I'm sixteen. The girl is lying next to me on the bed, trying to muffle her giggling as not to wake my sleeping parents. She is clutching a bottle of vodka, one too big for her small hands, one stolen from her father's liqour cabinet. Angel unscrews the top and puts it to her lips. The alcohol burns her throat and she coughs hard. I tell her to shush with a smile on my face and take the bottle from her. It burns more than I thought it would and I cough too, louder than she did. She giggles again and shushs me, a smile on her face.
After a few more tenative sips, she puts the bottle aside and climbs on top of me. She kisses me for the first time, hard, pushing her tongue into my mouth. The adrenaline from what we're doing, the buzz from the vodka, and the feelings I have for her all blend into one warm sensation. I kiss her back, as hard as I can. It's the best moment of my life.
I'm seventeen. I'm sitting with her father in their living room. He looks at me with empty eyes and offers me whiskey. The alcohol burns, but it's not a problem anymore. We sit in silence, both thinking about what has happened. Then his glass slips out of his hand and hits the carpet, splashing brown liquid all over the white fabric. He doesn't seem to notice. Her mother stands outside, on the front porch, working on her third cigarette. I never knew she smoked.
I'm twenty-seven. A girl is sitting next to me on the couch, laughing loudly. She is on her second drink, and I am on my fourth. She sips it, and begins to tell me about her day. I can barely hear her, but as long as I keep smiling and nodding she won't notice. While Jess tells me about her new short film, I think about Angel for the first time in the past ten years.
After finishing her story, she sets her drink down and climbs on top of me, in front of everyone. She kisses me for the last time, hard, pushing her tongue into my mouth. I feel nothing, but I kiss her back. It's the worst moment of my life.
So much can change in so little time.