They say that you never forget your first love. They, the ones who say that you can't teach an old dog new tricks and that you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. I say that you can't hate someone until you truly hate yourself. I also say that you can easily forget your first love, especially if that event was eclipsed by your very first weekday hangover.
I was sixteen when I suffered from this epic alcoholic aftermath. This hangover is ingrained in my brain and pretty much overshadows every other major event in my life, because I had to bring this hangover to school. My mother wasn't letting me stay in bed to indulge in the physical and mental suffering because I shouldn't have been drinking in the first place. So this was her idea of punishment and I'm sure it made sense to her at the time.
The day before, my family had celebrated my sister Stephanie's confirmation. My older sister Sarah wanted to continue these celebrations late into the night, in fact I'm pretty sure she never wanted the confirmation festivities to end. The ceremony seemed to awaken something inside her and I don't believe that a day goes by where she doesn't think back to this joyous occasion.
So she chose me, with my teen tits, to accompany her on this over eighteens night out. I didn't look eighteen. In fact I didn't even look sixteen. My mousey brown hair with its permanent middle parting weighing me down like I was tightly gripping a bag of coal in each hand, made me look like a hardened weather-beaten mother of seven. I didn't even need to sex myself up with stuffed bras and rouge to get served alcohol; drinks were being put in front of me to stop me talking about the hard times that I looked like I had suffered through. So I got very drunk. So drunk that a cop car drove alongside me for about one mile as I wobbled on the footpath to make sure I got home safely. I refused to get into the car when they offered me a lift. "What is your name young girl?" they called out. "Eighteen" I replied.
So on that wintry sweaty Monday morning, I was led out to the car by my mother after spectacularly puking up my Weetabix. Weetabix is an ugly cereal. You don't take pictures of it, you don't admire it. It's a bowl of misery and probably the only food in the world that you eat with your eyes closed. So when it has successfully made its way down your throat, it's something you do not wish to meet again.
I pleaded with my mother to let me walk to school that morning for a few reasons. I was massively dehydrated and wanted to walk the few miles in the lashing rain, so that I could drink the shower as it fell from the skies. I was also still queasy and would have an array of gardens to choose from should I need to vomit on the journey. I also desperately needed to pick up a packet of chewing gum so that I wouldn't lose any friends in school.
But my pleas were ignored and I arrived into school crying and clinging to my head after feeling every bump in the road. To the teachers who did smell the drink off me, my mother looked like a bad mother. And to the teachers who didn't smell the drink off me, my mother looked like a bad mother too, sending her poor daughter to school when she is obviously pale and ill. One kind teacher, coincidentally the only one in the school with a heart, felt sorry for me and told me that I could lie in the fake bed that was in the fake bedroom that was located down the back of the home economics room. This fake bedroom was used to show real girls how to make a bed. Thousands of girls had practiced dressing a bed here; four of my sisters had done it in previous years, some with style, and some without.
So I lay in this bed in silence while classes were conducted. I could hear teachers telling kids to turn around, knowing that they had placed their curious eyes in my direction. Friends visited during breaks and paid their respects. Nobody brought grapes or a newspaper. I was doing fine, getting my strength back and almost healthy enough to enjoy a double maths class, when my best friend Clair paid a visit. She decided to entertain me by regaling stories about unattractive boys I had kissed. And so the puking returned and it continued as long as her memories did. And I never drank on a Sunday again until the summer holidays arrived a few weeks later.
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