Favourite Sentence: (about arguing about minor things before getting to the real point) It would be like a warrior heading off the killing fields but stopping to argue with every peasant along the way.
Elizabeth had dragged me out of the house at 9PM, getting me to change out of my slippers and pajamas, forcing me to put down my book. The trade-off was supposed to be fun. The party was supposed to have great food, terrific music and hot men. Instead, the snacks were chips and cheesies, someone was flipping rapidly between iTunes play lists and the men all had a kind of sweaty sheen to them but not a single one of them could even be called cute. I was doing my best to avoid everyone. I just sat in the corner, scrolling through texts on my phone, trying to look like I shouldn’t be disturbed.
I couldn’t believe I had let myself be dragged along again. Elizabeth always had these rumours of ‘great’ parties, always snagged an invitation to something ‘cool’, but they were rarely even interesting, let alone cool or great. Elizabeth was like that though. She was so enthusiastic that she brought you into her excitement without you really realizing what was happening. She would arrive, face bright, words tripping over each other as she spilled them out, hands moving like sparks.
Even though you knew better, you’d find yourself somehow believing that this was the one, this was the party you had been hoping for, this was the epic event that you would be talking about for years. It never was, of course. It would end up being just like every other party, not bad, but seeming worse because of the picture Elizabeth had painted of the terrific time you would have.
The worst of it was that Elizabeth was crushed every time. You’d think that after the first few parties that she’d ease off on the excitement or at least prepare herself to be let down, but instead, she was passionate about every single one. She genuinely believed, each time, that this was the event she had been waiting for, that this was her Cinderella’s ball.
It wasn’t that she was looking for a prince, that wasn’t what Elizabeth was about. She was looking for magic.
Not spells or potions or anything like that, she was looking for that kind of evening where you can’t believe how fast the time has gone. The night where you look around and everyone seems caught up in the same thing, each of them some sort of cog in a party machine that just keeps generating excitement for as long as the celebrants can absorb it. The kind of party that goes on in everyone else’s photos, people caught in a moment of joy, arms overhead, faces ecstatic, feet a blur.
I’ve never been to one of those parties, at least not with Elizabeth. I never have the heart to remind her, though, when she shows up at my house with the party possibilities spooling out in front of her, that she felt this exact same way about the last one.