2.3 You’re a Natural



I hesitated for a second before following the others to the door. I’d never been to a bar before, and apparently Zack’s brother worked at one of the shadiest, dirtiest bars in town. I’d never even been to this area of town, and mom and dad wouldn’t be too thrilled if they knew I was here. Of course, I’d told them I was having a movie night with some friends. They were so happy, I almost felt bad for lying to them. “You see, Enz, we’ve always told you you’d find friends who appreciate you the way you are.” If only you knew, Dad…



“Come on, don’t be a pussy, let’s go in.”

Zack gave me a punch on the shoulder. “What are you waiting for? Are you scared?”

“No,” I said stubbornly. “Have you ever even gotten drunk before?” he asked mockingly. “Of course I have.” I hadn’t. My parents had let me have a sip of beer on our holiday to Windenburg, but that was it. But I wasn’t about to tell Zack that.

“Sure.” He didn’t believe me anyway. “Let’s go in, then.”



I sat at the bar, nervously. I had no idea what to order. I didn’t even know what the other guys were drinking, I just knew it wasn’t beer or wine.

“How are you doing?”

Helen, Zack’s girlfriend, sat down on the bar stool next to me. She was probably the nicest one of the group. I couldn’t really understand why she was together with Zack. “Yeah, fine,” I said, not very convincingly. She gave me a smile. “Order me a Wrench. Neat. And get one for yourself as well.”

I nodded, thankful, and waved at the barman.



The bartender rolled her eyes at me and didn’t even bother asking for ID. She knew I was too young to be drinking, but she probably didn’t care.

While she was preparing my drink, I took a look around. Everyone in the bar was a lot older than me, even Helen, who was the youngest after me, was Allie’s age. There were mostly smelly guys with angry looks on their faces and huge muscles. I didn’t quite fit in.



The bartender pushed my drink towards me. I felt Zack’s gaze from across the bar, so I picked up my glass and took a big gulp. The alcohol burned my throat, and it took all of the power I had not to cough or gag. But I swallowed it and saw Zack nod approvingly. Passed the first test, I thought.

“You’re a natural,” joked Helen next to me. Although she didn’t seem quite as impressed as Zack did.



After the first drink, I quickly felt my head start spinning. But it was a good feeling. I felt light, free, and not as intimidated by Zack and his friends.



And so the night went on, with more drinks than I could keep track of.



It was about five in the morning when I stumbled into the bushes outside the bar to vomit. Embarrassed, I looked around, expecting to see somebody laughing at me, but everyone had already left. I would have to find my way home alone.


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