Chapter 23: The Calm Before The Storm

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We kept talking on and on about the game and only stopped when the other boys from the team huddled around Zach.

"Hey man," Jason Miller, a tall dark-haired guy called, slinging his arm around Zach's shoulder. "You coming to the party, later?"

"Dave's? " Zach replied. "Yeah, I'll be there."

Jason patted him on the back. "Great. We'll just see you there."

With that, he left, not even having the littlest bit of courtesy to acknowledge my presence. I mean, don't get me wrong - it's no big deal for me, but it's just upsetting how some of Zach's friends treat me like I'm invisible. Sure I've long time ago accepted that I'm not over the top pretty, not popular, and practically a nobody - but is that even a valid reason to be I don't know, rude?

"I'll just go change and we can both go to Dave's place," Zach turned to me, smiling.

"Uh, what?" I asked confusedly. "I think I heard you wrong. We are going to Dave's party?"

"Yeah, you heard it right."

I took a step back. "Oh no no, I'm not coming. You go, it's alright."

Zach frowned. "Oh come on, Carli. Just this one time? I mean, it's a massive celebration for the team. Don't you want to go celebrate with me?"

His blue eyes were pleading, almost making me give in. Since my last time, I wasn't actually keen on going to yet again another high school party. And secondly, I wasn't just very comfortable around Zach's friends. Being his girlfriend and all, we'll surely be surrounded a frequent lot. Sure, some of his friends are actually cool and nice, but some are just total tools.

I'd rather stay home and contemplate about my existence. Amd I wasn't exactly dressed for a party either. I looked like a hobo in my clothes.

"Of course, I'd love that, but it's just that I'm not really feeling well at the moment." Classic alibi.

At that, Zach Immediately looked alarmed. "What? Are you alright? Do you need to go to the clinic?"

"No, no, I'm fine. I just don't think loud party music would do any better," I told him truthfully.

Sighing, he relented. "Alright. I'll take you home now so you can rest, okay?"

I nodded slowly. "Yes, thanks."

An hour later, I was comfortably huddled in the couch whilst eating a popcorn and watching one of my favorite movies. It was a very relaxing moment until my phone started going all loco on me as it rang loudly inside the room.

I hastily picked it up and saw Gwen's name flashing on the screen. "Hello?"

Gwen's ear-splitting voice almost deafened me. "Carli! Where the hell are you?"

"Uh, home?" I answered, reluctantly. I'm having a bad feeling about Gwen calling..

"Are you serious?" Gwen exclaimed through the phone. "There's a gigantic party thrown for your MVP boyfriend and you're not at it?"

"My answer to that would be yes."

I could hear Gwen's deep sigh from the other line. "Get ready, I'm picking you up."

It was my turn to yell. "Are you serious?"

"In every sense of the word."

I smacked my face in exasperation. "You've got to be kidding me. I've already told Zach I'm not going and he was fine with it."

"Well," Gwen replied. "I'm not Zach. So get ready because I'm gonna drive down there now."

"Sorry but no. Actually, I'm very sick right now. And if you don't want me to die before your eyes, I suggest you leave me here in the confines of my home."

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