In high school, Lexi, Cameron, and Nel were inseparable. They hung out nearly every day after school and believed that they would always be friends. Life was great, but like all great things, it had to come to an end. Time was not on their side as Lexi began to change. She fought constantly with Cameron for two years when they were dating. Nel soon felt like the third wheel and did her best to help Cameron through the bumpiest ride of his life.
They talked on Facebook or texted each night after Cameron finally ended the relationship a few weeks after graduation. Nel had ended her friendship with Lexi months before Cameron and became his crutch. When they left for college, Cameron tuned out fun and focused on his future to keep his mind off Lexi. He ended up going to Kalamazoo College while Nel stayed local and attended Lake Michigan College. They were only forty minutes apart, the same distance he normally was since they lived in different towns, but she craved to be closer to him. After LMC, she planned to head up to Western Michigan University where she would be literally next door to Cameron and receive great instruction in computer programming, the major she had decided upon.
"All right, that is enough talk. Can we please go dancing?" Lilly practically begged.
The dance floor vibrated as hundreds of youths moved their bodies to the pounding music simultaneously. The group pushed through the crowd to find a big enough gap for them to dance in—well for the girls to dance in. Cameron simply swayed from side to side not matter what song DJ Valentine played. The songs they knew were sung loudly and off key as they danced.
"Tonight we're going hard. Just like the world is ours. We're tearing it apart. You know we're superstars; we are who we are. We're dancing like we're dumb. Our bodies going numb. We'll be forever young. You know we're superstars; we are who we are." Even Cameron sang long to the famous Ke$ha song. He seemed to be enjoying himself despite his lack of movement. Nel laughed at he messed up the lyrics. Her heart beat wildly as she jumped up and down to the upbeat song that was remixed by the DJ. Sweat rolled down her face as the night wore on. She did not care. She was with her friends at a night club in Chicago on New Year's Eve.
She closed her eyes for a moment to reflect back. The year 2011 was eventful indeed, but not in a good way. Her mom lost her job and they struggled to make ends meet and to not be evicted from the trailer they lived in. For as long as she could remember, it had always been just her and her mom. No man had been in her life except for her two boyfriends, Nick and Caleb. Her mother never mentioned her father much; she just said that he was gone. Nel stopped pestering her mother when she learned that the memory of her father greatly pained her mother.
They lived meager lives and always managed to survive. Each year her mother would encourage her by saying that their lives would get better. Sometimes they did have a patch of good luck and they would be happy, but then their luck would end and they ended up worse than where they started. Nel wanted to believe that 2012 would be the best year ever, but she could not. Her mind would not allow her to have a false hope, no matter what her mother said.
Selena, Nel's mother, had told her that 2012 would be different—that she could sense a drastic change coming. Her mother sounded convincing enough, but she pulled a Cameron and used her logic instead. The only thing she wanted in 2012 was Cameron and she had plans to ask him out after midnight.
Yes, Nel had fallen in love with her best friend. She discovered her strong feelings for him around the time he had broken up with Lexi. One day, after she had a dream about marrying Cameron, Nel called Cam and told him how she felt. Instead of shying away, Cameron admitted that he liked her too, but said that he would rather be her best friend than date and risk breaking up. Nel understood his reasons, but his words still pained her. So, she waited. He had been through a lot and he was in no shape to be in another relationship. Besides, they did have college to focus on. He had always given her the vibe that they could still end up together. She found out the truth when her friend Melissa got him to open up. According to Melissa, he has thought about asking her out on several occasions, but chickened out.
Now that it was almost a new year, Nel decided to ask him. Her plan was that he would say yes and they would start 2012 with a kiss. Nel looked at her phone. 11:15. Only forty five minutes to go before it would be the new year.