The Surprise Party ✔

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Preparations

Marie frowned at her reflection in the mirror, wondering if she had really gained as much weight as Patricia claimed she had. After a few more moments of close scrutiny, Marie grew weary of the task. Sighing, she sat back down on her bed, staring straight ahead at the blank, white wall. It was the middle of summer yet there was nothing for her to do in the house.

Sure, she had plenty of friends, but it was too early in the morning. And unlike her, some of them were working summer jobs to save up for college. For her and her friends, college was a year away yet Hannah and Lauren already started worrying about how they'd make ends meet. Luckily for Marie, her parents saved a decent-sized college fund for her, which she was very thankful for.

Except for this moment because she was very bored.

"Tonight, we are young
So let's set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun!"

Holding her phone in her hand, Marie happily listened to her ringtone, waiting for it to near the end before she answered the phone. She would've picked it up right away, but that would've made her seem desperate for attention or something. Once she had waited a sufficient amount of time, she slid her finger across the screen to answer the call before placing the phone to her ear.

"Marie, it's Gavin. You've got to help me. Are you free right now?"

The small smile on her face broke out into a huge grin at that instant, but Marie did her best to keep her voice calm. "I mean, I was sleeping, but now that I'm awake, I guess I'm free. What's up? Did something happen with Tracy?"

"No, no. Tracy and I are fine. It would be easier if you just came over to my house, though. Please be quick about it."

Hiding the amusement from her voice, Marie replied with annoyance, "Geez, Gavin, the things I do for you... I'll be there in 20 minutes. If you're making coffee for yourself, make me a cup, too. I think I'm still half asleep. Anyways, see you soon."

✖ ✖ ✖

Sitting comfortably on Gavin's couch, Marie took a small sip of her coffee. "Okay, so what's the situation? Why did you invite me at-" she paused to glance at her cell phone. "9:37 in the morning. Need I remind you how early that is in teenager time?"

On the couch directly across from her, Gavin sat with Tracy leaning on his shoulder, still half-asleep. Looking down at his girlfriend's sleepy face, he smiled before turning his attention back to Marie. "Well, it's not that early. Did I really wake you up?"

She rolled her eyes. "Of course, idiot. Why would you even ask that? I never wake up before noon in the summer." Hidden deep inside the pocket of her light pink hoodie, Marie's right hand slightly shook while she spoke, revealing her answer as a lie.

Luckily for her, Gavin was none the wiser this time, because he went straight to business. "Okay. So, I invited you here because we've got a dilemma. Remember Hannah? Well, it's her 17th birthday tomorrow. But don't worry. I remembered just in-"

Tracy stirred and began laughing, cutting off her boyfriend from speaking. Once she stopped laughing enough to speak, she glanced over towards Marie and explained, "Total bullshit. The only reason he remembered is because of Facebook."

Gavin cleared his throat. "It doesn't matter how I found out, okay? All it matters is that I know now, and I'm telling Marie. Anywho, before I was so kindly interrupted, I was going to say... what do we do, Marie? We're such bad friends. I swear-"

Marie interrupted, "Stop, Gavin. I'm sure we'll come up with something brilliant in no time, okay? Besides, her birthday is tomorrow. We've got plenty of time. Do you know if Lauren is working today? If not, we should invite her over, too."

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