‘I want to suck on your toes’ were the words that haunted me the most in 2005. The first time I got drunk, I drank half a bottle of vodka (Mmm, it tastes like water and I can’t feel a thing yet!) with my two other sixteen-year-old nerd-friends — we decided that tonight was the night that we were going to get drunk for the first time; years after our contemporaries had started drinking.
Well done on bleaching your own hair and nice pout and oh my god, why did you drink all that vodka?
One bottle of vodka later and I had my Nokia 3310 in my hand, messaging every single person in my phonebook. Most of whom I was going to see Monday at school. ‘I want to suck on your toes’ was the main text. I don’t know why. I don’t even have a foot fetish. I don’t think I’ve ever sucked on any toes, nor do I think I particularly want to.
Two days passed and it was Monday. From 8 o’clock in the morning till 1pm, I was certain that I had got away with it. No one mentioned any texts. The school seemed to be in its normal Monday dormant state. I imagined the future. It would soon be Tuesday, then Wednesday, then March, then 2018 and no one ever had to mention those horrible, awkward, embarrassing drunk texts ever again.
Then a guy — from across the classroom — suddenly lifted his head. He looked like a dog that heard its leash being taken off the hook. He perked up and turned his head to look at me. I closed my eyes.
‘Hey Sofie, you texted me on Friday-’ and the whole classroom turned into a barrage of shouting, as every single person was suddenly reminded of that late-night (9pm) text they got on Friday night. People were laughing and comparing texts. Ahmed, the boy I had had a crush on since I was ten, loudly said, ‘You wanted to suck on my toes?’ and a few others declared that I had said the same thing to them. I was the class toe-slut.
This is why I threw the party a few days later. It was clear to everyone that I had started drinking, despite years of having claimed that I don’t need alcohol to have fun. I thought the only way to embrace the awkward and embarrassing messages were to reclaim them — and have a big party.
Vodka tastes worse the second time you drink it, I learned. I managed to get through it and I stumbled around the room, drunk. My mum had rented a communal space in our council estate for the night as she was not about to let thirty teenagers into her tiny flat. I had a great time. I had my eye on Lukas. He was new to the school and I fell in love with him immediately. He had an Eastern European accent and the most beautiful blue (or brown) eyes. Rumour had it that Lukas had already had sex. He once told me about a threesome he almost had with a girl and his best friend. This terrified me — at this point, I hadn’t even kissed anyone. I hoped that he would kiss me at this party. I felt like the fact that I had started drinking should have a Sandy in Grease-like effect where I had finally changed enough for Lukas to deem me cool enough to kiss him.
As I was eyeing up Lukas, Don approached me. I had never spoken to Don, he attended different classes than me and didn’t really speak much. He asked me if I wanted to help him get more beers from the janitor’s closet. And of course I did. I wobbled after him.
I didn’t even notice that he closed the door behind me when I was looking at all of the beer cans on the shelf. And then his tongue filled my mouth. Oh. Okay. I guess this is happening. My first kiss. It’s… wet. Is it meant to be this wet? Why am I so surprised that tongues are soft? Did I expect them to be hard? They’re tongues! I literally have one in my own mouth. Do I move my tongue? Oh, no, that felt weird. Should we not be touching each other as well? Is it weird that just our mouths are touching? Maybe I should just put my hand on his shoulder? Oh, no, that felt weird too. Why do people like kissing so much? It’s just very wet.
We ended up on the floor, kissing aggressively. I heard Don open his trousers and before I could comprehend what that meant, I heard someone knock on the door. I saw the door handle push down and I flew — I flew — towards it and held it shut.
‘Is Don in there?’ Lukas asked from outside the door.
I opened the door a tiny bit, a fraction, and looked up at Lukas.
‘OH HI LUKAS.’ I exclaimed. He wrinkled his forehead,
‘Why are you on your knees?’ he asked.
‘NO REASON.’ I squealed.
‘Is Don in there?’ he tried to look past me. I quickly pulled myself up to cover the entire view,
‘Nope. Let’s go and drink more.’ I said, my cheeks burning. Lukas could simply never find out that I had kissed Don. I joined Lukas outside the door and closed it behind me.
‘Are you sure Don isn’t in there?’ he asked again. I grabbed my keys.
‘If he was, would I lock this door?’ I said, laughing maniacally, whilst locking it. I joined Lukas in a drinking game and forgot all about Don.
Till next morning. I say morning. I should probably say midday. A good twenty-four hours later.
My friend, whom I bribed to go and let him out, said that he had been asleep for the twelve hours he had been locked up and that he didn’t even notice. I was so relieved. Maybe he didn’t remember the kiss either. Maybe everything was just great.
A few days later, I got a text from Don. It said, ‘I don’t remember what happened. Did we kiss?’
I felt bad for locking him in a closet for twelve hours so I answered, ‘Yes, we did.’
He texted back, ‘Was I a good kisser?’
I texted, ‘I have nothing to compare it to.’
A few days after that, Lukas told me that he had hung out with Don. And that whilst Don was in the toilet, he had taken his phone and texted me from it. And my cheeks started burning again and I missed the simpler times of just telling people that I wanted to suck on their toes.
Don is now in the military. I take no responsibility.
I have changed the names to protect the innocent.