embarrassed.

”So is your mom the chill one? ”

”I haven talked to her since I was a kid, so probably. ”

”Oh, Im sorry. ”

”Its fine. Personally, I think having two parents is a little overkill. I mean really, who needs both? We all pick a favorite anyway, right? ” I think about it for a second.

”Yeah, I think thats true. ”

”Mona! ” Charlie calls me from the doorway of the game room. I take a big drink and head over telling Oliver Id be back in a second.

”What? ”

”Why are you giving me attitude? ”

”Sure, Im the one giving you attitude. ”

”Don act sour just because I call you out on your shit. ” I take a drink to stop myself from yelling in front of all these people.

”Don act jealous just because you
e insecure. ” He stops smiling and clenches his jaw.

”Im not the one inviting another guy to our date. ”

”Date? You asked me to leave you alone in the first 10 minutes. Also, you didn plan this. Your friends happened to invite you to a party, so you invited me. Thats not a date. Thats circumstance. I thought maybe it was a surprise for me, but as soon as you picked me up, I realized it wasn . If it were a date, you wouldve been on my team, or not be acting like a jerk. ”

”I saw you and Phil talking when he came in. You seemed pretty excited to talk to him. ”

”Is that what you think excited looks like? ” I let out a deep laugh. ”Damn, if thats what you think a woman looks like when shes excited; you must be awful in bed. Your friend is gross. ”

”They say people insult others when they
e attracted to them. ” The pure, hot desire to knock him rushes me. I throw back the rest of my drink, crumple my cup, and throw it in his face.

”Then I guess Im really attracted to you, huh? Did you call me over here just to be an asshole or did you actually have something to say? ”

e going to go upstairs in a bit to smoke. Ill come grab you in thirty. ”

”I don smoke. ”

”Then you can sit there. ” He gets in my face to say. He backs up and goes back into the game room. The guys all turn as soon as he enters the room as if they were waiting for him. Phil looks past Charlie and makes eye contact with me. He puckers his lips and sends a kiss in my direction. He turns and starts laughing with the group as if he didn miss a thing. I make my way back to Oliver and we go to the back yard.

”Sorry it was getting kind of stuffy in there. ”

”Did you want me to drive you back home tonight? You don seem to be getting along with your ride. ”

”You saw that? ”

”You did throw trash in his face. ” I laugh.

”Yeah, hes got something up his ass. Normally, hes not that bad. ”

”You know there are people who aren assholes. ”

”Not any that I know. ” I take a cigarette out of my pocket and light it.

”You smoke? ”

”Nah, I quit. ”

”When? Tomorrow? ” I laugh and take in a deep breath of air.

”I go back and forth. Depends on my nerves. ” The grass waves in the slight night wind. I look over to their small pool. It has little leaf corpses floating all over it. They look as if they
e holding hands.

”Hey, you, okay? ”

”Yeah, just a little tired. ” I throw my cigarette on the concrete. ”Lets go back inside. ” When we walk inside theres a group of people starting to dance. ”Uh oh, the drunk girls are starting to dance. Watch your toes kitty. ” He bumps my arm and I giggle. Someone grabs my left hand.

”Dance with me honey! ” A busty dark-haired girl insists. I let her hold my hands and wiggle around. I give her a little bit of movement. After about ten minutes she realizes Im not on the same wavelength as her and leaves.

”Can believe you actually danced with her. ”

”You don tell a drunk girl that she has to dance alone. Its suicide. ” Somebody turns the lights to dim and flips on the disco lights. I turn away my face. The lights are so bright they sting my eyes. When I finally look back up from the ground, theyve also turned on the strobe lights.

I lean into Oliver a little bit to keep my balance. The strobe lights make the floor look like its moving. Normally, people look slower in them, but I swear its speeding everyone up. The disco lights and the strobe lights look as if they
e fighting on the dance floor. ”Here. ” Somebody hands me a cookie and goes on to the dance floor.

”Here. ” I hand it to Oliver. ”I don take presents from people I don know. ” He sets it down on the table next to him. I feel a little tingle in my toes. I start wiggling my feet trying to keep them awake. More people start to run over to the dance floor. It reminds me of a pack of hungry dogs. ”What time is it? ”

”Its 11:20. ”

”I got it right on time this year. ” I whisper to myself. The floor swirls beneath the people dancing. There are little shapes on the carpet. When the lights flash over them the shapes pop out.

”Got what? ”

”My birthday. I was born at 11:20. My mom says thats why she named me Mona, because when I was conceived it was 11:20. She picked Mona because; thats the only good thing that came from you. ” I try and mimic my mothers voice. It almost sounds like shes talking through me. I laugh but I can tell if its funny or scary. I grab on to Olivers elbow when people start to pair up. Their bodies start to mush together as they grab each other. People start pairing up and as soon as they grab hands, they
e one. Its like globs of people.

”Its your birthday? ”

”Yeah. Normally, I go to the cemetery. ”

”On your birthday? ”

”Well yeah, 11:20 is a particularly important time in my family. Wow! ” I look up into Olivers eyes and squeeze his arm tighter. ”Its been 10 years down to the second. ” Suddenly, its as if Im him and hes me. This was the exact moment.

”Mona are you okay? ”

”Names Bill. ” I whisper and then start laughing.

”Hey babe. ” I look over to the tall body on my left.

”The **. ” He looks like a mix of slender man and salad fingers.

”Come on we
e gonna go smoke. We
e you headed home cat? ” The nasty tall boy grabs me away from the cat boy.

”I mean I was seeing if Mona wanted a ride home. ” They both look at me.

”I don have a home. ” I blurt out and then start laughing.

”I think shes had a little too much to drink. I don want to bring her home like this. You can head home if you want. Ill take care of her from here on out. ” He starts leading me toward the people globs.

”Ew no, not by them. ” I whimper and try to get out of nasty mans hands. I look back to my cat, and hes gone. He must have gone back to being a cat. ”I want to sit and mourn. ” I whisper.

”Mona stop acting like a spaz, come on. ”

”Charlie? ” I whip my head over to nasty man. He brings me over to the stairs, but I can go up them. They start to shift back and forth and its hard to look at them. The shaking thats accommodating them makes my head start to spin. I feel my hand touch the wall and try to sit down.

”Mona, knock it off. ” I try to mumble okay. I grip the railing and close my eyes as I stumble up the stairs. With my eyes closed I feel like Im just floating. Thats much better than going up the stairs. I open my eyes when I hear a door shut. I open my eyes to my feet, but they
e not on the stairs or floating. I look up and see a group of guys. In the middle of the circle is weed. Charlie lets go of my arm and goes over to the group. My feet don float once he lets go and I stumble. I fall onto a bean bag on the ground.

The crunch the beans make sound like little bugs. I make some sort of sound and start trying to roll out of it. An arm helps lift me up. When I get up my head is so heavy. I lay it on their chest. ”Aw, you did miss me. ” Even in the fog I recognize his nasty voice.

”You wish pervert. ” I rip myself away from him. Luckily, Im close to a wall and catch myself on it. My head starts to spin, and the floor won stay still. ”Wheres Charlie? ” I whisper as loud as I can. I see a sliver of light and look toward it. Charlie stands with the door open. ”Oh good. Help. ” Is as much as I can get out with my hand slightly raised.

My hand remains empty, so I look up. Charlie shakes his head. He throws a piece of paper onto the floor and leaves. I look down and see the bright flyer with Leo and me. I start to notice my surroundings. Phil stands behind me waiting for whatever I decide to do. The group of guys are still smoking but are all faced toward me now. Lee and Phils followers are all there. The ones I noticed looking at me when they came in now smile at me.

The sudden urgency to run away hits me like a freight train. I try to run to the door, but my legs collapse. Phil slowly walks over to me. He looms over top of me like the grim reaper. ”You know Charlies not a bad guy, but he doesn take deceit well. ” I feel tingles start to run up my body. My feet were the first to go numb while I was floating upstairs. Now, its making its way into my stomach. My chest is rising so fast I start to worry that it might pop.

Phil makes his move and starts to straddle me. I grip the pocket on my jacket as hard as I can. When he reaches down to my shoulder, I swing up at him. My body is going to sleep, but it hasn reached my arms yet. I slash his face from his cheek down to his chin. Like I said, I always have a knife under my pillow. He stumbles back onto his ass. He sounds to be in less pain than I would hope. I try to get on to my stomach since I can still use my arms. Somebody runs over to the door to block it. I see the blood all over my hands. There are streaks of it on the floor from my jacket smearing it.

I get the feeling that Ill have to cut my way out when a hand grips the back of my hair. I wince and look over to the tattooed arm holding on to me. The scream that comes out of my lungs surprises me as well as everyone else. I start to cry, ”Leo no. ” I try to push his arm away from me, but he just grips harder. Somebody else grabs my hair and turns me over. Phil looks down at me, fire in his eyes. Blood runs down his neck.

I stop crying and sigh. ”Glad to see you. ”

”Crazy bitch. ”

”You think your scary you bitch? Try being beaten by a gang leader thats 66 ”. Thats scary. ”

”Hold her mouth. ” The tattooed arm grabs my mouth, but not before I get out another scream. It gets cut short, but I keep trying. I start to swing my knife before someone pins my hand to the ground with their foot. When I try to pull my hand out, they push down. I look up to Phil, and I can hardly make out his features anymore. I see his smile and the blood dripping down his neck. The rest of him is turning into one of the blobs from downstairs. Im suddenly struck with the fear that the tingles are in my elbows now. One more. Just one more.

I quickly flip the knife and stab it into the side of the tennis shoe on my hand. He steps back, but I can hardly see it. I use the last of my hand strength to push at Phil, but the tingles move up my fingers. Im losing his smile as well. All I can see is the blood and his hands on the waste of my jeans.

I guess this is it; I can feel my stomach turning. My eyes are closing, and my brain is becoming fog. Im aware that Im gonna pass out, but I can access how to feel about any of it.

I see a crack of light, and then it gets bigger. ”Dad. ” I whisper and try to reach my hand to the light. The weight on top of me gets off. The light keeps being interrupted, but there are still slivers here and there. I feel something slide underneath me, and the floating is back. They take me toward the light. I look next to me but am surprised not to see my dad. I try to struggle and get away from the stranger.

Im able to get the tingles out for a split second of adrenaline and grab their hair. I feel the soft little ears and lean into them. ”You turned back. ” I whisper with a few tears. I knew he wouldn go back to being a cat yet. I feel the cold hit my face. I feel a rush of calm across my body.

”Can…stand? ” Kitties voice comes in and out. I try to talk like the teacher from Charlie Brown. Thats kind of what it sounds like. I feel the cold metal and lean on it. The floor threatens to pull itself out from underneath me.

The next thing I know Im laying in the back seat. I move my fingers and find there are extra fingers gripped in my hand. The extra fingers are soft. The biggest one rubs my hand once I start to wiggle some of my fingers. Lights flash past us one after another. I try to watch them, call to them, but they
e moving too fast. My head starts to spin watching them, and I don think I want to throw up yet. I lay my head back down.

The floor is so cold, tile at night is always freezing. My stomach feels on fire. I breath out the fire. The soft hands brush my cheek as they hold my bundled-up hair. The washcloth is so rough. I try to turn away from it, but then the warm water on it touches my face. I lean into the warmth. I try to look up to the soft hands, but all I can make out is little black points. ”Kitty. ” I giggle and lay down on their lap.

”Mona? Y… okay? ” I grab a hold of the hand by my face. Sleeping here would be nice.

Such soft blankets. I try to crawl inside of the threads of the blankets. I want to absorb all the warmth they have. I feel the weight of my cat next to me. I pet it for being such a good pet. Most cats just leave you when you
e struggling. Not this cat. This one is special.

When my eyes start to close, I see a little light. Theres a little orange light in my cats hands. He puts it by me. I follow it and fall asleep waiting for dad to come wish me a Happy Birthday.

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