We were five drinks in. Vera was laughing giddily, and raising her finger at the bartender.
Another glass. I picked it up solemnly and downed it, feeling the fiery liquid burn down my throat.
Her cronies were whooping and cheering for her, but I turned and fixed them with an icy glare and they piped down.
Morrison hesitated, her hand lingering by her drink, but she quickly picked it up and hurled it back.
My spirits sank just as they had started to rise, and I groaned loudly in my head. This was never going to end. I would end up puking everywhere because of my pigheadedness and Vera would just keep knocking them back.
I kept asking for more ice. Nobody was really paying attention to it, but I knew that it would mean I got smaller portions. Hopefully my scientific knowledge would give me an edge over this...redhead bimbo.
I remembered with a pang the fact that I was a couple years out of highschool, and how I'd had to work three jobs and go on welfare to even make it this far.
My eyes stung and I looked at Vera as she ordered another round, laughing and smiling and leaning on the counter dramatically. She could probably buy herself a thousand degrees, and I wouldn't ever have anything more than a diploma.
No. This was it. Swan Lake was mine. I was going to win. I had to win.
There was only so much that my substandard troupe salary could pay for. I wasn't where I was before, but I was still spreading it thin.
Anger flared up, red-hot and raw, and I let the next drink soothe it.
Vera was touching her head and moaning.
I was close. I knew it.
She reached slowly for her drink, but she stopped and pulled a phone from her purse.
"What do you want, Simon? No, I don't give a fuck. I did? Just tell them I'm sick! Oh, for crying out loud!"
Vera hung up, growling.
"I'm sorry, Kat...nernina," she seethed, "But my manager's being an asshole. Put it on my tab."
Morrison got up and stumbled away with her entourage, muttering something about 'poor white trash'.
"You want anything?"
I turned, surprised to see the bartender talking to me.
"Whenever you stop by, my treat."
Someone placed an order and she hurried away, giving me a smile.
Wow, I did not see that one coming.
I stood, promptly feeling my determination rush out of me like air out of a popped balloon. My legs managed to carry me to the doors I'd first spotted, and I pushed through only to realize they were bathrooms.
Bea and Alain were busy making out, so I turned and quickly left before they noticed me.
Somehow I managed to stumble back to the front exit unharmed, finally emerging into the cool night air and breathing it in. The music was pounding in my head, and I clutched my ears as I stumbled on.
It didn't really occur to me that I was rip-roaring drunk, or that I'd stepped out onto the road. I just tottered on, feeling as if my body was much too heavy for my legs. Lights were flashing in my vision.
I commanded my legs to walk on, but I could swear I was floating.
The screeching of tires invaded my senses and I winced, just before I felt something push me, and my body hit the ground.
I blinked bearily to see the bumper of a sleek grey car before pain exploded in my chest and my world grew black.