Sue and I got home soon enough after working that night to be late for Kati’s farewell party. Kati was my older sister at eighteen with green eyes and short dark brown hair. She was being forced to go to college in pursuit of a law degree by our mother, and even though we didn’t get along all the time, Kati had a pretty strong will that surprised me sometimes.

Kati had never wanted to go to college, only wanting to travel around with her boyfriend and his band of alternative rock grungies. I had to admit though, that was a really good plan. Maybe not guaranteed to work, but at least she’d have some fun before she found him with one of his “biggest fans”.

And I, being the less dramatic one (on special occasions), embraced Kati’s will to live on the edge and stood up for her. Though normally, I would have just stayed out of it (I didn’t like getting in between mom and Kati because it would just make it worse and I would get in trouble for being “nosey”), but if Kati did go traveling with Bed Head Boy, she would be out of my hair longer than if she were at college (Kati had always seemed a little immature). Kati seemed to agree on this and fought with all she had in her, though still respectful, verbal arsenal.

But in the end, we gave in and our mother echoed her victory repeatedly by making plans for all of Kati’s events and casting her into a swirling black and white tunnel of despair and boredom. I felt bad for her, but there was nothing more I could do.

Anyway, back to the present — Kati had unexpectantly decided to leave early so she could be ready for her college courses better, but of course it was only coincidence that her boyfriend was leaving on tour that very same weekend (yeah right. Ha. Ha. Ha). I was surprised to learn that I wasn’t the only one who had the sneaky gene.

I lived in a country suburb, but instead of the houses all looking exactly alike, they all looked different. My house was a grayish blue, with a little white porch in front, white door, and a small chimney sticking up from the roof. Sue’s was a pale peach color also with a white porch and door. She and I separated there, both going to our houses, and as she opened her door I heard her full name being called, MarySue Jane Baxter, just like what happened when I opened mine.

“Dakota Louise Riley, you’re late.” my mother said sternly as I entered the foyer. I glowered. Oh, how I hated when she said my full name. Maybe, if she wouldn’t have named me Dakota Louise, I’d feel less hatred for it. Maybe, but probably not.

“Sorry. It was really busy tonight.” I said, running upstairs to change before the party really started. Some of the guests were early, but I still had time before the rest showed up.

I stayed in my same white rufflely blouse, but changed my long blue skirt for a short pleated red plaid one. I also changed my sandals for some black high heeled boots. I did a quick check up on my makeup and hair, but everything was good so I ran downstairs. I loved short skirts and especially pleated ones, just my weakness I guess.

Sue was already knocking at the door when I got down there and we both headed to the back porch, passing some people standing around in the kitchen and living room.

 “Wow; crowded.” she said as we looked around at all the people dancing to rock music.

“Your sister has more friends than I thought.” she said, grabbing herself a soda from the cooler that was on the picnic table nearby.

“Yeah, me too.” I said and looked around. There were lots of people here and I felt my flirt meter rise at the sight of all the hot guys around. I looked over at Sue and we both smiled. All through the party, we flirted with every hot guy and danced with the ones who were confident in actually moving in a way related to dancing.

It occurred to me that most guys didn’t know how to dance in a way that would be thought of as safe. I mean, some of them thrust out their arms and legs while keeping their body stiff as a board. When I saw these things, I tried hard not to laugh out loud as I realized that the saying “White boys can’t dance” was actually true. Also, as I watched them, apparently unknowingly, embarrass themselves, I thought of the dancer.

The way he moved was so unlike anything I had ever seen in my life. I mean he actually moved his body along with his limbs and it didn’t endanger anyone. He moved so fluidly it was like he was floating, dancing on a cloud. He was so good at everything that it was impossible to describe how exactly great he was.

I shook my head. I didn’t need to be thinking about him after what he did. He isn’t here anyway. I reminded myself. I returned my attention to the present and went about my business. After the song ended, I discreetly excused myself from the dangerous thrusting limb guy and ran away when he wasn’t looking.

When the party was calming down and everyone was getting more relaxed, I skipped up to snatch myself a soda when I heard someone call my name. I turned around and saw two guys standing over at the end of the nearly empty snack table.

I’d known these guys just as long as I had Sue, becoming friends with them in kindergarten. Dale was the shorter one, though he still stood at five foot nine or ten and was buffer, had dark brown almost black hair that was gelled, and brown eyes that looked like they were mixed with cinnamon. We’d dated once a while back, but we were young and what we thought was a crush turned out to be just deep caring for each other. It actually strengthened our friendship, and Dale became the big brother I’d always wanted. I know, weird right?

Chase was the taller one, less buff than Dale, and was a meat head with light wavy and really short blonde hair and blue eyes. He was on the football team with Dave, but got nowhere near the attention. Dave of course was the star, but Chase at least still got to date anyone he wanted because he was a football player.

In the beginning when he’d first started football, he’d gotten a big head and ditched us for them. Well, he got what he wanted, cheerleader girlfriend and lots of attention, but lost us in the process. He got tired of everything after a while and came back to us, promising he’d never do that again, and since then has never left us.

Having grown up with him, I was used to his meat headedness and forgave him easily. To tell the truth, he really wasn’t all that stupid, but he wasn’t all that smart either. I just preferred to think of him as a little simple minded, but he was a really good guy otherwise, very sweet.

 “Yeah?” I said, taking a sip of my Dr. Pepper.

“You and Sue were supposed to be in History this morning. Where were you?” asked Chase.

The End

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