Chuckjd's Words

a convenient dumping ground for my writing

1990/12/14

14 December, 1990 – 1:49 am – Philip Hall’s house

“How’d it go?” Nicky’s voice was curious in the dark. A quiet ruffling of sheets signaled a shrug of shoulders in response from the other side of the bed.

Philip, the boys’ manager, opened his home for the night to the Manics, who would be living there full time soon after the new year. James and Sean took the first room on the left, while Nicky and Richey settled into the next room down the hall. It would be the rooms they would be coming home to after touring for the next few months.

Richey was slowly curling up into a ball, the sheets coming with him. Nicky tugged back at the sheets, turning over to curve around Richey’s small form. He could smell the vodka coming out of his pores, radiating from his skin. He listened for Richey’s even breathing, but couldn’t hear it. It was still erratic and drunk.

The Heavenly Christmas party was a weird series of events. They had all gone too fast and loose with the alcohol, meeting and surpassing their limits very early in the night. Nicky had lost track of Richey for almost an hour, something that rarely happened. James went around talking up all the girls he could find. Sean stayed at his side, looking around as if bored with everything around him. Nicky floated around the party, his head full of fuzzy, dizzy thoughts.

After an hour of his side being Richey-less, he went looking, finally finding him in the bog with a bird. A woman, really. She stumbled out, absently fixing her makeup with her daft hands. She went back to the party, straightening her dressing and acting like nothing had happened. Richey was still on the floor, his trousers unbuttoned and hair more of a mess than usual.

James knocked into Nicky’s shoulder, looking passed him at Richey on the tile.

“What’s the matter, Android?” James slurred.

Nicky cocked his head. “I think he just had sex.”

Richey looked down, fastening his trousers and fidgeting nervously.

“What?!” James yelped. He stormed out back into the crowd, cutting through the people towards his target.

Nicky bent down next to Richey. He held out his hand to help Richey up off the floor. Richey shook his head, pushing himself off the floor on his own.

“So?”

“So nothing,” was Richey’s reply. He went back to the party, leaving Nicky Richey-less once again.

Back to the present, back to their dark room, Nicky’s eyes were still wide and he still wanted to know everything Richey could tell him. “Come on, Richey. Come off it. What’d you think?” Nicky pushed. He was pushing harder that he would if he was sober, but he couldn’t help it. The sharp sting of alcohol on his tongue made him do it.

Richey turned over, his eyes dangerously close to Nicky’s wide eyed curiosity. The smell of stale cigarettes on Richey’s breath made Nicky’s stomach turn. “You want to know how it was?” Richey whispered. It smelled like he was breathing smoke. Nicky nodded and he continued reluctantly. “It was horrible.”

Nicky frowned. That wasn’t supposed to be the answer. He waited to see if Richey would go on.

“Why do you wanna know so bad? You get it all the time. With Rachel.” Richey’s voice became sharper and sharper as the words poured out. His eyes were wide, the pupils large by the time he spat to an end. He sucked his bottom lip in his mouth, inwardly shrinking. Maybe a bit took much venom had leaked out, more than he could think about dealing with in his vodka-soaked haze.

Nicky didn’t know how to respond. His thoughts were muddled by too many pints of amber- and honey-colored liquids pickling his brain. He could only stare blankly.

“It was horrible because it wasn’t special, I didn’t love her, and it wasn’t…” Richey’s voice trailed off into the dark.

“It wasn’t what?” Nicky finally asked, mad with curiosity.

‘It wasn’t you,’ Richey’s brain shrieked. He shook his head and shook it off.

“It was just bad, okay?” Richey cut him off before Nicky could ask again. “It was bad, and I won’t be doing that again for a while. Hopefully.” He tugged at the blankets and rolled over, shutting his eyes tightly. He willed himself to fall asleep, even if he could only will himself to look asleep.

Nicky was at a loss again, but alcohol always did that to him. He decided to follow Richey’s lead, rolled over, and fell asleep.

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