The place was packed. The music blasting loudly from the speakers around the DJ booth. I could barely hear myself think it was so loud. Looking around I wasn't sure if I was sad not to see Finn anywhere or a little bit relieved. Maybe it was just nerves. Yeah, that must be what it was... nerves. It had been a while since I had seen him, and with the whole Reidar thing and everyone saying that I had made Finn up, I was bound to be nervous. If he didn't show I would be the laughing stock of the whole school.
Following Anita and Adam through the room we headed straight to the refreshment table for a drink, then went to bag a table to sit at for a while until Finn made an appearance.
"Will you be ok on your own for a bit Phoenix? I want to get in a few dances with my girl before I'm too drunk to function," Adam asked as we set about pushing a few tables together, creating a big enough space for the whole group to congregate.
"Yeah I'll be fine," I lied, not liking the thought of being left by myself at all.
"Are you sure? I mean we could wait till Finn gets here," Anita said.
"I'm sure. Go and dance and I'll see you in bit." I didn't want to be alone, but I didn't want to be the reason that kept my best friend from having fun with her new boyfriend. I would be fine, really, eventually anyway.
For the next hour my eyes strayed to the clock high upon the wall of the gym way too many times. More times than I could count. Was time actually moving at all? It didn't seem or feel like it, but it was.
Anita and Adam were doing their best to keep me company. Every 30 minutes they would reappear from the dance floor, or wherever they kept disappearing too, and making sure that she was ok.
"He said he was coming. Have you checked your phone lately? Maybe he's messaged you again," her face pulled down in a frown, pity in her eyes.
"He hasn't." I had been looking at my phone almost as much as I had been the clock. Nothing. No call. No text. Though I was still adamant that I had never given him my number. Just how did he get it? And how did his name appear as the sender when he wasn't even in my contacts?
"Well I'm sure he will be here any minute," Anita smiled, doing her best at putting on her best fake smile. It was nice that she was trying her best to stay upbeat and positive, even though I could tell that she didn't think he was going to show. The others sure weren't making the effort to comfort me.
"Just admit that you made him up," Hannah sneered from her perch in Kemp's lap.
I wanted to yell, scream at her and everyone else around that I hadn't lied, that Finn was real. But what was the point. They wouldn't believe me, not with the dance almost over and me sat in the same spot that I had planted myself in over three hours ago to wait for him.
"I hope you all have had a fantastic time. I am DJ Greed and this is the last dance." Squeals of delight came from almost every girl in the room. Groans from the boys. I quickly found myself being dragged up from my seat and out onto the dance floor.
"What are you doing?"
"You have to have at least one dance tonight. It is your birthday after all. So you will dance with me," Anita smiled, wrapping her arms around me in a tight hug.
"What about Adam?" Wouldn't he want to dance with her? Slow dance like all the other couples were doing?
"I have danced with him all night. I think he can survive missing out on this one."
Dancing with Anita I did my best to block everyone else out. I could feel everyone's eyes on me. Could almost hear the laughter that would follow me through the halls at school the following Monday, and I had no doubt would continue for a while afterwards, if not forever.
Halfway through the song the room seemed to get suddenly quiet. The music was still blaring loudly from the speakers, but all other noise stopped. No feet moved. No one spoke. It was as of no one even breathed. What was going on?
The whole room had stopped whatever they had been doing and was looking towards the doors.
"Holy crap!" Anita gasped looking over my shoulder.
"What? What is it?"
A happy, slightly dreamy smile pulled at her lips. "That should wipe the smiles from their faces." Grasping my shoulders she spun me around to face the door. I followed her gaze, and everyone else's in the room, and my heart began to beat wildly in my chest, my throat became suddenly dry.
OMG! He's here!
Stood at the entrance to the gym, his hypnotising gaze ignoring everybody else and focused upon me, was Finn.
He looked just the same as every other time I had seen him... gorgeous. Same fantastic hair, strong body, mesmerising ey... Blinking fast I pulled my eyes away from his, breaking the intense connection there had been between us from drawing me in. What was it with that mesmerising stare of his? After a few moments I decided to risk another glance. He was my date after all. It would make me look odder than usual if I just ignored him now. Lifting my eyes he smiled, crooking his finger to beckon me over.
He was late, had missed the entire dance. I should stay were I was, ignore him, let him see how he liked standing around waiting. I had looked at him but refusing to go over there was what any self-respecting person would do. There, decision made. . .
My feet were moving, taking me towards him even as I begged them in my head to stop. What the hell?
"Where have you been?" I snapped, stopping before him. Okay, so at least I still had control over my mouth, even if I had lost the control of my motor functions.
At my sharp words he smiled, flashing his blindingly white teeth, though the smile didn't quite reach his eyes. "I had to deal with a family emergency."
"Oh dear. I do hope that everything is alright," Jasmine asked, her voice filled with fake concern, bashing me out of the way with her hip so that she could stand closest to him. "I'm Jasmine by the way. I'm sure Phoenix has told you all about me."
What? Why the hell would I have done that?
"Of course," he spoke at the exact same time that I answered. "No."
I needed to move quickly if I was to stop her from stealing my date, even if I was majorly pissed at him. "The dance is over," I informed him, moving closer to him even as a shiver of doubt ran through me. How many times had I decided that I wasn't going to see him again, go to the dance? "But there is a party happening at Stephanie's house a few streets away, if you want to come?"
Don't. Please don't come.
"I would like that very much." My heart dropped at his words. What was wrong with me? One minute I wanted him, the next I didn't.
Stepping beside me I could feel his gaze upon me, feel his eyes burning into me. "Well let's go then," reaching out for my hand.
Should I take it? Refuse? He was my date... even though he had been extremely late. Maybe I should. . . Lifting my hand and placing it in his.
What was I worrying about? It was Finn for crying out loud. I'd known him like forever. Shoving my stupidity away with a shake of my head I leaned in to his side, loving the feeling of his cold body against mine. He was so great.
Turning to smile at Jasmine I couldn't help but feel I small bout of satisfaction at the look upon her face. She may have wanted Finn at the party but having me there was far from what she wanted. But it was too late now, she had invited Finn and where ever he went so did I.