7 Minutes, 7 Lives – Part 3

The second spin is dangerously close to stopping at you; the slower it gets, the faster my heart goes. I don’t dare look up, eyes fixed on the bottle. It decides to spin just a bit more, halting at the space where Sweaty sat. 

He yells from the kitchen, “Who’s it?”

Great. Just great!

I fucking have to walk into that sweaty closet with fucking Sweaty himself. I dislike you with the same intensity as I swooned at the tracks that day. Look at me. I am a runner. I am good at everything; at smiling like sunshine, running my hand through my hair, and cockblocking myself. That’s alright, I guess. I was getting ahead of myself anyway. Random run-ins at parties don’t turn into full-blown relationships or even a date. We are high schoolers in India; the most it can lead to is being social media acquaintances. If you think about it, even this party is kind of unbelievable. This doesn’t happen usually. In this town, we don’t have house party. We gather in groups, head to the mall, watch a film and eat at Mcdonald in the name of ‘chilling’. Remember when Sweaty asked us if we’ll be staying till late? It meant till 7ish. His parents may be out of town, ours are still here. The drinks we are pretending are intoxicating us are 60ml vodka mixed in 2l coca-cola. That’s how much Sweaty could risk pouring out of his dad’s vodka. It might have traces of whiskey or rum, what do I know? I can’t tell…I am as inexperienced a drinker as the next person here, but I wonder, this is so close to a real party; what would it be like if it were one?

I, for sure, would be one of those who get dancy as they get drunk. There’s hardly any alcohol in my blood, and I already feel like swaying to this song I don’t even recognize. Sweaty will be good old Sweaty, the guy has the same personality for all occasions. No complaints, it’s a good personality. He’d probably be the one to pat on the back as one of us vomits. The couple would be making out here instead of the closet they just were in, and you, I can already see you giggle a lot more than others around, you’d be the happy drunk. It’s always fun to have a happy drunk in the group, I know this from the movies (I am a serial Romedy Now watcher if you must know), so I know this from the movies like everything else about house parties. The happy drunks walk a bit wobbly, not sure if it’s the alcohol or the happiness, it brings them. They sit a bit close to you. It’s kind of nice if you’re comfortable with it. They spill the beans, talk a bit loud and laugh a little extra. I won’t deny how cute you’d look doing all that annoying bullshit and not to forget how embarrassed you’d be the next day. 

If this were one of those ‘red cups’ house parties, it’d be starting at 7ish, around that time this one will end. You have to admit the pre-sunset when it’s still sunny but not really, and the weird ‘looks cool but is hot’ time of the day is the worst time to be making out. There are no feels to this time of the day, no wait, there are, they are this time is not good for anything feels. No wonder my mom sleeps it off. I just realized I have strong feelings about it. If this goes well, for it to get better, you better feel as strongly about 4-6 p.m. I am rambling, I know, let’s get back to the game. Wait no, I don’t want to get back to it.

“Oh, it’s me”, Sweaty says as he comes back with a bottle of coke. Is it disappointment I sense? And is it excitement I feel at his disappointment? Oh…Sweaty was hoping to be paired with someone else! There are 9 of us in this circle, it can’t be the couple…I know Sweaty isn’t a fan of either of them, it isn’t me, we know that now. That leaves us with five people; you: the runner, our other friend, her uninvited cousin, Sweaty’s friend from her colony, and our classmate. Oh, this will be fun. It’ll also keep me from looking at you, we’re still in that ‘who’s looking’ game, and it’s getting weird. 

“Yeah, it’s you, but you weren’t here…so does it count?”, you finally speak up, to Sweaty but the group indirectly. Why do I feel you know who Sweaty really wants to pair with. You both have been chatting up all this time we have been here, I bet you know who it is. It’s kind of nice of you, looking out for Sweaty. Did I just smile at you? Oh, you’re smiling back…cute, we’re so cute. 

Speaking of cute, thin is the line between cute and creepy, no? Setting up this whole game is cute if the person Sweaty wants to pair with is on the same page, it’s creepy if not. Similarly, this monologue is kinda cute if there’s a similar one in your head, or else it’s plain Joe Goldberg, and that is nothing but creepy. 

The uninvited cousin just suggested I go alone then and smirked at ‘alone’. What a creep, see, this is what I mean…such a thin line! The couple nods in agreement, Sweaty is about to say something, but before he does you say;

“C’mon, that wouldn’t be fair.”

Are you playing your own wingman too?

Hello, everyone! If you liked this Short Story, do check out the related posts. Comment and like if you would like to read more similar works from the author. And don’t forget to share this on your social media channels.

Prakhar Patidar is a 22-year-old post-grad from Christ University trying to make it into the professional world of stories and wrap her head around that with each passing day, the world seems more like something right out of the dystopian novels she loves to read.

Her tantrums as a kid were more often than not met with stories her mom cooked up to deal with them. That’s where she feels it all began. When she asked for a candy every night before bed, she got jaggery instead with a story of this mouse that bought it every night. One could only have a small piece, or else the mouse would run away. When she demanded to be told five stories every night before bed, her mom complied and made up stories, at least, till she hit writer’s-block. Then a tantrum for five new stories meant widened eyes and “You listen to one story and go to bed, or you sleep outside the house.”

This fascination with and love for stories has shaped all her major academic and professional choices. She is currently exploring different genres and forms with her creative writing by using “call for submissions” on various platforms as a prompt. Her most recent publications include: Rubatosis, a short story selected for WriteFluence’s anthology; Out Of My Box (2021) and Shahar (2021); an anthology she compiled for Verses Kindler Publications. You can find more of her work at I Did This With Words. [https://lookwhatididwithwords.wordpress.com/]

Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/prakhar_islatetotheparty/

Email- prakharpatidar19@gmail.com

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