My heart thumped against my chest erratically as I held my breath, praying that the sound of her heavy footsteps would disappear. But they just got closer and closer and closer. I shut my emerald eyes as tight as I could as I burrowed myself deeper in the chaos of hangers and clothes. My suspense grew as the footsteps stopped right in front of the pitch black closet I was hiding in, the doorknob shook frantically. Before I could scream I heard the sound of the footsteps slowly fade away, and eventually there was no sound at all. I let out a sigh of relief, thinking my nightmare was over. Then suddenly the door flew open, I looked up only to see her standing over me. I froze in fear, I felt like my heart was about to pound out of my chest.
“Found you, Nikki!” her sweet voice soothed my fear.
”Dammit, Paige! You scared the hell out of me!” I said in a somewhat stern voice.
”Sorry, but you know the rules, sweetie. Skinny dipping in twenty-eight degrees of cold ass water.” She said with a sly smirk on her face.
"You're a bitch, you know that, right?" My glare didn't seem faze her.
"You love me." Her bubbly voice caked with innocence. "Pool time!"
She laughed and winked as she grabbed my wrist, pulling me out of the closet and down the stairs. I groaned as she dragged me through the back doors into the dark starry night.
"It won't be that bad." She laughed, unconvincingly. Waiting there for my performance were our friends, Christina, Stacey, Jesse, Brandon, Mitchell, and Kyle.
”Alright, bitch, strip!” Jesse said with a little too much excitement in her voice.
I leaned over the pool, only to see my reflection telling me not to do this. I hate losing hide-and-seek. My ambition took over, as I could hear their annoying voices teasing me from behind. I stripped out of my BCBG jeans and purple tank top. Hesitantly, I unhooked my lacy Victoria Secret’s bra and slid off my matching panties. Looking up, I sent a silent thank you to all the girls for covering their boyfriend’s eyes. I stood on the edge of the pool and jumped.
The rush of the cold December water hit my skin like a thousand knives. It sent a chill all throughout my entire body, making goose bumps surface my skin. I wasn’t under water for long before i had to come up gasping for air.
“Holy shit!” I shivered, my teeth chattering.
“How’s the water, Nikki?” I looked up only to see my worst fear standing above me. It was Joe; Paige’s brother… and my ex-best friend.
“Um... c-c-cold!” I said, my spine still tingling from the twenty-eight degrees of freezing water.
“Get out of my pool Nicole!” I rolled my eyes and leaped out of the pool.
“In fact, all of you get out of my house!” He sneered with complete and utter hatred. Usually, I’d roll my eyes and walk away, but this time his words really hurt me. I walked over to Paige who was ready to hug me with a warm towel. We all walked inside and Paige quickly ran back outside to get my clothes. When she got back I stepped into the bathroom and changed.
When I came out it seemed that Joe had already kicked everyone else out. Luckily I was sleeping over that night, so I quickly ran up to Paige’s room and sat on the bed. Downstairs, I could hear Joe and Paige arguing. My curiosity got the best of me so I stood up walked over to the door and leaned my ear on the cold wood. “
“What the fuck is wrong with you Joe!” Paige’s voice rang loudly with an enraged growl.
“You keep bringing her here Paige! I should be asking you the same question! You know how I feel about her being here especially after what she did!” Joe’s words struck me like a lightning bolt. I knew how he felt about me but hearing him say those words left me feeling heartbroken. I fell to my knees. Seconds later, I found a single tear strolling down my cheek. Blinking back the rest of my tears, I realized I wasn’t finished listening.
I once again placed my ear on the door. “It wasn’t her fault, it was an accident you need to let it go! It’s been almost two years. You guys were best friends!”
“Sorry, but, unlike you, I still remember that Nicole killed our mom!” Joe raised his voice louder. I heard a door slam shut and knew the fight was over. I took my ear off the door. They had been referring to New Year’s Eve two years ago. When four people lived in this house instead of three. I remembered that day like it was yesterday, even though I was drunk off my ass. Joe and I used to be the best of friends, closer than any normal best friends would be. One night, Guy, one of my mom’s best friends was hosting a New Year’s party and I decided to invite Joe and his mom. Diana.