The stench was atrocious, stale booze, cigarettes and sweat wafted from Ainé as she sat in her Monday morning study class. Bleary eyed and just about awake, she sprawled out at her desk trying not to throw up, she was fairly sure she had mild alcohol poisoning. As was tradition she had spent Sunday night with her best friend Kelly drinking vodka, watching movies and having the craic. First thing Monday she always had unsupervised study so the two friends would take extreme advantage of that on Sunday knowing that they would not need to be fully alert until late morning. However she had never been this bad, and for good reason. Today Ainé was getting her mock results. These were important exams on the run up to the leaving cert to evaluate where students needed to improve, so these results would show where she was struggling and would need to focus on.
As she broke out in a cold sweat as the alcohol tried to leave her system she took off her dark green school blazer and dumped it on the floor beside her. Her normally straight blond hair with pink highlights were a greasy tangled mess across her face as she drooled on her desk. Her slight frame hunched over her desk she was close to sleep.
With her eyes closed she heard someone calling her name, she groggily opened her eyes and saw Des, one of the boys in her class trying to speak to her. She couldn’t make out what he was saying so she just babbled nonsense at him till he stopped talking. Normally she would have been happy to speak with Des, he was a pretty cool kid, he was into weird stuff but he had a very dead pan sense of humor which Áine loved. However right now she just wanted to die in piece. Des soon picked up on this and let her be and she soon nodded off.
Next thing Áine knew the bell rang signaling the end of class and the beginning of the next class. Ainé jerked up and was starting to feel a little bit better, she had slepped her way through the class which she greatly needed. She reached down to pick up her blazer and felt a little bit of spew on the up, however she managed to keep it down. She tucked her white, creased shirt into her green kilt, grabbing her back pack she made for the door. She was meant to go to a double maths class but considering she was due to get her mock results this morning she made her way to the sixth year rec room. On her way through the corridor she saw the bubbly form of Kelly bouncing through the halls on the way towards her. Her pale complexion, black hair tied up in pig tails and thin body brought a smile to Áine’s face, she was a beacon of happiness regardless what might be going on inside. As Kelly reached Áine they embraced intimately then turned to continue their journey. Kelly resting her head on Áine’s shoulder as they walked.
“Hey how’s it going,” said Áine as she rested her head on top of Kelly’s head closing her eyes enjoying the contact from her sister in arms.
Kelly took a moment to respond and linked arms with Áine “Bleh not too good, I am dying today.”
Áine happy with her new entwined arm “Yeah me too. I just wanna go home,” a slight winge creeping into her voice.
Kelly made her way to a bench, taking a seat “grand, here sit beside me will ya”
“Clingy much?” Áine replied, looking down at her friend and couldn’t help but smile. Even though she was joking around the idea of Kelly being overtly clingy towards her made Áine glow slightly
“Clingy like your butt” Kelly lazily replied as she gently tugged Áine’s hand encouraging her to sit down.
Áine chuckled and replied deadpan “well my butt does stick to everything” as she took a seat next to Kelly who promptly returned her head to Áine’s shoulder “anyway will we split?”
“I’m up for that,” said Kelly as she started to rub circles in Áine’s hand.
A cheeky smile slipped across Áine’s face as she wrapped her arm around her comrade “Will we?”
“You tell me,” said Kelly as she snuggled into Áine’s chest, now that she was engulfed in half of Áine’s embrace, giving away how rough Kelly was actually feeling. They were both very touchy feely with each other, but Áine knew well enough that when Kelly wanted proper snuggles she was in a bad way.
“What do you mean?” a confused Áine asked peering down at the top of Kelly’s head, wondering where the sudden change in tune had come from.
Kelly looked up at her best friend and innocently said “all I have been hearing from ya is how ya want your mocks results”.
Realizing that Kelly was just teasing Áine smiled “shut up you” laughing at her friends remark.
A sarcastic “Ha” was all that Kelly could muster in response.
Áine rolled her eyes “anyway lets at least bunk off in the rec room till we get our results”
“Sounds like a plan,” sighed Kelly as she got up of the bench, making sure to grab Áine’s hand and almost dragged her the rest of the way there.
The 6th year rec room was a throw back to when the secondary school was a boarding school, however in recent years the school had since stopped accepting boarders. The walls were painted a horrid shade of green and the floor was thick old wood. There were a couple of old, worn couches and arm chairs scattered around the room with a ping pong table in the centre. There was a counter top to the side with tea and coffee making facilities, a sink and a fridge that was used for milk, or any brave student who trusted their lunch to it. One side of the rec room had a huge window that looked out onto a wooded area behind the school.
The girls headed to the counter top and proceeded to make some tea.
“Oh man I’m nervous about the results” Áine started as she grabbed two mugs from a cupboard above the sink, placing them on the counter.
Kelly looked at Áine with a smirk “Yeah I know. You won’t shut up about it” she replied dryly as she filled the kettle and set it to boil.
“That’s cos my da will kill me” Áine said nonchalantly as she fished out two tea bags and popped them in the awaiting mugs.
Kelly was routing around in the fridge looking for some milk which was still in date “What Charlie? Nah he is a puppy dog, you will be fine” she dismissed.
“I will in me hole” said Áine as she added sugar to both.
“Seriously you are mad,has he even thumped you one” Kelly asked quizzically as if parents smacking kids about was common place, where in reality she was a very spoiled child as her father was constantly away on “business” with his secretary, to which her mother would constantly look the other way to make up for an absentee father. Her father, out of guilt, would spend lavishly on Kelly bringing her home exotic presents, setting a ludicrous allowance and the cous de gras a credit card which no questions were never asked of.
Áine looked at Kelly with a side smirk on her face “Not a chance, but he smacks Liam about” she said quickly.
“Ah feck off they both knock the shite out of each other. It’s lad stuff” Kelly knowing full well that the two got very hyper active around each other and frequently got into horse play with each other.
“Yeah when you are around,” Áine started but then trailed off as she didn’t really want to get into a discussion about her home life “gets tense at home” while, like most parents, there was no physical abuse at home there were times when screaming happened and her parents would fight like cats and dogs. It had been getting to Áine a lot recently and she wasn’t too sure on how to deal with it and really didn’t want to speak up about it yet.
“Come on,” Kelly started staring directly at Áine, who could not meet her peering gaze “no really come on are you actually worried about your da”. Kelly was starting to see something was up with Áine, something that she wasn’t telling her about.
“Well no” said Áine sheepishly.
Kelly needed to know what was up with her BFF “Go on why are you worries?” She asked openly as the kettle boiled.
“Seriously” Áine shot in defense as she still did not want to open up.
This somewhat startled Kelly, seeing her friend defensive towards her “Yeah come on” she said as she started pouring the boiling water into the two mugs.
“No don’t act like I’m weird for stressing, everyone is stressing.” Áine said quickly, with a pang of anger to her voice, not that she was angry, she was trying to deflect deeper questioning on her home life.
Kelly hander her the mug of tea “But it’s not like it’s the cert”
Áine took the mug and after a brief pause replied “Yeah but this shows how much of a balls up I would make of the actual exams”
Kelly stirred her tea and could see that her friend was definitely stressing out so tried to lighten the mood “Fuck that, I’ll worry about that in the summer”
“Nah you won’t Kelly you still won’t give a shit” Áine replied happily as she knew what Kelly was doing and knew she had her believing it was just the exams that had her stressing out. She finished stirring her tea left it to brew as Kelly did the same.
“Damn straight.” Kelly laughed “I have no idea what I want to do so fuck it not going to worry till I know”
“Ah here” Áine baited, throwing the attention on Kelly and her laisse faire attitude to the rest of her life.
“What?” Kelly half asked knowing where this was going, they had this same discussion since fifth year.
“So what if over the summer you figure shit out and want to go to college but you need a fuck load of points” said Áine as she dumped the tea bag out of her mug into a bin under the sink.
“Yeah that ain’t going to happen” Kelly said knowing she hadn’t a clue on what she wanted to do but knowing she was young and not to stress about the unknown until it had become known.
“Well say it does” Áine said pushing her friend for answers
“Then I’ll just resit the exams and give a shit” Kelly said as she shrugged and tossed her tea bag in the bin.
“Ah yeah fuck ya I forgot your mammy and daddy are loaded” Áine said smiling as she took a gulp of tea.
“Shut up you” Kelly said laughing not minding being teased
“Here lets have our tea over on the couch” Áine Said as she headed to a couch, Kelly behind her tea in hand.
Áine sat and rested her mug on the arm of the couch. Kelly plopped down on the couch beside her and popped her tea on the ground next to the couch so she could rest her head in Áine’s lap and stretch out. Áine looked down at her friend and smiled as Kelly looked up at her with a cheeky grin.
“Your fucking adorable” Áine said as she brushed Kelly’s hair from her face to one side.
“Don’t I know, and good thing too because your lap is the only cure to this hang over” Kelly laughed as she closed her eyes enjoying the intimacy.
“ You know even if you were a minger I would let you use my lap” Áine teased as she took a sip of tea
“Ah fuck off” Kelly replied as she started to get dozy.
Áine took out her phone to check the time but noticed she had a few whatsapp messages, from her mam, da and brother Liam. She quickly checked them thinking something horrible had happened, but they were just wishing her good luck with the results. This made her smile but also stressed her out as it was a reminder that she would have to rip the band aid off in about half an hour she noticed as she checked the time. At least it was still a little bit away. She put her phone away and relaxed on the couch, stroking Kelly’s cheek.
Áine wasn’t sure how she felt about Kelly, she was the most important person in the world to her but she wasn’t sure if she was interested in her romantically. She knew that they were closer than friends should be and on occasion had made out, granted lots of booze had always been involved. She had never kissed Kelly while sober. She thought she was straight as she had had a few boyfriends in the past and they were fun and all, but none of them could compare in anyway to the bond she had with Kelly. She had thought what it would be like to kiss Kelly while sober and that had excited her, and was even exciting her now as she contemplated it. It was nice to think about, it also got her mind off of the impending doom of her results.
Áine sighed and closed her eyes and just enjoyed the intimacy of having Kelly’s head in her lap.