I don’t know why they even invited me, thought Bel as the boat sped though the water. She looked around at her classmates laughing, drinking, flirting as normal. She never considered them her friends and until this weekend, she thought the feeling had been mutual. This past Tuesday Brianne had come up to her between classes and invited her to the party of the year. Thrown aboard her parents’ yacht, everyone important was going to be there. At least that’s what they said.
Isobel (Bel for short) had never put much stock in popularity. She was pretty content being on her own most of the time. She was busy with her art and preparing her portfolio for college applications next fall. But when she heard that Jonathan was going to be at the party, she swallowed the invitation, hook line, and sinker. There he was, leaning against a railing, and talking with Allison, or was it Abigail? Bel couldn’t remember. Whoever she was, she was standing way too close to Jonathan. And, Bel could help noticing, her butt looked great in her bikini, and she sure wasn’t afraid to wave it around either. She wished she had that kind of body, then maybe she would have that kind of confidence. She took a deep breath, tugged on her t-shirt coverup and went for it.
Bel strolled over and leaned on the railing next to Jonathan.
“This sure is a great party, isn’t it guys” she said.
Allison, or Abigail or whoever, looked at her and asked
“How would you know, this it the only one I’ve ever seen you at”
“Give her a break” said Jonathan, “She’s got other things on her mind.”
“How’s your portfolio coming along?”
“I’ve got a few pieces that I feel are ready, but there’s still something missing, you know? I don’t feel like it’s a complete set yet."
“Really? I’ve seen your pieces in the studio, and I think they’re great, I mean, I sure as hell can’t put something like that together.”
Abison, Alligail, what was her name anyway, snapped open her phone, and without a single word to either of them, started waslking away, texting, her fingers flashing quickly across the keys. Bel couldn’t help but notice that Jonathan took a not so quick look at her butt as she walked away. Jonathan turned to face Bel, who tought she might pass out and fall into the ocean right then and there. That is if he kept looking at her with those ice blue eyes.
“Why ARE you here?” Jonathan asked “I didn’t think this kind of stuff was really your thing. I mean, it’s cool, you’re here, but why the sudden need to socialize?”
Bel and Jonathan had know each other since kindergarten, making their way though the grades in tandem. They had never really been close, but this last year, in art class, they had started to talk, and found they had a lot in common. Like Bel, Jonathan didn’t really fit in to a single group at school, but unlike Bel, Jonathan seemed to be able to be a part of all groups simultaneously. Bel had always been content with a few close friends over the years. Amy and Piper were great, but like her, not the kind of people who got invited to parties on yachts. Jonathan, however had friends everywhere at school. Until this year, she had only seen him as Mr Popularity. He actually had a lot more going for him. He played in a garage band on weekends, and loved to read classic Sci-Fi novels.
Bel smiled and said “It seemed like a good idea at the time. I wanted to see how the other half lived”
“Oh really? So, have you made any staggering observations about the social habits of this so called “other half””?
“A few, like for instance, there is a direct correlation between the amount of clothing worn by the females and the and the size of the drinks in their hands.”
“Hey, that’s of benefit to us all, know what I mean? Let’s go put one of those drinks in your hand, and you can observe from the inside”
Bel’s heat skipped sixteen beats. Did that mean he wanted her to take off her clothes? Could he possibly want to see what she had under her enormous purple t-shirt? She had chosen the purple one because she wanted to be girly, but not part of the sea of pink she was convinced would be present on the boat. Plus, the t-shirt nicely covered up her thunder thighs. Bel wasn’t the skinniest girl in her class, by far, and she felt better wearing the shirt around all of those pink perfect cheerleaders.
Jonathan led Bel down a flight of stairs to a room with a bar. There was a fantastic view of the sun setting from the wall of windows that enclosed the back of the room. Jonathan handed Bel a drink and said “Cheers” . Bel lifted the cup to her lips and took a big gulp. After all, she wasn’t driving, she was on a boat! They wouldn’t make it back to shore for at least another 6 hours, and that was plenty of time to sober up from one lousy drink. Right? She polished off the vile stuff (it tasted like a cross between cough syrup and gasoline) and before she could protest, Jonathan had refilled her cup and was leading her back out on deck.
Bel felt like she was flying! Here she was hanging out with the hottest guy in the universe, at the party of the century. She was having the time of her life. Her knees were weak. Okay, she thought, some of that is the alcohol talking, what exactly is in these things? No matter, she and her new love were going to find some place quiet. Or so she thought. They emerged back on the main deck where most of the people were hanging out. In the red light of the sunset, Jonathan sat down on a bench and patted the seat next to him. Careful not to spill her drink, Bel plopped down beside him.
They sat there for a while not saying anything. Bel hoped that the sun was catching her mahogany hair in the right way. She’d spent hours that afternoon making sure that it was smooth and shiny, and just right for the party. She hoped that the mascara she’d dabbed on was highlighting her deep brown eyes. She hoped her lip gloss was still shiny and inviting. Finally Jonathan looked at her.