The MomentI heard people moving around on the other side of the bed that I was hidden behind, and I stopped breathing. I saw Steven’s blonde hair over the top of the bed. There was a girl there, too, and it took me one guess to know who it was.
“Shhhh…” She was slurring, and I saw her flip her sleek black hair over her shoulder. Not wanting to be noticed but absolutely humiliated, I tried to quietly stand and turn the doorknob. Sarah didn’t hear me, because she was too busy putting her hands all over Steve. He pulled away from her at first, but eventually gave in and crumpled into her. They kissed. I held back a yelp. Not even caring about being noticed anymore, I threw the door open and dashed out of the room, leaving Steven behind with Sarah to do whatever Sarah did with boys when the doors were closed.
Marianna intercepted me before I could run out of the party so no one would see me cry. She noticed the look on my face and led me back to the room that Tracy had barfed in. Tracy was lying on the floor when we walked in.
Tracy moaned. “What?’ She sat up, obviously in a bad mood, but her face softened when she saw me. “Della, what’s-”
I exploded into tears. I’d known this moment was coming eventually. It came with every guy I ever liked. That moment when I knew that there was some girl out there that they liked better, and I couldn’t do anything about it. But it still hurt every time.
Especially with Steven. Because we had been so close. And it wasn’t that he liked Sarah that hurt the most, even though it still hurt. No, it was that she had stolen him from me. Steve had been my best friend, my reliable companion. If she hadn’t taken him away from me, it might’ve be me that he was kissing on the other side of that bed. It might’ve been me that he wanted to be more than friends with.
Tracy and Marianna smothered me in a group hug and I bawled into their shoulders. “What happened?” Tracy mumbled into my hair. I choked out the story.
“And he kissed her. He kissed her and now I have no chance with him.”
Marianna pulled back and held me at arm’s length. “It’s just a kiss, Della, maybe he didn’t-”
I interrupted her with my racking sobs. She embraced me again, holding me close enough for me to smell her lilac perfume buried in the stench of alcohol. Maybe I was overreacting, but I didn’t care. Because Steven had been a lot more than a boy to me for a very long time and the fact that the feeling wasn’t mutual killed me.
I wanted to look into his dark blue eyes and know that he was all mine, even for just a second. But it felt like that would never happen.
I gathered myself and fixed my hair and make up in the bathroom, deciding to rejoin the party and forget about what I had seen. It was difficult, but after about a half an hour, I had almost forgotten Steven’s blue eyes. Almost.
I stayed on the dance floor until nine, dancing alone in the middle of the crowd, unnoticed and unnoticeable. The beat tickled my fingertips and the music I had previously thought obnoxious was now my best friend, holding my hand and keeping me standing while I cried. Tracy had fallen asleep in the office and Marianna was with her, probably drifting off, too. I was glad they weren’t here. I didn’t want any more pity or help. I just wanted music.
My brain vaguely registered someone else next to me, but I ignored them. I wasn’t in the mood for small talk and my patience had practically evaporated. But when they didn’t drift away and I felt a hand on my shoulder, I spun around.
And nearly collided with Steven.