It 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.
I 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 Ann.
I had 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 right?”
Oh 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.
“Shaun! What’s up?”
He hadn’t realized I was there and I was about to slip away when suddenly he turned towards me.
“Josie! Damn, 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 respond.
“Right then,” 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,
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
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 evening?”
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 unfair.”
“Alright, 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.
I froze. 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 do you?”
“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.
After what 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 me.
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 it.
Suddenly, within 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 anything!
Thoughts kept 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 coming.
I was so wrapped up in my own self torture that I didn’t hear the door quietly open and close behind me.
“Bella I’m 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.
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