The lounge room is dark and the curtains are pulled across the windows in the lounge room. No one is there but the music is loud and the smell of dope strong.

You throw your jacket on the couch and look at it: tonight's bed. There is still time to get out of here, get home. But your curiosity has got you now. You want to stay and go to this party and talk to these people and find out more... although why you're not sure.

The music stops and you stand in the middle of the room listening to the sounds of the house. Somewhere you hear a guitar, and laughter, and a door slamming.

Footsteps start down the stairs and you turn towards the door. Ned stumbles in, wearing shorts and a t-shirt, a towel over his shoulder. Sunglasses on his face.

'Wanna come for a swim. I'm goin' down the pool.'

'I didn't bring my bathers.'

'You can borrow some. There's heaps hanging around the house. Everyone's home; I'll get you some if you want.'

'Maybe I'll just stay here...'

'Yeh, whatever. Polly's in her room, you could go up and see her. Or Kate, front room up the stairs. Or you could come to the pool.' Ned stands by the door and waits for your decision.

Philippa J Burne 1996