Whole Heart

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Nat's house is our next stop,
and it takes us a good
ten minutes to reach it.
Neither Seth nor I
say much the whole while,
and though the silence
between us isn't
extremely awkward, I
feel as though there's a lot
he wants to say to me,
but won't for whatever reason.
He keeps sneaking glances
at me when he thinks
I'm not looking, as if
he still can't believe that
I look the way I do.
It's enough to make me wonder
if maybe Euni went
a little overboard for a simple
high school winter dance.
After all, it's not
like it's prom or something.

But before long, we've
reached Natalia's house.
Seth doesn't even have to
get out of the car, because
as soon as we pull up,
she comes hurrying out the door,
her dress flaring out behind her.
If I look well put together,
then she has to look like
a model of some kind:
her grey dress fits her
in all the right places, and brings
out her green eyes;
her blonde hair is
piled in top of her head
in a way that might have looked
messy on someone else,
but just looks natural for her.

Needless to say,
she looks...
better than I do,
at the very least.

But as she comes
running up to Seth's car,
she suddenly stops short,
peering at me through
the passenger side window
with an astonished expression
that almost has me worried
for a moment.
she exclaims.
"Look at you!
Get out here, I want
to see how you look!"

"We're going to be late..."
Seth grumbles from besides me -
but Natalia looks expectant,
and I soon push open the door,
unable to refuse her
such a simple request.
There, I stand shivering in
the evening cold as she
looks me up and down once,
then flashes a big grin.

"Did Euni do this?"
she asks, gesturing
at my getup in general.
"She's a genius, honestly.
I probably could have
done better, but
what can you do?
Still, you look adorable."
She leans down then,
peering through the open
car door at Seth,
while I try my best
to cool my now-flaming cheeks.
"You don't clean up
too badly, either,"
she tells him with
a teasing smile.

"Hello to
you, too, Nat,"
he sighs.
"Now, if you don't
want to be late,
I suggest you both get
back in the car."

Shrugging casually,
Natalia saunters towards
the backseat, while I
reclaim my place next to Seth,
shutting the door behind me again.
The warmth of his car
filters back in around me
as we take off down
the darkened street
towards the school.

I think I might have
expected a little too much
of this dance, because
it's nothing like I expected.
It's in the gym, first of all,
which is notorious already for
its smell of body odor
and dirty gym equipment.
If it wasn't winter, I think
they might have tried
to air it out,
but for now, the smell
lingers as we enter.
Thanks to the student council's
shoddy planning and
insufficient funds, the decorations
are sort of lame, just balloons
and streamers that look
like they came from the dollar store.
Natalia makes a face
when she sees them, as if
she knows that she
could have done much better.
I'm sure she's correct
in that assumption.

But it's not about
the smell or the decorations,
I know.
The fact that I'm here
with my friends is
enough to distract me
from thoughts of dirty socks, and
the resplendent attire of the
other students in attendance
definitely overshadows the
crappy streamers.
Or, at least,
it should.
This is going to be fun,
I tell myself,
even though my stomach
is still tying itself
in knots over the event.

It doesn't take long for
Natalia to find someone
to run off and talk to,
leaving Seth and I alone.
The music is a dull roar
in the background
that follows my thoughts as I
scan the room for people I know.
There aren't many besides
Natalia and Seth -
I spot someone that I
shared a class with last year,
but whose name I can't remember,
as well as some of Euni's friends
over by the drink table.
Ashlyn and Trevor, looking
like the mushy couple they are;
and nearby, Darien haggling
with Martha over a
plate of snacks.
I wonder if they're
missing Euni here tonight.

Matthias is here, too,
which surprises me because
he hadn't told me he was coming.
Maybe that was part of why
Eunice was so upset this morning:
both her siblings are here,
while she is denied the opportunity.
Thias is laughing with some
of his soccer buddies, but
I can tell that his heart
isn't into their conversation.
It hurts to see him
like this, because you would think
he'd be over Sara by now.
Maybe there's something else
he hasn't told me about
that's bothering him, too.

Seth spots them
at about the same time
as I do.
he says,
"that's your brother,
isn't it?
You want to go
and talk to them?"
I nod an affirmative reply
without looking at him,
somewhat distracted by
my worries about my brother.
I guess Seth notices, because
he soon moves into
my line of sight, frowning.
"Is something wrong?"
he asks.
"Did something happen
between you guys?"

"No, no,"
I hurriedly assure him.
"It's just that..."
For a second, I hesitate,
wondering if it's a good idea
to tell him about
Sara and Thias.
But I can trust him,
can't I?
After all, he told me
about what's been happening
with his family, so
it doesn't seem like it
would hurt to confide in him.

"Thias just had
a really bad breakup,"
I say at last.
"Before Christmas.
I'm still worried about
how he's doing.
But don't tell him that
you know about it, okay?
I don't want him to
be mad at me, and I
know you know him from soccer."

"I won't,"
he assures me,
grinning gently,
"don't worry.
But I'm sure he'll be fine.
Breakups happen all the time,
and I'm sure he'll find
someone else before long."

He's probably right, but
I don't know how easy
it will be for someone like Thias,
who has a bad habit of
giving his whole heart away
and leaving none to keep
for himself.
Another heartbreak like this
could be the end of him.
But all I say
to Seth is,
"Come on, then.
Let's go and talk
to your buddies over there."


I hate Wednesdays. They're awful. So here, have another chapter. I dont even know.

By the way, good stuff is coming in the next couple chapters... Get psyched B)

If you guys liked this chapter, I'd love if you would vote and leave some feedback! It would be much appreciated! <3

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