Chapter 3

               "Sorry I'm late!" I bursted through the kitchen door as I panted, gasping for air. I was late because Nate kept bugging me about their party. He kept following me around. He even went as far as following me to the ladies' room. He was kicked out by a middle-aged teacher. It was pretty hilarious. After that, he wouldn't let me get to my car without promising him that I would go. I gave in after he literally got down on his knees and begged. I was embarrassed as people kept giving me strange looks as I passed by them.

               "Obviously," an irritated looking Aaron grumbled behind the kitchen counter. "Do you have any idea how long I waited?" he complained.

               "Let me guess, ten minutes?" I guessed, adding a nervous smile to my face to lighten up the mood.

               "A freaking thirty minutes!" he yelled, leaning against the wall.

               "So? We still have," I quickly did the math mentally in my head, "an hour and a half."

               "Didn't you know that Luke, Nate, and I are throwing a party?" he retorted, rolling his eyes.

               "Yeah, and it starts at around 6 so we have plenty of time!" I made my way to one of the kitchen stools and sat down.

               "And did you know whose house the party is supposed to be held at?" he scowled at me.

               "Of cour-!" Realization hit me that Nate and Luke didn't even tell me whose house it was going to be held. I looked away from Aaron and flushed.

               He must've assumed that my silence was a no, because he continued, "I thought so. It's gonna be held at my house so I have to be there as soon as possible!"

               "Oh," I responded, looking on the ground. "You know, it's okay with me if we don't bake today. I mean, you are busy so..," I trailed off, raising my head slowly.

               "Really? You serious?" he stared at me wide-eyed. 

               "Yeah, sure. Maybe I could help," I suggesting, giving him a small smile. He started to smile back but dropped it. I frowned. If he was even a little bit nice, maybe I could be friends with him.

               "If you want to." He got up and took his backpack, he slung it over his shoulder and made a move to the door.

               I bolted up from my seat and gathered my belongings. I headed towards the door and swung it open. I inhaled sharply and walked at a fast pace to my car. I turned on the engine and followed Aaron's car to his house.

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               "Where does this go?" I asked as I struggled to carry loads of bowls filled with chips. I made a face as a piece fell on the floor.

               "On the table near the living room," Aaron answered as he slumped down on the couch. He placed his feet on the coffee table and raised both hands behind his head as he got into a more comfortable position. I placed the bowls on the table. I sighed in relief, I'm all done! I've organized the food and the music. All. By. Myself. Why was I doing all the work, anyway? It was his party! I glared at him and he gave me a questioning look. He shrugged and turned on the large flat screen TV in front of him.

               I arranged the bowls of food on the table one last time and went my way back to Aaron. I was surprised to see three heads instead of one. Nate and Luke turned to look at me. Shocked crossed their faces but soon, it turned into excitement.

               "Lindsay! You made it!" Nate brightened up, his eyes glittering.

               "A little early, don't you think? Excited, are we?" Luke pitched in, a smirk crossing his lips.

               "Actually, I was here to help set up the party." All by myself, I wanted to add. I grimaced slightly.

               "Really? Looks like you did a really great job," Luke commented. He got up and went to steal a chip from one of the bowls.

               "Hey, Lindsay, can you cook?" Nate asked, staring at me intently. His question shocked me. Did he know I went to baking class? Did Aaron tell him and Luke? I wrinkled my eyebrows in confusion. I don't recall telling him..

               "Um, yeah. I'm not a great cook or anything though," I answered awkwardly, still not quite sure why he even asked the question.

               "Great! I'm starving! Make me something!" Nate commanded. I mentally laughed at his eagerness.

               Just as I was about to say yes, a voice spoke up. "Careful, she might poison you," Aaron teased, looking smug. I glared at him, which he ignored. "Just eat the chips. The party will be starting soon anyway."

               "Fine," Nate sighed.

               Twenty minutes before six, people started to fill up the house. Music was pumping through the windows. I smelled the stench of beer and alcohol. Many people were dancing with the music. I slowly maneuvered myself to Elise who was waving her hands up in the air. Once I reached her, she grabbed my arm and shouted directly to my ear. "Hey, Lindsay! Great party right?"

               I cringed at her voice and the smell coming out from her mouth. Clearly, she was drunk. "Hey, Elise. Yeah, I guess," I made a face at the proximity of the people squished around me. "Listen, I'm gonna go get a drink," I told her.

               "Okay! I'll be right here!" she shouted through the loud music.

               I went to fridge where numerous kinds of alcohol were displayed. I wrinkled my nose. I'm not a fan of drinking and never will I be a fan of it. I took a can of Coke instead.

               "Coke? You don't drink?" Aaron appeared by my side when I went to sit near the kitchen island. I turned to him, taking a large gulp from my drink. I noticed he had a can of Coke in his hands as well.

               "Nope. Not a fan of it. You?" I raised an eyebrow. I've always pictured him as a drinker.

               "Nah, I had a bad experience from the last time I drank," he shrugged, a gloomy expression on his face. I became curious. Bad experience?

               "Oh." I wanted to ask questions but I shut my mouth instead. It wasn't my business to stick my nose in, anyway.

               Silence engulfed between us. It wasn't a comfortable silence, it was more of an awkward silence. I played with the hem of my shirt. I began to take interest of the loose string attached to it. Time passed slowly until a familiar mop of umber hair appeared in my vision.

               "Hey guys!" To my surprise, he looked sober. He wasn't drunk at all. I blinked in confusion. Did Nate have a bad experience with it too?

               "Don't you drink?" I blurted without thinking. I flushed. I should learn to control my mouth.

               "I don't feel like it," he shrugged. "Hey Aaron, can we go to your room or somewhere private? It's too stuffy in here," he complained.

               "Sure," he led the way up to his room.

               Nate turned to look at me, "Wanna come, Lindsay?"

               "Um, sure?" It sounded more of a question than an answer. I followed them nonetheless.

               We walked through a long hallway filled with dozens of paintings. Aaron suddenly stopped; I knocked my nose into Nate's back. I rubbed my nose lightly as Nate chuckled and mumbled sorry. We arrived at a brown mahogany door with a gold doorknob. Aaron turned the knob open and we went in. First thing I noticed was Luke sitting on a black spinning type of chair, his hands clasped on his knee.

               "Welcome to Aaron's humble abode," Luke said in an English accent, while turning around to face us. Nate laughed while Aaron snorted. 

               Glancing at the numerous posters on the wall, I made my way to the middle of the room and admired how neat and clean his room was. It's much cleaner than mine, I admitted. His room was mostly black and blue in color. The wall was filled with posters of cars and bands. His large king-sized bed resided on the middle of the room. There was a door near the corner. I assumed that that was the bathroom. I saw an electric guitar on the side of his desk. His desk was littered with dozens of papers. I smirked smugly, I guess his wasn't all neat at all.

               It took time for me to realize that the three boys were staring at me. I cocked my head to the side, wondering why it seemed so quiet. "What?" I asked finally, making eye contact with Luke, then Nate, then finally Aaron.

               "Nothing. You just turned quiet all of a sudden. It's like you were in your own little world, smirking like that," Nate pointed out. I blushed slightly, now aware of how idiotic I must've been.

               I focused my attention on the floor, not making eye contact with them anymore. "S-sorry. I was just spacing out." It finally occured to me that I was the only girl in the room with three boys who I've recently met yesterday.

               A loud smashing noise from downstairs made all four of us turned our attention to the door. My heartbeat spiked rapidly after the smash. What happened? All of us bolted to the door. The trio hurriedly ran down the stairs. I realized that the music was turned off and almost everybody was standing still with their eyes wide. I asked Elise who was giving me a scared look when I got down the stairs.

               "What's wrong, Elise?" I asked worriedly.

               "Aaron's parents. They're here," she said in a panicked tone. Aaron's parents?

The End

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