By: Danie Reynolds
"Oh my gosh!" I flatten my hair against my head, but it just poofs up again. "Forget it! I am so not going."
Lyla rolls her eyes, laughing. "Oh, please. You're already dressed up, and you need to stop worrying. You look fine."
I frown, staring at my reflection in my bedroom's full-length mirror, just like I've been doing for hours. "I don't know," I say hesitantly. "I just haven't been to a party in a while. I don't even know what to do with myself."
Lyla laughs. "Shay, you're a riot. You don't even know what to do with yourself? That's the easiest part! You just have fun. Hence, the word party. Stop stressing."
"Easy for you to say," I grumble. "You've been ready for days. You just forced me to come this afternoon!"
"I prefer to think of it as strongly suggested," Lyla says with a wink. "Come on, we're gonna be late."
I pull back, but Lyla just shakes her head and grabs my arm, pulling me down the flights of stairs, out of the apartment complex, and into the parking lot.
I shiver. "It's freezing," I whine. "Let's go back inside."
"Stop complaining. I don't want your excuses. We're going."
"Fine, where's your car? Let's get out of this cold, at least." I mutter, pulling my black coat tighter around myself.
Lyla laughs again. "It's right over here," She says, and we trudge to the left side of the parking lot. There's an old Sedan, and a black truck, but not Lyla's silver 4-Runner.
"Did you actually just take us to the wrong side of the building?" I ask, my eyes starting to ache from rolling them so much.
Lyla shakes her head, mild worry starting to show on her face. "No, this is the right side of the building. I know I parked right...there." She says and points to a parking spot thirty steps away. We approach the spot, and when we get there, I make out the small blue square, with a person in a wheelchair in the middle.
I turn back to Lyla. "Handicapped parking?!" I yell. "Are you kidding me? I can't believe you got towed. I'm going back to my room."
Lyla stares at the empty parking spot for a moment, then shrugs, like it's not that big of a deal. "Oh no you don't," She says swerving in front of me as I attempt to walk away. "We're still going to that party."
"How?" I asked. "How on Earth are you going to get us to a party that's twenty miles away. Don't think for a second that I'm walking, especially in these shoes." I lift up one foot to show Lyla the huge platform sneakers she convinced me to wear.
"No, no," She says, walking around in a small circle, tapping her finger to her chin. Then a loud beeping noise interrupts her thinking, and she jumps, eyes landing on the car that just pulled into the parking lot.
The trash truck drives to the edge of the building, scoops up a trash can, and dumps it into the large bin behind it.
Lyla meets my eyes, and grins.
"I don't think so," I say.
But she's already walking towards it, pulling me along again.
I try to squirm out of her grasp, but she just tugs harder. We stumble directly in front of the vehicle, and the guy driving the truck lays on the horn.
"Hi, I'm Lyla, and this is my friend, Shay. Sorry to bother you, but we're late for a very important get-together with some close friends, and we don't have any sort of transportation to get there. Would you be a gem and help us out?" She flutters her eyelashes, and I hold back the barf coming up my throat.
The driver takes off his hat, looking flustered. "Sorry, Miss. Got a route to stick to. From here to Strainsburg Street. You understand, don't you?" He said in apology.
Lyla looked disappointed, but she tried for a sweet smile. "Of course, sir. Thank you for your time."
He tipped his hat to us, then drove right past us, heading for the parking lot's exit.
Then Lyla grinned, and said, "Strainsburg Street! That's where the party is! Come on, we have a ride!"
She pulled me along and ran for the back of the truck, reaching for the metal ladder bolted to its end. She catches it in her fingertips, and pulls herself up, helping me up after.
"LLLLYYYLLAAA!" I scream as I topple forward, only to be immediately pulled up onto the car.
I hug her tightly for a few more seconds, shaking hard. Then I carefully maneuver around so that I'm seated right beside her.
"That was horrifying." I choke out once I'm able to breathe again.
Lyla only nods.
We continue in silence for a few more minutes, the truck picking up trash cans and flipping them into the air. But then we come to a shuddering halt. Lyla and I both jolt forward and nearly fall off.
The driver casually climbs out of the truck, whistling as he walks up to someone's driveway, and retrieves a trash can too far away to grab with his truck.
When he turns around, he'll see us. It seems Lyla and I have the same realization, because all of a sudden she's pushing me up into the large bin above, and I plug my nose as I fall into the garbage.
I bite my lip to keep from screaming "EWWWWWW!" There are food wrappers, ruined clothes, cardboard boxes, and...less pleasant things floating around in the muck.
Lyla falls in behind me, and then we hear doors slamming and we start moving again. Five stops later, we're apparently at the party house, according to Lyla.
Both of us scramble out, partly for fear the driver will start again while we're still in the truck, but mostly because we can't stand to inhale the stench of rotting trash any longer.
"Ew, ew, EW!" Lyla shrieks as the truck drives away.
"Hey," I say, grimacing as I pull a food wrapper off of me. "This was your bright idea. Now we're going into a party looking like we just came from the sewer."
Lyla contemplates this for a moment, then a slow smile takes over her face. "We don't have time to go back and change, so I say we own it. Let's go in."
"Seriously?" I laugh. Sometimes Lyla's a bit impulsive, like when she shoves you into a garbage pile, but she sure can lighten a mood. Then I nod my head, still grinning. "Let's do it!"