“Today is the day of my 16th birthday party. It all started out as a normal day. I was just taking my birthday party outfit out of my closet. I’ve been waiting for this party since forever.”
Today is the day of my 16th birthday party. It all started out as a normal day. I was just taking my birthday party outfit out of my closet. I’ve been waiting for this party since forever. All my friends will be there. I just can’t wait.
This party will probably be the best party I’ve ever had. My guests are just starting to walk in. “Hey, Aspen,” my friend Jordyn says. “Are you excited for your party?”
“Yep,” I say. We decide to hang out at the snack table for a few minutes.
“So who did you invite,” Jordyn says.
“I invited you, Taylor, Peyton, Ashley, Amari, Jackson, Jamie, Lila, and a lot of other people.”
“Sounds like you have a big guest list. Are you sure that you’ll have enough food? Did you invite a lot of the boys?”
“Yeah. My mom said that the caterer is bringing more than enough food. So I can only hope that they don’t eat it all.”
“Did you invite anyone else?” Jordyn asks.
“Yeah. I invited Adonis, Marcus, Lexi — ”
“Wait, you invited Lexi?”
“Yeah,” I say. “What’s wrong with that?”
“You know that if you invite Lexi that Tori will come. And you know how Tori is,” Jordyn says.
“Just because her twin sister is mean doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t be invited to parties too. I genuinely like Lexi. And you have to admit she is really cool.”
“Yeah, she is really nice. I feel so bad for her though. She’s stick with a twin sister that’s so mean. I wonder if she’s really mean to her.”
“I know,” I say.
I know that if I had a twin sister that I would want her to be nice to everyone, including me. I honestly feel so sorry for her. At that moment, a large group of my friends arrive. My older sister, Ashanti, just brought them into the party room. The theme of my party is lights out. It’s a major dance party with neon lights. Everyone gets a glow bracelet or glow necklace when they walk in.
My mom, Aunt Chantelle, and Ashanti helped me come up with the theme of my party. Ashanti and Aunt Chantelle helped me plan where my party would be. We rented out a country club ballroom and decorated it to look like a dance club. There are flashing strobe lights everywhere, and there is also a disco ball. The lights are bouncing off the walls. Music is going. You can actually feel the beat of the music.There are white, shiny marble floors. The lights are reflecting off the floor. Different color balloons and confetti are all over the floor. There’s a long white table on the right side of the room with different finger foods on them. There are little sandwiches, cakes, fruits, and punch on the table. In the left corner of the room, the DJ is getting ready to play music. It’s kind of awkward right now because nobody is here yet. But once the party gets started, it will be a whole lot of fun. People won’t be able to help dancing and having fun.
“Hey, Aspen,” they all say.
“Hey, guys,” I say.
Ashanti shows them the table where they can put my gifts. I can’t believe this is finally happening. A few minutes later, more of my friends come in. A little while after that, more of my friends come in. After about 20 minutes, everyone is there. The party was just about to start when all of a sudden Tori and her friends, Marcy and Samara, walk in. Right behind her are Lexi and Denise. Everyone stops to look at Tori and her friends. There is complete silence, and I feel completely awkward. Now I’m starting to understand what Jordyn said.
“Happy birthday, Aspen. Great party,” Tori says with a smirk. Marcy and Samara start laughing maliciously.
I’m really starting to regret inviting Lexi. But at the same time, it’s not Lexi’s fault that her sister is extremely mean. Hopefully Tori doesn’t try to make a scene and humiliate me at my own party. That would be awful. But then again, I invited some of the boys. I know she definitely wouldn’t want to embarrass herself in front of them. She already knows what a laughingstock she would be if she did that. She should know because she’s already embarrassed plenty of people before.
“Thanks, Tori,” I say. “The party will start shortly.”
Suddenly, the music starts. People start coming out onto the dance floor. The lights come up. The disco ball starts to spin and reflect its lights. Everyone has glow sticks. Music is playing. Everyone is dancing, but I just can’t make myself join in. I wander off into the hallway to go to the bathroom. Just as I get ready to open the door, my sister Ashanti comes out of the bathroom.
“Is everything okay? You look a little worried.”
“I guess I’m okay.”
“Isn’t that Tori?” she says.
“Yeah,” I say.
“What is she doing here. The last thing we need is someone to ruin your sweet 16. It’s the most memorable party of your life so far. Do I need to go and say something to her?”
“No,” I say. “The last thing I need is for someone to upset her. That would just give her more reason to try to humiliate me. You understand right?”
“Yeah. I get it. You remember Andrea, right?”
“She was like a Lexi to me when I was 16. She always tried to do whatever she could to humiliate someone.”
“Your point being?”
“Don’t let one person ruin your party. Look around. All these people came here to celebrate you. They all came because they care about you. They’re not concerned about Lexi and what she could do to them.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure about that.”
“Anyway, these people came to celebrate you. Now go have fun at your party. I’ll peek around now and then to make sure that everything is okay. If Tori tries to even start to make a scene, I’ll take care of her. Don’t worry about anything.”
“Thanks,” I say. We give each other a hug. I go into the bathroom to check my reflection one last time. Then I decide that it’s time for me to go back to the party.
The party is going great. The music is loud. A rap song has just ended, and a dance song has come on. I’m able to feel the beat of this song. Everybody is dancing. Everyone is having fun. I decide to start dancing. I start to lose my worries in the song. Suddenly, I notice that the party is actually going great. Maybe it’s just me being paranoid. I mean, a party is supposed to be calm, right? But something doesn’t feel right to me. I see Jordyn standing by the food table getting some punch. I pull her aside. We leave the party and go into the hallway.
“Jordyn, have you seen Tori?” I ask.
“No, not recently. The last place I saw her was over by the food table. Why? Is something wrong?”
“No. It’s just that the party seems normal.”
“What’s wrong with that? Isn’t that what a party is supposed to be?”
“Yeah, it is. But it’s still weird that Tori is here. You don’t think she’s going to try to ruin something, do you?”
“I sure hope not. I’m pretty sure that you got some really cool presents. My present is so pretty that you’ll never want to leave it alone.”
“Can you tell me what it is?”
“Nope. That would ruin the surprise. I want your breath to be taken away when you open my present.”
This sounds so much like Jordyn. She’s such a caring, sweet, and kind person. But you don’t want to get on her bad side. It’s really scary. But all in all, Jordyn is one of the kindest people I have ever met.
“Okay. I guess I can wait.”
“Now come on. Quit worrying, and have fun at your party.”
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but my party is going great. I’m enjoying myself and so is everyone else. But I still have this sneaking suspicion that Tori will do something. I decide to push this thought to the back of my mind. This is my party, and I’m going to celebrate.
I walk over to the food table. Everything looks fine. Nothing seems suspicious. My presents seem to be safe. Suddenly, I hear a rustling noise over by the DJ. Then I hear something drop right near the table where my presents are. I wonder what’s going on. I hope Tori isn’t trying to ruin anything. I have a really bad feeling about this. I decide to go over to the DJ.
“Excuse me, sir. Have you seen anybody come over this way recently?” I ask.
“Nope. I haven’t. Sorry.”
“Thanks anyway,” I say.
Well, the DJ seems to have not seen anything or anyone come over there. So I wonder what that noise could have been. Now the worst thoughts are starting to come to mind. What if an animal wandered into my party and is going through my presents? What if one of Tori’s friends is going through my presents? What if Tori paid someone to go through my presents and ruin my party? Or worst of all, what if Tori herself is going to do something so mean that it’ll cause me to start crying at my own party?
“Come on, Aspen,” I say to myself. “You need to get yourself together and stop assuming that the worst is always going to happen.”
Eventually, I talk myself into walking over to where the rustling noise came from. As I grow closer to the table where my presents are, the noise grows louder. The noise keeps growing louder and louder and louder. I can’t take this suspense anymore. I decide to finally see what’s making this noise.
As I walk around the table where my presents are, I find Tori going through my presents. I stand behind the table frozen with fear. I’m brought to tears. I can’t help not crying. There’s presents everywhere. There’s pink, purple, red, and a lot of other colors of tissue paper all over the floor. Some gift bags are strewn all over the floor.
“This present is okay. Uh, what is this present? Who would ever want this as a present? This is so lame. People can really do better with presents these days,” Tori says. Marcy and Samara are with her.
“Why would anybody want this as a present? It’s so dorky,” Marcy says. She’s waving a gift bag in the air.
“Honestly, I don’t know. But then again, these presents are for Aspen. Why wouldn’t you expect them to be lame. She’s really, really lame.”
“I know. But still, anybody could give her a better present. I kind of feel bad for her,” Marcy says.
“Why should you? Obviously, a lame person deserves lame gifts. Aspen is a completely lame person.”
“I still can’t believe that you were friends with her when you were younger,” Samara says.
“Really, I don’t even know either. I guess we all made mistakes when we were younger,” Tori says.
“You certainly did, Tori. I really can’t understand why you were ever even friends with her either,” Marcy says.
I can’t take this anymore. I shouldn’t have to listen to this anymore. I decide to come out from behind the table.
“I can’t believe you, Tori. How could you do this to me?” I say in disbelief.
“Well, if it isn’t Ms. Crybaby. What’s wrong? Did someone steal your blanket?” Tori says sarcastically.
Now everyone has turned to stare at the table where my presents are. The music has been turned down some. Everyone starts laughing at what Tori just said.
“For your information, I’m not a crybaby, and I don’t have a blanket. What are you doing over here in my presents anyway?” I say with an attitude. My hands are on my hips.
“I just came to check and make sure that your presents were okay. I wouldn’t want you to receive any horrible presents. But lucky for you, they’re all horrible presents.”
“That’s exactly why they aren’t yours. Now how about you do yourself a favor and get away from my presents,” I say.
“I don’t think so. You can’t tell me what to do. Marcy, what do you think about this present? Isn’t it so stupid?” Tori asks sarcastically as she looks into a gift bag.
“It’s so stupid. Why would anyone want to own such a stupid gift? Would you want to own it, Samara?” Marcy asked.
“Leave me out of this,” Samara says.
“Why? What’s wrong? Do you think it’s good enough for you? Marcy says sarcastically.
Everyone starts laughing. The boys are making “ooohhh” noises.
“No,” Samara says.
“Then what’s your problem?” Marcy says.
“My problem is you. You and Tori are always picking on innocent people that have done absolutely nothing to you. I’m tired of being around people like you who always put people down.”
“So let me get this straight. You’re trying to stand up for Aspen, Samara?” Tori says.
“Yes, I am. I’m so sick and tired of being around cruel people like you and Marcy. Aspen has always been nothing but nice to you, and yet you still treat her horribly,” Samara says with boldness.
There’s a long period of silence in the party room. Even the music stops. Everyone is staring over at where Tori, Marcy, Samara, and I are.
“Well, you know what, Samara? I can’t be friends with people like you. People who think its okay to be friends with losers.”
I’m tired of hearing all of this. It’s getting on my last nerve. I can’t take it anymore.
“Guess what, Tori,” I say. “I’m not a loser, and you can stop talking about me.”
“And she’s right,” Jordyn says. “We all know that the whole reason why you even came to this party was to ruin Aspen’s great party. Well, guess what, you failed to accomplish your goal.”
“I don’t understand why you would do such a thing, Tori,” Lexi says. “It’s Aspen’s party, and this has absolutely nothing to do with you. Why don’t you just leave?!”
“Because I don’t want to,” Tori snaps. “Look, Samara. Here’s the thing. If you want to be friends with us, then you have to not be friends with Aspen, and if you want to be her friend, then we won’t be your friends.”
Everyone is staring intently at Samara. For some reason, the DJ is playing action music.
“So what’s your choice, Samara?”
“I choose Aspen. I don’t want to be remembered as the mean girl like you and Marcy.”
“Very well then. You made your choice. I hope it was worth it to lose your only friends that you have,” Tori says sarcastically.
“Why are you doing this?” Marcy asked sincerely.
“Because I’m ready to move on and be around actually nice people,” Samara says.
“Whatever, Samara. Come on, Marcy, let’s leave this lame party. We’ve got better places to be,” Tori says.
“Tori, Marcy, do you need an escort out?” Ashanti says.
“No thanks. I’m good,” Tori says.
“No thanks,” Marcy says.
They both storm out of the party.
Finally, they’re gone. The music has been turned back up. Everyone has resumed dancing and having a good time. The strobe lights have come back on. Samara is still here all by herself.
“You okay?” I ask.
“Not really. It feels kind of weird to not be around Marcy and Tori,” Samara says.
“Its okay. It must’ve felt really weird to actually stand up to Tori for once.”
“Yeah, I know. But it eventually had to be done.”
“That was really brave,” I say.
“Look, I know that we’ve started off on the wrong foot, but I’m willing to start over and be friends if that’s okay with you,” I say.
“Sure. I mean, I haven’t been exactly nice to you either.”
“Friends,” Samara says.
“I’m so proud of you,” Ashanti says.
“Standing up to Tori. You really are growing up.”
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned after tonight, it’s that people may actually come to surprise you in the end.