The Hip Chick
I was shaking my head, twisting my feet, singing along to the words of the song. I was cool, wicked, real hip. I'd just got the new CD by Britney Spears, so I knew I was one of the in-crowd. I put on my neatest tank-top, flared jeans and sandals, coral lipstick, green eyeshadow, and to make me really cool I'd put a transfer tattoo of a rose on my arm. I was gonna hit the town. I went out to party.
I didn't know where to go. I caught a 49 bus to Clapham and walked along the High Street, kicking my way through broken bottles and debris until I heard music coming from a passageway. Fearful of the dark, yet brave enough to realise you never get anything from life if you don't take risks, I followed the music and went into the alley.
There was an open doorway with a red light shining out, showing up all the cool kids kissing and cuddling against the walls.
Blocking this entrance was a fat man with a face so mean I guessed he must have been constipated. I was just about to recommend a herbal remedy that was effective yet gentle when he moved out of the way and ushered me in.
Inside it was hot. The music was loud. Condensation glistened on the walls. Apart from a red glow coming from the floor, everything was in darkness. As I went down the stairs, I could hardly see. I hadn't worn my glasses because I wanted to look cool, but without them everything was blurred. I don't know what the music was. It was very repetitive. Not Britney, so obviously I hadn't found the hippest place in town.
I eventually squeezed through the crowd and got to the bar. I asked for lemonade and watched all the hip, crazy kids moving their heads to the rhythm of the music. My drink came with an umbrella and a cherry and cost me nearly all the money I had. I couldn't afford the bus fare home. But I didn't care, I wanted to party, yeah, paint the town red. Although I'd have to make my drink last all night.
A man came over to me. He was tall, with wide, staring eyes. He leaned over and shouted, "Are you Sodabob?"
"Are you Soladubble?"
He gave me a pill, just one, and shouted in my ear, "Take this to Rootie." He walked away. Who's Rootie? Or maybe he said Ruthy, or Stroothy.
The place was so crowded I had to struggle to get through, but I wasn't sure where I was going, so it didn't seem to matter. If the boom boom of the music would pause I could shout out, "Ruthy," or "Stroothy," or "Rootie," but it didn't, so I couldn't. I tried to sip my lemonade, but I was being jostled, so it was difficult. Then the music stopped and the lights went on, which blinded me, and just as I was about to shout, "Rootie!" a megaphone voice shouted, "Police! Everyone vacate the premises."
I supposed that something had happened in the street, perhaps a fire or a robbery.
I asked a girl who said, "Bust, get rid of all you've got." I didn't have anything. Except the pill. And that wasn't mine. So I couldn't get rid of that.
As I shuffled out with the other hip partygoers, I thought, how exciting being in a club with all the music, even though it wasn't Britney, and the police arrive, just like in the movies. The street was so cold that all the sweat on me went chilly and gave me goose bumps.
A policewoman asked, "What have you got there?" referring to the pill held between my forefinger and thumb.
"It's a pill for Rootie," I explained.
I was put in a police van. At the station, I was charged with possession of an illegal drug.
My mother came. "Honestly, Miriam, we leave you alone for just one weekend and this is what you get up to." She took me home. "Just you wait till your father hears about this."
He was really angry. "It's lucky for you I know the Chief Inspector, otherwise you'd be in court, young lady." And from then on he collected me from homework club, so I couldn't walk home and get in any trouble. But I wasn't worried, even though I didn't have anyone to sit with at lunch, and hardly anyone spoke to me in class. I knew I was the hip chick at school.