Wanna Dance

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Tonight, Nat's house is
much different from the last time
I had visited it.
First of all, I can see it from
clear down the street,
lit up as it is.
Every window is
full of light, making it
glow out in the almost-darkness;
her house is like a sun
in a street full of clouds.
As we get out of Seth's car,
the noise next hits us.
Music is blaring, and
even from outside, I can
hear people chattering
and yelling and whatever else,
though the door and windows
are clearly shut.

"Here we are,"
Seth announces tritely
as we walk up to the front door.
A sign on it reads
to let ourselves in -
and I recognize Natalia's
messy script right away.
"You guys ready?"

"Guys?"
Euni echoes with a scoff.
Immediately, I elbow her
in the ribs before
Seth can do it himself.

He only narrows his eyes
in her direction
as his hand falls on
the doorknob.
Obviously, Seth isn't
Eunice's biggest fan.
I think anyone could tell that
from a single glance.

With no further warning,
Seth pushes the door open -
and the wave of sound
that pours out as a result
almost takes my breath away,
as does the the sight
waiting just ahead.
Natalia's house is packed
to the brim
with kids from school -
mostly upperclassmen, I'd guess,
that she either knows or has
invited on account of her
supposed popularity.
But I do spot some people
I know to be in my own class,
as well as a few faces
who look a little young
for a party like this.
I know I feel like I am -
but I'm drawn inside
by the gentle pressure of
Seth's hand on my arm,
and the knowledge that I'm here
on account of Natalia.

"I'll see you guys later!"
Euni yells back to us
as she hurries into the crowd.
There's a kind of excitement
in her hazel eyes,
one that I know well
as meaning that she'll likely
get herself into mischief tonight.
But there's nothing I can do
about my older sister;
she's sixteen, and should
be able to take care of herself.
She obviously doesn't need
her kid sister to tag along
as her babysitter.

Seth has already found
some people that he knows,
and tugs me along behind
as he fights the crowd
to go and talk with them.
They speak in loud voices
to be heard over everything else,
the booming music and
cheers as something
crashes further away;
instinctively, I shy away
from all the loud sounds.
It's all around me, though,
so there's nowhere to go.

Seth must have pulled me
through different rooms
to talk to people he knows
a hundred times before I
catch sight of Natalia
some feet away.
We're in the living room,
and I can see her through
the doorway to her kitchen.
She's laughing at something
a boy is saying to her, with
all his elaborate hand motions
and a goofy grin to top it off.
She obviously doesn't seem
to mind his attention.
Someone had set up
one of those portable disco balls
on a counter in the corner, and
the wild lights light up
her blonde hair in
a rainbow of colors.

I don't know why, but
something in my chest aches
as I watch her laughing it up
with that boy -
but I'm distracted as
Seth says in my ear,
"Oh, there she is.
C'mon, let's go
talk to her."

Nat notices our approach
after a moment and
proceeds to wave at us
until we reach her side.
"Isn't this a blast?"
she yells over the stereo.
"I haven't been to a party like this
since I lived in Vermont!"
I can't help but wonder
what kind of people she knew there
that would hold parties
such as this one.

"Happy getting older,"
Seth tells her sarcastically,
pulling an envelope
from his pocket.
He must have gone with
the card option after all,
I think wryly as she
makes a face at him.
Maybe the horse head
was too big to fit
in a box.

"You cheapskate,"
she grumbles good-naturedly.
"There'd better be money
in this stupid thing,
at the very least."

"Nope,"
he returns smugly.
"You already have enough.
Maybe you should be
giving me some of that dough -
I could barely afford
to buy you that card."

I almost expect her
to give some smart response
like she normally does -
but instead, she just laughs,
as if it's the funniest thing
anyone could have said.
It's then that I notice
the unusual color in her cheeks.
They're flushed, as if
she had just been outside,
which I don't think she has.
It's a startling contrast
to her dark skin.

Seth seems to reach
the same conclusion that I do
before very long.
"Have you been drinking?"
he asks in exasperation.
"Who brought alcohol to
a high school party, anyway?"

"My cousin,"
Natalia laughs again.
"He's in college.
Said it would liven
the whole place up -
and he's right, y'know,
this is really great!"
The music changes behind us,
as abruptly as if someone
had turned the dial,
and Nat's expression seems to change
just as quickly.
"I love this song!"
she gushes all of a sudden.
"Wanna dance?
C'mon, guys,
we gotta dance."

"I don't know,"
I start -
but I'm cut off as
Natalia grabs me by the hand,
dragging me back out
into the living room,
where quite a few other people
seem to have burst into motion.
I'm not sure which I'm
suddenly more aware of:
the deafening roar of
party music in my ears, or
the electric feeling of
Nat's skin against mine.
Hoping that the color
rising to my cheeks might be
mistaken for a trick of the light,
I reluctantly follow her
into the growing throng of dancers,
leaving Seth far behind.

When I turn over my shoulder
to find him again,
he's nowhere to be seen.

×

This chapter was super fun to write, amd I think the next one will be, too B) Get ready for craziness, y'all. Nat's parties are the best parties.

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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