No Skirts

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I wake up
the next morning
to the sound of
my sister's voice as she
talks into her cell phone.
It's probably Addie on the other end,
I assume as I sit up and stretch -
and that assumption is confirmed
as she says our cousin's name
a few moments later.
“The party is tonight,”
she adds in hushed tones,
just loud enough that I can
make it out.
Yeah, she's coming,
I don't see why she wouldn't…”

The rest of their conversation
becomes insignificant
as I remember.
Today is the day of
the dreaded birthday party,
and the potential skinny dipping
that may come along with it.
The thought makes
my head spin;
seconds later, I
bury my face back in my pillow
with a loud groan,
trying to escape it all.
It doesn't work.

Neither Euni nor I
have yet told our parents
about our plans for tonight.
Euni says not to worry,
though, because she will
take care of all of it.
I think that's more
than enough cause for me
to worry, but even so, I
haven't breathed a word of it
to anyone in our family.

So my sister puts
her plan into action as
we all sit down for breakfast
this morning.
“Matty and I are
going out tonight,”
she announces none too subtly
as she spears a piece of bacon
onto her plate.
I have to suppress a groan -
was that her master plan?
Maybe she just wanted
to be the one to
announce to our parents
that we wouldn't be able to
attend temple with them,
not that we would
have gone, anyway.
That seems more likely.

“Oh, really?”
My mother, in comparison
to my sister's continued eating,
sets down her fork to speak.
“Where are you girls going?”

“Trevor's sister's birthday party,”
Euni says matter-of-factly
around a bite of eggs.
I'm surprised by how convincing
she makes it sound,
even with her mouth full.
“And then we're staying
at Martha's house, maybe overnight.
We're not sure yet.”

“Well, make sure
that you find out soon,”
Mom insists.
“I don't want you girls
coming home at all hours
of the night because
your plans fell through.”

Eunice looks like she
might laugh at that,
but she somehow manages
to keep a straight enough face
to convincingly tell our mom,
“We will.
Don't worry, Mom, it'll be fine.”

After breakfast, I
head up to my room
and pull Natalia's gift out
from under my bed,
along with a roll of
gift wrap that I'd found
after I'd gotten home last night.
It's gold colored, with
ivy vines twisting across it
that are studded
with tiny blue flowers.
It's pretty, and while
Nat probably won't care
what kind of wrapping
is on her gift,
I can't help but try
to do my best to make sure
that she really likes it.
I don't know why, since
she's my friend and nothing else,
but something tells me
that I have to
make this birthday
special for her somehow.

Of course, I have
no idea how I could do that,
especially with a cheap
friendship bracelet as a gift.
I wrap it and rewrap it about
five times before running
downstairs to find
some kind of box to put it in.
That makes it
a little easier, and
when I'm done, I have a
neat little gold square
that will fit into my coat pocket.

After that, the day
goes by in a flash, and
it's not long before
Eunice and I are in our room,
deciding what we will wear
to the party tonight.
I'm all for my typical
baggy sweater and jeans,
but she shoots that down
in a hurry.
“It's a party,”
she tells me,
“so you have to look
sort of nice.
A skirt would be great.”

“No skirts,”
I argue.
“I froze my legs off
when I let you dress me
for the double date.
I'm not doing that again.”

“It’s not my fault
you went outside in it…”
she grumbles.
“Wear leggings or something,
at the very least.
That will look okay.”

I don't own any, so she
digs out an old pair of hers,
and coupled with a
slightly nicer sweater,
she proclaims me ready to go.
Of course, she doesn't
opt for a skirt either,
which really makes me wonder
if she hasn't just been trying
to pretend that I'm her
life-sized doll this whole time.
It wouldn't surprise me -
my sister has always
been obsessed with dress up,
especially when it's
with other people.

Our parents are
just about to leave when we
head downstairs.
After telling us that
we look nice, Mom
informs us that Thias is
staying home to
look after Eddie, so we
don't have to worry about that.
I suspect that Thias would
probably have stayed home
regardless of whether or not
Euni and I had been going out.
He still looks like he's
in a state of shock lately,
or else just really upset still.
I make a mental note
to talk to him again tomorrow.

Just after Mom and Dad
pull away, a different car
honks in our driveway,
signalling Seth's arrival.
Yanking on our coats, we
dart out into the evening chill
and jump inside once we
reach his vehicle.
As my sister slides
into the back seat, he groans.
“You're coming again?”
he asks her as he
shifts out of park and pulls away.
“Couldn't you have
driven yourself?”

“Carpooling saves gas,”
Euni informs him,
“which helps the environment.
You wouldn't want to know
that you're helping to kill
a few more baby birds
because you refused to drive me
somewhere that we're both
going anyway, would you?”

I'm not quite sure
what the logic is
behind that, but
Seth just rolls his eyes,
while Euni, I see in the mirror,
looks the part of a
triumphant backseat queen.
“She'll wander off
once we get there,”
I murmur to Seth
as she starts off
on some other train of conversation.
“It isn't like she
is being forced to babysit us
like the last time.”

I can tell that he
doesn't believe me, but
he just shrugs in reply,
and we leave it at that.
In the dark,
the neighborhoods around us
start to subtly change,
warning me that we're
getting closer to Nat's house.
The butterflies in my stomach
have much the same effect.


I rushed to write this in like, half an hour or something so it's probably going to need a ton of revision someday... Ignore any typos or just stupid things in general, I'm trying to get stuff done before I have to go to work.

If you guys liked this chapter, I'd love if you would vote and leave me some feedback!! It'd be much appreciated c:

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