6pm, New Year’s Eve

Finally back in my own apartment, I kicked off my shoes, and stroked my black cat, Hems (named after the Hemsworth brothers). He continued to meow until I’d filled his food bowl. Job done, I threw myself on the couch and stared at the ceiling. Did I have to go out tonight? I think I was more in the mood to throw myself under my comforter and pull it right over my head.

I was twenty-five years old and my greatest achievements were I worked in a coffee shop and had a cat. Something had to change.

After opening a bottle of wine and bringing that and a glass to the couch, I pulled my laptop onto my knees from its position on the coffee table. I switched it on and went on social media to see if I could make myself feel better by looking at what other people had going on in their lives. I scrolled down my feeds.

Baby announcements.

I got engaged!

We’re celebrating the New Year in the Maldives!

Oh seriously, fuck them all. I decided to forgo the glass and drink straight from the bottle. There was a notification from the Mi Alpha Alpha Alum chat room, so I clicked through.

I read the message from Stacy, my past sorority president.

“Remember, ladies. Do it. Whatever it is you want to do. Wherever you have wanted to go. Whatever you want to try, to taste, to feel, to live... do it. This is our year.”

It’d been years since I’d seen anyone from Oak Ridge University, but this message hit home because right now, my life sucked and I vowed the next year was going to be very different. Feeling fired up I opened a page in Word and began typing.

2019 the year of the BAD GIRL

I’m sick of being a goody-goody, who helps others find love. In 2019, I vow to be BAD, and a bad girl needs a bad boy.

Now how did I do bad?

What did I want to do? What did I want to try, to taste, to feel, to live?

My job was fine. I didn’t want to change that. I was happy at the coffee shop. So what else? Hmmm, the first thing that needed to change was me. I pushed the laptop onto the couch and headed to my bedroom—taking my wine with me and continuing to drink it at a rapid pace—I stood in front of the mirror. I pulled my ponytail holder out and put it on my wrist.

Shaking out my hair, I stripped out of the skirt, blouse, and tights I wore to work and assessed myself. What would a stereotypical bad girl look like? I was going to become one. Bit of a tall order for just gone six on New Year’s Eve but I’d have to do my best.

I went in my underwear drawer and took out the sexy bra and panties I’d bought for one of the men-we-shall-not mention of 2018. I quickly slipped off my comfortable but plain undies and put on the bra. It was a pusher-upper. I already had a decent rack, but this made them very noticeable. A fact that made me uncomfortable as a rule. I tried to hide my boobs so men looked at my face in the coffee shop. But tonight my girls were going to be center stage. In my closet I found my shortest black dress, which dipped at the front in a V. Oh yes, the girls were definitely front and center. I had a glittery body spray so I added that for good measure. Now they sparkled too. The dress covered up the flower tattoo on my back but the large red rose on my arm was visible. I’d had these done at eighteen when I’d gone through a bit of a rock-chick phase and spent my twenties covering them up. No more. I loved my tattoos. Time to show them off. Checking out my figure in the mirror, I noticed my panty line was visible. Hmmm, bad girls didn’t wear them. I wriggled out of them and threw them in the direction of the laundry hamper. By this stage I wobbled a bit due to the amount of wine consumed with no food but being determined I carried on my mission. Next, I straightened my wavy hair and put on ‘vamp’ makeup: smoky eyes, red lips. My nails were painted in the same blood red. My lips and nails were coordinating with my tattoo. I liked it. High heels and a purse and I was ready to go.

Grabbing my phone, I flicked through to Instagram and started recording a story. You didn’t get long, so I kept adding until I’d said what I wanted to say.

“Hey, Insta-world. Rina here (bad girls needed a new name). I’m off to PlayKing’s tonight to see in the New Year. Now I want 2018 to go out on a high and 2019 to come in with a blast, so comment or DM me your advice, challenges… anything. Nothing is off-limits for this bad girl! Wishing anyone watching a fabulous New Year!”

Then my pre-ordered cab arrived and off to the bar I went.

There was a whole gang of us meeting. The lovebirds were already here gazing at each other adoringly. Thank God they’d not wanted this double date to be tonight. I’d have gone to Brooklyn Bridge and thrown myself off.

“Audrina, you look incredible.” Casey managed to move a millimeter away from Jared to hug me hard.

“It’s Rina tonight. I’m a whole different woman. World watch out.”

“Are you wasted?” Her eyes widened.

“Just got the party started early. Speaking of which, I need to hit the bar.”

Frown lines appeared between her brows. I was out of here before she started a mother-style lecture.

I greeted everyone else on my way to the bar. There were the other two women we hung around with from the boutique next door to the coffee shop, Ella and Jodi, and the dates they’d brought; my brother’s best friend Rory and his girlfriend Lauren, and other people who the others knew and had invited along. Everyone but me had a date. Well, I had a date with the bar and lots of alcohol.

As I reached the bar I groaned. The queue had to be ten-deep. It was going to take forever to get a drink. Thank goodness I was already half-drunk. I took my cell from my purse. While I waited, I might as well see if anyone had responded to my bad girl Insta-story.

There were around ten responses! Now here’s where I had to admit I didn’t know ninety percent of my Instagram followers. Even people I did know had the most idiotic handles, so I had no idea it was them.

I quickly looked through the comments.

Get drunk, that’s badass!

Already on with it, my friend. Though with the size of this queue I was likely to be sober before I got another drink. I’d have to make sure I got more than one when I eventually reached the front.

Do a skydive.

What the fuck? Yeah, let me just grab the nearest airplane and parachute. God, I was a miserable bitch tonight.

Get drunk.

Have a load of alcohol.

Get wasted.

The level of originality was wasted.

Send me a pic of your tits.

And block…

A new DM came through from @badboy69. Intrigued by the handle I clicked through.

Let a stranger buy you a drink. See where it takes you. Message me when you’ve done it and I’ll send you another challenge. From one badass to another.

Now we were talking. I looked further up the queue to the bar and saw the most gorgeous man in the world was staring right at me. I stared back a little too long. He beckoned me with his fingers and a raised brow. Yeeeeaaaassss. Game on!

Yes, @badboy69, I would let a stranger buy me a drink.

Hazel eyes hypnotized me as they looked me up and down as I approached. Audrina would have said ‘eyes up here, jerk’ but Rina was in the house tonight. What would a bad girl do? She’d check him out. Right back at ya, dude! So I enjoyed the route my eyes took: he had sexy eyebrows. How the fuck did an eyebrow become sexy? His did, dancing with amusement that lit up his gaze. Sexy hot guy had a small smattering of moles across his cheeks; nice, neat small ears, and a very kissable mouth. He laughed lightly as my eyes lingered there, revealing lovely white teeth and a tongue I wanted tangling with my own. My eyes dipped down to his neck and shirt and while I watched he undid the first button of his shirt, loosening his collar as if it had been strangling him. He smelled of spices and vanilla. His shirt was tight over his pecs and abs and then hung loose over his waist, concealing the package I’d been hoping to catch sight of hidden in those pants.

“Do you want a drink or are you happy for us to just eye-fuck all night?” He asked me in a husky tone that spoke straight to my pussy.

“I’d like two drinks please. The queue is too long and the night too short.”

That amusement lit his features again.

“What drinks would you like?”

Hmm, what drinks did a bad girl drink?

“I’d like two scotches please, on the rocks.”

“You drink scotch? A woman after my own heart.” He nodded toward his glass, filled with an amber-colored liquid.

I took the glass out of his hand and drank from it. I let the burn hit and sucked in my bottom lip before handing him the glass back. “Yes, I’ll have two of those please.”

As he ordered my drinks I smiled.

Bad girls got free drinks and luscious, hunky men with husky voices.

Who would want to stay good?