1. Rori

I thought he was dead. But I saw his left pinky twitch. He picked himself up from the floor like he was doing a push up. A trail of blood from the corner of his lips. Once he was on his feet he patted off the dust from his black clothes and carried on dancing with shiny red lips, like he had put on lip gloss or something. 

Once the alcohol infiltrates his mind it has him thinking that all girls just want to have sex.

He had groped on Mandisa’s cleavage. It took a shrill from the bitch for the hits and kicks from the guards to rain on him. 

My lips hold the flaming joint, I pull as long as my breath and lungs will allow. A burn in my chest as I cough out loud. The joint falls on my lap, small white ashes on my skirt. 

There’s a lazy laugh, coming from the left or the right. Near me on the left Lera is asleep, on the right side I see Shalla drinking from a green bottle, Heineken if I’m not mistaken. 

The way she holds up the bottle; she is pouring the liquor down her tongue. She’s not stopping for a moment to ease her throat from choking. But it eventually chokes as the forced liquor surges out of her mouth, the falling flow from the bottle splashes on her laughing face.

I hear another lazy laugh. Who is making that? I look around and all of a sudden, my neck is a snail’s. I catch my reflection on the nearby fridge and I see that girl laughing in that lazy tone. When I look around the room I don’t see her.

My stomach too feels like it’ll surge something out, caused by seeing Shalla soak her face with Heineken? Although I’ve seen her do some wild shit before.

I almost fall on my own face when I leave the couch. My ears aren’t blocked by anything, yet the music sounds muffled.

“Rori!” Someone calls for me. It must be Shalla, or Lera has woken up. Whatever it is surging up from my tummy has reached the base of my gullet.

I take slow steps, not because I want to, but because it’s the little I can do to move forward. 

My hand clasped on my mouth, the other hand holding on to something nearby to help me balance. As I continue my slow walk the hand holds on to the sleeve of this guy’s yellow shirt to avoid my fall. I open my mouth to say sorry or thanks, but I make a sthanks sound instead.

Something like raw cow milk shoots out past my lips. The last thing I need is to be known as a party pooper who vomited on everyone. Quicker steps will take me to the bathroom, but the dance floor I’m walking on really feels like jelly. The ground is about to turn upside down but then it tilts the other way around, again and again, left and right. My legs move around in a zigzag.

I get inside the dancing people. Here the song is the loudest. My hand on my mouth is getting wet; the vomit has arrived. I don’t even know where the rest room of this house is, for all I know it could be up there on the third story. There is one on the first floor I’m in however.

But it is too late. White vomit flies out to whoever’s dancing next to me. I don’t even know how or when I got to my knees. My mouth isn’t done. Cow milk-like puke sprays out on the dancing legs and the floor. It hurts. I just lie there, unable to raise my hands to block away these dancing feet from stepping on me. 

“Rori! Rorisang,” a faraway voice I don’t know who it belongs to. Who is Rorisang?

I’m being picked up. Or am I? Yeah, I’m being picked up, I think. My face falls on someone. 

I can’t tell whether my head is on his chest or shoulder; if he rubs his tongue on my face I wouldn’t tell. I’m on a thin line between unconsciousness and being awake. 

Everything is a blur. I only see smudged colors, not the actual imagery, and the music is nothing but a headache.

The nose is working perfectly, though. Some of my vomit is smeared above my upper lip but there is some other thing I’m smelling. A Play Girl deodorant. So Lera is the one who’s holding me. 

She carries me and drags me to the bathroom. It smells like cigarettes in here. I finish my vomiting inside the toilet. Lera stands behind me. I turn around to look up at her, with her arms crossed above her small tits. More puke comes out of me.

“Shit. You know what happens when you mix weeds with drinks. If Shalla or anyone else passes you a bottle or glass, you pass.” Her snarl behind me above my head.

And then I thought after we buried mom and dad, no one will tell me what to do.I’m fucking nineteen! I only say that in my head because vomit has taken up all the space in my mouth. My head is still in the toilet. Lera carries on with her bitchy rant but thank God I can’t hear her. Imagine being lectured in a party. I get lectured all my life; at school by holier than thou teachers, at home by aunt Joyce (sometimes), on the internet by strangers, and now at a party by Lera. I feel like I want to vomit on her face. 

She wraps her arms under my armpit from behind me, her hands on my shoulders. She pulls me back up once I rub my mouth with my wrists, the puke-fest is over.

I feel so dizzy, if it wasn’t for Lera I would’ve fallen to the floor. She flushes the toilet as if there’s a need for that. 

“Party’s over, come on,” she pulls me by the arm. 

“But the music is still plying. Lera. Let me go, Lera,” I try to yank my hand free from her grip. “Lera. No. You can’t do this,” I say, but she plays deaf to my pleading, her hold is glued around my wrist. To rev her up more would turn this thing from verbal to physical. 

And I’m scared of her, but I’ve never showed it. 

“I said party’s over. We going home. Come on,” she drags me harder this time. Minutes ago she held me like a baby now I’m just a thing she pulls carelessly. I silently curse Liyabo for inviting her. My vibe is officially killed, buried twelve feet deep. 

Her hand still holding mine, I dawdle back to the dance floor where it is now filled with a lot of people. Some sofas around have empty spots. The DJ, this fat kid who calls himself Blinx, has pumped up the music even louder. Lera’s mind about leaving never changes, she’s holding me tighter now, pulling me through the dancing and screaming people. 

We get past the spot I puked on. I wish for Lera to just collapse and faint, or someone to hit her in the head so a fight will break off so I can be set free. None of that happens. People are dancing while I’m being pulled away. She looks back at me to see if I won’t try to escape. I show her my meanest face as she drags me harder. “You hurting me,” I say. It’s either she doesn’t hear me or she’s ignoring me. 

We walk past Fresh who is now dancing with two girls. The beer in his left-hand spills out as he dances crazy. One of the girls twerks for him with her face down and tongue out. That’s Bianca.

Fresh sees us as we head for the exit. “You leaving already?’ He shouts. 

Lera raises a thumb up without looking at him. Me I do look at him, hoping he’ll see my sadness and pull me back to the fun. He doesn’t. They all just dance.