Coming of Age High School LGBTQ+

If anything horrible happens, just know that my mom forced me to go to this party. Although, I don't think anyone needs that explanation since my pale skin and wreck it ralph t-shirt tells everyone that I haven't been to a party in years. The last one I've been to was my younger cousin's third birthday party. She's thirteen now, and let's say that I wasn't too happy about breaking my iconic, decade-long streak of avoiding any kind of social interaction. So when my mom tricked me into entering her car to "go to that new fantasy movie you always talk about," only to drop me off in front of the QuarterBack's mansion, I was completely livid, followed by a wave of nausea hitting my stomach. I don't even know how to approach the door, or rather the wall of people crowding the entrance. 

Most of them were already intoxicated, either by a drink, someone else, or their phone. I’ve seen all of this already, and rather keep my distance from everyone. Especially since I’ve only been known for being a “buzz kill” or “socially awkward know-it-all.” Well, I’m sorry if you don’t understand the value of sharing knowledge, and thinking about your decisions before you make them. 

"Have fun she says, it's your last chance before graduation she says," I mumbled and quoted my mom from earlier as I yawned. I’m not even in the house yet, and I’m already tired of everyone here. I doubt that this party will drastically change my outlook on life, and if anything it will only prove that my dark, quiet cave of a room can give me everything that this party can't. Maybe I should just stay out here until my mom picks me up… Actually, that’s not a bad idea. It should work like secondhand smoke, but with partying. I can still absorb the aura from this event, without actively participating in it, right? Right. So that’s the plan.

“Stay outside and wait for the ride… Hey, that rhymed,” I mumbled again as I paced at the bottom of the steps, not even noticing the pair of eyes on me.

“Gonna go inside or just pace out here all days to burn calories?” A smug voice from the school’s most popular cheerleader shook me out of my thoughts, and back into reality. It was Jen Collins, my out-of-league crush since grade school. I heard she was dating the QuarterBack, the host of this party, actually, but then again I hear a lot of things, and most of them come from high in the sky skaters that sit in the back of the class. They could be very accurate or very out of it. Either way, it was always an adventure when I talked to them. 

“I um... I’m just gonna stay out here. Gonna get the second-hand vibes from the party,” I’m sure I was crashing and burning to say the least. Vibes? Who even says that anymore? And I never trip over my words, or at least, I never say enough words to trip over. My palms throbbed as my nails sunk into them, a nervous, yet damaging habit I developed in the sixth grade. It was due to yet another encounter with Jen. I wanted to ask her to be my partner for a project, but once I faced her, I froze up and basically killed my social reputation. Before, I was just known as the quiet kid, but then I was known as the nervous blob of awkwardness and decent grades. But, I believe I did well in owning that title as it stuck with me through the years. Why is she always here when I’m crashing and burning so horribly?

“Um… okay, enjoy the vibes I guess. Would you mind if I joined you?” Oh my gosh, I have to be dreaming. Yeah, that’s it, this is just a simulation, just like in one of those sci-fi films. I’ll wake up and be ridiculed any second now. Maybe they might even ridicule me here. If it’s not that, then I have to be getting punked. Alright, time to search for the camera.

“Hello, earth to Izzy,” Am I being woken up already? Or did she really just wave her hand in front of my face? Either way, I guess I should respond. Who knows, this could be real.

“Yeah? Hey there… Jen... Jennifer... Jenny,” Oh my gosh, why did I respond? And why am I holding up finger guns at her? I should’ve just let myself be taken out of the simulation. This cannot be real. 

“Wow, no one’s called me Jenny since the sixth grade,” she smiled as she surprisingly held up finger guns. Maybe I shouldn’t leave just yet.

“Yeah, well if anyone remembers sixth grade, it’s me,” I nervously laughed off my embarrassment, remembering my moment of failure back then. 

“You mean when you wanted to ask me to be your partner? I said I would, but you just didn’t respond and went home early,” Wait… what? She actually responded, and her answer was yes? I don’t remember saying a single thing, so how did she know?

“How do you know I meant to ask you?” Now, this is a question I can’t get if I went to the movies. This whole party thing might be worthwhile.

“Well, as soon as the teacher was done announcing the project, you immediately got up and stood in front of me. Even though you just opened and closed your mouth without a word, I just assumed and said I would work with you, but I think you just walked away too quickly to hear me. I always thought you seemed nice, so I wouldn’t have had a problem with it,” I was completely shellshocked at this new development. I could have been talking to her this whole time if I wasn’t so wrapped up in my head. 

“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. I really didn’t hear you and-” She cut me off as she started to laugh really hard, needing to sit down on the front steps because her body couldn’t handle the string rumble of her chuckling. 

“It’s okay, I know. No need to freak out, there’s nothing to be sorry for,” My body relaxed with those words as she wiped the tears from her eyes. That must’ve really pulled a laugh out of her to be doing all of that.

“Alright, that’s good,” A sigh of relief pulled my shoulders down to a calm placement. I still can’t believe she thought I was nice. Simulation, or not, I have to stay for this.

“So… still wanna try and soak up these second-hand party vibes or hang out with me in the house?” This time, I quickly responded with an enthusiastic nod, following her through the same crowd that cluttered the entrance. Might as well make the best of this. It’s my last chance after all.

May 08, 2021 07:32

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


RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in Reedsy Studio. 100% free.