Ring Ring Ring
The abrupt sound of my phone ringing startled me awake. I sat up, reaching over to my nightstand and grabbed the vibrating phone. It was Alex. I pressed the green "answer" button and took a deep breath, still shaking the sleep out of myself.
I tapped on the receiving end of the phone a few times to signal to her I was there.
"Oh good, you're up!" she chirped, and I can't help but smile at the sound of her bubbly voice. Of course, she was already up; she'd been planning this for months.
I tapped the phone once, my signal for "yes".
"Well, Taylor is going to be here soon and then we're gonna head over to get you! I'm so excited, are you?" she jabbered with evident enthusiasm.
I tapped twice; the signal for "no".
I hear her grunt and I start to laugh. Or, I did what I considered laughing which was just a bunch of air escaping my lungs and the occasional wheeze or squeak would sneak out.
"Oh, Ash," she sighed happily. I ran my hand through my bed head and sucked in another deep breath.
"Okay, well, be ready! I'll see you soon! Bye!" she exclaimed, and I tapped the phone a few times to say "goodbye" back. I set my phone down and ran my hands over my face. It was going to be one wild weekend.
"Be careful, but have fun," my mom whispered in my ear as she hugged me before my departure. I gave her a tight squeeze and pulled back, giving her a nod. It wasn't the ideal plan for me to still be living with my parents after graduating from college and everything, but with my situation, it was for the best at the time. I gave her a wave, jogging over to the camper that'll be my home for the next few days. I hop in and see Alex and Taylor already have open beers in their hands. Alex gave me a devilish grin as I neared her. I bent down and give her a hug and she squeezed me tightly.
"This weekend is gonna fucking rock!" she exclaimed, slamming her beer and hollering. I shook my head watching her, but knew she deserved to have some stress-free time. I grabbed my phone out of my pocket and type out a quick message:
You're crazy! I'm gonna go sit up front with E.
"Whatever, loser!" she teased, sticking her tongue out playfully at me before bursting into laughter. I winked at her before climbing up into the passenger's seat next to Ethan. He gave me a slap on the back and a grin.
"Ready to get fucking crazy?" he smirked and I rolled my eyes playfully as a response. I gave him a thumbs up anyway as he revved the engine- making the girls squeal with excitement. As Ethan pulled out of my driveway, I began mentally preparing myself for what I was going to endure that weekend. Parties usually weren't my strongest event due to my lack of vocal communication, but I reminded myself that I would be attending concerts with my best friends and not having to worry about all the shit that made most of my days uncomfortable silent.
"You think Alex is gonna go full protective mama bear on your ass this weekend?" Ethan asked snarkily, but I could sense he was serious as well. I sighed and shrugged. As much as Alex had wanted me to go, she was also extremely worried about it as well; even if she said she wasn't. She had been my closest companion since kindergarten- always being my voice when I didn't have one. While my family and I were extremely grateful for Alex and the sacrifices she had made for me and my wellbeing, she could be, well, overbearing, at times.
"Just say the word, uh, or sign the word," Ethan said, awkwardly realizing his mistake as I laughed, resting my hand on his shoulder. "And we'll get her off you back."
When we arrived at the site, Ethan parked the camper and everyone eagerly got out to stretch their legs and let the sun warm their skin.
"When does the first concert start?" Taylor asked, stretching with a yawn. The girls had made the most of the few hour drive by taking a rest before they got "wrecked" for the night. Alex was scrolling through her phone, trying to answer Taylor's question while Ethan and I began to set up our site. We put lawn chairs out, some lights on the awning, and loaded coolers with the excessive amount of booze we had brought along.
"We've got two hours before the first concert, so are you guys ready to start drinking?" Taylor announced, walking over to where Ethan and I had settled ourselves into two of the lawn chairs with beers in our hands. In unison, we lifted our beers and she grinned, running off to go grab Alex.
"They're going to want to play some stupid game to get wasted, so buckle up, buttercup," Ethan grunted, finishing off his beer quickly. I started typing quickly:
Hey whatever this weekend is about having fun and not worrying about anything so let's just play their games, have a good time, and get drunk!
"Couldn't have said it better myself, brother!" Ethan exclaimed, lifting me out of the chair and cracking open a full fifth of vodka. He took a swig, wincing, and shaking it off with a quick, "Wow!" He handed it to me and I stared at it for a minute. I squeezed my eyes closed and tilted the bottle back. It didn't burn immediately, but as soon as I started to swallow, the burn erupted. I pulled the bottle from my lips, coughing slightly and seriously regretting my decision to drink straight vodka so early in the day. Ethan laughed, retrieving the bottle and slapping my back.
He took another swig, wincing less this time and grinning wildly as the girls filed out of the camper. I grabbed another beer and prepped for a long, drunken day. ns126.96.36.199da2