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Chapter 19

Chapter 19

"I said a splish splash I was taking a bath!" He sings atrociously at the top of his voice while the water continues to run. "Gonna wash my feet, gonna wash my hands, gonna wash my back before givin' everyone a party heart attack!"

"How much longer?" I ask Bell with an angry look. At this rate, he'll never be ready on time for the party -- maybe it's a good thing.

Bell shrugs, still busy on her cell phone. "Sometimes, Troy can shower up to four hours," she replies, not fazed by what she's just told me. "He loves his showers; he keeps asking me for water from the Swiss Alps for his birthday."

Four hours?!

I pull at roots of my hair in frustration. "He's not even bathing!" I complain when Troy starts the whole 'splish splash' chorus again. Even when he's not in the same room as me, he's annoying me to no ends -- literally, I'm about to pull all my hair out.

"I thought he looked fine," AJ comments in confusion. "Why does he have to get ready again?" She looks at me for an explanation. "I thought he already took two hours on his appearance this morning."

"Don't question the ways of my brother," Bell answers for me -- can't argue there.

Ramos, Troy's famous accomplice, shakes his head in disbelief at us. "Zies a partee, he muz get readee properly. Zis daily look of two hours zis not enough. Ze has to glam up for fab partee."

AJ smiles at him in a friendly manner before gently nudging me. "What did he just say?" She whispers in my ear.

I chuckle aloud. "Who really cares?"

I know I don't.

"Honestly, who invited my brother to this party anyway?" Bell asks. 

"He lives here," I answer bluntly, gesturing around their house.

"Ugh. Don't remind me," Bell retorts, upset over the reminder. "If anyone asks, he's not related to me."

"How are we going to get a party started here in any case?" AJ asks us, not following.

Bell sends her a pitied smile. "Oh sweet AJ, you have so much to learn." She presses the send button on her cell phone. "I know people," she smirks in pride. "I just send the invitation out to all of my crew," she explains before her phone begins to light up with notifications, all her 'crew' probably replying to her.

"In other words," I turn to AJ in order to clarify, "she's popular."

AJ nods. "No, I gathered that."

"Come on, girl. Let's go get prettier!" Bell loops her arm through AJ's before dragging her to her room. Bell stops to snap her fingers at Ramos. "You too. We need you for our hair."

"Zes, Ms. Bell. As zoo wish." He salutes her before running over to her room, leaving me alone with Max -- my partying buddy, we've had some good times.

I scoff. "As much as Ramos worships the ground Troy walks on, he'll always be Bell's pack mule first and foremost."

Max nods in agreement. "Everyone is Bell's pack mule first, and I speak with experience."

"Whatever. Let's just party hard tonight," I say, ready to have some fun. It's been a while.

Max fist bumps me, a devious smirk crossing his lips. "You got it, dude."


"Yo, Ben! Where's our girls at?" Max asks me over the loud music blasting through the house. "Can't find 'em anywhere." He scowls when one guy pushes him out of his way. "Watch it, bud! I basically live here!"

Knowing Bell, she probably wants to make a fashionably late entrance to gain the attention of her crowds and the spotlight from her brother who is currently booming comments loudly from the center of the house -- mostly derogatory comments at those who, and I quote, 'dance funnily' .

Feeling the exhilarating buzz flow through my bloodstream, I grin and shrug at Max. "Beats me," I reply and take another swig of my bottle.

"Drinking already?" He asks with raised eyebrows, almost as if concerned -- it's enough to make me question what the hell I'm doing with my life. "The party only started like twenty minutes ago."

I honestly couldn't wait a second any longer. Drinking makes me feel normal. It makes me feel like there's nothing wrong with my life.

I continue swaying to the beat of the music despite feeling the crowds pushing into me, despite feeling hot, despite feeling dizzy and lightheaded. "Never a bad time to drink," I argue, enjoying myself. This is a million times better than studying or reminiscing on my past and all that I lost.

Max weighs it out in his head before grabbing the bottle from my hands. "To fun!" He cheers.

I chuckle, slightly out of it. "To fun!" I agree loudly, watching him take a sip of heave and get lost in the 'fun'. Unlike him, I'm no lightweight.

I pat Max on the back before taking my usual place behind the DJ table, however, not without a shot of tequila. I bob my head and sing along while getting ready to take on an awesome, breakdown song. I've gotten really good with practice and I'm keen to push myself further. I even know some DJ jargon now. 

"You're awfully good at this," an unfamiliar voice says from beside me.

Still focused on my beats, I glance sideways. I spot the beautiful blonde smiling up at me. For a split second, I see Aqueela in her. I blink, my hazy vision leaving as an unrecognizable face comes into view.

"Heyyy." I grin down flirtatiously at the girl. I can tell when someone's interested. I'm no stranger to any of this. When I hear whispering, my eyes flicker to a group of ladies standing behind her. They're staring directly at us and whispering. I've had enough experience in life to know what's going on here -- they dared this gorgeous blonde to speak to me. 

I smirk at the group of the girls and wink at them. They immediately blush and start giggling, trying to hide from my view.

The blonde shakes her head at me. "Quite the charmer you are," she says, realizing that I've figured it out. "Sorry about my friends. They're so embarrassing."

I laugh mockingly at her. "Angel, you have no idea what true embarrassing friends do." My eyes immediately land on Troy at the thought. "Speaking of which..." I gesture over to the idiot taking the microphone from some poor guy, clearly getting ready to give some tacky speech of some sort.

"Everybody, I have an announcement to make!" Troy declares in spite of no one caring. "Full disclosure, I'm coming out."

Everyone in the room gasps. I immediately put a stop to the music, surprisingly not shocked by the news. Ramos is the first to break the silence by clapping his hands in joy. Everybody else follows suit, happy for him.

"You know him?" The blonde asks me. I shake my head in response. She frowns. "I thought you just said--"

"Have no idea who he is," I cut her off abruptly before she can jump to any correct conclusions.

"And by that, I mean that I'm officially choosing a side. I'm officially coming out as a non-gay person! Whoo!" He fist bumps the air in excitement. 

Everyone falls silent once again. 

"What a relief!" Troy continues on as if now a motivational speaker. "What a weight off my shoulders! I've been keeping this in for so long, simply because I didn't want to be looked at any differently! I was so scared to confide in anyone! But now I'm ready to embrace myself and stand out like I was always meant to. I was born to shine! I was born to be a straight!"

"Well, I'm shocked now," I mumble beneath my breath. He literally said that he wants to be a woman. "Get back into the closet! Shut the door and don't come out!" I yell at him before downing my next shot of alcohol in ease.

"That's my supportive best friend, BroBoyBand!" Troy points over to me in pride.

I merely laugh when people send me glares. I think I might just be starting to get tipsy. Nonetheless, I still get sidetracked when I see two brunettes walking down the stairs that lead to Bell's room.

Of course, it's my two girls finally making an appearance.

Just like every other guy in this room, my eyes are stuck on the pair, more specifically, AJ. Her blue eyes meet mine from across the room. When she sends me a soft smile, my heart does a weird jump in my chest.

It's overs for me...

I shake my head to myself and grab another bottle of beer from my 'DJ beer' table. 

"Who is she?" The blonde asks me, following my gaze.

When AJ starts walking over to me, I panic and shove 'blondey' far away from me in the hopes of her not ruining my chances with this unique girl. Unfortunately, said unique girl, AJ, sees this and arches a brow at me in confusion. 

I send her a sheepish wave before ducking under the DJ table, too humiliated and wasted to talk to her right now.

I just know that I'm going to say something stupid.

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