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Pooja Sarkar

Flat from My Brother’s Sister I knew I had pulled up to the right house when I saw the red Solo cups littered across the unmowed lawn. Heavy bass music thumped through the chilly night air, and I could feel its vibrations in the seat of my car. Lights turned on in the bedrooms on the second floor, and then promptly turned off. I parked haphazardly across the street and ran towards the party. I was home for winter break after my first semester away at college, and was out looking for my sister Gauri that night. My parents were worried sick –she had told them she was just going out to eat with friends—so I made up some excuse about her getting a flat tire and rushed out to find her. She wouldn’t pick up her phone. After calling a series of friends, and friends of friends, I made it to the party, though I wasn’t even sure she would be there. Inside was suffocating. People were everywhere –half-dressed and sweaty, perfumed with the stench of beer, vomit and Kool-Aid. The hallway lights were dimmed, and I stumbled through the foyer, squeezing through hoards of drunken and disorientated girls. I recognized a few faces from the high school – but they seemed too intoxicated to notice or remember me. I didn’t see Gauri anywhere and headed to the kitchen to look for her friends or anyone that might have seen her. My phone vibrated in my jeans pocket. My father was calling again. I quickly texted some nonsense message about stopping for gas and continued to push through the throngs of people. No one was in the kitchen, but the counters were sticky and littered with trash, half-empty bottles of rum and vodka. The sink was full of dirty and broken dishes, and watered down dish soap dripped down the bottom of the cabinets and onto the floor. I bolted upstairs. Music continued to thump through the floorboards and rattle the railing as I raced up the staircase, two steps at a time. The second floor was larger than I had expected, and I moved quickly down the hallway, opening each door. I found her in the last bedroom before the hallway ended. I shut that door as soon as I had forced it open. I heard Gauri scream in 22

Connective Tissue 2013 | Volume 6