15. No hurricanes

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Song: Sweet Disposition (you should listen to it!)

   The fireworks stopped. We stopped too for a moment. No chaos, no hurricanes. Just us, the sweet sound of calm waves and the violent silence of our thoughts. We let our bodies fall on the surface of the water, floating as if we were weightless. We gazed at the black sky covered with billions of stars as the smoke slowly evaporated in the air. The night was magical. I felt as if I had discovered the deepest secrets of the universe, and I can't really describe the way I felt because there are no words that can express such a feeling. All I know is that in that moment I wasn't Pit. I was everything but Pit. I was the dust from the stars and the rain in July, I was the light from the Sun and the cold breeze at night. I was as deep as the ocean, as strong as the Earth. I was everything and everything was me.

This was paradise. I was sure of it now. I was at peace with myself and with the world. I wasn't a clown. I wasn't a puppet. And if my friends were dragging me into an abyss, I was more than happy to go down with them.

Gloria, who was so drunk she fell asleep on the beach, was now standing on her feet and waving her arms. She was yelling something and pointing at the phone in her hand. All I heard was 'VIRGINIA!'. We looked at each other confused, but since neither of us could hear what she was saying, we got out of the water. Virginia blushed as she tried to cover her skin, either for the cold or the embarrassment of wearing only her underwear. I put my hoodie on her shoulders and it was so long (and she was so short) it almost reached her knees.

"It's your dad," Gloria said. "He called you three times already and – oh, here's a new message."

Virginia snatched her phone from Gloria's hand. She was already shaking. The message was: "I know you're at the party. Get out right now. The car is in front of the club." Short and concise, yet frightening. No exclamation mark, no angry emoji. The words spoke for themselves.

"He's gonna kill me," Virginia whispered. "Oh my God, Pit, he's gonna – "

"Hey, it's okay, I'll come with you."

She shook her head, letting the panic take over. "Why did I even come to this stupid party? God, look at me, I'm a disaster!"

"Vi, it's okay, it's okay. Look at me. Just breathe. Just breathe, okay? Now, here's your purse.. check if everything is there. Then, uhm, your dress..."

"I took it off in the sea and left it there. I can't see it now, it's too dark. Oh God, I can't believe this."

"Okay, never mind. Just uhm, empty the pockets and keep the hoodie on."

She nodded her head and gave me my phone and wallet. She was really anxious. Sometimes I hated the fact that my parents didn't seem to care about me, but seeing Virginia so afraid of her own father made me think that maybe I was lucky.

"Vi, what's going on?"

I turned around. Gaia was standing on the shoreline, her feet still in the water. She sounded genuinely worried.

"Nothing," Virginia replied. "My dad came to pick me up. See you on Monday."

She quickly took my hand and we walked toward the main entrance. Before we left, Gaia looked at us interrogatively but we had no time to explain. She seemed confused, but also a little hurt, because her best friend wasn't telling her the truth. Or maybe that sparkle in her eyes also had something to do with me. I did, after all, walk away from her kiss.

We crossed the beach. We walked into the club through the fire exit. We pushed through the crowd to reach the main entrance. Once outside, Virginia suddenly stopped and puked into the nearest trash can. I held her hair and whispered that everything was going to be okay. It didn't really help.

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