Love and Lists

Page 7

“Can you let go, please?” Charlotte asks me softly.

“You shouldn’t have puke-hair. Wine puke doesn’t wash out easily. I use Herbal Essence and it smells like strawberries,” I mumble.

All of the beer I’ve consumed under the blazing sun this afternoon, mixed with my mortification that I still haven’t let go of Charlotte’s hair, is starting to make me feel queasy.

“Drew, pull my hair,” Jenny demands.

“Babe, I can’t pull your hair. Pulling your hair makes me want to have sex with you. I pulled a hammy last night when we were on the swing set, remember?” Drew complains.

“Drew, seriously. Over share,” my mom complains with a roll of her eyes.

“Should I escort him out for you, Claire?” Tyler asks my mom in a concerned voice.

Oh Jesus, here it comes. I’m going to puke.

Finally letting go of Charlotte’s hair, I jump up from my seat and run down the stairs of the deck, over to the bushes on the side of the house, and empty my stomach of beer and shame.

A few seconds later, I feel a hand patting me on my back as I heave. When I feel comfortable that no more vomit is going to come out, I stand up and turn around.

“Are you done, or is there more? Want me to hold your hair back?” Tyler asks with a laugh.

Chapter 3 – Make Her Jealous

“How about some ginger ale? Or some dry toast? Maybe I should take your temperature,” mom says as she fusses over me and feels my forehead.

My mom and I have always been unusually close. And no, I’m not talking Norman Bates and his mom close. That’s just sick. I think it’s because she was a single mother for the first four years of my life. Or it could be that when I was little she used to joke all the time about how she hated kids. I think sometimes she overcompensates trying to make up for all of those jokes by doting on me now that I’m an adult.

“Mom, I’m fine. Really. It was probably just something I ate.” The lie easily flows from my mouth as I swat her hand away from my head.

“I’m actually not feeling so hot myself, Claire. I could use a sponge bath,” Tyler tells her.

“How about I take your temperature with a rectal thermometer the size of my fist?” Mom threatens.

“I’m strangely aroused right now,” Tyler muses.

“Do you want me to throw up again?” I ask him angrily with a punch to his arm.

After my awesome projectile vomiting skills in the shrubbery, the party had started to disperse and Charlotte left with Rocco to go to dinner, explaining she would have invited me to come but she was afraid I might be contagious and she didn’t want to get sick.

Super. Now she thinks I’m a leper.

We’re sitting in Liz and Jim’s kitchen while everyone else is outside cleaning up. I had come in here to get some peace and quiet and to get away from Uncle Drew so he would stop asking me if I could puke on command because he was sad he missed the show, and my mom and Tyler followed me in here to check on me. My mortification level is at an ultimate high right now. There’s nothing else that could possibly make this day any worse.

“You know, if you want Charlotte to realize you’re in love with her, pulling her hair and throwing up in her parents’ bushes probably wasn’t the best idea,” Mom informs me.

I take that back. THIS could possibly make my day worse. Much worse.

“Oh my gosh, what?! What are you talking about? I’m not in love with Charlotte. You’re insane. Where would you get that idea? That’s just crazy. It’s nonsense. Preposterous! She’s like my sister. We used to take baths together.”

If you ramble enough, people will think what you’re saying is true, right?

“Yes, and you used to stand up in the middle of the tub and say, ‘Hey, Charlotte, look at my big wiener!’ I hope that’s not what your next plan of attack is,” Mom says with a serious look on her face.

Note to self: remove number five from The List.

“I’m not going to show her my wiener!”

“I really think you should show her your wiener. I’m not taking it off of the list,” Tyler adds.

Everyone needs to stop saying wiener right the f**k now!

“Did someone say wiener? What list? What’s everyone talking about?” Aunt Liz asks as she walks into the kitchen with an armful of dirty dishes that she piles in the sink.

“A list to get Charlotte to realize Gavin’s in love with her,” Tyler tells her.

“Dude! Shut the f**k up!” I yell.

“Oh thank God. It’s about time you do something about it. I thought your mother and I were going to be old and gray before you manned the f**k up,” Aunt Liz says as she walks over to the table and takes a seat next to my mom.

My mom and Aunt Liz have been best friends for all my life and for a lot of years before that. They’ve been through everything together, and sometimes I think they share a brain. It’s hard to believe they aren’t sisters with the way they fight. They talk more shit to each other than a book with “your mother is so fat” jokes in it.

“I think I’m going to wear blue to the wedding. I saw this gorgeous dress on sale at Macy’s the other day. I think I have a coupon,” Mom tells Liz.

“Oh hell no! I already told you I was going to wear blue, you whore. You can’t wear the same color as me, that’s tacky,” Liz complains.

Oh my God, this is not happening right now.

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