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Billy had known this was a bad idea the moment he’d thought of it. But somehow - probably a mixture of Tommy’s consistent pestering and his own self destructive behaviour - he’d agreed.

Neil was out of town for the weekend on a work trip, and Susan had gone with him. Max was staying with one of her dumb friends for the weekend, so Billy had the house all to himself; a fact which he had carelessly let slip to Tommy. So now there were 50 shit faced teenagers at his house, most of whom didn’t even know him, and none of whom gave a single fuck about the state of his house.

Billy stood abruptly as the last of his joint burned out, suddenly feeling too hot and claustrophobic, even though there was probably only five other people in the kitchen.

God, I need some air.

He stumbled out of the front door with a cigarette already in his mouth waiting to be lit. Fucking Tommy was throwing up on his front porch, and Billy tried not to think too much about how he would clean that up later.

He kept walking until the music was just a low hum, and sat down in the grass. Billy’s hands were shaking as he tried to light his cigarette, and after a few failed attempts he gave up, tossing it onto the ground next to him. Billy was suddenly aware of his breathing. It was fast and heavy, uncontrolled, yet he still felt out of breath, like not enough air was reaching his lungs. His surroundings seemed so foreign, even his own body didn’t feel like his own. Screwing his eyes shut, Billy tried to collect his thoughts.

My name is Billy Hargrove. He opened his eyes.

I live in the bumfuck town of Hawkins, Indiana. The grass under his hands was dry and sharp, so he pushed further into it.

I am wearing the jeans that Kaia bought me. He thought of California, of smiles and sun and a boy with chocolate brown eyes. Billy could feel his throat tightening and covered his mouth to stifle a sob.

I can see a van and two cars. He tried distracting himself but it was too late, the tears were already falling fast.

Holding his head between his knees, all Billy could sob as he rocked back and forth in an attempt to ground himself to his surroundings.