‘Hello? Oh, hi, Summer!’ I said into the receiver, inwardly cursing myself.
‘Hey, Fliss – I’ve just had THE most incredible idea – I am going to throw the best party EVER, seriously!’ Summer enthused on the other end, and I could just imagine how she would be beaming right now at this new, spontaneous idea of hers – but Summer was like that.
‘Oh, yeah – it’s your birthday in two weeks!’ I realized, smacking my forehead – I had just officially become the worst, lamest best friend ever.
‘Yeah – I’m finally fourteen! Practically everyone else already is,’ Summer gushed over the phone, ‘and as it is nearly the end of the year, it will be the last and most dazzling party of the year!’
‘Certainly a night to remember!’ I agreed, and little did I know quite how much those words would come back to haunt me.
‘I have a favour to ask of you, Fliss!’ Summer trilled.
‘Anything,’ I told her, and I meant it, right there and then, nervously digging my fingernails into the thoroughly abused palms of my hands.
‘OK – will you be my number one party planner?’ Summer steam-rolled on – not one to hold back, unlike cowardly me.
‘Sure,’ I said, trying to inject at least a little enthusiasm into my voice. I owed her that much, at least.
Before I knew it, she had started in on the next stage of her ‘plan’.
‘And Steve can organise the music and the lights, and he has a really cool cousin – good-looking, too, Fliss – who can do these really weird party tricks, and –’
‘Summ-er!’ I complained. ‘Stop trying to set me up with friends and/or relatives of Steve!’
There was no forgetting Justin, since, in his own way, he was linked to the betrayal, too.
‘I am not!’ Summer huffed. ‘Now get your butt round to my house now so we can start planning!’
‘Summer, you do realize we have, like, two weeks to organise this so-called major party?’ I reminded her, laughing at her next craze.
She was definitely never boring.
‘Yes, which is why you need to come round and provide a miracle!’ Summer whined, and I relented – I was unconsciously in her debt, anyhow. I might as well repay some of it by making sure she had the coolest birthday bash ever.
So that was how I found myself on her doorstep with sudden bubbling enthusiasm – let’s just say Summer has a very catching personality – and boyfriend, for that matter.
I pressed the house bell and waited for Summer (or her parents) to let me in.
But it wasn’t any of them. It was the boy I loved but had vowed to stay away from to save my friendship – here he was, turning everything normal upside down again.
‘Summer invited me to help with preparations,’ He said, grinning for some strange reason.
‘Steve! You should have told me you would be there – remember our agreement?’ I sighed.
‘It’s not my fault! How shifty would that have looked – oh hey, Summer, sorry I can’t come round, but your best friend says we can’t be in the same room because of her overpowering feelings for –’
He stopped in the middle of his sentence, as I took a dangerous step towards him.
‘Only joking,’ he said lightly, but I glared anyway, pushed past him, and found my hand on the baby pink oh-so-familiar handle I have turned countless times during my childhood. Somehow it acted as the driving force to make me focus, and plan the best damn party of the year.
‘Fliss!’ Summer said blissfully, magazines sprawled at her feet and her laptop perched carefully on her lap.
‘Hey, Sum, how’s it going?’ I asked.
‘Great! I’m wondering about my outfit – not too smart or casual, heels: not too high, I don’t want to trip – and with parental approval,’ she admitted, cheeks a little red from embarrassment.
‘You’re kidding?’ I exclaimed, aware that Steve had just re-entered the room.
Summer shook her head miserably.
‘Unreal,’ Steve and I said at the same time, and I blushed, looked down, and pretended we hadn’t been on the same wavelength yet again, that in this hot little room my heart wasn’t beating so furiously I felt it would burst.
Because I had a party to plan, and nothing was going to get in the way of my best friend’s happiness.