Don’t Forget to Drink to Forget Drinking, Hannah Baker

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Long ago there was a girl. Woman, sorry. She had only ever gotten so drunk that she vomited once. But what a night it had been.

One of her oldest friends, a vegetarian with incredible eyelashes, had taken her to an… Indian? No, Nepalese restaurant, where our protagonist had managed to make a fool of herself by asking for milk and sugar with her pot of chai despite the waiter’s hesitant protestations that it was not the traditional serving method.

After a mild beef curry (can you tell she’s white yet?) they had wandered onwards to a 90s themed party. Maybe it was someone’s birthday, maybe not. The beautiful vegetarian looked stunning in torn jeans, a crop top and a flannelette shirt. Our gormless protagonist wore excessive eyeliner, too-dark lipstick, and a vest covered in various badges. Were “pieces of flair” a 90s thing or an American thing or both? I don’t know and I don’t care enough to Google it. She didn’t either, but just committed to A Look.

First there were the ciders, three each of the cheapest brand they could find. Remember Three Kings, in the black bottles? Probably those. Then came some equally cheap rosé, and lastly several sticky cupfuls of extremely questionable punch ladled out of a huge plastic tub. There was dancing, and shouted conversations with strangers dressed as Spice Girls (boys, mainly, hilariously) and Pokémon, and a game that involved drinking whenever Sting sang the word “Roxanne” and spinning every time he mentioned a “red light.”

They didn’t stay the night. The vegetarian’s share house was a short walk from the party and the cool air and quiet were undoubtedly pleasant as they stumbled and giggled toward it.

They fell back onto the bed, fully clothed, staring blankly up at the world map blu-tacked to the wall. Let’s say it was one of those ones (from a popular quirky stationery retailer which will remain nameless) where you scratch the brown top layer off the countries you’ve visited, revealing a colourful under layer. The beautiful vegetarian had travelled a lot since high school and a fair few countries had been scratched out, leaving green and orange and purple smudges all over the poster. Our omnivorous protagonist felt vaguely envious.

Then she rolled onto her side and calmly regurgitated beef and rosé onto the pillow.

In the stumble to the ensuite she managed to get vomit on her white t-shirt as well, and remember previous parties where the beautiful vegetarian’s ex-boyfriend had also been this drunk and how kind she had been; to hold his sun-bleached hair out of the way as he slumped over the toilet bowl, and generally to look after such a dropkick for so long.

She came back to her friend remaking the bed, and probably making them both tea.

The moral (sort of): Become a vegetarian? Count your drinks. Apologise, but not as profusely as you may want to. Third person can be the plausible deniability you need in a confession.

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