One of the last parties I went to started in the afternoon. I felt like I had to at least make an appearance because that particular friend was only in town for a little while and it would have been really rude of me not to attend. As soon as I started to make my way there, it started bucketing down with rain. I had to walk from a train station to a house and I was wearing a maxi dress and slippery shoes. I bought an umbrella, hiked up my dress so it wouldn’t get wet from the ground and walked very carefully. I was one of the first guests to arrive. I gave my friend some presents and told him to open them when I wasn’t around. He asked if I wanted a drink and I said no. I don’t drink anymore. I used to binge drink a lot but these days I am too scared about losing control so I avoid drinking. I also take a lot of medication, which doesn’t tend to mix well with alcohol.
The living room was set up with a lot of chairs arranged in an awkward circle. I knew nobody so I sat there, pretending I was okay and holding my bottle of water. As more people arrived, I realised that not only did I not know anyone but everyone else seemed to be good friends. All of their stories involved each other. I decided to go outside for a cigarette and I joined a few other people who were huddled under shelter to avoid the rain. Someone recognised me as my brother’s sister and I thought that might lead to a conversation about my brother, but it didn’t.
After my cigarette, I grabbed my handbag and umbrella and got the hell out of there. On my way out, my friend saw me and I told him I was sorry that I was so awkward. He said it was okay and that he understood.
I didn’t even last an hour at that party and I am no longer friends with that friend.