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What a wonderful New Year's Eve. Really, it's just like last year. Having nowhere to go, no friends who invited her anywhere, the girl stays home. She sits, talks and laughs with her parents and brother as the clock counts down to midnight.
She looks like she's having a great time, lounging on the couch in her blue and white pajamas but she's dying a little inside. Every cell in her body longs to have somewhere else to go, somewhere where she could be laughing with her friends, still drinking fizzy cider, but lying on a sleeping bag on the floor, whispering about what they all wanted in the coming year. But another year has gone by where that obviously didn't happen.
On the screen, the ball drops in Times Square, so the girl raises her cider and shouts with more gusto than she feels, “HAPPY NEW YEAR!”
Her family trades hugs, and her parents climb up to their room, practically dragging her little brother up to his room. She blows them a kiss, forcing another smile and heading downstairs to her room. In the basement, she feels even more alone, and cut off from the world.
Right as she is about to climb into bed and enter the dreamland that is vastly superior to reality, she has a crazy idea. She checks the clock and figures that her family is probably asleep by now. It's one in the morning. Any sane person would be sleeping. Still, she tiptoes as quietly as she can up the stairs and picks up her boots from the front hall. As she's making her way back downstairs, a floorboard creaks under her foot, making her freeze. Her heart pounds in her chest, adrenaline filling her entire body. There is no other sound.
In a few minutes, she is back safely in her room. She does a little dance of victory at having pulled off the first part of her plan. Wrapped in three sweatshirts, because she didn't think to grab her coat, she unlocks the door to the snowy outside world and cautiously extends a booted foot. It's nowhere near as cold as she expected. Gaining confidence, she runs around, creating a giant message in the snow, saying simply '2011'. This year will be her year, she can feel it. Suddenly exhausted, she flops down on a sled left lying out and stares up at the sky.
As she's watching the stars, a streak of light flashes through the dark. She smiles and squeezes her eyes tightly shut, thinking of the only thing she ever wishes for.
Somewhere in that sleepy little village, he's probably sleeping. He's definitely one of the 'cool' guys, so there's no way he would be home with just his family on New Year's Eve.
It had been eleven years since he'd moved next door, and they'd hardly talked since they were little kids. Back then, they would run all around the neighborhood, feet bare, her hair flying. They were best friends, but when they were about ten, she decided he had 'cooties' and they grew apart. She regretted it now. If they were still friends, she would see him, and talk to him all the time. Maybe their friendship would even have evolved into something more.
He was what she wished for, on that perfect shooting star on her millionth imperfect New Year's Eve. Just him, pure and simple.
When she opened her eyes, she rubbed her hands together. It wasn't too cold outside, but they were getting chilly, so she ended up sticking them up her sweatshirt. Her breath fogged up the frosty air.
“Okay. I'm done wishing. I'm making myself a New Year's Resolution. We were friends since we were five, but I was stupid and let him go. I don't care how cool he's become, I'm going to get him back. He's the same guy I've been in love with for three years. This year I'm going to let it happen, or just make it happen.”