PREPARATION IS KEY
Lydia and Caleb were hard wired for parties. Caleb, being a celebrity while he was alive, always lived the fast life and Lydia, celebrity or not, well she was just a bonafied party girl. Back in the days when she was alive, she used to pride herself on how ‘life of the party’ she could be. Caleb, too. And although the parties they went to were very different, their excitement for them was just the same.
“Oh my gosh, I can’t wait for tonight! It’s going to be so much fun. I’ve been so bored lately,” Lydia exclaimed to Aiden while throwing her arms out.
“Oh yeah. It’s been so long since we had a normal, yet fun, experience. I mean, this place has a lot, but boy can it be drab.”
“Did you just say drab,” Lydia mocked.
“Why yes, my lady, I did. And do you have a problem with that?”
“No, no,” Lydia said brushing off his accusation playfully. “Drab it up!”
The party planning was going off without a hitch and even some of the souls had R.S.V.P.’d with an ecstatic ‘definitely!’. It was going to be perfect, and the very best part was that Dexter Valentine couldn’t do a thing about it. He could even attend the festivities, although Lydia highly doubted he would show.
He was pleasant for the most part, but the idea of getting stuck chatting with him in a corner made Lydia quiver. He would play the old professor part, the boring old dude that no one wanted to talk to. Lydia secretly hoped that he wouldn’t show up just so she wouldn’t have to deal with him at all.
“I’ve got to change! I’m on the hunt for my soulmate and I gotta’ look good,” Caleb said slyly with a wink. Lydia just chuckled as he exited her room. She wanted to get ready, too. She hadn’t had the chance to really dress up for Aiden, not in the afterlife, and she wanted to look perfect.
She set out her final choice on the bed and stared at it intently. It was a white skater dress with off-shoulder sleeves, and she had flowers for her hair. It was simple, but when she got dressed and looked in the mirror she couldn’t help but be shocked at her own appearance. She had never looked so pure before. She was classic beauty and new age sex all wrapped up into one visually enticing package. Her eyes were bright and her smile was deep. She was ready to turn heads, or at least one head, the only one that mattered. Aiden knocked on her door and broke her concentration.
“Lydia, you here?”
“No, don’t look! You can’t see me yet!”
He laughed. “What are you talking about Ashes?”
“It’s like the wedding day or something. I just don’t want you to see me until I’m fully ready.”
“Okay, but I’ve got to talk to you about the…” he cleared his throat, “Party favours.”
“Okay but do it from there,” she said from behind her wardrobe.
Aiden didn’t get why it was so important to her that he had to wait to see her, but he went along anyway.
“Okay, well Quincy said that, and I think this is obvious, drinking isn’t available. Most drugs, either. So, we won’t be doing much in that regard. However, he did say that there’s this one flower that grows out front of the mansion that when picked gives off an energy we can absorb to become, well intoxicated. So, I’ve sent Quincy down to get enough for at least half of the souls, because I figure not everyone is as go-hard as you and Caleb. And the record player down there actually works, and that full wall of records, actually real!” He sounded as excited as a little boy at Christmas.
“So, we’ll have music, too! We can move some of the couches to make way for a dance floor and we should be good!”
“Great! That sounds perfect! That flower thing I’m a little skeptical about but everything else sounds perfect!”
“Alrighty, great. So, I’m going to get started on setting up the living room. I’ve got to try to get all the souls to go somewhere for a bit while I do, so it may take me a while. I’ll be back in a little while to pick you up.” He said pick you up in a playful tone and they laughed together as he walked out of the room.
“Okay, sweets!” She was smiling from ear to ear. It was incredible how something as simple as a party with some dancing could make Lydia happy. She appreciated that about herself. Even in life she didn’t need much. Just some good company, good tunes, and good vibes. It didn’t matter what the excursion was—as long as those three things were present she was all in. She started reminiscing about her most recent life. She started remembering all the parties she had gone to and the people she had met. She met her very best friend, Sarah, at a party once. It was a 5th grade birthday party and they’re parents sort of forced them into friendship by planning play dates after meeting there, but it was a meeting at a party nonetheless. They had been best friends all the way up to the moment of Lydia’s demise, and she now regretted not taking a look back at how she was doing when she was at the well.
‘I’ll do it after the party,’ she thought to herself not knowing that the first chance she got to get a glance in that well would be her last.
“Ow, Ow,” came Caleb’s voice from behind her. “Looking good sweet thang, can I get yo numba?”
Lydia jumped and then smiled. “Oh, stop it. I do look good, though don’t I? And you, you!” She motioned towards him. “You look like a superstar.”
“That’s just cause I am one. I just saw Aiden heading down to set up but said I had to help
you with something to get out of it. I want to make an entrance.” He spun into a Risky Business slide across the floor.
“Good, because so do I! Aiden hasn’t seen me yet, and I want him to just die when he does.”
“That’s impossible, we’re already dead!” Caleb laughed hysterically at his own lame joke which made Lydia giggle a little herself.
“So, what do you want to do till the party starts?”
Just then they were interrupted by the one person Lydia didn’t want to see. Valentine. “Party? I don’t recall being invited to any party.” He said coyly from the doorway.
“You weren’t invited? Quincy and Aiden must have just missed you, that’s all. Are you going to make it?” Lydia asked dreading a yes.
“No. I won’t be able to. But I am glad to see that you guys have come around to the ways of the middle. No more crazy ideas I hope?”
“Nope!” Caleb said smiling and childlike.
“Great. Well I must be on my way. You have a good time, now.”
Lydia let out a sigh of relief. “Well that was close. He really would have lamed out the party.”
“Oh, he’s not that bad. Just vague. Which is super annoying yes, but not that bad”
“Shhhhhhhh. What was that?”
“Oh nothing. I just thought I heard the sound of lips kissing a butt.” Now Lydia was the one laughing at her own lame joke.
“Very funny.” Caleb rolled his eyes. “Alright, let’s go check out how they’re doing down there.”
“You go. I’m not quite finished yet. I’ll be down soon”
“Okay. But don’t primp and prod too much, Aiden wants to recognize his soulmate, not find it. Like me.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Caleb left Lydia to her own devices and she stared at herself some more, trying to figure out exactly what her look was missing.
Her eyes went up and down her body, not knowing where she could add or take away from. Her outfit was so simple, it was almost perfect. Almost. She glanced around the room for something she could do to take it from almost to definite. Something caught her eye from a lamp across the room. It was something she never noticed before—a necklace. It was long, and would hang down past her cleavage. It wasn’t quite gold, but not quite silver either. It was a colour she was sure she had seen before and the charm was a simple light blue ball that looked almost alive. It swirled as she stared into it and she knew she had found it. The perfect accessory. She put it around her neck and as she did she felt a surge of power. It went as quick as it came, and as she stared herself down one last time, she couldn’t help but smile with true happiness at the way she looked. She had never been so confident and she didn’t want to lose that feeling. Not ever.
She took to the doorway to head down to what would hopefully be the best night of her afterlife.