LACIE STEVENS

'I don't care what happens, I am totally going all the way with Steve tonight.'

'You've said the last three times, Meg, maybe he's not into it.'

'Not into it? He's a seventeen year old boy, there's nothing he's more into right now... that's not the problem... I just need to keep him focused on me.'

'I'm sorry, okay! Bricks is just so exhausting sometimes, & hey, it's not my fault he's only slightly more obsessed with me than with Steve. I can only distract him for so long.'

'You could probably find a way to distract him longer...'

'Ew, not even... I'll just have to, I don't know, pay attention to what he's saying or something...'

'Girlfriend of year right here, ladies & gentleman.'

I hate the sound of my laugh.

'Oh shut up, Meg. This is her house, up here on the corner... um, is that Woo & Jamaal doing keg stands on the lawn?'

'Yes! & look at all the lights, too! It's like Christmas & Studio 54 had a baby & that baby was thrown into a pile of glitter & exploded...'

'Yeah, I'd say that's about accurate... holy cow, Lacie... are they always like this?'

'If nothing else happens at this party, it is already so choice.'

If nothing actually happened that night, it might've been the highlight of my Junior year. There's still a moment or two of fun that I can remember, but mostly it's just a smear of color. Energy. The deep blue hues & the perfect pink plumes like smoke fractured by a thousand lights. It still feels so loud.

'Hey babe.’

'Hey Bricks, hey Ste—& they're making out already... lovely.'

'You know how they are babe. Anyway, can we talk? I feel really bad about getting on your case before & I know I should be what you need me to be & not get so caught up in my own emotions but babe, I promise—'

The energy.

Does no one else feel this? I am going to explode.

'Hold that thought — & that beer — just one second, okay? I've got a, um, serious headache & I need to see if Kacie's parents have any Advil or something, I'll be right back.'

I don't even remember kissing him before I walked away. I must've known I wasn't coming back...