Leah and McKaley were not good at being bridesmaids. As Head Bridesmaid, Leah had the unlucky task of planning a bachelorette party. (Or “hen do”, as McKaley called it- a phrase which gave Leah images of a bunch of women going to a salon and getting stylized chickens put on their heads.) Since she was a supportive partner, McKaley decided to help Leah plan the event. They had sat down together several hours ago with the best of hopes, but now they drooped dispiritedly on the couch. They were surrounded by discarded piles of wedding magazines and laptops with hundreds of tabs open.
McKaley rallied and opened her laptop. Suddenly, she seemed to perk up. “Leah,” she said. “I’ve found a drinking game! This might be fun! Want to try it?”
Leah took a deep breath and removed her glasses, rubbing her temples. “Yeah, I think I’m about done for the night. I could use a good drink.”
McKaley walked a few feet to their apartment kitchen and opened a bottle of wine.“Hey Leah,” she said, gathering glasses. “Do you remember how I got you drunk on water that one time? After that stage hypnosis class I took?”
“Yes,” said Leah, exhausted. “And, before you ask, I want a real drink right now. Not a pretend one.”
“Oh absolutely”, said McKaley. “I was just remembering how cute you were that night.” She returned to the living room and poured them both a glass. “Salud!” she cried! They toasted and both drank a sip.
Leah leaned back into the couch. “Mmmm I hate weddings,” she grumbled. “It’s so much pressure. And this isn’t even my wedding!”
“Not yet,” McKaley winked. She shifted on the couch so she was next to Leah. “Hey, wanna play this drinking game?”
“Sure, why not?” replied Leah.
“Excellent,” said McKaley, grinning. “So it says here it’s called ‘Drink if You’. You’ll like it- it’s basically a big excuse to get drunk. It’s pretty simple: I’ll read a statement and if the statement is true for you, you drink!”
“OK. But remember that I'm a lightweight,” said Leah.
“I know,” said McKaley. “It’s adorable.”
She opened up her laptop again.
“OK- first one: If you’ve known the bride for more than ten years, drink!”
Leah took a small sip.
“Ah, that’s not a drink. You have to drink more” said McKaley.
Leah glared but then took a larger gulp of wine.
“Good!” said McKaley. “Next: If you have a tattoo, drink!”
They both took a drink.
“If you’ve ever eaten a whole box of chocolates, drink!”
Leah, slightly shamefaced, took another gulp. McKaley poured her another glass of wine.
The questions continued. Leah made a mental note not to use this particular game at the bachelorette party. Too many of the items were ones she needed to take a drink on- and she couldn’t afford to be drunk as the hostess.
Soon McKaley had poured Leah a third glass. Leah was feeling decidedly tipsy. and even beginning to feel a bit loopy. It didn’t help that the questions seemed to be coming faster and faster,
“If your name begins with L, drink!” said McKaley. Leah took a drink.
“If you can name at least 5 Wonder Woman villains, drink!” said McKaley. Leah took a drink.
“If you know a hypnotist, drink!”said McKaley. Leah took a drink.
“If you know being tipsy makes you extra suggestible to hypnosis, drink!” said McKaley.
Leah woozily raised the glass to her mouth before thinking “Wait-what?”
But before she could finish that thought, McKaley had taken her glass and pulled her arm down with a quick gentle movement. “Sleep!” she said, commandingly.
Leah didn’t know what happened next.
The next week, Leah and McKaley went out to a local show. Leah was between paychecks and kind of broke but McKaley had kindly bought her ticket. She couldn’t spend any money tonight, but that was OK. She had enjoyed bands sober before. Plus, probably not good to show up to work tomorrow hungover.
She and Leah were hanging around between sets waiting as the second band tuned up.
“Hey Leah,” said McKaley. “Do you want to see something cool?”
“Sure!” said Leah, smiling.
“OK. So Leah- if you’re feeling happy right now, drink!”
Leah startled as she tasted the ghost of wine in her mouth. It was followed by the beginning of a warm relaxation in her body, as though she had already drunk a few sips of wine.
She looked at McKaley, astonished.
McKaley giggled. “If you’re liking how this feels, drink!”
Leah felt the sensation again. Stronger now. A warm lassitude went through her body. She felt her smile widening as she blushed and gave McKaley a flirty expression.
McKaley lowered her voice, “Oh! Leah- if this is turning you on...drink!”
Leah felt even looser as she felt herself respond and barked out a laugh.
McKaley looked like the cat that got the canary. “Ah ha- I guessed it! We can talk more about that when we get home. But for right now- sober.”
She touched Leah’s arm gently and the tipsy feeling Leah had been experiencing suddenly cleared up. It happened so quickly that it was almost more of a shock than the original suggestion.
“How did you..” she started. But- just then, the band on stage played their first power chord and her words were drowned out. She would have to save her questions until later tonight.