~Chapter One  - That Pesky Best Friend~

"Please, please, please, oh Gracie, please,"  my best friend Annie begged, clasping her hands in front of her and giving me the puppy-dog eyes she knew melted my heart.

            I sighed and pushed my notepad off my knees, knowing no more Advanced English Literature homework would be completed this afternoon. I looked at my other best friend, Matt, with a pleading look.

            "Matt, help me out here," I said.

            He shrugged good-naturedly, a small smile dancing around his plump pink lips. "Not a thing I can do. You know she won’t stop till she gets her way, so you might as well give in."

            I turned to Annie with a levelled gaze and repeated in a determined voice, "No, Annie. We are not going to Jonathan Richard’s party Friday night."

            "Why?" she whined, bouncing up and down like a five-year-old in a shopping cart who wasn't allowed to get a toy they wanted. "Come on. We never go. It’s only once…"

            "Annie, you know I hate these parties. Come on. The only thing that goes on at these parties is loud music, lots of alcohol, demoralised teenagers and people passing out everywhere, vomiting all over people and generally doing things that they’ll regret in the morning, usually resulting in teen pregnancies."

            "You’re such a pessimist."

            "No, I’m a realist," I argued, throwing her a pointed look that told her I wasn't falling for it.

            "You may be a realist, but you’re also pessimistic. But please, you’ve never been there! It could be fun. Just once, for your best friend."

            I cast one last begging look out to Matt, but he just shook his head, knowing that he couldn’t stop Annie when she wanted something. She was like a dog on a bone.

            "Grace, please. I don’t ask for much. Just one party. I’ll be on my best behavior. I’ll love you forever."

            "You’ll love me forever regardless of what I decide."

            "Yes, but I’ll be grateful. So, so grateful. Come on, if you come with me, I’ll even go that animal cruelty convention in two weeks with you!"

            Annie and I had been best friends since my first day, green-stained blouse and all. She knew me so well, and I entrusted her with all my secrets. She was pretty, graceful and so optimistic. She was born Annabel Louise Fisher, to two professors and published poets, and she had short blond hair, a willowy figure and pretty green eyes. She was also scarily smart. She wanted to be a doctor one day, and knew everything there was to know about medical conditions, chemistry, physics and basically any science. While I was more of a geography, history, English kind of gal, she took the more scientific side of things. Hence why we worked so well together. We helped each other out in our special areas. But she also loved loud music, partying and, well, boys.

            Matt was a football jock, tall and muscly and also gorgeous. For a small amount of months I crushed on him, and we bonded in study hall, and eventually he left the popular table to hang with Annie and I. He was still on the football team, still popular, and had brown eyes, dark-brown hair and sun-kissed skin. But I knew he just thought of us as friends, and didn’t think he reciprocated my feelings, and eventually I grew out of my feelings for him. Now we were just great friends. He didn’t seem to mind hanging with girls that much. He still got boy time with training and games and after-parties, and he normally attended these Friday parties. He had tried telling Annie when she first cottoned on to the idea of going to the after-party this Friday that it wasn’t that great, but she was like a dog on a bone. You couldn’t distract her. She was stubborn, like her mother. I, however, was a push-over. And everybody in this room was aware of that fact.

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