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December 31, 1996
Brooklyn, New York
11:32 p.m.

I hesitated on drinking the punch. Riq said it was cool, but I wasn't sure. "You good, baby?" Twelvy asked walking over to me. I looked at him. "Eh, debating on if I should drink the punch or not." I admitted.

He shook his head. "Naw. Don't drink it. Get a water out the fridge," he suggested. I walked to the fridge and grabbed me a water.

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony played throughout the house. I nodded my head and sipped the water. Riq came over to me. "You enjoying it, Rave?" He asked. I shrugged.

"It's cool I assume." I responded. Riq nudged me and pointed to Rocky. "Go talk to my mans." I cut my eyes at him. "No, I don't know him!"

Riq waved off my answer. "And he don't know you. I see the way you be looking at my boy. Holla at 'em!" Tariq encouraged. I looked at him. "Shut your ugly self." I pushed him. He chuckled before speaking, "But for real, go talk to him." Tariq started pushing me.

I gave up and walked toward him. He looked at me as I focused on him. Some broad got in front of me and got in his face. I turned back around and head back toward Tariq.

"You gon' give up like that?" Tariq perked his lips. I humped my shoulders. "It don't matter, Riq!" I semi-yelled.

Touch Me Tease Me started to play and everyone immediately grabbed a partner. I rested back on the kitchen counter. Riq grabbed my hand and pulled me to the floor. "I saw you dance before, Rave. Dance wit' me," he smiled grabbing my hips.

He spinned me around and pressed himself against me. "Alright, move for me," he said trying to dance himself. I spun him around the same way he did me and pressed myself against him.

"No, you move for me," I mocked him. He started gyrating and I couldn't help to laugh. "You doing too much booty poppin'." I said holding his hips. The song ended with him dancing for me.

Tariq pushed me and I bumped into Rocky. I fell to the floor with a hard thud. Tariq covered his mouth. Dumbass. Rocky grabbed me and pulled me up to him. The party continued as the whole situation took place.

"Thank you." I thanked him. He let go of me and I was yet to turn around. He pulled me back. "I'm Rocky, but I'll prefer you to call me Rakim." He said holding out his hand.

"And I'm Raven, you can call me Rave if you would like." I smiled. He smiled and I looked at the perfection of his teeth.

Everybody started counting down from ten. I saw Riq get behind Rakim. The countdown ended with one and Rakim's lips collided with mine.

"Happy New Years!" Everyone screamed while we both kissed. The kiss was gentle and sudden. His sweet, tender lips lead mine in sync with his.

Rakim pulled away and stared down at me, "Happy New Years." He whispered. I grinned and looked away. I knew Riq had pushed Rakim's head.

I noticed Riq across the room and he winked at me. "You wanna leave? Parties ain't my type of scene." Rakim whispered in my ear. I nodded my head. "Yeah, let's go." I said. People were shooting their guns, I wasn't afraid of getting shot. My dad was a cop and I was labeled the "snitch's daughter".

Rakim and I left the party through the back. It was the fire escape and he climbed down with ease. Me, I was afraid of heights. "C'mon girl!" He edged me on. I jumped down and he swiftly caught me.

We walked through the alley and to the main sidewalk. Everyone shot in the alley, because they didn't want the cops to catch them.

"You in a rush to get home?" He asked. I shook my head. "Naw. My dad's on duty tonight." I spoke. He nodded his head.

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