The Party Before My Birthday

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"Party at mine! Everyone's coming." Ivory grins excitedly, handing me and Trish a note with an address scribbled messily across it.

Only an hour remains before school will officially be over for the weekend. I immediately open my mouth to let her know I can't make it. It's my automatic response to any social situation. Trish grabs hold of my arm, pulling me back before I can speak.

"We'll be there, count us in!" Trish smiles. Ivory does  a small cheer before moving onto the group of people beside us.

"Trish! I don't go to parties, you know that." I tell her. Trish pouts sadly, giving me her best puppy dog eyes. It's so hard to resist her puppy dog eyes.

"Please Em! It's your birthday tomorrow so think of it as your birthday party! I know it's not your scene but do this for your best friend. Please?" Trish whines, her voice dripping with persuasion. I roll my eyes at her but can't help my lips from tugging up into the smallest of smiles.

"I'll see what I can do," I respond, feeling the nerves and excitement beginning to build up inside me. I've imagined my first party for so long . . .

I pull out my phone and find my mothers number before taking a deep breath and calling her. Trish nervously sits beside me, her leg bouncing up and down in anticipation. I cross my fingers on my left hand and Trish does the same with both of hers, mirroring my actions. I need all the luck I can get. Mum finally answers after a few rings. I breathe in deeply, ready to throw my acting skills in her direction.

"Hey Mum! So it's really close to exam week and I'm behind on homework. I was wondering if I could spend the night at Trish's house. You remember my friend Trish from school, don't you?" I ask, blabbering way too fast.

"Emily slow down! Yes I remember Trish." Mum says on the other end. I bite down on my lip, waiting for her to decide whether I can stay with Trish tonight.

"Fine, can study at her house tonight but remember you need to be home early tomorrow morning for your birthday."

My mouth flies open in shock. Mum actually agreed to let me stay out for the night. I did lie to her but she doesn't need to know the real reason, right?

"Thank you, thank you, thank you!" I say quickly, ending the call before she can change her mind. Trish's eyes light up and she squeals loudly, holding out her arms. I squeal back in response and lunge for her, embracing her in a tight hug.

"I can't believe this! My best friend is going to part-ay with me tonight!" She pulls me back happily, placing her hands on either side of my face. I grin widely, feeling the excitement practically burst through me.

"Maybe Jake will be there?" Trish teases, wiggling her brows at me suggestively. I feel my cheeks heat up in embarrassment and lightly slap her arm.

"Stop teasing me," I smile, biting down on my lip nervously. Almost every night Jake and I talk about anything we can think of. The conversation always flows so easily with him and ends with my stomach sore from laughing. A good kind of pain.

The late night phone calls would sometimes drift over into the early hours of the morning. He'd quickly became someone I thought of regularly and seeing him in college every day was the cherry on top of our friendship. He's funny, cheeky and not as scary or dangerous as everyone else made him out to be. Lesson one — never stereotype because people can definitely surprise you.

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