Kelly meekly tried to pull the drumstick toward her, but the Samoan girl yanked and twisted so that Kelly had no hope of keeping her grip. The dangerous glint in the girl’s eye and the near-bloodthirsty look on her face suggested that she could have taken Kelly’s arm completely out of the socket and she would have just considered it another souvenir.
Dread began to creep around the edges of my chest. I’d been trying to convince myself that we were all reasonable music fans who wouldn’t succumb to savage chaos. Now I wasn’t so sure.
The surrounding crowd again pushed us out of the way while someone tried to force himself in.
“Excuse me,” he said as he shoved his way through the crowd, carrying two bottles of water over his head. “I’m just trying to get back to my friends.”
“You left!” the Samoan girl screamed with the approval of her posse. “You can’t just come back—you lost your place!”
I leaned toward the back of my sister’s head. “Is it just me or is this getting really bad?” I half-shouted in her ear.
She turned toward me and solemnly nodded.
To my relief, the lights went down before anything else happened. The man made his way to my left side, where he proceeded to perspire all over my sleeve.
The stifling stench of body odor and beer, along with my own dehydration and growing fear, were beginning to make me light-headed. After hearing the reaction to someone trying to fight through the cramped space, though, I decided I wasn’t willing to give up quite yet.
The next hour became a dizzy blur of pushing, lights, yelling, music, and pain. On one side, someone used my shoulder as a lever to propel himself higher above everyone’s heads, nearly pulling my hair out in the process. On my other side, two college guys were trying to push everyone out of the way so that they could have more dancing room. Behind me, I could feel the sharp jabs of multiple elbows to my back. In front of me, a drunken couple was jumping around so frenetically that they couldn’t keep their balance and kept landing directly on my feet.
Through various gaps, I could see Melissa was getting knocked around more than I was. I saw her fall once, but she soon sprang up and began punching everyone in close proximity to clear some of the space around her.
Wow, I thought grimly, if we live through this I’ll have to give her a black belt or something.