in Fiction, Short Fiction

Chivalry

Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

The spinning room stumbled around me as I climbed the stairs up to where someone very drunkenly had told me the bathroom was. I had even more drunkenly thanked him. For saving my life. No exaggeration. Despite my solemn promise to myself before I entered this party, I was very drunk. Nearly puking drunk. Rushing to the bathroom to puke drunk. And I would puke there and feel so light and happy, if only the room would stop spinning. Climbing stairs is hard work.

I almost tripped on the last step as I made my way on to the landing of the first floor. The music here was different. Below it was also dance music but mellow in a way. Up here, it was deafening, booming. The beats vibrated off of the furniture and penetrated your body, thumping against your kidneys making you want to pee more. And against your stomach making you want to puke more. Where was that bathroom? I spun around trying to figure out where I should be headed.

A group of people, huddled around a table tennis table caught my eye. “Chug! Chug! Chug!” they were chanting. My people. Well, in an earlier life maybe. Right now, my nemesis. I looked closer at who was chugging, though. And no one was. The people were all shouting at a girl to chug, chug, chug — but she wasn’t chugging. Instead she was just standing there looking cute and uncomfortable. Super cute, I noticed, even in my drunk stupor. And super smart, obviously, because she didn’t want to chug, chug, chug the eight different kinds of alcohol I could see in front of her.

My head throbbed. The room was still spinning. I still felt pukish but a slight warm had lit up behind my heart. And though the room still spun, it seemed to be spinning around the cute girl now, nudging me, slyly. Obviously, my brain was trying to tell me, the super cute girl needs rescuing. Go be chivalrous, it said to me.

I walked over to the chug, chug, chug chanting crowd, put my hand on the cute girl and said, “You owe me. A walk to the bathroom.” And I picked up two of the eight glasses, one in each of my hand, and screamed, “For Valhalla!” The crowd screamed and cheered with me, and I downed all the alcohol there. I was drunk anyway. I was going to puke anyway. This wasn’t going to affect me that much — I had reasoned. Boy, was I wrong. Reasoning, apparently, is not my strong suit when I’m drunk.

I felt the puke rise within me and I ran to the bathroom. Surprisingly, the cute girl did follow me. And I puked into the toilet, sitting next to it, exhausted, pungent in the mouth and between the gasps I looked at the cute girl sitting now on the bathtub and managed to croak a “Hi!”, some mumbling and a very drunken, “Don’t leave me!”

It’s been ten years and she hasn’t still.

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