I was officially kicked out of my own house. Aly was with my parents helping set up for the party at this moment. I was surprised that they were able to tear themselves away from their paperwork or tanning appointment, but they were different now. I wasn't sure if it was because they had lost a child, or if they were just glad to see Henry out of the picture. Either way I would rather it be like before than now. Anyway, I was still hoping for the party to fall through. I did have a glance at the RSVP list, and basically the whole school was coming.
I turned up the volume on the radio. My parents, being so friendly and kind, got me a brand new car. My first car since I never really need one before, either my brother or Henry would drive me around. I never really even wanted one because we definitely could have afforded one. It was a light blue Honda Fit. I didn't really care what kind of car it was. New cars were obviously something of bad luck in my family, so I didn't really want one, but accepted the car keys anyway. It was a form of freedom that I needed now more than ever to get out of my house. Those first couple of weeks I couldn't seem to leave, now all I wanted to do was get my mind off everything.
Finally, I had reached the small shops of our very tiny town. The same place I met Ethan. I glanced over at the Panera with many happy groups of friends and couples laughing as they enjoyed the cool evening weather. I looked at my car clock and saw it was 6:45, still an hour to spend. At least, I had made it here unharmed, so far that is. My driving skills were about as great as my swimming skills, which were quite embarrassing.
Once, I reached the first store on the strip; I already saw someone from school. It was the other long-time couple or the only now. They had been going out since freshman year; Nick and Sophie. I wanted to leave the window, but I couldn't stop staring at them. The way they laughed, poked fun at each other and held hands. Sophie grabbed an ugly shirt and put it on Nick's chest giggling the whole time. Nick's lips moved, but I couldn't make out the words. The next thing I knew they were in pure hysterics. I was jealous of the way they loved each other, maybe how others had been jealous of us. Just as I was about to turn away, they spotted me and rushed outside.
I was embarrassed as I stared at the ground. "Oh my, Estelle! I haven't seen you all summer. Happy Birthday!" Sophie ran over and hugged me still not letting go of Nick's hand. I just shrugged my shoulders once she let go. "We were just shopping for your birthday present, actually."
"It's going to be the party of the summer." Nick let go of Sophie's hand and put his arm around her shoulder, probably a natural thing for him to do, but Sophie shrugged it off. It was because I was there and she knew, Nick knew, everyone knew what happened.
"Well Aly is an expert party planner." I tried to fake a slight laugh. They both smiled at me as if trying to reassure me that everything will go as planned.
There was an awkward moment of all three of us just looking around. Suddenly Sophie spoke, "Oh my god, gross!" Sophie had a sour look on her face and was glancing behind me. I followed her glance, but wished I hadn't. It was Henry and that girl, lip locked. I could only see their profiles, but it was enough to make me want to throw up.
"I'm sorry. I have to go." I pushed through them to find a garbage can or maybe a tissue box, whichever I needed first.
"So you're going to be whining all night?" Audrey said while rolling her eyes. Our forced dated was turning out worst than possible, not that I was too surprised.
"Did you expect otherwise?" I spat back at her. There was no point in keeping anything from Audrey, she already knew, or would know soon. So, she knew it was Estelle's birthday tonight, and of course I wanted to go. I couldn't deal with her telling Sean, who knows what he would do to me or Estelle. Anyway, I needed the pills if I ever wanted another shot with Estelle. "Can I just drop off her present?" I had been arguing ever since we got away from Sean after he dropped us off, like we were 5th graders. Not like we couldn't leave at any second.
"You know what? Sure." Audrey said with a smirk on her face.
"What's the catch?" Audrey was not one to give up. She might have been overly cheerful, but she also knew how to get what she wanted.
"You promise, you'll do whatever I ask you too?" She said with her smile becoming larger by the second. I could say no, but then she would say never mind and not bring it up again. Being obsessed makes you do crazy things.
"I suppose." I already had a bad taste in my mouth, fearing what she would suggest.
"Kiss me on the lips, and not just a peck. At least 10 seconds." Her expression changed from a seductive smile to a sweet, innocence one. She sounded like a 10 year old, but unfortunately she really did seem to like me.
"So I get a time limit now?" I joked.
"Just start counting." She grabbed my shirt and pushed her lips into mine. I wanted to push her off, but it was just better if I started counting. 10...9...8..ugh time moves slowly..6...4..3..1! I pushed her off and wiped my mouth with the back of my hand to rub in the fact that it was so disgusting to me. She had a huge smirk on her face, and she turned her head to across the street. At first, I only saw Sophie and Nick looking confused. Then I looked behind them to the beautiful brunette running to a new car, pulling her hair behind her ear, what she did when she was nervous or upset. I'd managed to hurt Estelle another time.
I had to do something, so I headed off in her direction. Before I even took 3 steps, Audrey grabbed me by the arm and pulled me around. "It will just make it worst." Audrey's expression was serious and almost sorrowful now.
"I fucking hate you. Never talk to me again, or even look at me. I want nothing to do with you." My hands were shaking profusely now. I clenched them into fist; I couldn't lose control. I turned around and walked away, not knowing what I should do now.
"See you soon, Henry." Audrey yelled as I left, loud enough for everyone to hear. Her excitement ringing in her voice.
I put the final touch on my drawing. I looked out one last time on the neighborhood park. All of the mom's were rounding up their children, the swings slowly stopped swaying, and the squirrels were gathering their last acorns of the day. I was proud of my drawing of a small child with the biggest smile on her face being pushed by her father. A truly lovely family. Drawing had a calming effect over me, but it didn't make my make-up look any less destroyed. I looked in my rear view mirror one more time; there was no way I could not look like crap. My cell phone said 7:45, the exact time Aly said for me to be back. I slowly turned the key and took a small drive back to my house.
As soon as I pulled up, I already noticed her sitting in my living room waiting impatiently for me to come back. She saw me and ran to the door to open it. "Estelle." She waited for me to get closer and whispered, "You look like crap." She looked me over one more time, and then rushed me upstairs to my room. I could already hear all of the commotion outside. It reminded me when she saved me from my exile after the break-up.
Aly turned on my light and plopped me down on my chair by my dresser. She did various things with my hair and make-up. "It was him, wasn't it?" Aly whispered as she searched through my dresser for my new bathing suit that we had picked out together.
"Top drawer on the right." I replied. She already knew, I didn't need to answer. She tossed me my bathing suit and fiddled with her own hair while I changed. "He was kissing that girl at the shops." I barely whispered to Aly. I quickly tried to change my mind afraid that I would start to cry again.
"I have something to cheer you up." Aly walked back down the stairs and into my kitchen. She brought out a very oddly wrapped present. I was hesitant to open it, but she nodded her head for me to continue. It was the funky, green chair that Aly said we could never have in our dorm room.
"This means a lot Al. I know how serious you are about how our room must look perfect. I love it." She gave me a big hug, it helped but didn't stop the pain.
"Don't let him ruin this for you." She whispered into my ear. "Let's go!" Before I could complain more about the party, she was already out my bedroom door and leading me down the stairs to the backyard.
I took a second to look around before I stepped out. There were cute little lanterns everywhere, a huge table of food and drinks, everyone looked like they were having fun. Once, I stepped outside everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at me. It was incredibly awkward, as I felt it always is when I was the birthday girl. I felt my face turning a beet red. Before I even knew it, people were ushering me to a table, and Aly had a huge birthday cake in her hands with tons of candles on it. Everyone started singing, and if possible I turned even more red. Then I wondered what I was going to wish for. I had no idea. The singing had stopped and everyone was staring at me now ready for me to blow out the candles before any gust of wind came by and did it for me. I had to go with the first thing to come to mind. Amazingly, I blew out all the 18 candles with one breath. I couldn't help to doubt the wish would come true.
Being the center of attention was not my idea of fun. After all of the small talk with everyone, I was ready for it to be over before it really started. However, there was a least another couple of hours before my parents kicked everyone out. Thankfully, no one asked any questions about him. However, I was sure many of the whispers that started right after I walked away were about exactly that. Maybe how it looked worse now that he left, or how he had obviously preferred blondes this whole time. Sophie and Nick ended up avoiding me for the whole night, hopefully they wouldn't spread the news to anyone. Not that no one else saw it in this too tiny town.
While I was in the middle of listening to Matt's story about how he went to Australia this summer and got attacked by kangaroos, Ethan asked if he could steal me away. Matt agreed and turned to talk to another group of people, some of who I didn't even really recognize. Aly knew so many more people than me. Ethan looked like he just stepped out of the pool. His sandy brown hair and his chest glistened from the dimly lit lanterns. Ethan started to head towards the empty bench. I sat down beside him and before I could even start a conversation, he pulled out a medium size jewelry box. "Happy Birthday Estelle," He said excitedly.
I opened the box, and there was a beautiful necklace with the letter E on it. "Thank you," I said with a smile on my face. I was so astonished; it looked almost exactly like the one my great- grandma used to have, who had the same name as me. I picked up my hair, and he helped me put it on.
"It looks great on you." Ethan's smile was bigger than ever. He was such a sweet boy. I realized then he was expecting a kiss as we sat there awkwardly. I lead him on before, so why wouldn't he? It hit me then, maybe I wanted revenge or just someone, but I really wanted to kiss Ethan. Would it be like last time? Possibly. I wanted to do more than kiss even. I slowly turned my head and leaned in closer to him. Then I pushed my lips into Ethan's, without being gentle, my new found excitement was getting the best of me. Ethan seemed surprised by my rush of passion and urgency, but he kissed back. I slowly pushed my body up close to Ethan's. His bare chest against my bare stomach made it almost unbearable to focus on the kiss. I grabbed his short hair and played with it. I heard a wolf whistle behind us.
"I'm thinking birthday sex," one egged on as he made thrusting movements. I immediately looked up and saw two jerks from my high school, probably drunk. Then I looked down at Ethan and realized I was on top of him, but I didn't want to get off. He looked shocked but happy. Perhaps thinking that I might have drank a little bit too much of that spiked punch myself.
"Let's take this somewhere else." I grabbed Ethan's hand, and we headed towards the house. Then a short of deja vu came to me.
I got up and ran to the pool house, and he followed. I locked the door behind us. He sat down on the small futon that was located in there. He took off his soaking wet socks, shoes, tie and overcoat. I took off my high heels and jumped onto his lap. I looked into his green eyes, filled with so much passion. I picked up from where we left off. His hands searched my body, while mine searched his. We once again found our favorite places on each other. I ruffled his combed hair, as he gave my bottom a little squeeze. It was so comforting to feel his wide shoulders hovering over my small frame. Then, he broke away for air. His tongue grazed over his teeth. He slowly sent little pecks all down my jawline and down to my chest, tracing the V-shaped neckline of my dress. He moved to back up to my neck, which always seemed to be his favorite spot. He nuzzled it for a second, then slowly started sucking the skin. I could feel the passion running through his veins; it was unbearable. To the point where I could barely stand the passion.
The setting was the same and the wording, but the person was all too different and the reason. It almost felt like a foreshadowing, like I shouldn't take Ethan to my room or the same end result would happen. The image of Henry making out with that girl in public, potentially just because he saw me, flashed into my head. Instead of preventing me, it made we want revenge even more. "We don't have to do this, if you don't want too." I hardly even realized I stopped, too deep in thought.
"No, I want to." I replied to Ethan as I opened the back door. We walked slowly up the stairs trying not to get my parents attention. It seemed they liked Ethan so much they probably wouldn't even mind; they maybe even liked him more than me. My bedroom door was closed, which I thought was strange since I remembered leaving it open.
Ethan grabbed my hand and turned me around. "Estelle, I mean..we don't have to move this fast. I like you a lot but..." Ethan was truly a very sweet guy. I felt bad for hurting him, but I couldn't stop myself. I just smiled at him and bit my lip as I traced my finger around the edge of his bathing suit trunk. I grabbed his hand and open the door to an awful surprise sitting on my bed.