Parties weren't my type of scene. I liked the occasional hangout with a group of friends, but I was here for Danny. She was a socialite, and more than able to handle this type of scene by herself. She flitted from person to person, shaking hands and sharing jokes, accepting hugs, praise, and even gifts. It was like her natural element.
I stood back, surveying the party as it played out. Danny, of course, was the center of attention. Her curly copper hair was bound up into a thick tail by a ribbon, something of which was a mystery to me. It caught all rays of sun that hit it, making her hair burst into a fiery arrangement around her face. She was the only member of the party to be clad in a short strapless party dress. Everyone was casual jeans and tees, which, it seemed, that Danny preferred.
She wasn't snobby. Quite the opposite, actually, but maybe I'm biased. However, it was here day, and her party. She was allowed to be the only one who stood out.
Her brother came by me and clapped me on the shoulder. "I see you undressing my sister with your eyes," he murmured with the usual big brother threatening undertone.
I laughed, waving of his remark with the shake of my head. "Hey, Eric, long time."
"Yeah, maybe a little too long. Have you defiled my little sis yet?"
Like he didn't know the answer to that. Somehow, Eric liked to give me a hard time about it, trying to play the defensive and protective big brother, all the while having a good time in the girls' dorm at his university. "Popped that cherry a long time again," I finally answered, quickly taking a sip of orange soda that I had been nursing the whole party.
He choked a little, somehow surprised, and then he slipped into a hearty laugh. With a playful punch to the shoulder, the conversation turned to basketball and NASCAR.
The party was dying down slowly as the horizon was being dyed orange. I was back by the concession stand, alone again, watching those who were left chat amongst themselves. I had refilled my cup with more orange soda and was slowly sucking it down.
Arms wrapped around my stomach from behind, and a soft kiss was pressed into my spine. Danny twirled around in front of me, grinning. "Hey there, handsome."
"Congrats, graduate. You finally made it," I smiled at her, ducking down to her height for a small kiss.
She laughed, pulling back. "Please! We finally made it. You graduated too, you know."
Her light hazel-aqua eyes flashed playfully. Instantly her best feature, I thought. "Yeah, but you're having the party. It's customary to say congrats to the graduate hosting. Parties aren't my thing."
She winced, remembering how horribly unsocial I am. "Thank you for coming, Luke. I hope you had fun, at least. Maybe even a little?" She stepped into me, wrapping her arms around my torso again, digging her chin in slightly on my sternum to look up at me.
I nodded reassuringly. "It was fun. Caught up with your brother. College sounds like his favorite pastime right now."
"Oh whatever. It's the girls he's doing that are his favorite past time. College just happens to be the location," she interrupted sarcastically, even with the little devil smile on her lips.
"You're right, my bad," I laughed. "And then, your BFF, Marge, I think. . ."
"You did not forget Maggie's name! Don't kid like that."
"All right. Sorry, baby." I grinned, not sorry at all, and kissed her forehead. "Anyway, she filled me in on the latest inner-circle gossip since school's been out. That was interesting. Girl talk, for the win." I rolled my eyes. I couldn't help if girl talk and girly gossip lost my interest. If it wasn't related to Danny in any way, then all girl gossip was an automatic disinterest.
"Okay, okay, I get it." She made a face like she was in pain just listening to my recollection of the day. "How about I wrap up the party, and then we sit in and watch a movie?"
"Sounds good. What movie are you thinking?"
"Hmm, I'm thinking Weird Science."
"We've seen that so many times. Don't you get sick of it?" I gave a sort of whine mixed with a sigh. It usually worked in my favor. However, the gleam in her eye told me that tonight would be different.
"I just wanna watch the young, hot Robert Downey Junior." She wiggled her eyebrows and poked her tongue out and ran it along her bottom lip. I watched it briefly before looking back up at her eyes.
"There are other movies with him in them. . ." I pouted, trying to give her my best puppy face.
Mercilessly, she just laughed and patted my cheek. "Sorry, babe, but it's Weird Science tonight. No way you can change my mind. Now, I must go and be a proper host by seeing my guests out." And then she excused herself, quickly flitting around the side of her house to the driveway where the remaining party-goers had coagulated.
With a shake of my head, I walked into her house through the back door. Her house was cozy, but very clean. I was always afraid to sit anyway because I might leave a body stain or something. Danny's mom loved white, for some reason. White carpet, white couch, white walls, all pulled together with splashes of earthy tones like throw pillows, rugs, blankets, and wall photos.
I left my shoes at the door and padded down the hallway to Danny's room. I was familiar with the layout fairly well. Dating for almost three years tends to get you more than aquatinted with the layout of each other's houses and rooms.
She had a box filled with notes and letters I had written her throughout the years stored underneath her bed. I pulled it out, leaving it unopened, before turning to her computer desk. With a ball point pen and a sheet of white unlined paper, I scrawled in my messy spacey handwriting:
Dear Danny, my senior graduate,
Congratulations! You survived four years of hell. And you helped me survive them too. I doubt I would've been able to make it through all those English classes without your help. Honestly, it's probably because of you that I even know how to write this letter. Haha. I'm serious about that.
I wanted to say that you were the single most beautiful girl I saw out there today. The sun has made your red hair so beautiful. I'm probably the luckiest guy ever. I just hope you think you're the luckiest girl ever. Because I think you are. And that's not me being egotistical. You are perfect, and that alone makes you so lucky.
I love you, baby.
Love, one crazy guy.
I reread the letter and laughed at my own cheesiness. But I couldn't think of anything to add, and I certainly couldn't erase anything now. I folded the letter as evenly as I could. Unfortunately, I am apparently incompetent as the folds were severely crooked. It would have to do; I sighed, and turned to place it on top of her box of letters, and left to go watch the horrid movie with her.