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chapter nine

I woke up, dragging myself out of the bed, face first. Immediately, I found my way to the bathroom and did my business, changing into proper clothes for the day. I ran down the steps, finding some random package of pop tarts for breakfast. Yelling a goodbye to my mother and father, I headed out for work.

After a peaceful 25 minute drive, I arrived at the Target where I just so happened to work, but rarely because I never get put onto the schedule. I gave my coworkers a simple wave, considering we all looked more dead than awake and ready for work. I went into the break room, changing into my work shirt and clocking in. I put on my name tag, then headed over to my register. The day started out slow, but thankfully picked up about halfway through my shift.

When the end of the day neared and I was just about to close up my isle, I heard someone yell out.

“Hey, wait up! Can you please just check me out really quick?”

I looked up from the register to see none other than Connor running up to my register.

He smirked once he got a good look at my face, “I didn’t know you worked here.”

I shrugged, waiting for him to grab the items from his cart. “I didn’t know you were old enough to buy alcohol.” Leaning my back against my register, I waited for his response. He just looked down at his shoes.

“Look, I buy alcohol from here sometimes, mainly when the guys need some for a party.”

I looked at him, surprised. “And that works? No one IDs you?”

He tucked his hands into his front pockets, shrugging helplessly. “I have my ways.” I smiled, waiting for him to share those ways. “I go up to a register which looks like a cute girl is working at, flirt with her a little bit, get her number and then I magically have alcohol.”

“So, you came to my isle? How flattering.”

He intertwined his hands together and started to beg silently, “Please, Elizabeth. The guys are counting on me, and it’s for the party tonight. It’ll be just this once, I swear. Plus, I’d do the same for you if you were in this situation. Please, please, please, just let me buy it. I will do whatever you want, please, I love you Elizabeth.”

I scrunched up my nose, “Fine, but only this once. If I catch you doing it again while I’m here, I’m calling the cops. I could lose my job for this.”

Connor laughed, thanking me, “You could get in so much more trouble than just losing your job, but thank you.”

I scanned all of Connor’s items, questioning many things about him and pretending to check his license. I was finding new material for this paper, that was for sure.

“I was curious, when do you get off of work?”

I handed Connor his change, “Right now, actually.”

I finished up and turned off my register so that the next person could be all ready to go. “Well, I’m going to go set up for the party right now, and you can join if you want to.”

I nodded my head, walking with Connor to the exit after I had clocked out and grabbed my things. “I’ll stop by early, I want to go get changed though for the party.”

We said our goodbyes and headed in different directions. When I got home, I let my mom know about the party which she was just excited to hear about me being more social. My dad wasn’t the happiest about me going out tonight, as he would rather me be focused on school and ensuring my future doesn’t get screwed. I got dressed into a pair of skinny jeans and a plaid button up. I left my hair down where it has been all day since I didn’t really care, and then I was off to the address which Elijah texted me.


“You made it!”

Elijah pulled my into a sloppy hug, “Of course I made it, what else would I be doing on a Saturday night?”

He lazily draped his arm over my shoulders, “I don’t know but you look hot, I will be finding you later.” I looked to Connor as he entered the room, disgust all over my face.

I started pushing Elijah’s arm off me, “Someone started drinking already. Where’s the food?” Connor nodded his head towards a doorway, which I took as a ‘Come this way, the food is right through here’ motion.

Elijah stumbled behind Connor and I, still being way too close for my liking. We entered the kitchen, my eyes wandering over all the chips and soda, the basic high school party essentials.

“So, how many people did you guys invite?” Connor looked to Elijah, unsure himself of how many.

Elijah just shrugged, sliding up onto the counter, “Maybe 40? It’s not going to be a large, out of hand party. I think.”

I nodded my head, the room becoming silent. Elijah went out to the living room, going to turn on the music and make sure everything was set for tonight. Connor grabbed a beer out of the fridge, jumping up on the counter next to me.

“How’s the paper coming along? Mine is almost done, I think you’ll like it.”

I shrugged, snacking on some chips, “It’s coming along, and it better be good. If there’s anything I didn’t approve of being in the paper, I’ll fight you. Just remember that.”

He laughed, offering me a sip of his beer. “How far along are you with the paper? We’re reading them Monday.”

I took him up on his offer, “I have somewhat of an intro.”

Connor’s shoulders dropped, “You have to be kidding me, how are you in college English? You’re such a procrastinator.”

I shrugged, “I work best when I’m under pressure. Hey, where’s Ellie? I thought she’d be here with you.”

Connor shook his head, clueless of where his own girlfriend was. “I don’t know, I wasn’t sure if Elijah invited her or not.”

I looked to Connor, a bit taken back, “What? You didn’t get Elijah to invite her?”

He shrugged, “I’m not going to make Elijah invite her just because she’s my girlfriend. Our friendship comes first, that’s just the rule. Plus, it’s his party. He should invite his friends.”

“I mean, I guess that’s fair. Was Ellie okay with it?” Connor laughed, shrugging once again. “You have got to be the worst boyfriend in the world.”

He shook his head, sharing his beer with me once again. “I am not that bad, I’m new to this, give me a break. You’re not the best friend a girl could have either, so shut it.”

I slapped his chest playfully, “I’m a great friend, what would even make you think that?”

Connor hopped off the counter, “You let her go out with me when you knew that I didn’t have real feelings for her.”

I frowned at him, “Hey, I tried to tell her it was a bad idea. She was persistent on going out with you.”

Connor stood in front of me, a hand on either side of me, “Well then, best friend of the year, why didn’t you invite Ellie? Huh?”

“We haven’t really talked with one another since lunch on Friday.” Connor continued to stare at me with the look on his face which said he was right. I put my hands up in surrender, “Fine, neither of us are perfect, but you’re still worse. You don’t even have feelings for the girl, for crying out loud.”

He shrugged, finishing up his drink, “I know. I guess I just have feelings for someone else.”

People started showing up for the party and entering the kitchen. Connor and I said our greetings to the other people, still continuing to talk about how bad of people we can be. When we figured most everyone was here, Connor grabbed my hand and led me into the living area where the majority of people were. The party wasn’t the typical crazy high school party most people mistake them for. There wasn’t strobe lights with hot, sweaty teenage bodies rubbing up against each other, or random kids making out with one another about to start an orgy. It was relaxed, with some students swaying back and forth, talking as they listened to the music. Then in another corner, there was a game of beer pong going on, as well as a game of pool. Elijah definitely had a sweet house, and I don’t blame him for doing his best at keeping the party contained and less of a mess.

It was a bit later in the night when things did end up getting a bit crazy.

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