You’re just being stupid, I thought to myself. I’ve been friends with these girls for a couple of weeks now and they are great. . . Izzabella Marcum you get your butt out of this car and get inside that house. . .
I sat in my car staring up at one of my new friends’ houses. The light blue paint that covered the house looked dirty in the moonlight, especially with the trees that lined the yard blocking off most of the light. The shadows danced along the siding creating shapes and images that seemed to jump out at me as I watched them.
I liked being away from my old school and old town. It was so small that you didn’t have any privacy and gossip spread like wildfire. Thankfully, dad got transferred here so I got a fresh start here where no one knew me. I just don’t make friends very easily and I didn’t want to mess it up. Either way I wasn’t an anxious person so there was no explanation for the nerves I had and the bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. Or my mind playing tricks on me with the shadows.
I couldn’t shake it; it had kept me sitting alone in my car – a blue 1997 Toyota Camry – for just about ten minutes. I prayed that my new friends hadn’t noticed. My small hands gripped the steering wheel tight as I weighed and debated my options. Go home and spend a summer Friday night alone in my room again, or go in and ignore whatever was making me nervous. The heat was starting to get to me so I had to decide quickly.
Taking a deep breathe, I tried to clear my head. The nerves died down a little as I exhaled but there was still a weight in my stomach that wouldn’t let up. I opened the car door and stepped out, staring up at the two story house; I shut the door behind me. I hastily grabbed my overnight bag from the back seat and walked to the front door before I had the chance to second guess myself and speed back home.
This is supposed to be a fun weekend, Izzy, I reassured myself.
Stepping onto the front porch, I could hear a movie or something playing and my friends laughing at something. I knocked on the door and heard excited screams erupt from inside, along with what sounded like a stampede coming towards me on the other side. I was greeted by five really excited but slightly disappointed teenage girls.
“Oh, hey Izzy,” Olivia Nelson spoke first. Her blue eyes were staring at me with a hint of suspicion, as if she wasn’t quite sure what to think of me yet. Every time I saw her I couldn’t help but notice her chest. With her small waist, her boobs were accentuated. She tried to hide it with baggy t-shirts but it never quite worked.
She reached up with her long fingers – she was a piano player – and twisted a lock of her short, messy blonde hair between them. I wasn’t surprised she spoke first since it was her house we would be staying at, she just wasn’t my closest friend in the group.
“Sorry,” she continued. “We are happy you’re here, we were just expecting the pizza guy. Come on in and join the party!”
Sophia Brennan, my best friend and the one who introduced me to the group, grabbed my hand and pulled me inside while the rest of the girls – Emma Roberts, Eva Greene, Tara Baker, and Olivia – retreated to the living room off to the left. Her hands were rough against my soft palm. Her family had her do a lot of manual labor and her hands showed it. She pulled me in the house and to the living room on the left. They must have had the air conditioner blasting because it was almost chilly in the house as I walked in. I welcomed it; I always love snuggling with a blanket while watching movies. Maybe friends would make it even better.
American Beauty was playing on the TV but no one was paying attention. Someone had said something funny so they were laughing and munching on the plethora of snacks that had been laid out for the sleepover. Emma was telling them a story from earlier in the week when we – her, me and another friend – were wandering around town while the rest of them were busy.
“Then when we were leaving, Brett couldn’t open the door. Izzy reads a sign that says ‘Please use other door’ in all caps and he yells, ‘I CAN’T READ!’”
Everyone burst into laughter except for me. It was really funny at the time but it wasn’t the same the second time. It might be from my lack of sugar high that the rest of the girls seemed to have, but I knew that wasn’t it. It was that pit in my stomach that was growing the longer I sat in this house. I pushed the thought away and gave them my best fake smile, grabbing a handful of m&m’s to munch on. Sophia looked at me before interrupting the laughter fit.
“Who wants another soda?” Everyone cheers for more sugar. Sophia grabbed my hand and pulled me along to help her. I shoved the morsels in my mouth so I wouldn’t be encumbered while helping. We moved passed everyone in the living room, through the dining room, and into the kitchen. I could hear the others chatting in the other room but being away from the buzz of energy in the air that was almost palpable helped to calm my nerves a little.
Sophia turned around as soon as we were out of ear shot, in the middle of the kitchen, and looked me straight in the eyes before speaking; her brown eyes were striking and seemed to look straight through me to my core. I was glad we were the same height or I would have felt much more intimidated by her stare.
“What?” Her question had caught me off guard. She always seemed to know if something was off with me but I thought I was doing well hiding it. I didn’t want to ruin her good time.
She’s staring at me with concern on her face. Her short blond hair, slim waist, and shapely behind made me wonder how she wasn’t in the popular crowd. Then she would either let loose a loud belch or fart and I would remember. Still, she had a huge heart – I couldn’t help but love her like a sister and feel lucky she wanted to be my friend.
“I can tell something is going on,” she revealed. “What happened, did your mom start something again?” I didn’t have the greatest home life and only she knew that.
“No, it’s not that. I just have a really bad feeling – like something bad is going to happen – and I can’t seem to shake it.” I started playing with my long, dark brown hair, anxiously. My hazel eyes weren’t as pretty as hers but they were my favorite part of me. I had a medium build and the works of an hourglass figure but nothing that seemed to attract the attention of the boys at school. I found myself comparing her and me, and what I wish I could look like often but I’ve been trying to break that habit. I’m beautiful, too. At least, that’s what my friends kept telling me.
“You sure?” Sophia said. “We can go hang out at my house if it’s really bugging you like this.”
She’s such a sweetheart. How did I end up with such a great best friend?
“No, it’s fine.” I would feel terrible if I made her leave when she had been having so much fun before I arrived. “I just need some soda and I’ll be okay.”
“I promise, Soph.”
“Okay, let’s get some drinks then.”
She seemed to relax a little but still kept an eye on me. I walked passed her and she smacked my behind yelling ‘Let’s go team!’ I yelped and shook my head, laughing. She always had a strange way of making me laugh but I loved that about her.
We grabbed drinks out of the refrigerator for everyone and rejoined the group in the living room. The end movie credits were rolling and they were debating on what movie to watch next.
“How about Twilight?” Tara suggested. She sat in the dark brown recliner near the windows on the wall to the left. She somehow looked even thinner than she already was while she sat in it. She was curled up, her thighs against her body, which made her look almost short when she’s normally the tallest of us all at 5’9”. She ran her fingers through her dyed, red hair as she spoke.
“No, I want to watch something good,” Eva said sarcastically, flashing her light blue eyes over at Tara, humor clearly on her face. Her medium length dirty blond hair was pulled back in a ponytail revealing her clear soft skin and pretty, average facial features. Her glasses took up a decent amount of her face.
Everyone laughed at her joke. Sophia and I passed out the sodas and retook our places on the floor in between the couch and the recliner. We were sharing a blanket she had brought over that was large enough to cover all six girls, but we didn’t want to share. I never cared for cheetah print items but I couldn’t help but love how soft and comfortable this blanket was – even with the cheetah print pattern covering it. I’ve thought about stealing it several times and taking it home with me, but she would end up stealing it right back. It gave me more incentive to spend time over at her house though.
“I want to watch something scary…” Olivia announced, pouting slightly.
“Nothing scares you though,” Emma retorted, hiding under her shoulder length, dark brown hair as if she was the girl from the grudge. There’s another burst of laughter from the group, me included this time. I should at least try to have fun.
“Okay, what about the Blair Witch Project, then?” Eva asked, popping out from her blue blanket with clouds all over it revealing her pink stripped polo shirt.
“I like that idea,” I pipe in, sheepishly. Soph gives me an encouraging nudge for speaking up, her sideways grin and gleam in her eyes shows me she’s proud that I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone and join in. I can’t help but smile a little back at her.
“The Blair Witch it is!” Olivia decided, getting up from her place in the middle of the couch with Eva and sharing a black throw blanket with Emma.
The doorbell rang and Sophia tried to scare us already with a creepy ‘ooooOOOoooo…’ but I didn’t think it worked. Olivia kept talking as if she didn’t notice.
“I’ll get the pizza. Eve, put the movie in for us.”
“Got it!” She responded. Eva was always willing to do anything asked of her. She was a couple of years younger than the rest of us but she fit in well. She was very plain looking; dark blond hair, small chest, blue eyes, and glasses; a little taller than me. She had the sweetest and cutest attitude and personality though. She was the nice and innocent one of the group and I felt bad every time I thought about how the group was going to corrupt her. She also had a strange sense of humor which gave her a well-earned spot in our little posse.
“I’ll help with the pizza!” Emma called to Olive. I wasn’t surprised. Those two had been friends long before our group had formed so they were pretty inseparable.
Emma was gorgeous, though. She had some big hips – wide, and a medium sized chest but she was absolutely stunning with her brown hair and blue eyes. She was also about an inch shorter than I was. Even with her nerdy glasses she was so pretty; the only thing holding her back was her slight social awkwardness which is why she wasn’t really accepted in the popular crowd. We loved her though and she was happy with that.
Tara was a little different from the rest of us. She dressed as if she were part of the in-crowd when the rest of us wore dawned nerdy band t-shirts or movie shirts. She always tried to be more mature than us but would always laugh at the jokes we made, and even joined in with her own joke or two. There was always something a bit off about her but I could never quite put my finger on what it was. I pushed the feeling away again, as I do most things, and accepted her as she was. No one else seemed to have an issue with her so I tried to let it go. No need to start drama over a little feeling.