“The Party” Friday morning I awoke with high expectations. The biggest party of the year was going on tonight and I was yet to receive an invite. My closest friend Eva had gotten hers Monday. Scott said that if I did not get one he would see if I could be a plus one. Did plus one even apply in high school? I didn’t think so but Scott was almost positive. I dressed in my usual, Sweatshirt and blue jeans. I slid my freshly washed socks on and stuck my feet into my converse. When I ran down for breakfast Mom had outdone herself. “White toast, bacon and eggs.” “Wow Mom, who do I thank for the breakfast of champions?” “Well honey, I just found out that I will be laid off for two more weeks. Sooo.. I figured I would start making my baby girl breakfast, to give you a better start in morning. Of course.” “Whatever Mom. I give it until Monday and I will back to eating dry cereal on the way out of the door. And give the baby girl thing a rest. I am 16 and haven’t been your baby girl since I was 5.” She smiles. “Okay Sienna. Just eat the breakfast and go to school.” She walks over to the sink and begins to scrub the counter. I couldn’t stand the sight of Jacqueline trying to play Mother of the year. So I snatched my car keys from the cute little porcelain basket that read ‘keys’. “Before you go Sienna I need you to be home on time so you can pick up Jarvis from school.” “Oh God Mom! You are not working right now! Why can’t you do it?” “The agreement was if your Dad and I helped you buy a car, you would help with your little brother.” I roll my eyes. Dad ruined my life the day he decided to run off with his business partner’s girlfriend, Natalie Delgado. I hated to think about her. Her short black curly hair bounced each and every time she would turn to speak. Any man in the room was hypnotized by her every move. It was disgusting to watch. And here I am stuck with Mom. Left here to help her and Jarvis pick up the pieces. “Ugggh Mom!” “Because I helped you buy a car, you have to help out with the driving around here. So be home by 4 to pick him up!” I throw my hands in her direction to let her know she has won. I jump in my silver thunderbird and turn the ignition. “Life was not fair.” I think. But it doesn’t matter; I am all too familiar with not ever getting my way. I pull into the student parking lot, grab my bag and approach the front door of the school. As I make my way to my locker, the party is the buzz of the morning. The hall is swarming with the chit chat ramblings of Avery and Payton’s posh birthday bash. I have never been one to desire the company of the in-crowd. But this party has been the complete consumption of the Junior class’ existence. I search the sea of gossiping students’ for Scott Headly, my totally hot best friend. I have known him for two years. He took pity on me when I got to Fremont High. I was the pitiful out cast that dressed totally out of tune with the Fashion God’s of Fremont. But he took me in and made me less of a target. Then there is his ex-girlfriend Eva Perriman. She has been my best friend since 4th grade. I know, how do we all get along with them being exes. It’s easy. They are hot. They switch mates like Avery changes shoes, which is a lot. Eva never keeps a boyfriend past two weeks. The only reason she stayed with Scott for a month is because he was a grade higher than us. I stand on the tips of my toes and eye the crowd. Sure enough Scott is standing there in the middle of the commotion with his arm around some senior girl. I wave. He winks and releases his grip from around her neck. She tries to protest but he smiles, lays her hand at her side and walks away. “Wassup Sienna?” “Nothing. Just totally bummed because I have to pick up that little monster from school. So I won’t be able to hang with you and Eva after school.” “It’s ok I have to get ready for Payton’s party anyway. I sigh and drop my head. “Still no invite?” “No. and why in the world would they invite me? Look at me.” “Come on Sienna. There is nothing wrong with you. I love your array of college sweats. It shows gumption.” He says with his head held high.” “Go ahead Scotty laugh, cause you know that is bull.” He holds his fist to his mouth and laughs. “No I am so serious right now. These manufactured drones can’t hold a candle to you.” He says and then grabs my neck. My frizzy rustic colored hair snags and my scrunchy slides off. The untamed mane wiggles free. “Oh shoot Scotty. I squirm out of his grip and attempt to wrangle my locks. “Why don’t you ever wear your hair down? You look cute.” He says as he takes his hand and shuffles my hair back into a fright. I scowl to let him know it wasn’t cool. “See ya later!” he shouts as he tramples his way to class. Finally after the brawl with my hair I make my way to math. Eva is sitting quietly in her chair with her arms folded and wearing a funky grimace. “Hey Eva. I was looking for you.” “I figured. I just didn’t feel like walking the runway today.” “What’s wrong?” I ask, already aware of the reason for her gloom. “Me and Jaxon broke up.” “No!” I say with fabricated amazement. “Yes and now I am going to be a dateless spectacle tonight.” “I doubt it. You will have another date in an hour. So don’t trip.” She smiles. “Oh Sienna, that’s why I love you. You always make me feel better.” She motions to hug me but Mr. Oliver burst in the room. “Put everything away except a pencil…Pop quiz today. “Oh no!” The bell rings and it is a sound I adore. That test almost took the breath from me. But I recover. “I hate him!” Eva growls. “He knows that tests are impossible to pass.” I shrug. “I never let them see me sweat.” Eva grumbles. She goes on about her perfect evening being a bust. Jaxon is in college. He is 19 and all the girls were going to be so jealous. “That’s out of the window now.” “What?” I say. Revealing the fact that I hadn’t been listening. “Sienna! This is serious! Who will I go with?” “Oh are we back there again?” “Yes! I cannot go to this party alone.” I sigh then search the hall. Right at that moment, Devon Harris comes strolling by. I freeze. My eyes can’t leave him. His ash brown hair cropped at the sides and the top neatly brushed to the back. Each wave neatly placed. He is wearing a grey button-up, and blue jeans. He has one book in his hand. “Hey Eva. Are you going to the party?” “Oh of course Devin, I wouldn’t miss it.” “And what about you Sienna?” I can’t move let alone speak. I try to move my lips but nothing comes out. “Oh Devin, Sienna didn’t get an invite.” “Really? That sucks.” Eva nudges me but I am frozen. “Well I will see what I can do. Avery should have one for you by the end of the day ok?” “Oh God Devin thanks.” “Will you come Sienna?” “Of course! You get Avery to give her an invite and she will be there.” “Cool.” He touches my arm but I still don’t move. “Oh my goodness Sienna! Devin just invited you to the party tonight… Say something dummy!!” I slap my face. I cannot believe I stood there like a complete idiot. “He is probably playing. There is no way Avery is giving me an invitation.” “You never know. Devin can do whatever he wants.” “Right and why would he want to do that for me?” “I don’t know but he sure was giving you the googly eyes.” “I doubt that!” “Who was giving somebody the googly eyes.” Scott interrupts. “Devin was giving Sienna the googly eyes.” He bumps me with his shoulders. “Uh huh, Sienna looks like you might have a boyfriend.” I would not subject myself to that lie. “Why would Devin ever even look at me?” “I told you before Sienna Young. You are hotter than you think.” “First of all Scott, hot and me shouldn’t even be said in the same sentence unless it is pertaining to food.” I refused to believe the lie they were feeding me. “Scott, I appreciate the kind words but no.” “Ok if we were not best friends I would definitely date you.” He smiles and gives me the wink and gun. I stand there in total shock. Scott? I was in love with him all my freshman year. All I could think about was him and he really thinks I am hot…no! He is totally messing with me. The day drags by. Science, history, and then gym end my day of torture. I dress in my shorts and slide on my Fremont t-shirt provided by the school for every student to wear in gym. I mosey on in to the gym where class is in full swing. I look in the far corner and Avery is fully dressed in her high heels and dress passing out more invitations. I turn away so they don’t see my desperate glare. I grab a basketball and start to dribble. “Umm Siannia Young?” I spin around to see who is butchering my name and it is Payton, Avery’s clone. They have been best friends since they could walk. “Yes Payton, and it’s Sienna.” “Whatever.” She waves. I look over to Avery who is frowning while Devin is standing next to her looking fine as ever. He has had my gym class since the beginning of my Junior year. I love when he wears the Fremont tank the boys are provided with. “Anyway. Devin, one of my closest friends, has asked me to give you this.” And she hands me a pink envelope with white feathers neatly trimming it. I open it and it is an invite to their party tonight. “There must be some mistake?” “No Devin wants you there so…” I look over at Devin again and he waves. I quickly turn away so I won’t make a fool of myself. “Don’t bring anyone, because this party is exclusive. And don’t be late. You will not get in.” I nod because I am too shocked to speak. “One more thing.” “Yes.” I manage to belt. “Dress to impress.” I think for a moment. “Well did you hear me?” Payton spits. “Oh yes I hear you.” She flips her hair and prances back across the gym. Devin is still smiling when our eyes meet. I drop the ball. And with the invitation clenched tightly in my hand I run out of the gym. I don’t stop until I reach Scott and Eva’s English class. “Excuse me Mrs. Reed.” “Yes Ms. Young?” I really need to see Eva and Scott. It is an emergency.” She purses her lips and waves her hand at them. They stand simultaneously and join me in the hall. “What’s wrong?” Eva shouts. “Nothing. Devin did it! He got me in.” Scott smiles. “I bet he did. Don’t you two have gym together?” “Yes?” I answer totally bewildered by his response. “You look great in those shorts.” He says as he eyes me from head to toe. I reach over and slap his arm. “Seriously. He was smiling and everything.” I lift the invite and my screech probably can be heard outside. “What will you wear?” Eva adds. I immediately freeze. “I have no idea.” We look up and Mrs. Reed is wearing the foulest scowl. “In here now Perriman and Headly!” They both scurry into the classroom and I run back to the gym. When I return the gym is over. The class is retreating to the locker rooms. “Hey Sienna.” I turn and it’s Devin. “I was waiting on you. Where did you disappear to?” I have to speak this time. I don’t want to confirm that I am a total loser. “Umm yea, I went back to my locker. I forgot my phone.” “Oh good. Program my number in.” I freeze. I do not have my phone. “Why did I say that?” I scold inside my head. “I put it in the locker room.” Quick comeback I think. “Ok well here.” He pulls a pin from his pocket and writes his number on my hand. I stand there mesmerized, entranced by his touch. “Call me when you get home. Maybe we can ride to the party together.” “Oo..ok?” I am the biggest loser in the world. I can’t even play cool. “Really? Don’t lie.” “What?” I return. “Call me for real.” I am so excited. I try not to scream in his face. He would think I was some weirdo and run for his life. “I promise I will.” I say as calmly as I can. “Good.” He breaths. “I was so nervous.” He admits. “What? Nervous about what?” “Well you are so cute Sienna. And you won’t give anyone the time of day. You never smile so I thought for sure you would shoot me down just like you do all of the other guys.” I smooth my hair. I must have not heard him right. “Me?” I point at myself. “Yes you.” He starts to jog up the hall. “I have to get home. My sister gets off the bus at 3:30 and my Dad will kill me if I am not there.” I stare like a bumbling idiot as he trots away. He places his pinky and thumb to his ear and mouths “Call me” I nod and he disappears around the corner. I stand there for a few seconds and then bolt back to the locker room and grab my phone. I program his number and sit on the bench. I place my phone beside me and stare at my hand. I get home just in time to pick up my big headed brother. He is 12 and attends the middle school around the corner from my house. I pull up and roll the window down. “Get in!” He snarls at me and opens the door. I fly home and my Mom is pulling out of the driveway. I jump out of my car. It is still on. “Mom where are you going?” “I have something to do.” “What time are you coming back? I have some major plans.” She giggles. “You do? Sienna, with plans on a Friday night hmmmm.” “Mom seriously, I was just invited to the biggest party of my high school career. I have to go. And I may have a date.” She slaps her hands over her mouth.” “Well shut the front door.” She pushes her clutch into park and turns off the ignition. “I guess my plans have to wait. Jarvis go and put your things inside the house and get in the car. “Ok Mom” he shouts running for the house. She steps out and closes the door. “Hmmm. Good for you honey.” I smirk. “Thanks.” I say as I look at my watch. “I need to go buy something to wear.” She gasps. “No baby. You can wear something in my closet.” “Mom no offense but I am not going for the cougar look.” She laughs. “Suit yourself. I have some hot items that will blow your little high school’s friends minds.” “I am so sure Mom.” I roll my eyes and jog to the porch. “If you change your mind, just help yourself!” she yells. I run up the stairs to my room and grab my money box. I open it and count my dollars. “Oh no. I have 25 dollars and 62 cents. I forgot my funds were depleted when I helped with my car. I flop back onto my bed and stare at the ceiling. I sit up and run into my Mom’s room. I fumble through her provocative wardrobe cringing at every hopeful piece I stop on. “She has nothing I could wear and hold my head up in dignity.” I give up my quest and slowly sulks back to my room. I lie down on my bed and close my eyes. “I finally get the invite and I have nothing to wear.” I sit there for a moment and pity myself for even thinking this could happen to me. I glance at my hand and the faint ink of Devin’s number painfully reminds me of my defeat. The doorbell rings. I stand and look out of my window. When I pull my curtains back, I spot Eva’s white BMW. I run to the door and sling it open. When I look at her, she is holding a garment bag. “I brought some possibilities.” Before she can finish, I grab her and hug her so tight she can’t breathe. “Hey don’t squish the goods!” “Come in now!” I pull her inside and we race up the stairs. When I open the bag there is one stylish piece after the other. “Oh my God, Eva. You are a life saver.” “I know, I know.” I sit down before I select one. “Guess what?” “What?” Eva says. “Devin gave me his number he wants to ride together.” She covers her mouth. “NO!” “YES!” I scream. “What did you say?” “I am about to call now.” I run over to my phone which is stationed on my desk and dials. It buzzes twice. “Hello?” “Hi. Devin?” “Yes Sienna,” “Hi. I am just giving you a call like you asked.” “Well…” He returns. “Yes?” I anxiously await his question. The thought of going to this party with him is a dream I cannot fathom. “I was wondering if I could pick you up and we go together.” I drop the phone, grab the pillow, and scream into it. I pick the phone up and press my ear to it. “I would love to go with you, Devin.” “Great Sienna. I will be there around 7:30 ok?” “okay” before I hang up. He adds, “I am glad we are going together. I have wanted to ask you out for a while.” I smile so wide my cheeks hurt. “See you in a minute.” He hangs up. I am so happy! This day could not get any better. I rush around the room. The dress I selected from Eva’s elegant items was black satin. It was strapless and hugged my waist, the silver belt almost cut off my circulation. The bottom stopped short of my knee. The way it ballooned reminded me of a pleated pumpkin. I take one more look at my hair. The spirals that Eva so graciously styled, hung to one side which exposed my neck. I was able to find a gorgeous rhinestone choker in my mom’s bag of clown accessories. I gently slide my feet into the black booties Eva brought just in case I liked something. When I stand I rock back and forth to gain my balance. I never, I mean ever, wear heels. I stare at myself in astonishment. I actually look good. Better than I have looked in a long time. Suddenly I hear the doorbell. “Oh my God!! He’s here!” I run down the stairs almost stumbling when I get to the last two. I steady myself flatten my dress and approach the door. I take a deep breath and swing the door open. “Oh wow! Sienna, you look very beautiful.” “Thank you,” I say. I can feel the heat from my cheeks. I know my milky skin is a bright shade of red. He holds out his hand. “One second.” I hold up a single finger, run back upstairs grab my silver hand bag and check my makeup. When I run back down he is standing in the living room. “I’m ready.” We walk out of the door hand and hand. When he pulls into the drive way, a multitude of cars blocks the entrance. He parks, runs around the car, and open my door. I step out of his green convertible all smiles. The way he holds my hand is making me want to faint. We enter the back yard and my jaw hits the floor. It is decorated beautifully. The pink and white color scheme is so pretty. There are lights that zig zags and crosses the gates. I have never been to a birthday party of this magnitude before. He places his arm around my waist and I walk beside him. Everyone at the party stops and stares as we pass. “Thank you for coming Sienna.” Payton says as she hugs me close. “Thank you.” She is dressed to kill. The tight pink dress she is wearing hugs her body. Avery is wearing the exact same one in white. Their matching blonde locks bounce and swing as they giddily greet every guest. I spot Scott at the table. Of course he is eating. “Wow! Sienna you look good!” “Whoa Headly! Get your own date.” He holds his hands up in surrender. “Just admiring the scenery Devin. Calm down.” They laugh then slap hands. Eva suddenly approaches shaking her hands. “Ooo la la. Sienna. You look caliente!” “Ooh Eva. Ms. Garcia would be so proud to hear you using Spanish words.” We stand there and chat for a while. Payton gets on the microphone on a stage in the center of the enormous back yard. “Ok everyone listen up. My and Avery Dads’ decided since we are so special, They would get us the most popular boy band to play on our special day. So I am honored and thankful to my Daddy, to introduce to you the platinum recording artists’ One Way!!” The five members of the hottest boy group right now run out one by one onto the stage. The party erupts into a roar. They start to perform and Devin gives me that look. He holds out his hand and we sashay to the dance floor. He twirls and swings me around. I feel like Cinderella. I look over and Scott is dancing with Amber, the blonde bombshell. He looks up and catches my eye. He winks and blows a kiss in my direction. I am stunned. Was that for me? Can’t be. He lies his head back onto her shoulder and twirls her in the opposite direction of us. I can’t lie. I am too intrigued. “Are you enjoying yourself, Sienna?” Devin whispers into my ear. “This is the best night of my life.” He smiles. “Good.” We do not leave the dance floor until the band stops. Finally one of the guys grab the mic. “Hi. I’m Thane and I want to say happy birthday to Payton and Avery!” everyone screams. They blush and blow false pageant kisses to the crowd. “This last song called “Something” is dedicated to all the couples tonight!” he says as he begins to strum his guitar. Devin pulls me close and start to move. I feel a tap on my back. “May I please cut in?” I turn and Scott is standing there looking more than gorgeous. He runs his hands through his black medium length hair. He is wearing a black suit jacket and pants. His shirt has one button loosened from the top. I look to Devin and he shrugs. Scott grabs my hand and drags me close. When he places his hand on my back I feel a magnetic spark. “I just had to dance with the most beautiful girl here tonight.” My eye widen. I know I look crazy. “Thanks Scott.” I stutter. “He leans into my shoulder and his lips graze my skin. ‘Why am I feeling this way? Scott is my best friend.” “I am so jealous that you are here with Devin. You should be my date.” I am stunned. I lean into his shoulder and hide my eyes. “I like you so much Sienna. You are the most genuine girl I know. You have natural beauty. And dolled up…” He kisses his fingers. I smile. “Stop playing with me Scott.” He leans back. “I am not playing. I think I need to let you know before Devin snatches you up.” I straighten my back. My expression is serious. “Stop Scott. Seriously.” “I am not playing.” He stops dancing and grabs my chin. Before I can speak again he kisses my lips. So soft and tender. I gasp and look around. No one is watching. “Oh my God Scott!” He does not flinch. “I want you to be with me.” I cover my mouth. I break from his grip and run in the opposite direction. My eyes fill with tears. I have liked Scott since I met him. But I have hidden my feelings in order to protect our friendship. But he just springs this on me! “It’s not fair!” I blurt. “What’s not fair Sienna?” Eva is standing behind me. “Nothing.” I lie. She grabs my arm. Then why are you crying?” “I’m not.” I wipe my eyes. She starts to ask again but Devin interrupts. “May I please have my date back?” “Of course.” Eva reluctantly replies. “What’s wrong?” He asks when he catches a glimpse of my glossy eyes. “Oh nothing. Just about ready to leave.” “Okay we can just go somewhere else.” “That will be great.” I reply. We make our way out of the backyard and down the driveway. He grips my hand and leads the way. “Sienna! Sienna!” I roll my eyes. “Oh God please not now.” I turn to greet Scott. “Are you just going to ignore what I said?” “No. Just not tonight.” He grabs my hand. Devin steps up to him. “Scott, man, what are you doing?” “Butt out Devin!” “I will see you tomorrow Scott.” I state. He doesn’t return. He just stomps back to the party. “What was that about?” “Let’s just go.” He opens the passenger side door and I step in. He drives without saying a word. When he gets to my house we sit there. “I really enjoyed myself this evening Sienna.” “Me too. Thank you so much for everything.” I turn to exit the car and he grabs my arm.” “I like you Sienna. I really would like you to be my girlfriend. Say you will be mine.” I gasp. That’s two for two. First Scott now Devin. This is not happening. “Well?” He raises his eyebrows. “I…” he leans over and kisses me. I am so shocked. I don’t stop him. We make out for a while. “Is that a yes?” he says pulling away. “I don’t know? I had a great time. But this is so much to comprehend. I will call you tomorrow.” He sighs. “Ok.” His disappointment is evident. I open the door and step out. Walking up to my porch I release my hair from the clips. I open the door and stumble inside. I kick off the high heel booties and drag myself to my room. I slam the door behind me and flop across my bed. My phone rings. “Oh no who could this be?” “Hey hottie. You were the talk of the party. Maybe you should get cute more often.” “I don’t know Eva.” “Ok spill. Give me every single detail right now!” “Not tonight Eva. But I will say. I have been kissed for the first time twice tonight.” “Huh?” “I will explain tomorrow. I am too tired and confused.” “Ok you bore! But I want it all first thing in the morning.” “First thing.” I doze off not even changing my clothes.When I awake, the sun is beaming. I squint to try and see. “Wow! I slept all night.” I stand and I am in my pajamas. “When did I put these on?” I run to the bathroom and I smell breakfast. “Maybe she is serious? Breakfast every day, nice.” I brush my teeth and hurry down stairs. Toast again? Mom.” She frowns. “What do you mean Sienna?” “Never mind. It’s better than nothing. I sit at the table and start to eat. Hurry! You are going to be late.” I stop and look at her. “Late for what?” “School.” I shake my head. She must have had too much fun last night. “I hope you get that invite you want.” “Mom today is Saturday. Yesterday was the party.” She walks over to me and touches my head. “Baby girl. Today is Friday.” I stand and run to the television. The news man confirms. I am bewildered and disheveled. “Last night, what did we do?” “Well, we watched some television with Scott and Eva then went to bed.” I run up the stairs and dial Eva. “Hey Sienna. Still hoping for an invite to the party tonight?” I drop the phone on the floor and grab my face. “What in the world just happened?”
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