I'm gonna teehee him to fucken Pluto.
Vellary stands by the entrance of Roset High, hands in the pockets of her coat. The wind swirls around strands of her hair, but she ignores it, her mind too preoccupied with something else.
Vellary turns around and is engulfed into the arms of an enthusiastic Lily.
"Oh, Vel. You're the bestest friend!" She says, swaying their bodies from side to side.
Vellary awkwardly pats her back, her face muffled by Lily's thick, red scarf. "What did I do now?"
She releases her. "We're going to Gabriel's party!"
"Of course!" She grabs Vellary's hands and leads her down the steps to the school gate. "I'm so glad you accepted. I've been wanting to go out for a while now. And," she pauses by the gate, ignoring the students rushing past her to go home, "You get to talk to Gabriel!"
Vellary's eyes widen. She shushes Lily and pulls her out of the way. "Don't yell."
Lily covers her mouth. "Oops, Sorry."
"Look." Vellary takes out her phone and checks the message Hugo sent her a while ago, her mood souring at the 'teehee' at the end. "The party starts at six, so we have a few hours to get ready," she says, looking up. "Hugo said it's just a get-together, so something casual's okay."
Vellary shakes her head. "You can wear one if you want, but I'm sticking with something simple."
"I have lots of simple dresses at home."
"I can't be bothered shaving my legs."
Lily gasps. "You're going to talk to Gabriel without shaving your legs?"
Vellary gives her an 'are-you-serious' look. "We talk with our mouths, not our legs, Lily."
"I mean...technically, you can talk with your legs, if you know what I--"
Vellary slaps her hand over Lily's mouth. "No."
She holds her hands up in surrender, blue eyes twinkling, and Vellary lets go. They wait by the gate in silence until Lucian arrives, and together, the three make their way to Vellary's house to get ready for the party.
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By the time they arrive at Gabriel's house, they're a shivering mess.
Lucian speaks to the taxi driver while Vellary and Lily wait a few metres away.
"Are you excited?" Lily asks. She wraps an arm around Vellary's waist and cuddles against her shoulder.
Vellary hums in reply. "I don't know." The truth is, now that she's here, standing in front of his house, she doesn't know what to feel.
She gazes up at the double-storey rendered brick house, its vertically shaped windows tinted. The stairs that lead to the front door are a marble grey, and surrounding it are small, head-sized rose bushes.
To put in simpler words: it's ugly.
"Alright, let's go!" says Lucian.
They follow him up the steps, both Vellary and Lily hand in hand. Lucian rings the doorbell.
Vellary glances at Lily, her burgendy, long-sleeved dress flowy and lightweight against her body.
She must be freezing. She takes off her coat and wraps it around her friend.
"I told you to wear something comfortable."
Lily laughs. "This is comfortable."
The door flings open, and behind it stands a grinning Hugo. "You made it!"
He ushers them inside, and leads them down a low-lit hall, its white walls narrow. "I'm so glad you guys came. We were about to have dinner."
They stroll through an empty living room. Vellary stares up at the large picture windows, the light of the full moon casting an ethereal glow inside. The couches are a white leather, the coffee table, situated in the middle of a black rug, gleaming under the moonlight.
She imagines Hugo sitting with his family and watching T.V., her cheeks warming at the image of him wearing loose sweatpants. I wonder what he's wearing today.
Hugo comes to a halt at a sliding door, which, pressumingly, leads to the backyard. He smiles awkwardly. "Just a heads up, it's pretty chaotic out there."
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He slides the door open before giving them any chance to speak and gestures them to follow him outside.
Immediately the smell of BBQ meat invades Vellary's nostrils, and she gulps.
She stands next to Lucian and Lily in the alfresco area, eyes wide at the scene in front of her.
Lots of people.
Some huddled on the white sofas, chatting amongst each other as the fire pit in the middle warms them; some surrounding the grill, laughing; and, some sitting at the table near Vellary, playing cards.
Vellary has never been to a party nor to a get-together, but she's watched movies. Shouldn't there be drinking, dancing, fights, make-out sessions and--
"There's no music."
Vellary glances at Lucian. "Right? I thought there'd at least be some loud music."
"Gabriel turned it off 'cause the neighbours complained," says Hugo, but Vellary doesn't hear him, her eyes too busy roaming the area for Gabriel. She sighs. I wonder where he is.
"Oh! Is that Rebecca?" Lily points to the group of people sitting at the sofas. "I'm gonna go say hi. You guys coming?"
Vellary and Lucian shake their heads.
I'm not going out there. It'stoocold.
Lucian points at the grill area. "I wanna see what they're cooking. I'll join you later!"
Vellary watches her friends leave her behind to do their own things. Lily greets the girl with hugs and kisses, and Lucian whacks a kid trying to sneak a bite of a sausage from the grill.
I'm glad they're enjoying themselves, at least.
She sighs, rocking back and forth on the heels of her boots. She came here for Gabriel, but he's nowhere to be found. What am I meant to do now?
"Why didn't you join them?"
Vellary's head snaps to the side. Oh, Hugo's still here.
A soft smile makes its way onto his face. "You forgot I was here, right?"
She nods. I really did.
His smile widens, and Vellary can't help but notice how gentle the look in his eyes are.
"What do you think of the party?"
"I think it's too early to judge."
"Do you, now?"
They stand in silence, watching others mingle. It's comfortable, but awkward. Comfortable as in Vellary doesn't feel the need to make small conversations, and awkward because she's not used to peace and quiet when it comes to Hugo.
A sudden gust of wind blows through the large yard, and Vellary tenses her shoulders to stop herself from shivering. The things I do for my friends. I should've made Lily get her own jacket.
She throws Hugo a half-hearted glare. "Why do you keep calling--"
He takes his jacket off and wraps it around her shoulders. "You look lovely in your clothes," he says, buttoning the first two buttons of his jacket, "but they're too thin for this weather."
Vellary blinks up at him in puzzlement. What the hell?
She opens her mouth to speak, but the look in his eyes has her double-taking. It's warm and tender, as if he's gazing at the person most precious to him.
She frowns. "Hey...why are you--"
Vellary flinches at the sound of Gabriel's voice. He's heading towards them with a bright grin sporting his face.
Shit. She shoves Hugo away from her and hurriedly takes off his jackets. "Here," she says just as Gabriel reaches them.
Hugo glances from her face to her outstretched arm before slowing taking his jacket back. "...You're not cold?"
She shakes her head, tucking her shaking hands behind her back. She turns to Gabriel, flustered at his sudden appearance. "Hey."
"Hey, Vellary. Good to see you came." He tilts his head at her. "I like your shirt."
She casts him a small smile, expecting her heart to somersault.
But it doesn't.
And a part of her can't help but compare his compliment to Hugo's.
"The food's ready. Come sit." He leaves tell others to join.
Vellary stares at his retreating back, his biceps bulging as he waves over the girls sitting on the sofas.
But that too doesn't make her heart somersault.
Is something wrong with me?
"Come, Vellary," Hugo says as he heads to the table.
She follows him, and her mouth waters at the sight of tasty side dishes and dips.
Lucian places two large foil trays packed with cooked chicken and meat on the table. Everyone takes a seat, Vellary choosing the seat next to Lily and across from Gabriel.
They spend the next two hours eating and chatting to one another, Vellary delighted with the amount of opportunities given to her to speak to Gabriel. Her heart somersaults every time he winks at her, a reminder that there isn't something wrong with her.
He tells them a range of stories: from the time he and Hugo first became friends; to when he was dared to lick a shoe; and, to the amount of money he lost on his first day of high school.
After dinner, they head inside to the living room to play Truth and Dare. Well, at least this game is the same as the one played in high school movies.
15 minutes in though, and Vellary's wished to go home for the 70th time.
Because Gabriel's happily kissed every girl that's dared him to kiss.
To watch your crush make out with others, to see him nibble at and suck their tongues has got to be the most challenging and disgusting situations to exist.
Since his last kiss, Vellary hasn't looked in his direction. She hasn't had a sip of her wine either. Who even serves wine at a party anyway?
The sound of the empty bottle of wine twirling on the table catches Vellary's attention.
"Hell yeah!" Rebecca exclaims when it lands on Lily. "Truth or dare?"
"Dare, obviously!" Lily laughs.
At least he hasn't kissed those two.
Lucian taps Vellary's thigh, and beckons her to come closers.
"What?" she whispers.
"Don't you think Lily's drunk?" he whispers in her ear.
Vellary glances at the clapping girl next to her, her face and ears red. "She's only had one glass of wine though," Vellary replies.
"Should we go home then?" Please say yes.
Lucian shakes his head. "Nah, I'll go get her some water. You keep an eye on her."
"Alright, got it--"
"I said, no!"
Vellary glances at Hugo, surprised at his outburst.
Lily is next to him, teary-eyed. What the...
"Hugo, don't be like that, man. It's just a kiss," says Gabriel.
"Who gives a shit. I don't want to kiss her."
"Why're you being a party-pooper?" drawls Lily. She leans closer towards him, and he leans back.
"Kiss her! Kiss her! Kiss her! Kiss her!" Gabriel chants, and soon, others follow too.
Vellary and Lucian glance at each other, then nod. Lucian stands up and heads to the kitchen to grab some water for Lily.
"Lily," Vellary pats the empty space on the couch next to her, "come here."
Lily gazes at her with lidded eyes before sluggishly crawling and sitting next to her. At that, the others quieten.
Lily leans her cheek on Vellary's shoulder.
"It's not nice forcing someone to do something they don't want to do, Lily," says Vellary, but the words aren't meant for the barely conscious girl, and it seems others have noticed that too.
"It's just a game," says Gabriel.
She gazes at her crush nonchalantly. His cheeks at red, his eyes hazy. He's drunk.
She's never seen him like this, drunk off his mind and making out with and groping multiple girls. Now he's forcing his friend to kiss a girl he doesn't want to, who would not want to kiss either if she was sober.
"Maybe we should call it a night," she says. I can't say I'm not disappointed in him.
"Or maybe you should take Lily's turn," he replies.
"Kiss Hugo." A lazy smirk makes its way onto Gabriel's face. "Or, would you rather kiss me?"ns 220.127.116.11da2