I look over at the clock and the realisation suddenly hits me in the face. 7:30. Damn it! Half an hour left to get prepared for the New Years Party I really want to be at.
I carefully reach under my dresser and open a drawer carefully. Inside I find he box of materials I took from the pampering session left untouched, since I last saw them.
I plug in the curling iron and then pause . Damn I’d rather straight hair for New Years. I sigh and dig up my straightener and plug it in with care, because the appliance is so old.
I fish through my closet thankful my Aunt took me and Karly on a wardrobe complete makeover. My closet is overflowing. I have casual, formal, semi-formal, black tie, fancy and then ***** clothes.
I pull out a silky, light blue, neck strap dress that lands just above my shins. It’s about to revealing for winter, but its formal enough for this kind of occasion/party.
Honestly it isn’t. I slip off my blue dress and grab a hot pink strapless dress; that’s skin tight and falls at the top mid thighs.
I grab a pair of five inch heels to try to see eye to eye with Kent. I’ll actually be around his height now. The heels are black which is cute.
I don’t bother with lace lingerie or fancy underwear, I don’t plan on getting hot and heavy, which means don’t drink too much punch, because Allison made it and Carter spiked it with something strong and her in love self let him.
I turn to the jewelry and accessories in my closet and pull on lime green emerald earrings. Very expensive outfit.
I decide not to go with the provocative outfit and put on a black, knee length, strapless dress with a leather belt and a leather jacket.
I change into two inch heels deciding it’s not worth the wicked foot ache I’ll have tomorrow. Of course, the boys I’ll be seeing eye to eye with, will be willing I assume to massage my poor feet anyway. But, I have limits and some restraint.
I pick up the now hot straightener in my right hand and grab a strand of hair in my left. The hair heats up as the appliance applies warmth to my hair. I straighten my hair nicely and pin it to the side in a pretty side pony tail on the left side.
I start heading out the door when I remember how chilly it is in the hallway. I can’t imagine the temperatures below ground, which coincidentally is where the party is being held. Only prestigious, dedicated people are coming so I can’t imagine any of them stopping for a second to consider the weather.
I start hopping off towards the party after a quick look at the clock. 8:08. Great I can be fashionably late. If I can get there in the next 10 or 15 minutes. Oh well I’m dressed to impress, I don’t like making a show, but I’m fine with attention.
I start running downstairs, the bracelets I’d put on at last second notice are now bouncing against my wrist with an annoying but even banging.
I walk next to some dorms of fellow party attendants and find every single one bare and then I remember, AT 8:15 THEY ARE LOCKING THE DOORS!
Oh no! Oh no! Oh no! I don’t even have a watch on me, how am I going to know what time it is. I hope someone stalls for me.
I run down several flights of stairs nearing the party room entrance.
So close! So! So! So! So Close! I can hear the music and chatter now, but only barely, because people are waiting for the doors to close to start the real action. Then I hear someone call something. A voice that sounds suspiciously like one of the girls that was with Miller say something.
“Ugh her fault for being late just close the doors already so we can party. No point of us suffering at her expense.
I start dashing towards the voice. So close I can see light at the end of the hallway. I push myself to run faster.
“WAIT!” I scream scared they won’t notice me and I’ll be locked out here. “WAIT! I’m right here,” I’m panting now. “Here,” I breath as I say through my labored breathing.
“Well then hurry up and get in so we can close the stupid doors already!” calls some random masculine voice in the crowd.
Kent quickly grabs me and pulls me into the room before someone closes the doors on me and crushes me.
“You look awesome,” says Carter along with Kent they both sweep my over with their eyes. I resist the urge to cross my arms over my chest and hide under a table.
“Thanks,” I don’t know if the slight discomfort registers in my tone, but if it does neither of them acknowledges it.
“You know what I’m parched and famished. Kent do you think you can get me some punch; Carter some snacks?” I smile at them flirtatiously until they agree to be my personal butlers.
“You know the stuff he spiked the punch with is pretty strong are you sure you can handle it?” he asks with genuine concern.
“Oh tonight? Definitely!” this makes Carter laugh, but Kent looks uncomfortable and concerned but goes and fetches me punch anyway.
“I smell so much testosterone!” says some girl nearby me.
“The good stuff too, that comes from hot genes,” giggles her companion.
“This really is a dude field I mean really where are all the girls?” asks some girl by them who’s glancing around.
“Well there’s one over there,” I can hear in he voice she’s pointing and gesturing, but I resist the urge to see who.
I find out who she was pointing at pretty soon after that, because a girl strides over and when she speaks I recognise the voice.
“Hey,” she says with a toothy grin. “I’m Hannah.”
“Hi Hannah,” I say with a half-hearted wave.
“So, what’s your name? Or are you just mysterious like that,” she’s batting her eyebrows and I feel even worse than five minutes ago when two dude checked me out, up and down, in front of my face, in the middle of saying hello.
Luckily I’m saved by the return of those two dudes from five minutes ago.
“At your service malady,” says Carter handing a plate of nachos.
“Thanks, but I don’t really feel like eating while standing, I’m going to go find a booth. Carter have you met Hannah?” Gratefully I walk away as those two are caught off guard.
Kent walks quietly behind me careful to see whether or not I want privacy.
“Its fine,” I say to no one in particular. “I could really use the punch, the salsa is spicy.”
After a moments hesitant pause he strides over and puts a cup of clear, pink punch in front of me. It bubbles unnaturally clueing me in that’s it has been spiked.
I take a sip and am immediately taken aback when I taste the high levels of narcotics in this tiny cup. It’s good but I don’t know if I feel like getting high and making those bad decisions I have already been accused of.
“I think Carter is put some new stuff this year, or maybe you are purposely trying to get me high,” I smile at Kent. He laughs and takes this as an invitation to sit down in the seat across from me.
“Nah, I’m not drinking any, I already had a sense it would be strong,” he shrugs but my comment has made him more aware of my health.
“Let’s dance,” I say smiling.
“Uh yeah, okay,” he stands and I grab his hand and drag him onto the dance floor.
“You call that dancing?” I ask laughing at him smiling.
“I know,” he frowns. “I’m not that good; I’ve never had a teacher.”
“Just sort of keep shifting and try to look like you know what you are doing,” he laughs slightly and follows my lead.
He takes my arm and spins me around and literally lifts me off my feet. He spins me still in his arms my legs up in the air and we end with my feet still up, him holding me as I’m bent back.
He doesn’t stop he sweeps me off my feet yet again and my feet in the air against his left hip as if I were sitting. Then he flips me and spins me around and pulling me close, his hand against my back shoving me towards him.
He moves me to the right of him and knowingly, I do a cartwheel and he catches me while upside down lifting me up and then releasing me, letting me finish up right. He catches my arm so I spin in, both our arms linked trapping me in front of him. I turn my head to smile at him and he spins me out.
I take a five minute and break and go fill up another glass of punch, than another and another. Finally I’m on my fifth glass when Kent returns to sweep me back onto the dance floor. He sweeps me off my feet and I quickly readjust to the rhythm.
We keep going on for a long time until the count down. By them I really am parched and exhausted too. He holds me against him I can feel his lips brush against my hair as he counts down with the crowd. I’m blushing bright red, because I can feel the heat in my cheeks. His hand still holding me against slightly. Not a forceful gesture, but one that sort of makes it obvious he doesn’t want me to move.
“43! 42! 41!” Oh my gosh, and suddenly I remember where I am and who I’m with and what happens at midnight suddenly registers. Uh oh! My world starts spinning again, but too fast, too fast and I’m lurched from side to side.
“37! 36! 35!” How do I get away from him without directly rejected him.
“29! 28!” I start biting my fingernails, face nervous; eyes wide, jittery fingers and nerves getting spastic.
“16! 15! 14! 13! 12!” I think I’m going to faint, would that help?
“Ten! Nine!” I’m so sorry for what I’m about to do Kent.
“Eight! Seven! Six! Five!” This is going to hurt him, but he’s going to get the message sooner or later.
“Four! Three! Two!” Never mind, I change my mind! NO! I can’t kiss him and give him the wrong idea!”
“ONE! HAPPY NEW YEARS!” As everyone screams and embraces; I turn hastily with a dazzling smile.
“I’m so sorry, but I totally have to pee! Too much punch. Ha! Ha! Ha!” I laugh staring at him trying to convince him I’m high off punch. He seems convinced as I fake trip on my way to the washroom and trip into someone.
“Watch where you are going!” says a plastic looking girl, in a false soprano tone.
“Watch where you are standing!” I retort. It’s an honestly terrible come back, back gets my message across. But, maybe I’m not as sober as I claimed to be to Kent.
“Hey baby,” I look up to see a boy, no … several boys; triplets. Wait no quadruplets. Quints? Wait no, this is just my eyes playing tricks on me or I guess my brain. Gosh I don’t feel so good.
I’m getting awfully dizzy and being nauseous is horrible.
“Have you had your New Years kiss yet?” he asks.
“What?” I don’t know what he’s saying and my brain is too foggy to comprehend.
“Hey back off bro,” says someone I know. Oh Carter! SO cute, I suddenly start feeling like making out. Ha! Ha! Ha!
“Hey sweet heart!” I say giving him my hottest smile. He smiles readying to embrace me.
“Uh um,” I taste something bad in my throat. UH OH! I start vomiting all over the floor and the last thing I remember is waking up with a wicked head ache and a rotten taste in my mouth two days later.
“You should really get caught up with your homework Karly,” I watch her loom over her piles of work. After being moved to top level, honors-blah blah blah- classes her homework mount has literally increased by the hundreds.
“Yeah well, after you got me moved into the nerd classes-“ she starts.
“Hey you are the nerd! Not me, don’t blame me for moving you into the classes where you can excel and you ‘truly belong’” I always know just what to say to make Karly smile.
“Hey Karly,” says some random guy from a group of guys checking out Karly-is new face-dumbfounded.
She ignores them and returns to look at her homework.
“Gosh I miss the vacation almost everyone was away, hardly anyone had time to ask me out,” she says exasperated.
“Better than my love life. I don’t get the 10 status,” I laugh but Karly has started staring at me intently.
“Lacey, how long … how long do we have?” her eyes looking straight through me.
This is one of those million dollar questions everyone’s talking about, but everyone is yet to ask. So I’m guessing about two weeks, because today is Wednesday the 11th and Kimmi’s sleepover is the 23rd to the 24th so I assume it’s the 24th. That leaves us with … not a lot of time. That leaves us with 13 days; not even two weeks …
“Hey Lacey? Hello? Earth to Lacey! You there?! LACEY!”
“Oh, oh what,” suddenly I snap back to earth, to the school library and the desk I’m sitting at and it registers part that homework is mine also. Damn most is due tomorrow.
“Well?” her voice is clearly agitated, she gets angry easily these days and I haven’t figured it out. Probably should get used to it, she’s traded her childhood friend Miller for some abusive demon that can kill her at any given moment. Our lives are great. Not dysfunctional at all. Not like there’s any child services to call.
“A few months, we have a long time, don’t worry-“
“You’re lying!” snaps Karly. Way too loud, WAY TOO ANGRY. A big chunk of heads turn to find where the racket just came from and eyes shift to find Karly.
“Karly!” I shout under my breath abruptly, as quietly as possible to not draw any more attention. “What is going on with you? Is everything okay, you’re so mad lately,” my voice is genuinely concerned; another lie, she’s upsetting me and I don’t have any more space in my brain for another thing to worry about. Or in my heart.
“I’m just sleep deprived lately. K? Kimmi already spared me the dets. Two weeks, that’s when our sleepover is,” her logic and accusation are smart. Gosh she’s aggravating me today.
“Thirteen days, your sleepover is in 12 and with that attitude I don’t know if I should let you go,” my voice and reasoning is fair, but she starts pleading with me and my composure breaks.
“Just try, Karly, please! Try, your falling behind and I can see the bags under your eyes through the makeup,” I sigh, I just totally gave her a free pass, she better be grateful.
“Thank you,” she says her voice slightly high pitched and she leaves with a bow as her final flourish, but of course trips and loses old of her stack of papers. Interestingly enough, none of her prince charming’s from earlier leap forward and try to be her knight in shining armor. Instead, a girl I don’t know bends down to help her.
Oddly enough, Miller, one of the nicest people I know, walks by her with two-my own personal choice use of inappropriate adjectives-girls and literally kicks some papers out of her reach. I hear one of the girls giggle. I wonder what happened there.
I’m about to run over there and take on all three of them, but then I realise how hurt he must be. I can’t imagine how hurt Kent and Carter would be if I had to tell them, I couldn’t be with them-without any explanation- and just leave them hanging. Poor Miller she really did break his heart, but no one picks on my little sister.
I walk over with a sly grin on my face that says I’m too clever for you and if you had as ma ny IQ points as me you would have cleared out already.
“Hey sweethearts,” I say addressing the two girls. “Cheerleading practice is on the third floor, I know you guys have math trouble, but I’ll give you a hint: that’s not here.”
“What’s your deal?” asks the girl on the left. My left, Miller’s right.
“Clearly more expensive than yours, because poor Miller over here can’t afford it so he went with the girls who are free. And easy,” that shut them up. They walk away without looking back.
“Hey what was that for?” demanded Miller angrily.
“How about you hating on my little sister, I think that’s a good enough cause,” I snort. He doesn’t meet my eyes.
“Your “little sister” isn’t so little anymore Lacey. Look around she’s grown up. Clearly she’s not little and I’m not sure if the girl over there is even your sister,” he says gesturing to her with emphasis on the word sister.
I glance over and to no avail find her flirting with the boys that didn’t help her pick up her stuff. She must be blind.
“You’re sister can’t make a good decision to save her life, neither can you,” he turns and stalks away.
I replay his words in my head. ‘You’re sister can’t make a good decision to save her life, neither can you.’ Then I know what he means. His sister Polly, I don’t know her that well, but I think she’s in my year, I know her enough to know she has a crush on Kent. Coincidentally her best friend happens to be Allison who is hopelessy in love with Carter.
Is that what he means? We can’t decide who we like and we string people along just to make bad decisions. Well he’s wrong I haven’t made a decision yet so how can he know it’s a bad one. Unless he’s referring to the one I made when I started stringing Kent and Carter along.
Does he think I asked for this? Does he think she asked for this? Does he think anyone would ask for this? If he knew what I knew I’m sure he’d feel differently. Poor both of them. I totally threw a wrench in their relationship. I think I doomed them to be the ultimate star0crossed lovers who are doomed to store their love for one another somewhere in a pit in the bottom of their hearts and channel it unconditionally into some stranger they wish was each other.
I start heading back to my dorm alone. It’s cold in the hallway and the hallways are empty. Cold gusts of January air hit me in the face.
It’s too cold here. I start running towards my dorm room head reeling.
“Lacy?” someone calls but I run as far as can, past that person, past lots of people who stare, but I don’t stop.
Shit. I crash into a wall.