was Halloween and I had somehow managed to get myself invited to
the biggest party in town. I decided, against my better judgment,
to go as a . . . It never occurred to me that I would look like
someone else, or something else, if you know what I mean.
showed up at the house and, after spending five minutes finding a
place to park, finally approached the front door.
I could hear the
loud music blasting though the windows and began to fiddle with
the end of my jacket in anticipation.
A few moments
later the door opened and I was greeted by Dracula who, after
looking longingly at my neck, laughed at my terror and waved me
in. I found myself in a large crowded room and began to make my
way to the corner, my usual place to hover at parties such as
these, and was starting to regret being talked into coming by
successfully spotted a comfy chair that was relatively out of the
way of the rampaging animals know as teenagers when I was
suddenly spun around and kissed roughly on the lips and almost
suffocated in a bear hug. I shoved the offender away only to be
stunned to find Shaun Anderson, the most popular boy in school,
looking at me with a hurt expression.
"Josie, you all
no. I thought. He thinks I'm
his perfect cheerleader girlfriend!
"Um . . .
actually, I'm . . ." I began but was interrupted when a large
teen loudly interrupted.
realized I was there and I was about to slip away when suddenly
he turned towards me.
you look great tonight. Let me guess" he said while looking me up
and down, "you're a . . . Now hold on a second. Isn't this
supposed to be a costume party?"
Shaun laughs and
looks at me waiting for a witty comeback but I just stand there
with my mouth hanging open and not a clue how I should
the boy, whom I had now identified as Justin, Shaun's best friend
and star quarterback, cleared his throat. "Have either of you
seen Julia? I called her cell and she said she was here already
but I can't find her anywhere!"
Just then I
spotted a short bouncy girl with curly hair attempting to sneak
over in an all black ninja costume and I stifled a laugh.
Shaun and Justin
gave me puzzled looks which quickly changed to looks of shock as
Julia, the girl in the ninja suit, and Ann jumped out from behind
them screaming battle cries. Both boys screamed and, in an
attempt to regain their lost pride retaliated by grabbing them
and tickling them silly. I backed away laughing but was quickly
caught in Shaun's massive arms and attacked, too.
It was such a
strange feeling being a part of the most popular group at school.
I kind of liked it. No one ever treated me like this. Everyone
always acted with care around me like I was easily offended or
broken. Then Shaun leaned in for another kiss and I remembered it
was only because they thought I was someone else and the good
feeling inside me vanished as his lips met mine.
I started to
panic. What was I suppose to do? If I pushed away now Shaun would
get mad and then when I told him I wasn't Josie, and he realized
he had been kissing another girl, he would be livid! But I
couldn't keep on leading him on, could I? It would only make
things worse right? Oh, this is terrible.
Then I was
released from the vise of his arms but my hand was stuck firmly
in his as the five of us made our way to the refreshments.
"None of you
have seen Bella yet have you? She said she would be here." Ann
asked, sounding kind of agitated but upon seeing the confused
looks upon everyone's face she added with a mischievous smile, "I
made her promise."
"You made her
promise to come?" Justin asked incredulously. "Why? She's so . .
. boring!" Shaun nodded in agreement and I thought I would die
right then and there.
"Oh come on
guys! She's just shy around people she doesn't know well. If
you'd just give her a chance you would see how fun she is!"
defended Ann and I felt a little better, especially after seeing
the chastised looks on the two boys' faces. "Now," she continued,
"Josie, tell me have they been this impossible all
I was relieved.
I had thought she was going to ask something about "my" classes
of family or something and was contemplating throwing into the
punch bowl and saying I had tripped, but this I could answer.
"Yes! They have been total fools. I mean did you see their faces
when you guys jumped out behind them?" I laughed. "They were
terrified and couldn't take the joke so they nearly tickled us
all to death!"
"I'll say! My
sides still hurt from that!" added Julia. "It was totally
alright, we're sorry. Now let's go dance!" Shaun said
halfheartedly, just so that they couldn't bring it back up when
they were mad at him later for doing something else really
stupid, in their eyes that is.
What do I do know? If I agree to go dance we all know what
will happen. I shuddered and that shudder gave me an idea.
What if I say I'm feeling kind of sick and don't feel up to
dancing? That's it! And I will excuse myself to the restroom!
They can't follow me there!
"Um, you know,
I'm not feeling to good. I don't think my stomach agreed with the
punch. I'm going to run to the restroom real quick." I squeaked
and hurried to get to the bathroom.
"Oh no! Do you
think you are going to . . . you know," Julia made a face, "barf
"Um, you know,
I'm not so sure I might so you guys, or should I say girls 'cause
you guys aren't going to come anyway, should stay here." I threw
over my shoulder into the noise.
seemed like a decade I finally made it to the safety of the
bathroom, and, thank God, it wasn't occupied. I nearly fell in my
haste to get inside and attracted some funny looks from the
surrounding guests but I didn't care, I was away from Shaun and
that was all that mattered.
I sat down on
the toilet and took a deep breath.
I am so
screwed. What can I possibly do to get out of this
one. I sighed and put my head in
my hands. What if Ann suspects? I'm sure she must. I mean,
she is like my best friend. If she has though, she hasn't let on
and I totally owe her.
Little did I
know, Ann did not suspect and, while I was in the bathroom, she
and the others had made their way back to where I had left my
stuff in that comfy chair to talk. But not only that, it was
quiet over there and it was the perfect place to make a call. To
Now, I'm sure
you can see where this is going. And, unfortunately, you are
right. Ann decided to call me to see where I was and, well, my
phone was right next to her and Shaun, proving he isn't the thug
he likes everyone to believe, picked up my phone and answered
the bathroom I hear this great bellow and, wondering what was
going on slipped out and, trying to remain inconspicuous for fear
of being caught by Shaun. Unfortunately, he wasn't the only
person after me at this point.
He charged over
and ripped the mask off my face and flung it across the room.
"Bella! What do you think you are doing! Did you think it would
be cool to pretend to be the most popular guy in school's
boyfriend for the night? Are you proud of your little plan to
make a fool of me?" he yelled right in my face and shaking me
like a rag doll.
I cringed and
backed away but he kept at it. "I didn't mean . . . That wasn't
what . . . You didn't give . . ." I kept trying to insert what
little defense I had into his accusations but he just kept at it.
Tears were streamed down my face as I finally tore out of his
grip and ran outside and onto the front porch. I ran almost full
speed into the railing and stood there clutching it in an attempt
to regain some control as sobs racked my body.
Why did this
have to happen? I never asked for any of this! All I wanted was
to have a normal teenage night and have fun with my best friend
not "pretend to be someone else to ruin their reputation" or
running through my head, torturous thoughts that wouldn't leave
me alone. I couldn't rid the image of Shaun's livid face pressed
up against mine yelling insults at me. And most of all I couldn't
seem to stop crying. I knew people must be watching through the
window but no matter how hard I tried the tears just kept
I was so wrapped
up in my own self torture that I didn't hear the door quietly
open and close behind me.
sorry." I heard Ann say to comfort me and she brought me close in
a big hug. At first I tried to turn away. I wanted to be left
alone, but she wouldn't have it so I turned my face towards her
and buried my face in her shoulder and cried. And cried and cried
until I was utterly spent and she helped me sit down on the
swinging bench that I hadn't noticed, and still didn't really pay
attention to. "There, it will be alright. No one will remember on
Monday . . ."
And that's how
we stayed for a long while, just the two of us swinging on the
bench with her giving me words of comfort every so often. I
didn't want that night to ever end. I didn't want to move. I
didn't want to go back to the party and face my peers. I didn't
want to go home and be alone. And most of all I didn't want time
to turn to Monday when I would have to face all of the student
body and Josie.
I didn't ever
want to face her.