3- The First Party
Amanda was finishing up the last touches on her short, blonde hair while Hope was running around trying to fix the rest of the house. I groaned.
“Do I really have to go through with this?” I whined. Was I acting like a baby? Possibly. Did I care at the moment? Not really.
Amanda had forced me to at least put on a nice dress for the event, even though I didn’t even want to go. It was shorter, a little above my knees, and I had to admit it wasn’t a bad dress. I actually kind of liked it, though I would never say that out loud. I wouldn’t want a certain someone getting the wrong idea that she could do something like this to me more often.
The loud chime of the doorbell could be heard throughout the house. “Yes, now come on our first guests have arrived!” Amanda squealed and dashed out of her room. I reluctantly followed and prayed that this night wouldn’t be too traumatic for me. As I walked into the living room I couldn’t see who Hope and Amanda were talking to, though I could here them practically cooing their thanks in the person’s participation.
“It means so much, we’re glad we could have someone like you,” Amanda said to the mystery person.
“We hope this will turn out good for you, if you need any help arranging things just let us know,” Hope added.
Arriving behind their backs I cleared my throat. Taking this moment to let in the person and close the front door again, they also parted to turn and look at me. My eyes, however, were only toward the guy standing before them. “Ian?” I was as stunned as I was confused.
“Thera?” He questioned back, eyes wide. Eyes that I had spent countless minutes looking into before, countless minutes believing in. The shock and confusion they currently held most likely mirrored my own.
“Do you two know each other?” Hope asked, stupidly in my opinion. No, we were just really good at playing the name game. We both ignored her question.
“What are you doing here?” Ian asked me first.
“I should ask you the same thing. I was forced into this by my friends, I didn’t realize that by participants they meant cheaters and lonely jocks who can’t find a date themselves.” The initial feelings I felt after seeing Ian again had simply evaporated, and all I felt left in its place was anger. So I dealt with it in the best way that I could–taking it out on him.
“Thera, look, I’ve already told you before it was a slip up, an accident! All I had wanted at the time was you, I—”
“Save it, Ian. I’m done listening to you talk about that incident. It’s in the past, lets just move on.” He sighed heavily.
“Am I missing something?” Hope asked loudly as she looked between the two of us. A few brain cells, maybe?
“Long story, hun,” Amanda replied. “Not one that will be shared tonight.” A knock came from the door. I was done with surprises for now, and turned to go to the kitchen for some food. In my opinion, this was always a good option, seeing as food rarely ever let me down. There was an assortment of different kinds to choose from–I must commend Amanda and Hope for that–so I let my brain go silent for a little as I began to munch on different snacks. As I was grabbing a bag of chips to pour onto my plate, I could hear just the faintest sound of someone behind me. Oh no, honey.
“I swear, Ian, if that’s you and you’re trying to scare me, I’ll turn around and dropkick you. It doesn’t matter that I’m in a dress.” A chuckle could be heard behind me.
“Just me, feisty pants. Though I must complement you on your dress, you look stunning.” I turned around to see a different guy standing behind me. His brown hair was styled upwards in a way that must have taken him a long time to complete, but looked good on him.
“Who are you?” I asked, quite unkindly.
“The name’s Rye, and who might you be?”
“Thera,” I replied turning back to my chips.
“Thera? That’s a unique name, I’ve never heard it before,” he declared as he walked over next to me.
“The only Rye I’ve heard of is the grain and bread,” I said. Immediately my hands on the bag stopped and I looked up at him. “I’m sorry if that was really rude, I tend to be very blunt and/or sarcastic. Comes second nature to me, so just thought I’d warn you before I say something even worse.”
“I won’t mind,” he said. “Sarcasm is great and honesty’s the policy!” The way he said it was very enthusiastic, very cheeky. I ended up laughing.
“Wow, this isn’t starting out as terribly horrific as I planned,” I said smiling.
“Not a party person?” Rye asked me.
“Not a people person,” I admitted.
He nodded, and then bumped my shoulder with his. “You’re doing fine so far.” After that he got himself some food, me convincing him to try some of the peanut butter and chocolate covered pretzels. I also told him that it was a crime that they hadn’t got any peaches, seeing as it was my favorite, and he said that he disappointed from the lack of pretzel M&Ms now that he knew he liked pretzel things. We had been talking for maybe twenty minutes, with no interruptions other than our own eating. “Well, I’m going to go thank the hostesses and see who else has arrived,” he said. Rye exited the kitchen. I took a seat at the counter top and thought of the exchange that had just occurred. It wasn’t terrible. I might be able to survive this party. Just maybe, if I stay away from Ian, I’ll be alright.