Don't Forget to Invite the Loner


So, this was it then. I hadn’t expected a turn of events
that would ultimately come out in my favor, as they never do, but today fortune
smiled down on me. It wasn’t Daniel and Claudia holding hands, Daniel and
Claudia kissing, no… it was me now. I wasn’t the middle man in this complicated
wreckage of what used to be a friendship… everything was different.

 As far as I was concerned, Daniel was now officially out
of our lives. I felt little to no remorse for leaving him in the dust, but hey,
he’s the school’s shining star; he’ll fit in eventually. Maybe he’ll finally
realize who he really is so he can get rid of that hot-headed attitude of his.

 We were just traversing the halls now, Claudia and I, and
we could talk about whatever we wanted. Not only that, but I seemed to have
earned a new group of friends after my Dodgeball performance; all of kids that
were deep into sports welcomed me into their group like anyone else in it. A
side-effect of this was my gym performance level shot up. I later learned Daniel
transferred out of the class, and just when I was ready to kick his butt out
off the court again. Not like he didn’t deserve it.

 Of course, there was a problem attached to this. Claudia
and I were chatting one day when one of my new friends, Forest, came up to me.
He was alright, but he was also friends with Daniel, and he didn’t know our

 That was further evidenced by his question. After saying
hello to each other and kissing Claudia good-bye as she went on to her next
class, he dropped it on me.

 “Hey man. See, I’ve got a party coming up today, and I
was wondering if maybe you wanted to show up?” An invitation? I never had
gotten many invitations prior to now. Life really was morphing into new shapes.

 I considered going. “Sounds like some fun. Anyone I know
going?” This was a rather important inquisition. I was still new to this group,
so I had to make sure I didn’t screw up and lose them.

 “Well, the usual crowd you see every day. One of my
friends that used to be on my soccer team, Daniel, he’s gonna be there”. Uh oh.

 I didn’t like the sound of Daniel being at a party, the
same party I was going to. If you put the two of us in a room, only one would
exit it without a doubt. Forest could obviously see I was concerned about this,
but before he could ask the equally obvious question, I cut him off.

 “You know what…” I paused for a second so that my mind
could assure me this was the right decision. “I think I’ll make it. What time
is it at?” If I wasn’t sure about it before, I better be now.

 “It’s gonna be pretty late” he replied. “Show up
whenever, and we start whenever, end whenever. There’s no need to be a time on
a party now, is there?” A rather true statement.

 Well, I guess it wouldn’t be too bad of an idea to head
out. Maybe Claudia would like to come too? I decided to ask her. I said bye to
Forest and quickly retreated to my class before I was considered late. The
lessons served to just bore me as the idea of going to this party persisted in
my mind. What was going down, what was going to happen? Hopefully Daniel won’t
try to instigate anything, but then again… he might. People like him can’t
really be trusted.

 Claudia and I had some down time during the class period,
so I approached her to see if maybe she was interested. She still seemed a
little, I think, cautious about this relationship. I didn’t blame her, what
with her first boyfriend having turned out to be a jerk. I knew how that felt,
and I despised that feeling. A night out at a party might put her doubts to

 “Hey” I greeted her, waving her hello. She smiled back
and nodded. “Hey, Forest came by before class, and he was wondering if I wanted
to go to a party. I was thinking… why don’t you come too?” I asked her. My
speech had served well in recent times, faltering little.

 She shrugged, contemplating over this. “I don’t think I
can remember the last time I went on to a good one-night stand…” she brightened
up. “Oh, what the heck? Sure, I’ll come with you. What time is it?”

 “There is no time. It’s just whenever” I said, repeating
Forest’s partying philosophy.

 Claudia nodded, a new wave of happiness overtaking her.
So long as Daniel didn’t interfere, nothing bad could possibly happen.

 “Do you know if… Daniel’s coming?” she asked me shyly. I
nearly screamed. Of course she needed to have to ask that question. Post
break-up emotion mix-up as I called it. Still wondering where you previous
lover wanders off to.

 I took a deep breath and prepared to deliver the terrible
news. “Yes… he is…” before she could object, I continued. “But I doubt he’ll
try anything. We’ll be just fine”.

 That wave of happiness didn’t last long. Now with her ex
on her mind, Claudia said little and put a grim expression on her face. It was
partly her fault for letting him bug her, but mine for inviting her to a party
he was going to.

 The day zoomed past, and before I knew it I was ringing
the bell of the house the party was at Claudia at my side.

 Daniel answered the door.

The End

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