The Death of Us

The Death of Us by Alice Kuipers Read Free Book Online

Book: The Death of Us by Alice Kuipers Read Free Book Online
Authors: Alice Kuipers
like I have a face shape other than pudgy.
    She says, “We’re going out, we’re allowed to have fun.”
    “Really, I’m fine.”
    She unscrews the lid and tips the flask to her lips. She swallows, pulls a face, wipes her mouth and sucks air through her lips. “Don’t worry. Ishop like her but I don’t drink like her. I only do it for fun—like tonight.” She holds out the flask. It’s engraved with swirly letters. “Vodka,” she says.
    “Does your Mom still …? I had no idea, really none, when you lived here before.”
    “She hides it well. Practice, I guess. Look, can we talk about something else? How about … how about a drinking game. We could play Truth. You know, it’s like Truth or Dare but there are no dares. Ask me anything. Drink for yes answers.”
    “I’m not sure—”
    “It’ll be fun. Look at you, you’re gorgeous and we’re hanging out and everything’s just as it should be except you need to relax a little. Take a deep breath. Tell you what, you go first. Ask me anything.”
    I’m tempted. There’s so much I want to know. “Okay. I guess so.”
    “Go on then.”
    I come out with “Okay. Since you left … did you ever …? With a boy?”
    She’s already sipping from the flask as I ask and she laughs so hard she sprays the air with vodka. “You’re so adorable and innocent. We have to be careful you don’t get eaten alive in the big wildworld. If you’re talking about”—she lowers her voice dramatically—“sex …”
    I blush. “It was a stupid question. You go first.”
    “Nooo, this is fun.” She takes a long swig. “And yes, I have.”
    There’s a huge silence, then I burst out laughing. “Ivy, that’s the worst answer ever. You have to give me more than that.”
    “It’s supposed to be yes or no! You want details?”
    I blush harder, but I’m enjoying myself too.
    She says, “First, your turn. Drink now if you want. Get it over with.”
    She passes me the flask, which is surprisingly cool to the touch, and heavy. I turn it from one side to the other, trying to decipher the writing, Latin, it seems. I quickly lift it to my lips and drink. I don’t take one sip, but three, the burning taste hard to stomach, but it makes me want to prove myself more. I’m not the silly little girl I thought I was; it’s time for me to grow up.
    “Yeah, Callie,” Ivy says approvingly. “My turn. Did you ever tell anyone?”
    My tummy roils. I tell a sort of truth: “No.”
    She grabs the flask. “Now, you wanted details. Well, it hurt, but not as much as I thought. I was fourteen. Mom was doing her thing, dating some guy. He lived in a craphole called Plato, so we lived there with him.
    “Sooo, the sex. Gross. The guy Mom was dating, well, his son’s name was Riley. He was arrogant, rat-faced, always wore a cap, two years older than me. Spent money quicker than his dad. He bought me a dress and we went up to the top bedroom. He wasn’t a bad kisser, told me to peel the dress off, told me to spin around like I was some sort of porn star, watched me lie back … then we, you know. It took about two minutes.”
    A nasty little worm crawls under my skin.
    She sips from the bottle and says, “Boy number two was great. Raunchy and fun. Number three was perfect, candles, the works. Number three … You have no idea.” She says this with a funny expression on her face, like now she’s an adult and I’m just a kid with no clue. But she’s not mocking me, no, it seems that she’s sad.
    I say, “I feel like a loser.”
    “There’s no rush, really. You should wait. Ishould have waited. Okay, now you’re warmed up.” She giggles. “Who’s your biggest crush?”
    I drink several sips. The alcohol is warm in my throat. “I thought we were doing yes and no questions?”
    “You changed the rules. So?”
    It seems lame not to have an answer. I scrunch up my face as I try to think of someone. “Um, Kurt’s friend. I mean, I don’t know

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