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Morning After the Drink-o-Rama

It was the morning after when Dawn realized she was in the wrong house. Her friend, Rachel, celebrated her birthday party with a drink-o-rama at their house without the full consent of her parents. Of course, the parents knew that she would have a couple friends over to have a little dinner with some of her friend’s home cooked meal. Little that they know that along with the small dinner was bags of chips and boxes of beer. They were all legal during the party last night. That is, of course, the last thing they can remember before the effects of alcohol started to kick in.

But when all the grease from all the chips, mixed with all the fizz and sugar from the beer, the party became a blast of color, sounds and odors. Dawn wrinkled the bridge of her nose at the thought. She decided that she did not want to remember what caused those smells . When she opened her eyes, she was greeted by the bright rays of noon emanating from the windows left uncovered by the curtains. She sighed heavily. They were lucky that her friend’s parents were away for a long trip. It could take them most of the day just taking all the garbage out.

Perhaps half of another to clean the house, remove the stains, and spray a generous amount of air freshener. That way, when her friend’s parents return, the house would smell cleaner than when they had left it. She squeezed her eyes shut for a while to take away the sleep in them. When she opened them, she tried to study the ceiling above her to remember which part of the house did she fall asleep during the wee hours of the morning, just when the party was ending. The last that she could remember was going up the stairs to retrieve something she could barely remember.

But when she saw the huge bean bag at the corner of the room, she felt the urge to sit on it so that the world would stop spinning for a while. When she tried to move, she was able to confirm that she did fall asleep on the bean bag. Her back felt awful and her neck developed some knots she’d later regret. She tried stretching, but her muscles were not ready for that activity just yet. She tried standing then. But when the world spun, she fell back down on the bean bag. She had to take another deep breath before her next attempt. It took her three times to finally be stable on her feet.

Her legs still felt wobbly beneath her but she was determined enough to walk out the door. She’ll retrieve the can of beer she dropped last night when most her friend was also up and about. Right now, her objective is to get down the stairs without falling on her face or breaking her already sore neck. That first step to the door was definitely the steps of all steps, she thought. The world danced and threatened to give way beneath her. But she knew she could only be imagining things so she walked anyway. Step by step, she approached the door.

She almost hit her head on its frame, but luckily she was walking in a slow manner to have caused damage. It still stung anyway. Just to the left of the door was the first step down the stairs. There were only an average number of steps to take. But she had difficulty focusing her eyes because for a minute the stairs looked like a grand staircase from a medieval castle, with knights in armor greeting her decent at the bottom. She covered her eyes with one palm. She was still hallucinating. As she walked down the steps, she swore to herself that she will never sleep on the next floor the next time she gets drunk.

Unless, of course, there was an elevator that might give her a worse nauseating feeling. But at least she would not fear falling on her face. When she got down the last step. she breathed heavily, recomposing herself after the endeavor. She looked around found that she was indeed truly imagining the men in armor at the bottom of the seemingly stretched grand staircase of the house. She started looking around for her friends. She need to wake some of them, especially Rachel. She could be in a very big problem if she doesn’t get to clean everything in this house by the time her parents came home from the business trip.

There was so much to clean. Her steps were still a little shaky, but she can handle herself just fine. She walked through the living room as if it was a maze. cups, plates, bottles and chips littered the floor. not to mention a good number of people sprawled all over. She had to be extra careful despite having the world spin too fast for her. Stepping on someone’s hands or toes might not be the most wonderful feeling for her foot to rest on. The phone suddenly rang. It assaulted Dawn’s ears. The phone was too far for her reach, and she admitted, that she couldn’t get there in time. It would have been pointless if she tried.

It was only a few feet away, but the idea of how much effort she’d make got her thinking twice about whether she should really go and answer it. The phone rang again, and she groaned as it became a screeching sound to her ears. At the third ring, the machine answered it. Dawn momentarily praised its inventor for saving her from tripping on her own foot with an alcohol induced brain. She sighed. After the monotonous prerecorded greeting by Rachel’s father, there was a loud beep to announce the beginning of the message. Dawn could have sworn she would go deaf. “Hello? Rachel, dear? ” Dawn recognized that it was Rachel’s mother.

“Still asleep? Or in the bathroom? ” There was a soft chuckle. “Well, dad and I were cut short on our business trip and we’re coming home. ” Dawn’s eyes widened at that. “We’re still at the hotel, but we’re leaving soon for the airport. We’ll be there by this evening. Hope you’ve been good. ” There was another beep to signal the end of the call. To Dawn, it seemed it was the sound of a flat line. The only question is whether it was going to be hers or Rachel’s. With her senses completely awake now, she looked around the living room. So much damage have been dropped here last night.

If she knew her history well, this can be compared to the bomb dropped in Hiroshima. Her fogged brain can exaggerate to such an extent. She needed that. She needed the fear. She needed the drive to clean the place. They only have a few hours left. She didn’t exactly want to know then what the front and backyard looked like. “Rachel? ” She called for her friend. “Rachel, we have a problem. Where are you? ” She suddenly moved, a brisk skip to go around the living room trying to find her friend. “Rachel? Where are you? Make a sound if you hear me. ” She exclaimed, briefing through each of the individuals lying on the floor.

At that she heard a faint groan and Dawn immediately walked to its source. “Rachel? ” She found her friend, limbs intertwined with her boyfriend. “Rachel, wake up. You’re parents are coming. ” “What? ” Rachel’s voice was hoarse and her eyes were squinting through the bright sun. It seemed to Dawn that her friend had a worse hangover. But she couldn’t get the place cleaned in time on her own. She couldn’t do much with so many people lying around. “Get up. Your parents are coming. ” Dawn repeated with a more serious tone. She tried shaking her friend with a hand on a limp shoulder. “Get up, Rachel. ” Rachel yawned and stretched.

“Dawn, they are out on a business trip, remember? ” She rubbed at her eyes, annoyed that she had to be shaken in the morning. It was worse than having her mom simply knock on her door until she stood to open it. “Yes, but they just called, and your mom said they’d be home in the evening. ” “Okay, great. ” She answered without much spirit. “Let me rest for a little while longer. ” She pushed at Dawn’s insistent hand and turned to cuddle closer to her boyfriend. Dawn took a very deep breath. Her patience was the friendliest factor about her when she still had alcohol running around in her system. “Rachel, get up.

Your house is a mess. We have some cleaning up to do, and it’s already,” she paused to looked for the clock. Her eyes widened, “Rachel, get up it’s almost noon. ” She pulled at her friend’s arm until Rachel was on a sitting position. “Look at me, gurl. ” She demanded of the sleepy woman. “When your parents get here and see all this mess, all hell will break loose. You will be grounded for a very long time. ” Dawn motioned Rachel’s head so that she could see the span of the living room. “Do you see what havoc have broken loose? ” Rachel’s eyes slowly opened and immediately widened when she saw her living room. “Oh, shit.

” was all she could say. “Yes. and we only have a few hours to clean it all. Now, get up, and wake these people up. They will all have to leave, including him. ” She motioned to Matt, Rachel’s boyfriend. “I’ll look outside and see what’s there. ” She waited for Rachel to nod before leaving her with the final instructions. “Hurry. I have a hell of a hangover, too. But we must move now. ” The yard had the least damage. They cold clean those last just before they take away all the garbage bags she knew they could fill to the rim. It was also good that no body fell asleep outside. They could get sick. Worse, they could be held liable.

Back at the kitchen, Dawn rummaged through drawers trying to find the garbage bags. She could start there. Everything she knew that did not belong to this house, she put in the trash bag. She knew the house well because she grew half of her life here. She knew the pieces and how it was placed on its area. Rachel was her childhood friend and remained to be her best friend today. She knew everything this house had, much like how she memorized her own house. That was how her relationship was with Rachel. They were both an only child, and together, they are like sisters by blood. When Rachel gets scolded by this, so will she.

“Dawn! ” Rachel called from the living room. With the rolls of garbage bags in her back pocket, and one bag half filled from the litter in the kitchen, Dawn walked back into the living room. “What is it? ” “I can’t wake them up. Are they dead? ” Rachel asked with a pinch of panic in her voice. Her eyes were wide, too. Panic rose withing Dawn, and quickly approached the bundle of bodies she was referring to. She sighed in relief when she noticed that the bodies were still alive. Perhaps with Rachel’s foggy brain, it would seem that they are dead. “Here. ” She handed the roll of plastic bags and half filled one.

“Take all the trash that you can, and I’ll wake them up. ” “Are they dead? ” “No, they are not. ” She assured her friend. “They are simply sleeping like one. Now get the trash and I’ll wake them. ” “Okay. Thanks, Dawn.. ” Rachel spoke softly. Despite having a bad hangover, her gratitude was very evident. “You would have done the same. ” “If I woke up in time like you did. ” “Point well taken. ” Dawn had to smile. They shared a quick laugh before they went to their appointed responsibilities. “Wake up, big boy. I can’t carry you. You have to crawl out of this house if you’re not going to help with the cleanup. ” Dawn told Matt.

She was tapping on his face until the boy slightly opened his eyes. “Yup, focus here, fella. You have to leave, you know. You don’t live here. Rachel’s parents are coming and it would be nice if you and everybody else here left before the parents come along. ” To Matt they seemed like gibberish words. But somehow the words made sense. He nodded and tried to stand up and wake the other guys up. “Anything else, Dawn? ” He asked. “Just make them leave. If you want to help, Rachel is in the kitchen. You can give her a hand. ” Dawn answered. She shoved at the sleeping forms, screamed into their ears so that they’d be jostled up.

“Come on, get up. ” When everyone in the living room were slowly coming to their senses, groans and curses could be heard. Dawn spoke in a loud voice, “I need everyone to vacate the house. If you can help with the clean up, please stay. Otherwise, go home and be quick with it. ” Anyone barely moved than a few inches. Dawn concluded then that getting everyone to leave will take more effort than that. When she walked into the kitchen, her voice was sore and she was feeling rather tired. She saw Rachel and Matt exchanging kisses. “Guys! You do realize we only a few hours left?

” She looked slightly disgusted, but that was only because she spent the better half of the morning having people, half of them she didn’t know, out of the house. And here was the two of them, exchanging spit. She sighed heavily. There wasn’t much that she could do about that part of their relationship. “Matt, can you order some food for us? Before we could finish anything today, we also need to eat something. ” Matt smiled. He knew he wasn’t much of an organizer. At least he could be of some use to this household. He nodded, placed one last kiss on Rachel’s temple before going to find the find the phone and order some pizza.

When he passed by the living room, he saw how much there is left to do. Maybe they would need a lot of soda alongside the pizza. When Matt left the kitchen, Rachel grinned at Dawn. “Sorry about that. ” Dawn rolled her eyes. “That’s okay, Rachel. I was just surprised really. ” She chuckled a little at how she walked in on them a lot of times before. But she never caught them beyond kissing. That would have been totally disturbing, Dawn mused. “Now, let’s divide the house into sections. We start here in the kitchen, then the living room. I checked the yard and there only a few things needed to be done about that.

Lastly, we see to second floor. Let’s just see if anything was damaged. As far as I can remember, there were only a few people who went upstairs. ” “I like your plan. Let’s get on with it. ” Rachel said. When the pizza arrived, the girls were already able to fill five bags of trash. Matt helped in rearranging the furnitures. He also carried the bags outside when one gets filled and it seemed the girls worked so fast then when he gets back in the girls were already holding another bag to him to take out. He smiled, even when he was slightly annoyed. He was more amused that they could work so fast.

When the pizza and soda got there, they sat by the kitchen counter and ate. A few laughs were shared, but mostly in silence. They were too hungry and too tired to do anything else at that time. When they have finished the pizza, the box and soda bottles were thrown out by Matt. The girls earlier decided that they will face the second floor after their break. This was it. When Dawn looked at the stairs, it did not dance or mutate into the grand staircase she imagined it to be. She smiled to herself. “Why? ” Rachel curiously asked. “I fell asleep in your room. When I was on my way down, the stairs looked like a flight a queen would step on. ”

“That hung over, eh? ” “Very much. ” Dawn admitted. They were thankful that the second floor received the least damage. There were only disturbed bed sheets where, they assumed, somebody sat on. But there were no evidences that there was more done there. They checked all the rooms, and they were done in less than an hour. Now that the trash was clear, and the furnitures at its rightful place, all they had to do was to sweep the floor for smaller elements, wipe the tops of tables for any residue and to open the all the windows to let the smell of alcohol out. Rachel had Matt go to the nearest store to buy some air freshener, the bigger can.

Hours later, the phone was ringing. The house was clean. The kitchen was shimmering at some corners. The rooms received a five star hotel house keeping treatment. The living room smelled of sweet citrus. Dawn and Rachel were the only ones left in the house. Matt already went home. The phone rang again. The girls were too exhausted to stand from the couch that was as clean as the day they bought it. The hangover was far from nursed, and their limbed were cramping after all the pressure of the day. They were yet to take a shower, even when they knew they had the most disgusting smell.

In the end, they let the machine take the call. There was that loud beep again. “Hi, Rachel. Mom here. Our flight got delayed and we’re yet to get on the connecting flight home. I hope you’re okay. Have sweet Dawn over tonight. You might be missing her company. ” Her mother sighed. “We were advised to take the next flight tomorrow morning. So we’re going to check in in a hotel tonight. Dad said hi. Be good, girls. We’ll be there at around noon at the soonest. We love you, dear. ” The two girls were already asleep on the couch before Rachel’s mom even finished her message. There would be another surprise in the morning after.

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