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I’m sitting in the corner of a crowded – at least, crowded in my opinion – dance hall, dressed as a fairy with my chin resting in my hand. Now, let me clear one thing up: I’m not a fairy. I’m not even good at pretending to be a fairy. To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t my idea anyway. But, here I am holding a rather limp wand and sporting slightly crumpled wings. No one wants to dance with me. What a great party my parents sent me to.
My name is Violet. I’m a bit of a nerd and pretty much a recluse. I don’t have a lot of friends (well, let’s not beat around the bush; I have one friend – and I usually I have to buy her affection in the form of ice cream) and I’m not extraordinary in any way whatsoever. I mean, even dressed as a fairy no one notices me. I’m seventeen and single. I suppose I can’t really moan about that but it’s not like I haven’t tried my hardest. My mum says that love comes to you when you least expect it. I’m finding it difficult to imagine a time when it could happen, but I guess I’ll eventually find out.
I look up and catch sight of the buffet table. I hadn’t eaten much today so even with its poor selection of stale sausage rolls, poorly structured vol-au-vents and crust-less quartered cheese sandwiches, it was still mildly appealing. After a few seconds of pondering, I saunter over and pick up a plate, and proceed to pile it high with various different canapés. Yum, day old pastry.
“Violet,” a familiar voice calls. “We should go. This party is lame.” I wholeheartedly agree of course; but I feel I should stay for more than one hour to make my parents happy at least. However, my friend did state a good case – in fact, a great case – so I stuff an indeterminate cheese-based snack into my mouth and nod.
“Sorry,” I mumble, spitting bits of pastry on the floor as I make my way to the door. Well, technically, Lottie was dragging me by the arm to the door but I stand by her decision to leave nonetheless, so I want to make it clear I am willing. Although, I wish I’d had enough time to grab a few more nibbles before I left. After all, even stale food tastes good when it’s free. Almost.
“Lottie,” I start, “where are we actually going?” Although I’m not being dragged anymore, I am finding it difficult to keep up with Lottie’s energetic stride. “I’m tired. And my wings keep falling off.” Needless to say, it was highly unlikely I’d ever need them again.
“Don’t worry, Vee. We’re going somewhere much cooler.”
I don’t really like that sound of that. Lottie’s idea of ‘cool’ is pretty much the complete opposite of my idea of cool. Dancing at nightclubs: Lottie cool. Studying hard to get an A at mathematics: Violet cool. Underage drinking: Lottie cool. Watching Cartoon Network on a Saturday night at home with a bag of jelly babies: Violet cool. You get the idea.
I will fill you in about my friend. Charlotte “Lottie” Taylor, also seventeen years old but slightly more pleasing to the eye than myself (not particularly difficult). Sense of humour: dry. Common sense: low. Likes parties – except lame ones, obviously – but hates studying. Enjoys horror movies; thinks cartoons are for babies. Or idiots. Which, I guess, is the category I fall into in her eyes. She’s an only child, like me, but has a bunch of friends to compensate. Which is where I fall behind.
So, I’m standing in front of a large house with brightly coloured flashing lights in every window, several people mill around the front lawn. Well, I say mill, they are mostly staggering or already flat on their faces. The music is blaring so loud, it feels like it’s being transmitted directly from my ear drums.
“What are we doing here?” I shout. “You know I don’t like these kind of parties.”
“Yeah, I know, it’s cool right?” Lottie says, completely ignoring me. Perhaps I didn’t shout loud enough, but I am too tired from all the running I did to keep up earlier to repeat myself, so I just give her the ‘It’s not cool to me’ look. Which she also ignores.
“We should go home. Mum’s expecting me back soon,” I moan. “Plus, I look like an idiot.” I hold my arms out and gesture towards my fairy outfit, as if it isn’t already glaringly obvious.
“Don’t be stupid, let’s just go in and have one drink. I guarantee you’ll have more fun here! There’s boys!” Lottie runs up towards the house and, before I can say anything more, she’s already inside with a drink in her hand and a boy by her side. Ugh.
The music is so loud I can barely hear myself think. Undoubtedly I’m thinking something like “I really really need to go home”, so that’s unfortunate.
“So, what’s with the get-up, babe? You supposed to be the tooth fairy?” He laughs at me. This random guy who is evidently drunk and most likely has half the brain cells of a normal human being laughs at me and it makes me feel small. I need to leave. Like, now.
“Um, yeah, no…I’m..um…the beer fairy, yay!” I reply and swish my wand around like an idiot. “You want a beer?” I have absolutely no idea what I am doing.
“I already have one, sweetcheeks. Why don’t you go wave your stupid stick over there.” He turns around.
I try desperately to find Lottie through the clouds of smoke and pungent smells, but fail. I would not be surprised if she’d passed out already or was in the toilet, riding the porcelain bus. I decide to shuffle my way through the crowd and sneak out the front door. I don’t feel bad about leaving Lottie at the party – to be honest she will have probably forgotten I am even here by now anyway. I’m not entirely sure why I am friends with her, to be perfectly honest. Oh, yes, that’s right: I’m an idiot.
I walk up to the street and start towards my house. A few yards into my walk I stop and let my shoulders sag. I look up to the cloudy, overcast sky and say to myself, “I really need a new life.”