I’m not really a party person, yet here I was, standing in the middle of a loud room full of teenagers. I guess the movies weren’t too far off from a typical high school party. I had gone with my sister who had dragged me with her so that she wouldn’t have to be alone. Prom was coming up soon so she wanted to meet more guys who might take her. I felt horribly out of place in a party like this. Everyone was drinking. I don’t drink. Ever.
And that’s when it happened. A cute boy came strolling up to me with two red solo cups. He offered me one with a smile.
“Sorry, I don’t drink.” I waved away the cup.
“Oh, neither do I. I managed to find some soda in the back,” the boy said as he motioned to the kitchen behind him. Cautiously, I took the cup and took a small sip. I immediately spit it out.
“Come on, just one sip. For me?”
“It’ll make you feel good. Give you a little buzz.”
“Well maybe I don’t want a buzz.” I turned and started to walk away, but the boy grabbed my arm. Hard. He pulled me back to him and one of his friends came out of the shadows to grab my other arm.
They pinned me down to the table and started pouring the liquid into my mouth, choking me out. Everyone around me was laughing like it was all some big joke. They plugged my nose so there would be no other way to breathe except to swallow the beer.
“Come on. Just one gulp and we’ll let you go.”
“It's just beer.”
I closed my mouth and pushed out all the fluid. I tried to gasp for air but before I could they wretched back open my mouth and started draining it in again. My chest was aching for air. Without another option, I inhaled. The alcohol flooded my lungs and it burned horribly. They thought I had swallowed it and stepped away from me.
“There you go. That's no so bad is it?”
I was gasping for air, but my brain wouldn't let me breathe in all the way. It also wouldn't let me breathe out all the way. My body wanted to hold on to any oxygen it had, but it also wanted to eject the liquid from my lungs. I needed to fight my instincts. I needed to breathe out all the way to push the fluids out. People around me were finally realizing that I wasn't alright.
“She can't breathe! We need to call 911”
“We can't. We’ll get in trouble. This is illegal.”
“We can't just let her die.”
Fighting my own mind, I struggled to breathe out. I rolled onto my side to try to help the alcohol come out. A little bit came out but then I had to give in and inhale again. I started coughing wildly which got some more liquid out but hurt my lungs even more. I felt like I was drowning. I wasn't getting nearly enough oxygen, I was going to die. Then my sister came over to me.
“What are you guys doing? Call an ambulance!”
“You can't! We’ll all get in trouble!”
Then she walked away a little bit and pulled out her phone. She dialed and started calling the police.
“Hey, give me that phone!”
“No! Hello, it's my sister… she can't breathe.”
“Give me the damn phone.”
Then she walked away into the other room and I couldn't hear her anymore. I was drunk. My vision got blurry and my mind went into a haze. I couldn't remember what I was doing. How was I supposed to get the beer out of my lungs? I coughed again and more came out, but there was still some fluid rattling around in my lungs. I felt like I was going to pass out. My eyes started to close, but I forced them open. My lungs felt like they were on fire. I coughed once more but this time nothing came out, it just continued to rattle around. Then my eyes finally closed. All I heard was the scream of sirens as they approached.