Chapter Eight

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The music was loud; it was thumping so hard that my ear drums hurt. Why did I agree to this? Why had I let Kimberly talk me into this nightmare? I'd been expecting this night to be a little more like the last one, but I was so, so wrong. The words 'house party' and 'DJ' should have been enough to put me off, but for some reason, it didn't. I guess I was so glad that she still wanted to be my friend after the heavy revelation, that I probably would have agreed to just about anything she asked me to do.

I looked across at her, smiling discretely to myself. She really did seem to consider herself my friend despite everything—even when Amy went weird, she didn't. My first proper friend since I'd been living in this weird borrowed time. It felt good to be able to say that to myself. It was certainly a step in the right direction at any rate!

She was making googly eyes at Nick, looking at him with such an intense adoration that it made me feel a little off-balance at the sight. I guess I'd just never felt that way about anyone, and I'd certainly never had anyone adore me in that way, so it was weirdly unnerving to see. It made me feel things that I hadn't before; it was making me wish for something similar, something so out of reach that it was impossible.

But despite all of that, I was very happy for Kimberly to have someone. She certainly deserved to be happy. I knew she thought this was her one and only shot with Nick, but from the way he was looking back at her, it seemed like he would follow her to the ends of the Earth. I wasn't sure why she was seemingly so blind to the fact that his feelings clearly matched hers. It was insane! Even I could pick it up, and I wasn't exactly experienced in being lusted after. I intended to pull her to one side to tell her at some point, but not yet. I didn't want to pull her away from the lovely moment she was having.

"I'm gunna get a drink." I yelled over the music, wanting to give them a few moments privacy. It wasn't like they were making me feel like a spare part, or anything. They were including me in all their conversations; I just didn't want to get in the way of things progressing. I felt that they need a little time without me, and to be honest I needed a moment away from their 'love bubble' too.

I pushed my way through the crowds of swaying, sweaty bodies, trying not to let the panic consume me. I didn't like the sensation of being surrounded by some many people, who were so much taller than me. I felt claustrophobic and trapped, but the last thing I wanted to do was run, after making such huge steps recently. Even when the negative thoughts kept popping up in my brain, I was determinedly swatting them away. I couldn't let anxiety be the thing to push my back into my miserable rut, I wouldn't allow it, so I kept my eyes fixed firmly on the reddish carpet beneath my feet, examining it very closely as I moved. I was sure it was usually very plush, but right now—under the trampled feet and spilled drinks—it was kinda gross.

This party was so ridiculously loud that it probably should have been illegal. I didn't actually know whose house this was—I hadn't thought to ask Kimberly—but it must've been someone with some pretty serious money. Someone who wasn't even slightly concerned about the clean-up in the morning! The house was a massive, gorgeous place which just screamed 'riches'. I could only assume that all the nearby neighbours had been invited, which was why no one had complained.

After what felt like forever, I finally reached the kitchen. Luckily, it was a little quieter than the rest of the house, which gave me a much needed minute to breathe. I glanced around at all the half drunk bottles of God-knows-what, sucking in a deep breath, wondering what to go for. As someone who had never dabbled in drinking spirits before, I wasn't sure what I would like, and unfortunately I couldn't seem to spot any wine, which I was a little more accustomed to—if only slight. I couldn't even remember what it was that Kimberly normally drank, so I decided to just grab three plastic cups and pick the least offensive looking bottle at random.

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