Meg showed her ID and then passed it back to Ashlea. The door guy either didn't notice, or didn't care. Corbin got in with his not-exactly-real ID, but the doorman stopped to look at Cayden's twice. UK IDs are funny looking.
Once inside, I stopped to think about what this must be like for Cayden right now. He's used to pubs, where the lights are low, people wear polos, and music is simply background noise. But at Pappa Gs the lights are on full blast, a 40-year-old woman with varicose veins passed us wearing a denim skirt so short that even I wouldn't wear it in the dead of summer after not eating for a week, and "Like a G-6" was blaring from the speakers so loud that it vibrated my intestines. It was probably like a trip to the zoo for him. Please, don't feed the party animals.
It was relatively crowded, we found a table in the back big enough for the nine of us to crowd around it. Cayden and I grabbed some stools and sat close to each other, his hand on my thigh. I scanned the room for familiar faces, but didn't see any of my fellow '04 grads.
"Well, what do you think?" I yelled into Cayden's ear?
"It's about how you explained it," he yelled back, looking around and nodding.
A waitress stopped by and we ordered a round of shots along with our first round of drinks, water for me, please. I wasn't sure why I'd volunteered to DD. I wanted to get drunk with Cayden and my siblings and have as much fun as they were going to have. But then I had flashbacks of past sloppy-drunk nights at the G followed by late night Whataburger visits where I'd devour an order of salty fries smothered in gravy. Maybe it was best if Cayden didn't witness that.
Also, it was good to keep someone sober around when Noelle was drinking. She doesn't get violent or anything, but let's just say she doesn't hold back, either. Noelle is one of those people who can get away with pretty much anything because she's drop-dead gorgeous.
"I like to wear outfits where people look at me and think, 'what in the hell is she wearing??'" she explained to the table.
Which is funny because after a few drinks if any girl so much as looks her way with any hint of anything less than an ear-to-ear smile, Noelle leans across the table and says, "Got a problem, WHORE?"
No, but really she's a nice girl. Back in high school, people used to think we were twins. We had the same long, dark brown curly hair, brown eyes, and tan skin. But she was two inches taller, and thinner, and her eyebrows arched perfectly, and she even had a fucking beauty mark. So in a way, I loved when people thought we were twins because she's so beautiful. On the flip side, there's always an ugly twin (don't pretend like you don't think the same), there's always that one twin that makes you think, "Ah, that must suck to be that twin." Well, if Noelle and I were twins, I'd be THAT twin.
No, I'm not trying to be all "woe is me" here or anything, but it was just a plain and simple fact that Noelle was gorgeous. Hell, she's a model even. And last season she played for the city's Lingerie Football team for christ sakes. So in other words, she was hot, and she was tough. So my staying sober wasn't the worst idea.
Just then the beginning notes of the "Cupid Shuffle" blared over the speakers and my sisters and I darted out eyes at each other. "CUPID SHUFFLE! LET'S GO!" We screamed as we tried to pull the guys to the dance floor. They were budging, so we left them behind. There's just something catchy about that song that makes you want to shake your ass to the simple dance steps, "To the right to the right to the right to the right. To the left to the left to the left to the left. Now kick now kick now kick now kick now walk it by yourself, walk it by yourself."
We kicked, we walked, and I even ended up on stage, mocking another girl on stage who sucked at it. OK, so maybe I got the bitch gene as well.
By the time we came back, Jay and Cayden were BFFs and Corbin was off at a random table with two girls I'd never seen before. It was as if Cayden and Jay were clinging to each other to survive the night out with the crazy Cuban sisters. I don't blame them.
Have you ever seen the movie Because I Said So? If not, I don't blame you because it stars Mandy Moore, who's a worse actor than Channing Tatum. But it also stars Gabriel Macht, who I happen to think is the sexiest man in the entire world (Sorry Cayden!). Anyway, that movie just about sums up the relationship I have with my sisters and my mom. We're loud, obnoxious, we're in each other's business, judging, hypocritical of others (OK, maybe that's just me...). Regardless, I'm glad Jay and Cayden had each other to turn to for survival.
Rounds two, three, and four of drinks came while I was still working on my extra large water in a bright red glass, you know, just so I couldn't even try to look cool if I wanted to. The blasting music died down and we were briefly relieved until a live band started playing a Creed cover, or something equally disturbing. I almost wished it was a shitty country band instead, so Cayden could get the full Texas experience.
Before we knew it, it was 1:30, last call for drinks. I couldn't wait to get home and cuddle up next to Cayden in the giant king-sized bed in the gameroom at my parents house. Being that I was stone-cold sober by this point, I could have driven us back to Dallas where we could have loud, hold-nothing-back sex at my empty apartment. But to tell you the truth, I wasn't ready to leave my family.
I loved sleeping in late and waking up at my parents house, coming downstairs to see my Dad reading the paper and my mom drinking her coffee with a dog in her lap. Siblings still sleeping or lounging in their pajamas in front of the giant flatscreen TV. Then Mom or Dad would inevitably say, "What can I make you for breakfast?" and minutes later we'd have a feast of eggs and bacon and pancakes in front of us, or we'd be on our way to a local cafe.
Corbin was always the last one awake, so I'd run up to his room with all of the dogs and pat the side of his bed so they'd all jump in and smother him with wet noses and tongues until he woke up.
I wanted Cayden to experience that. Not the wet noses part, but the rest of it.
Back home, Corbin claimed his old room (which used to be mine and Meg's room), Meg took my old room (which used to be Noelle's room) Cayden and I took the gameroom (which was Noelle's room at one point, Noelle and Jay's room at another point, my room when I moved back from NYC, and soon to be Meg's room as of tomorrow when she moves back from Austin), and Noelle and Jay got the shaft with the pull-out bed downstairs. (We converted Corbin's old room to Dad's office, so we were short a bedroom). I loved thinking that this was how holidays were going to be from here on out. Cayden a part of them.
By the time we crawled into bed we were both too tired to do any more than kiss and cuddle, so that's exactly what we did. The next morning is another story.