Great, just what I needed. Another chore, which would take me all night. Well, maybe it's better than going out with them lot anyway.
Carly and Michelle had been my best friends for as long as I could remember, but recently the three of us had started hanging around with a girl called Lauren and her friends. To begin with, I wasn't keen on Lauren, but put up with her comments for Carly and Michelle's sake. Then Carly began to change. She was always trying to impress Lauren, and became quite nasty, turning on me. And everyone else seemed to follow Lauren too. I began to feel like none of them liked me, and quite out of place. Just because I didn't worship the ground Lauren walked on. But I was too scared to stand up to her. It would've meant losing all of my "friends". I got on with my room feeling down.
Later on, we were all down at the youth club. Lauren was telling us all about her latest crush, and as usual, everyone was glued to her story. Well, everyone except for me. I looked around the room and let out a little gasp. Standing in the corner was the nicest guy I had ever seen. He was laughing with his friends and had a gorgeous smile. He had short, perfect brown hair and twinkling brown eyes. He looked over and smiled...and began walking over.
All the girls went quiet and secretly looked at Lauren. She flicked her hair and flashed a dazzling smile. His smile moved from me to her. I looked in envy as he walked over to her, and began chatting. "She knows everyone," I thought, and turned to them to listen to what he was saying.
"...So it will be at my house on Saturday. And I hope to see all of you there."
Was it my imagination or did he look at me while saying that? He walked off, and I was about to ask the girls who he was when Lauren sighed...."oh, he's sooo gorgeous!!" So this is the guy she likes! No wonder, he is really good looking. I can't believe I ever thought I had a chance!!
"Cindy, what have you done to your hair today? It looks awful! And if you come with us to Josh's party, you'll have to make more of an effort with your clothes!!"
Lauren's frosty, mocking tone cut right through me, "And another thing, Josh is mine."
It was Wednesday when I got the phone call.
"Hello? Is that Cindy Lewis?"
"Yeah. Who is this please?"
"It's magic 828. We're ringing to let you know that you've won our 'guess the year' competition, and have won $40 in Topshop vouchers, and free taxi service for the next time you go out!!"
It was great, and it saved me a lot of money for a new outfit for Josh's party. I had spent a long time deciding whether I should actually go or not, after what Lauren had said. But in the end decided to go anyway. I had thought about Josh a lot and wanted to see him again. My mum, on the other hand, was a different case.
"What do you want to go to a party when you can stay in and play games with your family?"
"You can't go to someone's party you don't even know!"
"I might have to ring up his parents to check if they're allowing alcohol."
She went on and on like that for ages, until finally, I talked her round.
"Okay, you can go. Under one condition... You get a taxi back and are in this house before 11:30. Otherwise, you'll never go out again!"
I hadn't been to any proper parties before, Lauren's gang always conveniently 'forgot to mention it to me' or ' thought I already knew about it'. I was nervous, and had no idea what to expect. With my vouchers, I had bought a pair of jeans, which I'd have never been able to afford myself. They were the perfect fit, and sparkled under the light. I also bought a new hair bobble, which had a glittery heart on it. I knew they looked good, but was scared what Lauren would think of them. It was amazing what effect she could have over my life.
When the taxi pulled up In front of the address Michelle had given me, a sudden thought that she'd given me the wrong address on purpose nearly made me ask to be taken home. But then I heard the music booming from the house, and saw some people scattered near the doorway. 'Keep calm,' I told myself.
Once I was inside, I saw how packed it was. Someone was trying to open the back door. I saw it was Josh. I began walking over when Lauren appeared in front of me.
"Cindy! Didn't think you would make it. Good party isn't it? We have Josh to thank for that! I came round early to help him get ready. He asked me to, and I just couldn't resist! He's such a sweetie! Oh, have you decorated an old pair of jeans??"
She reached over and grabbed Josh's hand. She was trying to make me feel small, and it worked. I felt so stupid for thinking that someone might choose me over Lauren. If I had gone over to Josh, what would I have said? Would it looked like I fancied him? I made my way through the moving crowd, and sat outside on the step, alone.
"Hello? How long have you been out here? You must be freezing!"
It was him. Why was he talking to me? I looked up at his concerned face. "I...I. Needed some fresh air."
"What, for over an hour?? Is it Lauren? Has she upset you?"
How did he know?? I still didn't believe he was actually talking to me. I found myself making up some excuse about something bad happening at home.
"Well I hope it's not bad enough so you can't dance with me," he smiled shyly.
I couldn't believe this was happening. Josh was asking ME to dance! By now people had begun to drift outside, and the music was loud enough out here. Before I gave him an answer, he swept me into his arms, and began to move to the beat. Then a slow song began. "I hope you don't min..." He began. I rested my arms on his shoulders and he wrapped his around my waist. We swayed to the music together. The song seemed to last for ages, but when it ended, neither of us let go. He moved his face closer to mine...
"Oh no!!" I looked at my watch. It was 11:25. My taxi was supposed to turn up 5 minutes ago, and I was supposed to be home in 5 minutes. I moved away from Josh, and ran towards the front of the house. As I moved, I saw something fall to the floor, and my hair came loose. Great, my new hair bobble. Oh well, I would just have to leave it. I'd rather lose that than be grounded for the rest of my life!! The taxi was still there, so I jumped in without looking back, or saying goodbye to Josh.
It was a week after the party, and we were in the youth club. Lauren had seen me with Josh, so was being even more awkward. I didn't dare say anything to her; I was too scared.
"Cindy, get some drinks for all of us please," She ordered.
I went to the vender, thinking about Josh. Why had he danced and tried to kiss me when he could have Lauren? She was far prettier than me, and had a lot more confidence than me. While I was getting the drinks, I heard shouting coming from our table.
"Honestly, it will tie back. I just need to pull it a bit..."
I turned round, and took in a deep breath. There was Josh, looking as lovely as ever, standing over Lauren. She was trying to tie something in her hair. Something that looked a lot like my bobble. Suddenly, Josh turned around and spotted me. His face lit up with a smile, and he grabbed the bobble off Lauren.
"Cindy! I've been looking for you all over. When you left so suddenly..."
"I know, I'm sorry. But I had to be home by 11:30."
"I knew there must be a reason. We were getting along so well..." he winked. I went red, and looked over at Lauren. She was staring daggers at me.
He reached over and brushed my hair back into a pony, and tied it with the bobble. "And I wanted to ask you something... will you go out with me?"
My stomach did a somersault, and I felt like I was floating. I knew how much Lauren liked him, but then I thought of all the awful things she'd said and done to me, and how she'd made my life hell, hoping that everything I did would be all right by her. I thought back to the party, and at the surprise that someone actually found ME attractive. I had managed to have a good time on my own, without being constantly being put down or made fun of. I'd met someone who appreciated me for being myself, not depending on how popular I was. I realised Josh was waiting for my answer.
I looked him straight in the eyes and gave him a big smile.
"Yes!" I said.