The party was all set now. Christine had ordered the cake, gotten the decorations and told her and Vivian's friends, who had gotten gifts, and she had gotten it cleared with Vivian's parents to have the party at their house. Vivian's birthday was tonight and all Christine had to do now was get a very special gift for Vivian to top it all off.
She had wondered what she could get Vivian, but after some thought, realized the perfect decision: a movie they had seen on TV one night when the two girls were having a slumber party that Vivian absolutely loved: a film called Nicki The Witch. Christine herself had seen and read plenty of movies and books about witches, but Nicki was by far the lightest and cheeriest of them all. The only dark thing about it was the color of Nicki's dress.
So Christine got her purse and made sure that she had enough money, then took off out the door, heading for the video store to go pick up a copy.
It was another bright, pleasant day outside, and the temperature was a nice 76 degrees Fahrenheit (24.4 degrees Centigrade). They didn't get as hot as other parts of the island could thanks to their proximity to Lake Huron.
Christine strolled down the sidewalk, when suddenly she was sideswiped by Rusty who came rocketing past her, heading in the same direction.
"Rusty!" she yelled, "Watch where you're going!"
"Can't talk now, Chris," he called in reply, "gotta move!"
"DON'T CALL ME CHRIS!" Christine yelled back angrily, before calming back down. "Weirdo…" she muttered before continuing her walk to the video store.
After about 15 minutes of walking, Christine encountered Rusty again. Except this time, he was now running in the opposite direction, whooping it up and celebrating some unknown victory.
"Yes!" he rejoiced, "I did it! I FEEL THE POWER OF THE GODS SURGING THROUGH MY VEINS! WOOOOOOOH!"
"What's he on about now?" Christine wondered aloud to herself. "Never mind… I've got a movie to buy for Viv."
She continued another couple minutes until she finally reached the video store. She walked inside and went to the family section. She looked in the N section, but found no Nicki The Witch, so she went to the counter.
"Excuse me, sir," she said to the cashier, "do you have Nicki The Witch?"
"Nicki The Witch?" the man at the register said, "Oh sorry, somebody else came in here just a couple minutes ago and bought the very last copy we had."
"Is there anything you could maybe do?" asked Christine. "I've got a friend whose birthday party's tonight and I really wanted to get that for her."
"Well," he said, "we could always order it, but it'll take about a week to arrive."
"But I need it in time for tonight!" protested Christine.
"Sorry, miss," he said. "I suppose you could always try our branch in Westminster. They might have a copy."
"I can't drive though!" said Christine.
"Well, sorry then. Really wish I could help," said the man.
"Well, thank you anyway," said Christine as she walked out, feeling defeated.
"Damn it," she said to herself as she walked home, "I really wanted the film. I knew Viv would love it. Well, I guess it's alright. I'm throwing her a party, after all."
That evening, meanwhile, Vivian was feeling very sad. She had spoken to Clarence, Lorelei, Chrome Bumper and Susie, and none of them seemed to remember, either. Her best friends in the whole entire world and not one remembered!
"I can't believe it…" Vivian sniffed. "They forgot my birthday…"
She decided to just go home and cry on her bed and hold one of her Kaixo Kitty dolls. She walked back up to her house and stepped through the front house, where she found a wonderful sight.
"SURPRISE!" said everybody when Vivian stepped through. Her eyes had begun to get damp, and she was truly caught off guard.
"Oh—oh! Oh my gosh! You—you remembered my birthday! I thought you all forgot!" she stammered with joy. Christine came over and hugged her best friend.
"Viv, you're like a sister to me," she said. "I'm not gonna forget your birthday!"
"Oh, Christinee-weeny!" said Vivian, overjoyed, "you're the bestest friend anybody could ever ask for in the whole entire universe!"
"Come on," said Chrome Bumper, "let's like, party, dudes!"
So they party began. There was music, and games, and plenty of food and drinks. Everybody had a good time.
Eventually, the time came for Vivian to open her gifts. She got stylish clothes, a fancy new radio that even had a CD player and a poster of Philadelphia from America Lorelei had ordered via mail, among other things.
"I'm sorry I don't have anything for you, Viv," said Christine sadly.
"What are you talking about, silly?" retorted Vivian. "You gave me a wonderful party!"
"But I wanted to get you something special and permanent," insisted Christine. "I wanted to get you that movie you and I saw on TV when I slept over in 6th grade."
"Oh, I remember that movie!" said Vivian, remembering, "What was it called again? Nicki…"
"Nicki The Witch," said Christine. Though nobody noticed, Rusty's face went pale at hearing this.
"Yeah," lamented Christine, "but when I got to the video store, they said somebody else bought their last copy only a couple minutes before I got there—"
"OKAY YOU GOT ME!" cried out Rusty.
"What?" asked several partygoers, turning around to look.
"I admit it!" said Rusty, falling to his knees, "It was me! I bought the last copy of Nicki The Witch!"
Nobody really knew quiet how to respond to this revelation, mainly because this seemed so completely out of character for Rusty. The Rusty Crantz they knew liked movies with action, violence, and/or slapstick comedy; the Rusty Crantz they knew liked music that was loud and/or fast, like Van Halen, Slayer, or the Ramones. Nicki The Witch had no violence, no slapstick save for one scene where a man gets a pie in the face, and its soundtrack was all either orchestral score or light pop music. What would Rusty want with a film like Nicki The Witch?
"You… bought the last copy?" asked Christine after a rather awkward pause.
"Yes…" said Rusty guiltily.
"Why?" asked Susie.
"It all started years ago…" Rusty began, as if to segue into a flashback. "I was spending the weekend at my granny's. We'd just come back from the store after I pitched a fit because Granny wouldn't let me get a three pound back of candy, so she sat me down in front of the TV, and put it on Needle. That one voice that always announces stuff said, 'And now time for Needle's movie of the week: Nicki The Witch'. So the movie started, and I was instantly blown away, man! The lush scenery, bright colors, the fact that here was Nicki, getting to fly on a broomstick! And go off to this big, amazing city—totally on her own! I watched all 102 minutes or whatever of it with my mouth hanging open. At some point, Granny had walked in and was watching me, because when it was over, I looked and she was there. So I said to her, 'Rewind?' but she told me, 'Sorry, Rusty, but that wasn't a video. I can't rewind it.' I was heartbroken! So I threw another fit.
"Eventually I forgot all about the magical world that Nicki took me to, and went back to playing Starcrushers with Gilbert and using it as an excuse to abuse him. But then, about a week ago, I woke up after a really bad hangover, and turned on the TV, and I caught the tail end of it! I wanted so badly to see it again! So I went and tried to buy a copy from Dark Snake, but the version he gave me was dubbed in Basque. So finally, I got up the courage, and went down to the video store and bought the very last copy—depriving poor Vivy here of her movie! I'm sorry…"
Once again, nobody really knew what to say about all this. They all just stared at him, sitting there on the floor, looking as though he'd just confessed to homicide or something.
Gilbert began chuckling. "Hehehehe… that's a little girly movie—"
Just then, Vivian went off. "Don't you make fun of him, Gilbert Stern!" she exclaimed, turning to berate her boyfriend. "It's an adorable movie that I love and I think it's sweet Rusty likes it, and if you make fun of him for liking it, you're making fun of me, too!"
Gilbert's face went pale and he became very silent upon being told this.
"Aww, Rusty," said Vivian, going over to him, "you don't need to feel bad."
"Wow," said Clarence. "I've never seen this side of you before, Rusty."
"Me neither," remarked Christine, sounding impressed more than anything.
"Dude, you thought we'd like, make fun of you?" asked Chrome Bumper.
"Why haven't I heard of this movie?" asked Lorelei.
"So what did you do after you bought the movie?" asked Susie.
"I've actually got the movie with me right now," said Rusty, taking out a bag and revealing the tape. "I came straight to the party from the video store."
"Yay!" squealed Vivian. "Here, let's all sit down and watch it! This is how I wanna end my party!"
Rusty, no longer feeling so bad, handed the tape to Vivian, who went over and put it in the VCR and cued up her family's TV. Everybody took a place on or around the couch and they all watched Nicki The Witch together. Rusty's longing was quenched, he no longer had to feel ashamed about it, and Vivian got to see the movie she loved as well. In the end, they all agreed it was a good movie, and saw why Rusty liked it. All in all, it was a great night.