NYE Part 1
“Whatcha up to tonight?” Nic was casually rummaging around in our refrigerator so he didn’t get the full effect of the stink eye I had perfected back in high school.
To Jessie’s credit, she didn’t burst into tears. I was actually pretty surprised, considering that was her favorite hobby these days. Arranging her face in a casual manner by the time Nic emerged from our fridge, bottle of Vitamin Water in hand, she looked like a Mona Lisa incarnate.
“Hanging out with a friend, you know, just something low key.” Her smile didn’t give away anything, and if Nic knew about the massive fight between Jessie and Tyler, his face didn’t give it away.
I had invited Jessie out to TJ’s party tonight, but to my surprise, she declined. “I just want to wallow in my own grief for awhile” she had declared. Frowning, I immediately texted Katy to tell her what was up.
Jessie’s determined to be in a sad mood. I felt guilty as I hit send, but I was hoping that Katy would have something up her sleeve.
No kidding. I asked her to a movie, dinner, drinks, anything and she won’t go.
Biting my lip, I pondered what to do next. Before I had a chance to come up with a brilliant idea, another message from Katy popped up.
I’ll drag her over for a girl’s night. Popcorn, sappy chick flick movies, cheap wine – the whole shebang.
Smiling, I thanked Katy. Maybe that was just what Jessie needed. I felt guilty for not doing more for Jessie, but honestly, I had no idea what to do. She and Tyler were talking, and the wedding wasn’t called off or anything, but they were definitely strained. Strained enough where she was down to seeing Tyler way less and spending more and more time in the lab, doing research. Research on what, I wasn’t exactly sure, but she filled me in on enough that my eyes glazed over and I couldn’t even look at my food the same way.
In her favorite Lululemon pants and baggy U of M sweatshirt, curly hair bushing out behind her head in a tight ponytail, Jessie totally looked like someone who was ready for a girl’s night in. I just hoped Katy could talk some sense into her, because I certainly couldn’t.
“Ready to go, gorgeous?”
Pleased at Nic’s compliment, I gave a little spin, letting the shimmer of the dress catch the kitchen light. Nic let out a low whistle.
“All set!” I beamed, thrilled he had noticed my dress. I saved up for weeks for it, unsure if I should make this big of a splurge, but desperately wanted to look fantastic. Finally, after admiring it online one more time, I bought it at work last week, hitting “send” on the shopping card with shaking fingers. I spent so much money, but it would be worth it when I was wearing the hottest, most unique dress at the party, I figured.
Downstairs, Nic head the door open to the Uber driver’s car and we pulled off. Leaning my head against the back of the seat, I let my my mind wander to the party. I was half thrilled to be going to such an elite party, half pissed that Mallory had weaseled an invitation as well.
My eyes opened when I felt Nic’s hand on my leg. “You looked so serious there for a minute.” He smiled, looking expectantly at me.
Maybe it was the combination of feeling secure for being Nic’s date to such an important party, or the glass of wine I had at dinner, but I felt the words tumble out of my mouth before I could stop them. “I’m excited to go, but I’m afraid Mallory’s going to be a third wheel tonight,” I confessed.
Nic raised his eyebrow. “Mallory’s a cool girl,” was all he said.
Ashamed, I looked down. “Yes, I know.” I shouldn’t judge Mallory for wanting to get out, I told myself. She was single and gorgeous, surely I shouldn’t begrudge her for wanting to find a good man.
“Besides,” Nic continued, “she’s already on her way. It’d be awkward to tell her not to come…” He held up his phone, and I could clearly see that Mallory had text him, telling him she was almost there.
My eyebrows shot up so high that they almost disappeared into my hair. “She text you?” It came out more of a gasp, and I cringed. How in the hell did Mallory have Nic’s number? Why was she texting my…well… to be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure what Nic was to me. Despite dating and hanging out for the last few months, we didn’t seem particularly exclusive, yet he called me nicknames like ‘his girl’ or ‘gorgeous’ and made a point to see me at least a couple times a week.
Nic cracked a smile. “Relax. She just wanted to know when we’d be there.”
I nodded numbly, and looked straight ahead. Catching the Uber driver’s eyes in the mirror, she passed me a sympathetic look which, though she meant it to be nice, just made me feel crappier. Even the Uber driver knew that your boyfriend-slash-whatever he was shouldn’t be having your coworkers text you instead of them. Why Mallory bothered me so bad, I couldn’t quite place but she did.
15 minutes later, we arrived at a gorgeous 2 story house, complete with a circular driveway hidden behind steel gates.
“Wow,” I croaked eloquently, taking in my surroundings. The place was huge with views of the most popular lake in the city from every window. There was no way this place cost under a few mil. No way.
Nic already had the door open, motioning me out. “Come, let’s go!” he was saying. I scrambled out after him.
Nic rapped at the door, and a massive man opened it.
“Names?” he grunted, barely looking at us.
Nic supplied our names as I tried to peer around. No such luck, considering the guy who opened the door was easily 6’8″ and 300 lbs of solid muscle. I couldn’t see much more than a winding staircase, but I could hear blasting music coming from somewhere.
The man at the door pulled a list out of an inside pocket and peered at it for a moment. After giving us a once over, he finally nodded. “Waivers are over there,” he grunted.
Nic thanked him and lead us over to an end table that held a handful of papers and some pens.
“What’s this for?” I hissed at Nic as he handed me a sheet of paper.
“Waiver. You got to sign it, promising not to disclose any information about tonight, post pictures online, and the like.” My eyebrows shot up as I scanned the document. I had never been asked to sign a waiver like that before just to hang out at someone’s house, but then again, I didn’t have any friends who were NBA stars either. I looked over at Nic, who was already done filling out his sheet and was waiting for me to fill out mine. Shrugging, I signed away without really reading it. It would have been nice to take a few pics for fun, but I wasn’t going to risk making a nice guy like TJ mad.
“Come on, let’s go find Mallory,” Nic said, grabbing my hand. I allowed myself to be pulled through the state of the art kitchen towards the back of the house. The music got louder as we got closer, and suddenly we were in a room with about 50 other people.
I started to scan the room for Mallory when suddenly I felt a tap on my shoulder. Whirling around, I saw Mallory grinning at me, wagging her fingers.
“There you are!” she exclaimed, leaning forward to give me an air kiss on the cheek.
I was too shocked to respond. There was Mallory, in the exact same dress as mine, only she looked a hell of a lot better in it.
As my mouth opened up and down like a guppy, the only thing I could think of was that she was sabotaging me. Again.
Thank you to everyone who sent me a kind comment. I had a rough couple weeks, but I’m here now. And scheduled 3 more post this week to catch up, so we have that going for us.