Chapter: 7

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We have an hour before we have to start getting ready for Jeremy's party and we're unbelievably stoned. We're laying on my floor listening to some weird techno music, and we haven't spoken the whole time. Jeremy's still pissed for no reason so he refuses to speak to me. I hope that he'll get over it before the party so I'll have someone to distract me from Aphrodite.

I roll over onto my side so I can see Jeremy better. His curly blonde hair is a mess and his eyes are half closed and half opened. It makes me wonder if he fell asleep. "Why are you going away?" I whisper, my voice cracking from being so dry from the smoke. "My grades aren't good." He grumbles still staring at me.

"That's it?" He props himself up on his elbows. "No, they found some weed in my drawers and they're hoping this is an easy way to get me sober without everyone knowing." I nod my head slowly, "Ah yes, the perfect way to keep their images squeaky clean." He cracks a smile before taking a deep inhale of the joint.

We talk about school and how English class sucks because the teacher has it out for us. He tells me a little about the tension between his parents. "I thought your parents were star crossed lovers," I say, taking a swig of water. "They were, but something happened and I can tell they're drifting. They're probably just keeping it together for Aphy." Jeremy is staring at the floor, his broad shoulders hunched and some curls fall into his face. "What time do we need to be back at your house?" I think aloud. Jeremy whips his head up, he looks at his watch and his face goes white. "In five minutes!" He yelps jumping to his feet.

We scramble around the room putting on our suits and fixing our hair. We both pop a piece of gum into our mouths and run out the door. Jeremy drives like a maniac to get there on time. His mom is a stickler for punctuation, especially for her own parties. We arrive with just enough time to put eye drops in.

Blinking away the moisture we hurry inside to find his mother pacing in the front room. "Sorry, we're late mom." Jeremy says catching his breath. She stops her pacing and glides over to us, her elegant dress flowing behind her. "I thought I taught you better. Be on time, that's one of my only rules." She hisses ushering us into the backyard.

Mrs. Nolan went all out this time. She's known for her extravagant parties but this one has definitely out shined the rest. There are strings of lights all around the trees and bushes. Tables are set up all around the backyard with cream tablecloths. There's a big stage with a grand piano and a live band. There's a place with an assortment of food and another area for dancing.

"The party looks amazing Mrs. Nolan," I say as I admire the decorations. She gives me a warm smile and embraces me. "I'm glad you came, you were always the favorite of Jeremy's friends. Now go mingle." Jeremy and I wander around being stopped by his relatives. I'm sweeping the crowd to find the one person I want to see. This is her party so she should be here right? Maybe she's still getting ready or did she ditch. That's not possible, her mom would go ballistic. I find my way over to the food table and realize I'm famished.

I grab a plate and grab a hamburger, layering the condiments on. I add some salad to keep it semi-healthy. I look around trying to see where Jeremy went. I spot him at a table filled with our friends. He's waving his hands around wildly as he explains a story. On my way over I notice Clara walking in. The black dress she wore made her red hair look even fiercer. She had it piled into a bun, but she really stood out. She was looking around chewing on her lip nervously. I figure she's looking for Aphrodite as well, which means that she could lead me to her.

I quickly put my food down on the nearest table and rushed over to her. "Are you looking for someone?" I ask her to put my arm out for her. She takes it gratefully. "Ya, I can't seem to find Aphrodite. She said she'd be out by now." "Why don't I keep you company while we wait." I offer. I know that parties make Clara anxious and I want her to enjoy herself. She nods and I walk her to the table where I left my food.

We sit and chat about life. She tells me about her job at an ice cream shop and how she wants to quit because the store smells like sweat and expired milk. I laugh at the faces she makes. "You're laughing but the smell is unbearable." She says swatting at me. "I'm sure it is." She continues laughing and abruptly stops. I look over to see what made her stop. What I see makes me and everyone else at the party stop talking.

Aphrodite has finally arrived and pushed both doors open. She was breathtaking. Her champagne curls were billowing down her cream shoulders. Her dress was such a soft shade of blue it was almost not a color. As she glided towards us the layers of tulle and lace were billowing around her accentuating her waist. She stops in front of us, her painted lips smiling. "Was that too dramatic of an entrance?" She asks teasingly. When I don't answer Clara elbows me in the side snapping me into focus. "Not at all," I stutter.

She tilts her head, her blue eyes studying me. "I didn't think you'd be here." She says amused. "I wouldn't miss my best friend's going away party," I replied, regaining my composure. Before Aphrodite could respond Clara cuts in, "Aphy can we go say hi to Jeremy?" Aphrodite bites her lip uncomfortably, "I guess," Clara grabs her hand and starts dragging her over to Jeremy's crowded table. Aphrodite starts mouthing help me over her shoulder. I salute her and sit down to finally eat my hamburger, which is now cold and unappetizing. Frowning, I throw the spoiled hamburger away and trudge back to the refreshment area. I down the nearest cup of punch I find and then quickly dragged onto the dance floor by none other than my ex-girlfriend Scarlet.

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