I'd never been to a party.
My friends were always having parties in highschool, and I always planned on going. But my parents had other plans for me. Instead of partying, I was forced to stay home and study. They hoped that it would help me go to a good college, and to stay out of trouble. I'm sure you can figure out that they were a little disappointed when I didn't go to college right away.
But that's another story. The thing is, I had never been to a party because my parents never let me go. Now, I could go wherever and do whatever I wanted, when I wanted to. And, when my friend Cole called me about a party he was having, I didn't plan on coming- I did.
It was late, and the sun was just setting, but Christmas tree lights and lanterns lit up the yard. Cole still lived with his parents, and they had a pretty decent amount of money. Not to mention that they were almost always on vacation, so Cole had the whole house to himself.
There was loud music playing, and the bass was thumping so hard I could feel the ground vibrate. There was laughing and shouting among the large group of people, most of them with red solo cups in their hands, though some were smoking. Not sure what to do, I just wandered around. "Hey CedMan!" I heard Cole shout from behind me, "Sweet party, huh?" I turned to face him, and shouted back, "Yeah, it's pretty cool. Who are all these people?"
"Honestly? I don't even know, man! I just put up a few posters around town, and they showed up! I just figured, why not? Y'know?" I nodded, looking around. That guy over there could be a serial killer, just waiting for the right moment to pull out his gun, for all I knew. Cole took a sip of beer, "Alright, man, well if you need anything just come and find me." "Alright." I replied, though I didn't think I would ever need to do so.
I continued walking around, feeling awkward. I didn't recognize anyone here, and I was getting the feeling that the parties in highschool might've been a little different. Suddenly, a tall and buff guy approached me. "Hey kid," he said, his voice gruff, "You need something?" I stared at the guy for a while, then shook my head. "If you do, come find me." And with that, he was gone.
That was it- I was done with this. I glanced over at my car, preparing a quick getaway when I saw the buff guy and a few others like him near it. No thanks! I thought, then I looked for the 'Big Tree'. It was where me and Cole used to play when we were little. I figured I could stake it out up there until the guys moved away.
I climbed up the tree, finding that it wasn't as easy as it used to be, though the trip was much shorter. When I had finally gotten up there, I laid down to rest. ..But it was odd, the tree seemed warm and.. soft? "Hey, what are you doing?"
I immediately sat up and looked to the source of the voice. There was a girl with long, straight red hair. Her sparkly gray eyes reminded me of stars, and her nose was lightly sprinkled with freckles. She was, no doubt, the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen.
"What are you doing?" She asked again. I shook myself out of my daze and answered, "I'm sorry.. I didn't know that you were up here." She looked me up and down, then turned her focus to a notebook in her lap. "Well, normally at this kind of thing, I wouldn't believe you. But you've got an honest face." She scribbled something down, then turned again to me. "What's your name?" "Cedric." I said, my heart racing. "I'm Hattie. Nice to meet you, Cedric." She outstreched a hand which hung in mid-air for a few seconds before I realized I was supposed to shake it.
"What's that you got there?" I asked, pointing at her notebook. "It's a notebook. I like to write." Hattie continued writing as she spoke. "Could I see it?" I asked, not sure what else to say- I had never really enjoyed writing, or even reading, but I didn't think that would be a good conversation starter. "No, but you can tell me about yourself."
I was a little startled by her reply. She was definitely outgoing, unlike me. "Um, well, I have one older brother and a younger sister." "What are their names?" "Robert and Ivanna. This is my first real party, and now I realize that it's not all it's cracked up to be. I love the stars, and I want to be an astronomer. Ivanna has a dog named Rory, and it hates me. I try to like animals, but they do not like me." Hattie giggled, but didn't say anything, so I continued. "My favorite color is blue-"
"Really? Blue?" She interrupted. "Yeah, what's wrong with blue?" I asked. "It's just that every guy's favorite color is blue." "Well then, what's your favorite color?"
"Right now, it's magenta."She answered. I chuckled, and ran my hand through my hair, "Okay, I've told you a lot about me, now I want to hear about you." Hattie slammed her notebook shut and looked into my eyes. "My real name is Harriet, but I hate it so I have people call me 'Hattie'. I am fluent in Spanish and French, and I also know sign language. I love charcoal drawings. In highschool I was a hurdler in track."
"What about your family?" I played with a piece of bark in my hands, trying not to seem too into Hattie. I didn't want her to know I liked her. There was a long pause, and so I looked up at her. She was staring at a bunch of leaves in front of her, though I could tell her mind was somewhere else. "..Hattie?"
"Oh, sorry, I was just thinking." She said quickly. "You know, it's getting late, I should probably go." "Oh." I said, watching her stick her pen in her notebook and begin to crawl down. "Hey, um, Hattie?"
"What?" She asked. "Could I.. get your number?" She laughed and shook her head. "No, I don't have a phone. But if you give me your number, I could call you sometime off of a payphone." I nodded, contemplating the idea. "Yeah, okay. Can I use your pen?" She nodded and handed me her pen and a piece of paper she had ripped out of her notebook. I wrote my number down carefully, and gave it to her.
I watched her as she walked away, and when she disappeared into the darkness, I realized something.
I didn't even know her last name.