Amy Braithwait can't divine from her tarots what's worse: her mother finding out she's an alcoholic or coming to terms with the news herself. She's stuck in a unrelenting cycle with her horrid boyfriend, and the only moment of release is the Greek boy next door. Nasty or nice, he might be Emma's route to freedom from a change of lifestyle even she can stomach.

I knew I was an alcoholic from the first sip.

I dried a mysterious splatter, whether my own or a stranger's, of liquid off my black dress and paused at the shared bathroom door. I shoved up my left wrist and eyed the five, precise scratches across my yellowish skin.

I winced, and pushed the door through into the alleyway of reds and blue carpet. My world blurred, and a voice inside me hissed a bitter congratulatory sound.

Lesley snatched my hand from the door.

"Amy! I'd wondered where you'd gone. Come in, my mum is about to cut the cake!"

I admired her enthusiasm, but I really didn't give a damn about chocolate covered in marzipan. Oh, Lesley, when will you learn?

The world fizzed in blurred silence again and I grinned, ignoring the deepening urge to curl into a ball at a name Lesley had been spiteful enough to say a mere half an hour ago. Me, and my cuts, weren't so sure of her innocence.

My eyes stung from used tears.

But now the chatter of applause meant I had no way to bad-mouth the maid of honour. At my table, I cursed to myself and nursed the red wine in my glass keeping me from adding more cuts to those five.

But she'd no sympathy for my pain and I'd pay.

I downed most of my glass and warmed. Not much more, from the pit of my stomach until I'd recovered, would I take.

That made me sigh: maybe my end would found me rather than vice versa. Maybe for the better.

The End

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