They went out and bought a bottle of wine each. Both were white, but they were different kinds. Just like the two of them; not that they were both white, they were just similar with something that set them apart. Everyone could see it but no one could figure out said different. Nicki had a Pinot, sitting on her desk; Poppy had her Sauvignon Blanc chilling in the fridge. It was the first week of school and they already felt the need for a bottle each.
That was the plan for that day, enjoy the wine, maybe get a little drunk after doing some work, after writing a story or reading a book. At 4pm, the drinking started, Poppy was disappointed with the Sauvignon; at 6% it did very little to satisfy the alcoholic craving that settled in her stomach. All summer, Poppy drank. She never got drunk, she just got continuously drank. Whether is was wine, beer or hard liquor, she drowned in it, trying to cure something that caused an ache inside. Poppy was lost, the constant change in her life throwing her off balance.
Poppy watched the clock, the big hand slowly making its way towards the 12. The minute hand ticks, ticks, ticks. The wine calls to her from the fridge. 3’o’clock, 4’o’clock, 5’o’clock. Late enough to drink, but not early enough to suggest that she did indeed have a problem. The first bottle went down easily, so smooth and so soothing; quenching the raging fire. Nicki looked on, from the corner of her eye. She knew that something was different. Something settled over the room from the moment Poppy pressed the bottle to her lips.
“Did you hear about Mark? He lost his virginity over the summer, but get this, it was at a gay strip bar and it was to a male stripper!”
News like this would normally excite Poppy, but her small smile and acknowledging eye brows raised was a red flag to Nicki. She sat on her bed as she watched Poppy drown. Her skin began to grey, her eyes began to dull. Poppy was slowly slipping into an old black and white movie and Nicki sat back and watched. The mood of the room changed as soon as Poppy went to grab hold of the second bottle. It wasn’t even cold but she wanted it in her hands. Nicki watched like a hawk, her frown deepening, as Poppy took long pulls from the warm bottle. Poppy had made it through half the bottle before Nicki snapped.
“What the hell is going on with you?” She questioned, grabbing the bottle from clammy hands. Poppy looked dazed, her drink finally lulling her into a numbed state.
“Nothing.” Poppy almost slurred, standing from her fetal position. She wobbled slightly as she stood, but she wasn’t drunk.
“You rarely smile, you’re constantly drinking and you look like shit.” Nicki shouted, waving the wine bottle to emphasize her point.
“I don’t know what you are talking about.” Poppy said, moving to take the bottle from Nicki.
“The hell you don’t. Something happened over the summer. What is it?” Nicki said, putting the bottle on her desk. She noticed how Poppy didn’t take her eyes off the bottle as she moved.
“Nothing happened. I’m just bored.” Poppy said going to reach for the bottle again. She grabbed it, bringing it to her lips and managed to take a few sips before Nicki knocked it out of her hands, spilling the sweet wine all over her face and chest.
“What the hell did you do that for?” Poppy cried, catching drops from her chest and pressing them to her lips.
“Knock it off Poppy!” Nicki said, hitting her hands away.
“ You can’t tell me what to do!” Poppy cried, tears beginning to drip from her eyes. She wanted to be left alone with her drink and that wasn’t going to happen any time soon. Not the Nicki around.
In an act of desperation, Poppy threw herself at the bottle on the floor, praying that there were a few ounces left. Nicki dived after her. There was a smash. The bottle broke underneath the weight of Nicki’s falling hand. Nicki cried out, pain shooting through her palm. Pulling her hand away, she pulled out a large piece of glass. Poppy continued to scrounge finding a last drop of wine. She snapped.
Grabbing the large piece of the wine bottle, she picked it up and plunged it into her friend’s neck. Now everyone would see the difference between the two girls. One had fallen over the edge. People would talk about it for years.
The situation fell upon the girls, and they held each other as they came to realization. Nicki held Poppy close, her body starting to sag in her arms. Blood poured over the glass lodged in her neck, eyes wide as she gasped for breath. A bloody hand reached up to caress Nicki’s face, leaving a trail along her right cheek, and then the hand fell to the floor.


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