Friendship Happy

By: Danie Reynolds

The inside of my cheek is bleeding. The iron taste of blood fills my mouth. I move to bite my lip instead.

My mom looks up from her phone and sighs. “Sweetie,” She says as she reaches for my hands. “Stop worrying. You’ll have fun, and we’ll be back tomorrow before you know it. I promise.” 

I tug the navy blue dress I’m wearing down, covering my silver flats. Mom picked out the outfit, and said something about how it looked like the night sky. I didn’t care. 

I unfolded my arms, and instead rested them in my lap. “Okay,” I said quietly. “Have fun at the hotel.”

Dad’s work offered him a night at a gorgeous just-constructed hotel, as thanks for designing it. He works for a construction company, and he was allowed to bring one guest to the hotel with him. My mom. Not his fourteen-year-old daughter, who desperately needed him to get her out of going to this party. No. He’s taking my mom

“Oh, you have fun too sweetie,” Dad says, giving me a quick hug as I step out of the car. “But it won’t be nearly as fun at the hotel without you.” 

I give a weak smile and mom a hug, then step onto the pavement of the driveway. I raise my hand in a small farewell. “Bye,” I say, trying to keep my voice from cracking. “I love you.” I turn away and march up the stone steps to the front door, before they can see the tears forming in my eyes, or the betrayal I feel. 

I’m about to knock, but the door swings open before I can. A blue-eyed, freckled face greets me. 

“Maisy!” Peyton grins and squeezes me tight. “I’m so glad you made it! Come on in, the party’s downstairs.”

A flower of hope blooms in my chest at my best friend's enthusiasm. This can’t be that bad with her there. Maybe there’s not a lot of people that I’ll have to talk to?

As we walk down the stairs, I can hear music blasting and people laughing. Lots of people. I gulp.

“Pey!” A girl walks up and links her arm around Peyton’s shoulder. “Great party! Who’s this?” She asks, nodding at me.

I clear my throat, and force the following words out. “Mai...Maisy Kane.” I stutter, then give a nervous smile. 

The girl grins back, and she throws her other arm around my shoulder as well. “Tegan Wayton, pleased to meet you.”

I laugh, almost startled but mostly relieved by how welcoming Tegan is. “Nice to meet you, too,” I turn to Peyton. “So what are you guys doing down here?”

“Basically everything my parents told us not to. When the cat’s away, the mice will play.” Peyton says, her smile unapologetic. 

I giggle. I never giggle. I’m never this at ease with anything that includes more than four people. But somehow, with my best friend and a sort of new friend by my side, everything is just… awesome. I’d probably have known that by now if I ever bothered to come out of the house.

I lift my chin. “Let’s go check it out!” I yell over the noise. Together, we all walk over to the counter, where there are several varieties of chips, soda and candy spread all over it. Several people are seated behind it, having a chugging contest. 

Before I’m realizing what’s happening, Peyton fills up a large red cup with Fanta, and seats me down, shoving the cup into my hand. 

I stare at it, moving it towards my lips after Peyton mimes drinking. I gulp it down in thirty seconds, only then realizing how thirsty I am. Peyton and Tegan are laughing as I gasp in air, and I join them once I can breathe again. 

Peyton grabs my arm and pulls me along, until we stand at a small balcony on the highest floor, where a few people are jumping off it, and landing with a splash in the pool below.

We stroll over to where a bunch of kids are singing karaoke, and Peyton and Tegan join me in singing song after song until our throats are hoarse. 

Then someone cranks the music up louder, and I lift my arms above my head and dance. People are dancing near me, but I’m in the center of it all, swirling around, my dress fanning out around me. People are watching, but for the first time, I don’t care. They smile, and start clapping, giving me a rhythm. 

So I spin, and leap, and twirl. I glide and turn and swirl. I dance.

Somewhere in the front of the circle that’s been formed around me, I catch Peyton’s eye. She’s smiling and clapping, then gives me a thumbs up. 

I grab her hand and pull her into the center, and we spin around and around until we’re too dizzy to do anything but laugh. And we do. We laugh and laugh until our bellies ache, and we fall to the floor, still giggling.

A few hours later, when most people have gone home, Peyton, Tegan, and I go back up to the balcony, and sit atop it with our feet hanging over the side.

“That was the best night of my life,” I say, watching as the sun slowly sinks beneath the horizon, finally going away after a long summer evening. 

“Mine too,” Peyton leans against me.

“I second that,” says Tegan with a smile. 

I think back to a few hours ago, when I was dreading coming here. Dreading that I might end up talking to people, or going out of my comfort zone. Dreading the fact that maybe, just maybe, people would notice me. But since then, I learned more about life than I ever have from school, or from my parents. Life is about being noticed. It’s about taking chances. It’s about knowing that, even if you feel like no one can see you, the people that love you most will always help you remember that you are seen. You are cared about. You are loved, appreciated, and missed whenever you’re not there. 

Knowing that, I rest easier, and for once, feel completely at peace.

May 14, 2021 01:46

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.