(Edited) Chapter 35

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Chapter 35


I look around the crowded living room. Darren's house is big, but it's not big enough to comfortably hide sixty eight people in the living room. This is insane. Oh why did I think it was smart to invite so many people over for Scarlett's surprise birthday party?

I usher at least twenty people up the stairs, telling them to sit down on the steps. A dozen and a few crawl behind the couches. Most of them stand near the walls though. A few of them duck behind the dining table that has Scarlett's birthday cake atop it. Mostly, we just stand there in plain sight, among balloons and streamers and fairy lights.

"Okay, so Darren has just texted me. They are almost here. Now listen carefully. I'm going to shut the lights and we're going to stay here in silence. When you hear the front door open, get ready. As soon as Darren switches on the light, you all need to shout out a 'Happy Birthday', got it!? In complete coordination, just like we've been practicing for the past half an hour." A murmur of ascent goes through the crowd. "Well now that that's settled, take your positions and get ready."

I quickly shut the light and stand next to the table. I can feel William standing next to me. Yes, you heard that right; William's here. How would Scarlett's surprise birthday party be complete if her beloved boyfriend wasn't here to celebrate it with her? I mean, no matter how much I despise that guy, I have to acknowledge that he's important to her, and I need to include him even if I don't want to.

I spend the next few minutes in the dark thinking about everything that has brought us to this moment. I'd always wanted to do something like this for Scarlett, and the recent events inspired me to do so. Things have been a little strange lately. Scarlett has been...distant. We didn't talk much, and we didn't hangout—not during lunch, not even after school. She was always with William or her girl friends. I didn't want to appear clingy or overbearing which is why I didn't talk to her about it. I wanted to believe this was normal and she wasn't doing it on purpose. But somewhere deep down, I had this inkling...

Well anyway, we'd just gotten back to being friends and I didn't want to complicate things again and have another argument. I just decided to deal with. This party...I'm hoping, that this party would set things right. Tonight is very important to me, because tonight, I'm finally going to do something I should've done long ago.

Tonight I'm going to fix things.


I hear the door open, hear the footsteps patter down the room, see the lights switch on—and then suddenly everyone's shouting "Happy Birthday Scarlett!"

Through the crowd I spot her, standing a few feet away at the door, her hands covering her mouth; her mouth that had dropped open in shock. She looked absolutely stunned, and even a little confused. My heart leapt in my chest almost reflexively.

She was smiling now, at Darren and her friends as she slowly made her way through the crowd and towards the table. It took her almost ten minutes to come over, as she had to stop every few seconds to talk to people who were wishing her happy birthday. With every minute that passed, the beat of my heart increased.

It had been ages since I'd made her happy. And here she was, with that beautiful smile adorning her face. She looked genuinely happy. And I could proudly say it was because of me.

How she felt was nothing compared to what I did though. She was happy, but I was elated.


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