I sit with my hands scrunched up in a ball. My eyes search the room nervously. Imagining what it will be like later on. When everyone arrives. No, I'm remembering. What happened last time I was at a party. How everyone threw pies at my face because they hated me. Yet none of them dared to show it. Tears burn my eyes. They threaten to spill. I don't let them. I'm so nervous. The guests will be here soon. I only hope it's different from last time. I stand, smoothing my dress down and straightening my hair. My steel blue eyes meet my reflections'. I gulp and walk toward the door. We have a small entrance at the front of our house, it overlooks a busy road. I place my shoes in the entryway and sit back on a small plush chair. Waiting for the guests to arrive.
The doorbell rings and I jump up. My hands clam up and I take a deep breath, forcing a smile onto my face and opening the door. The colour drains from my face. It's Lucas. The boy who made fun of me. I gulp as he steps into the room.
"Thanks," I say, my teeth gritted
"About last year, I just wanted to say. I'm sorry, really Lu," He says, looking sincere for once. Lu. His nickname for me. Luella is my name. He's never called me that though.
"Maybe we could-" He's cut off by the doorbell ringing again. I open it, another forced smile across my face. A girl stands there. Two brown plaits go down her back, freckles go across her face and she smiles brightly. Elsie. My best friend who could be more. If only I was braver. I shiver and le the rin. She hands me a small bag. She wasn't here last year. I didn't know her back then. Now that I know her though, I am so happy. I only hope she is also happy.
"Happy Birthday Lulu!" She's the only one allowed to call me that. I prefer Luella but when she says Lulu I don't care. Because it Elsie. And she's my best friend. The three of us stand in awkward silence as we wait for more guests to arrive.
Once everyone has arrived we move into the dining room for karaoke. Lucas is up first. He chooses a classic love song. Without you. David Guetta and Usher. I sit, listening to his melodic voice. He looks at me all the while he's singing it. I feel a blush creep up my neck and sweat drips down my brow. I hide in my hair as he finishes. Not tearing his gaze from my mine. Bailea is up next. She does a simple Taylor Swift song and steps off the podium. I wait in anticipation as Elsie steps up. She gives me a thumbs up and smiles at me. I smile back at her as the beat starts up. Anyone, by Justin Beiber. She looks at me the whole time. Her normal expression is gone from her face. She looks serious. She doesn't tear her gaze from mine. What is it with people today? I don't mind so much with Elsie though. I just wish I was a tad braver. Like Lucas. Although, not like Lucas. He kissed me under the mistletoe at the party. He had the guts to do that, but he didn't have the guts to tell me it was all a hoax. But I know better now. I know not to trust him. I won't make that mistake again. I was so hurt last time. When your crush for five years finally kisses you then stabs you in the back it's kinda a roller coaster of emotions. He told everyone that I was a terrible kisser and not only that, but he spread the word that I smelt like old undies. I shiver at the thought and Elsie's song ends. My turn. I get up and start to sing. I don't have a backing track. I just sing my heart out.
Why'd you do this to me?
When I loved you so deep
Knew you would hurt me
Made my head spin when we kissed
But it was all a miss
You made me cry but never again
I won't fall for your tricks
I know you now and I won't do it again
I keep singing, looking at Lucas the whole time. He sweeps a hand through his unkempt hair. I don't break eye contact. Now he knows all I went through because of him. I finish the song and Elsie starts to clap. She knows all the tea. I trust her with my life. She hugs me and I hug back, a blush creeping up my cheeks. She pulls away and rushes off to go have cake, everyone trails after her. Lucas lags behind. I cross my arms over my chest.
"Did you mean everything you said up there, Lu?" He asks, his eyes look hurt for once.
"Yes, Of course, I did. You hurt me, and you never even thought twice about it,"
"But you're wrong," He says. I scoff at him as he accuses me.
"I did think about it. More than twice. I knew it was wrong. I was young and foolish. Please, Lu, don't leave me," I can't I've him an answer. because part of me remembers that kiss. I remember the feeling that flooded through me. But would he hurt me again? But on the other hand, would I get more teased if I dated a girl? I shake my head. I can't think about this now.
"I need cake," He nods and I walk off to join the others. This is mean to be a happy day. He's making it so hard for me. Elsie greets me and everyone sings happy birthday to me. I force a smile onto my face for the gazillionth time that day and blow out my 18 candles. My dress blows around my ankles as the door opens. Lucas stands in the doorway. I shudder as he comes closer. Elsie grips my hand and I squeeze her hand gratefully. She nods and Lucas goes away. I eat my cake. Mud cake. With mint. My favourite.
"Nice cake," I almost throw up my cake. It's Lucas. How he found his way to me, I don't know.
"I didn't make it, it's store-bought,"
"Oh," He looks taken aback and shrugs. Just like before. He has no real feeling. I knew he could never change. We finish the cake and go back into the dining room. It's been cleared out to play twister. Nobody feels like playing though. The mood is subdued. I show everyone the door. Elsie goes to leave but I tell her to stay. Lucas lingers, I shoo him out. As soon as everyone leaves, I pull Elsie in, before I can think twice. I kiss her. She kisses back. Different emotions flood me. Happiness. I feel free. I open my eyes but don't pull away. I watch Lucas watch me kiss Elsie out of the corner of my eye. I smile. He got what he deserved. Even if he's hurt now. He hurt me. Now we're even. I pull away from Elsie. She smiles even brighter than before and gives me a peck on the cheek before leaving. I had no reason to be nervous about this party. It went smoothly. I just hope Lucas stays silent about Elsie and me.