Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Enemy Territory

"You can't say anything, but Ian almost has a girlfriend!"
"What?" I spat, nearly taking out a pedestrian as I made a right turn.
"Yeah!" said Jen, excitedly, "Her name's Amanda, and he took her up to the cabin for Labor Day with all of us."
"Wait, Ian actually brought a girl home?" I asked, glancing at my GPS to get my next direction. 
"Yeah, you know how that never happens, so he must really like her," Jen said.
"Wow, well good for Ian! Really, I'm happy for him."
Thank Chanel Jen was telling me this over the phone, so I just had to make my voice seem genuine and didn't have to sincerely smile, or try not to death grip the wheel.
"They were on the phone for like two hours the other day too," Jen added.
"You have arrived," my GPS told me as I swung into a parking spot across the street from an aged physics building on the campus of Michigan State University.
"Well I just made it to Sarah's dorm, so I think we'll stop over at visit you tomorrow before I head home. Tell David I hope he feels better," I said, my heart still reeling from the Ian news.
"Sounds perfect!"
"Love you!"
"Love you too!"
And as soon as I hung up I dialed Sarah. This was my first solo trip to visit her at school, and two weeks apart was simply too much to handle, I had missed my best friend far too much.
As soon as I saw her crossing the street, I leapt from my car in excitement. We were going out for a solid night of quality college partying at her school, and I had been looking forward to this all day. After six hours of organic chemistry, four hours of work, and an hour drive, me and my best friend were reunited. 
"Sarah, I have major news," I said, beckoning her into the car.
"What? What? I just talked to you half an hour ago!"
"I just got off the phone with Jen-"
"Oh my god, what?"
"Ian almost has a girlfriend."
"WHAT?" Sarah shouted.
This was why were best friends. Because we could scream our heads off like this together.
And also why we were in the car, and not out walking down the street, or people might actually see how weird we are.
"Well, I bet she's a slut." Sarah said, bitterly and I cracked up.
I was supposed to be over Ian. I really needed to be. But there was still this tiny glimmer of hope at the very, very back corner of my heart...
Now that corner was about to become as dark as the rest of my heart and soul.
"I need to get drunk."

"Burnett's? Really?" I cringed as the guy behind the frat house's makeshift bar mixed my drink, "At least this is the second drink of the night," I said to Sarah.
The perks of living at home: better alcohol. Going from Ciroc to Burnett's was a bit of a shock.
Sarah, her two friends, and I stepped out into a cool corner of the hallway to finish our drinks.
People were friendly up at Michigan State, or maybe, it was better put that drunk people at Michigan State were friendly.
"-I'm Steve," the blonde guy standing next to me held out the hand that wasn't holding a Bud Lite Platinum.
"Xaylia," I smiled back. The guy was decently cute. No Ian, but cute.  I shook that thought out of my mind as fast as it had come.
"You might not want to talk to her when you find out where she's going to school," Sarah said, slightly giddily.
"Sarah! You tell everyone and you're gonna get me shot," I laughed.
"Where do you go?" asked cute Steve.
"Community college," I smiled.
"And she's transferring to UofM!" Sarah cut in.
"Really?" said Steve, a teasing smile playing on his lips.
Michigan State and University of Michigan was the rivalry that divided the entire state of which I lived. And this was not the place to be admitting my future school plans, or risk getting dumped in the river or something.
"-Come up to my room, it's got a killer sound system," Steve was saying.
He was playing my current favorite song as we did a shot of tequila. People seemed to come and go. Sarah kept slipping in and out to call the guy she was currently interested in. Hannah and Meghan, Sarah's friends who had come along with us, kept drinking after I gratefully ditched the Burnett's. Steve kept playing my favorite songs. One guy was drinking tequila straight from the bottle. It all seemed to blur together with the content smile on my face. This was the college life I sometimes wished I lived. Here I was, wearing a cute outfit, with a cute senior guy's arm around me and my best friend on my other side.
Only thing that could be better?
Maybe the alcohol, but you can't have it all.
"You really want to go see him, don't you?" I said, taking Sarah's hands in mine.
"Yes," Sarah sighed, her eyes glinting excitedly.
"Alright, let's go," I concluded.
"Really?" Sarah said excitedly, "You want to go?"
"Why the hell not? The night is still young!" I said, twirling in place as Sarah clapped in excitement.
I felt a hand on my waist and Steve pulled me over to him, "Going so soon?"
"We're popular girls," I said. We had been here a while, and Sarah wanted to go see Caleb, the guy she was interested in.
"I can tell," he said, and I swear my heart stopped when his lips touched mine.
It didn't feel right. I couldn't just kiss a random guy like this. His kiss was greedy, his enchantment with me was just as obvious. But I couldn't do this.
I pulled away after just a moment, and waved a flirty goodbye before following my new friends out of the room.
"Oh my God," I said as Sarah and I spilled out with some of the party onto the lawn, "Ugh, Sarah, I've never done that before!"
"Kissed a random guy?"
"I've kissed two guys ever in my life!"
"Well now you've kissed a third, you've got to kiss a random guy every once in a while, college experience and all that," Sarah tried to assure me, as I doubted my life choices.
Three guys ever. What a wild life I lived. But the other two all had meaning to them, but this... this was weird...
Sarah and I left Hannah and Megan to head to a house party on the other end of campus to meet Caleb. It began to drizzle as Sarah and I held hands and wandered to the mysterious house that Caleb was at. His drunken directions were no help to us, and by the time we had gotten there, the party was winding down and we had ended up going completely out of our way to get to the house.
My buzz was wearing off as a friend of Caleb's, who was badly in need of Proactiv and contacts, kept trying to talk to me. Sarah was off flirting with a very drunk Caleb in the bathroom. The house was quiet, until the arrival of the guys who actually lived there a while later. But it was only so long that I could keep trying to make conversation with these guys and Sarah and I were back walking in the rain and holding hands.
"I'm trying not to judge Caleb on how drunk he was," I said to Sarah.
"He was really drunk," she laughed.
"But he seems to like you, and he is cuter than he looked in his pictures," I said in his defense.
When we crawled into bed a while later, my thoughts turned back to earlier this evening, "I hear that Ian almost has a girlfriend, and a random guy ends up kissing me, what is my life?"
"I really want to know more about this Amanda girl," Sarah said darkly.
"Me too! But I can't find out any more from Jen without looking suspicious," I said. Jen had no idea Ian and I had a thing once upon a time.
"Andrew!" Sarah said at once.
"What about Andrew?" I said, "Oh!" I realized a moment later.
"Andrew would know! He's Ian's brother-"
"They're close, he would tell him!"
"Let's call Andrew!"
"It's 3am!"
"And it's a Friday night, Andrew probably just got back from the bar or something!"
"But, but, Andrew's at his parent's house, which means him and Ian are probably a room apart right now-"
"We've got to find out more about her!"
"Tomorrow, we'll call him tomorrow at a normal hour of the day."
"Ok, deal," Sarah agreed.
"Tonight was super fun," I said, smiling up at the ceiling from the loft.
"I'm so glad you had a good time!" Sarah said.
"Getting drunk with my best friend? How could I not?"

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Past Kisses

I yawned, cat-like, as I poured a coke. I was slightly zoned out as I dumped some water from a pitcher into another glass.
"Hey hey, what's goin' on? Is Dan here?"
Oh fuck. I knew that voice.
I glanced over my shoulder as I placed the two cups on my finger tips and grabbed straws with my other, now-free, hand, "Hey," I said cooly as Ian appeared behind me.
He smiled at me as my manager said something to him and I took that opportunity to slip away and deliver my drinks.
I took the seat I always took when the little pizza place I worked at wasn't busy, in the very corner of the table nearest the entrance to the kitchen. My organic chemistry book was already propped open and I put my feet up on the chair next to me, as the two girls who were working carryout were chatting lightly across the table.
"Is that Ian?" One of them said, suddenly catching sight of him.
"Mmm," I muttered in confirmation, flipping to another page of my textbook.
"Oh my god, it's Ian!" The other girl perked up
"Ian!" called the first girl, waving to him.
I kept on reading about orbital hybridization.
He came over and I pulled my head out of my textbook, "I'm surprised," I said, raising my eyebrows cooly.
"Gotta do it, just need a little extra cash," Ian shrugged.
We shared a look for a fraction of a second before the younger carryout girls began talking to Ian. I found myself transported to back to a bar several months ago...

"That place is like a black hole, no one can get away," Ian said with a voice that would have been considered dramatic, if he wasn't spot on with his description of the restaurant we worked at.
"I'm here until I go to UofM," I shrugged, "and then I'm out. I stay out of the drama, I come to work, do my job, take my money, and go home."
"You're probably the only one that does," Ian said darkly, "I'm never coming back. I'm putting in my two weeks and then that'll be the end of it."

"So Elektricity, pretty intense, huh?" Ian said, turning his attention back to me.
"Good party, not so sold on the neon theme, it's a little trashy, but aside from that, it was pretty legit," I smiled.
"Yeah, it's awesome-"
Our conversation flowed as natural as ever, as if he had never left for London a few weeks after that fated night at the bar. We began telling stories, the two other girls chiming in occasionally as Ian and I caught up on each other's lives for a few moments.
It wasn't until he left that I realized what was odd. When we had been around Jen and Kang, Ian had acted as if I wasn't anything more than his little sister's best friend. When they weren't around, we were... friends. It was like we were two chemicals who were only reactive in the presence of the other, throw any other certain chemicals in the mix and the reaction couldn't progress.
The idea that Ian wanted his job back was one I pondered as my shift continued: would things go back to the way they were before he left for London? Once upon another time at a bar, Ian had told me he didn't date girls he worked with. Not that that stopped him from kissing me later that night, but would I go back to simply being a coworker? Did I want either possibility to open up again? Did I just want to close the chapter of my life that was my hopeless idea that things would work out with Ian? Or was I just in love with the intrigue of the entire situation?
"What the-?" I stared at my phone, the text message on my screen was sent from a person I hadn't spoken to in months. I was in shock at the sight of it. Maybe it was a drunk text... But it was just after 6pm...
And my ex-boyfriend didn't exactly strike me as the day-drinking type.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Being The Hottest Girl In The Room Doesn't Really Mean That Much

It was barely 8am as I strode onto the campus of my local community college. There was a steady drizzle on this particular Monday morning. The second semester of my Sophomore year had begun the past Friday with an exciting filled with organic chemistry, and now I was about to start my week off with calc III.
I couldn't have possibly pictured a worse way to start my week.
A pair of yellow knee socks peeked out from the tops of my black rain boots, and I was wearing a grey skater skirt over a coral leotard. I could have just as easily been on my way to a ballet class as opposed to math class. If I had to describe my style, I would call it 'edgy ballerina.' I took girly pieces to a glam rockstar level with dark accessories and accents.
Fashion was my first love in life. I had a fatal obsession with looking good for the sake of looking good. I don't believe in dressing to impress, I believe in dressing for confidence. I don't dress for anyone but myself and for fashion, if you happen to catch me on a day when I look particularly fabulous, consider it your lucky day, don't take it personally.
I hate where I live. Suburban Michigan lacks any real sense of style. I would dress so differently if I lived in, say, New York City. I would be able to take my style to the level it deserves, I have to remember to keep it a little toned down sometimes, because high fashion doesn't exactly come off as fashionable in this small town.
I daydreamed about going to my dream special-effects makeup school in NYC, and that dream is what forces me to apply myself during the mundane days of college. As soon as I get that degree with my name embossed upon it, I'm out of this small town.
That would be why I was about to suffer through 8am calc III.
I pushed open the door to the classroom to see a majority of the seats filled with familiar faces from my previous calculus classes.
"Xaylia's here!" Two voice chimed in unison, as I heard several hellos called in my direction from across the room.
I smiled around as I spotted my partner from last semester waving at me, and I slid into the seat next to him at the end of the long row of seats. Not to sound stuck up, but for that split second, I knew I had to be the most popular person in the room.
Most popular person in calc III, what an accomplishment.
"Missed me, Mr. Quail?" I said cheerily as my teacher came to the end of my row to pass out the syllabus.
"Oh terribly, I had dreams about you," he said, mirroring my joking tone as we both laughed.
"Nightmares actually," he added as he made his way past me again.
I flipped to the back page of the syllabus, and there was the same information sheet I had filled out last semester when I had Mr. Quail for calc II. Under the question "Why are you taking this class?" I had answered, "Because I have to," and when Mr. Quail had come around to collect the papers, he asked to elaborate. I told him to that I wouldn't be here if I didn't absolutely have to, because I completely hate math, but I have to take far too many match classes to complete my chemistry major. I explained that I was majoring in chemistry because I like science, but I really just want to go to special-effects makeup school and do makeup for a living.
For some odd reason that I don't understand, me and Mr. Quail became very good friends over the semester.
Under "Why are you taking this class?" I wrote down, "Because I still have to." There's another space to tell something interesting about yourself, and last semester I explained my makeup artist plan. I wrote down that I was planning on transferring to the University of Michigan in the winter this semester.
When Mr. Quail came around again to check out our info sheets, I was pleasantly surprised when he offered to write me a letter of recommendation.
"You're the perfect student to write one for," he said sincerely.

There are moments when I think I made the wrong choice in my college career. I had gone a route very a-typical for someone who graduated high school with a very high gpa. I went the community college route, with plans to transfer to get a degree to confirm my intelligence. In the world of effects makeup, having a degree just said you were smart and people were more likely to hire you. My college experience was so different from all of my smart friends'. Literally, every single friend I had went away for school, and this semester, every single friend I made was transferring. They all had exciting stories to tell, and had made great friends, and all I had to boast about was the amount of money I made at my job, and how easy my classes were. I had money and smarts, but I did feel like I've missed out on the college experience. Sometimes this made me sad, but mostly I was ok with it. It was all for the greater good of going to makeup school, after all. I had been born middle aged, I didn't really need the college experience, I could just go straight into the real world and I'd be fine.
All last week, I had been in a bit of a funk. My friends had all moved back up to school and I found myself a friendless loser again. Monday night, my two best friends, Sarah and Ceileigh, and I had had our last sleepover, complete with a touch of shopping, our favorite movies, Applebees, and one perfect new inside joke:
"It doesn't count as a hookup," Ceileigh declared, as I made a reference to my little rendezvous with Ian earlier in the year, "because you didn't have sex."
"Then what do you call it?" I asked.
"A... sexy hot time meeting!"
A few days later, Jen and I had said our temporary good-byes, and she had given me back my hair curler that she had had for months, and then accessories she had borrowed of mine when we had gone out clubbing earlier in the week. It was strange knowing she was going to be an hour away, as opposed to that current 15 minutes. It would be weird not popping over to her house to go get a book or for a quick visit. I would miss the quirks of her house: the great conversations I would have with her mom, or running into Andrew changing his pants in the hallway. I would miss not only my best friend, but her entire quirky family.
Naturally, I was missing my friends far too much, and it had only been a few days, so as soon as calculus ended, I found myself on my way to the mall. Retail therapy was the best medicine after all.

You Only Live Once

I could feel my pulse throbbing through the fingers that were wrapped around the H&M bag like my life depended on it. Adrenaline fueled my power walk across the mall and I had to work to keep the smile from spreading across my face.
This was what falling in love felt like.
I finally owned the knit miniskirt of my dreams. I had fallen unconditionally in love when I spotted it on the rack and I could hardly get to the dressing room fast enough to try it on. It was yellow with black lace over top. Black and yellow were my signature colors, and half of my clothes included some kind of lace embellishment. It was perfect. There was a reason I hadn't owned a knit miniskirt, a college girl closet staple, before I had found this gem: this was the one that was waiting for me, and it was flawless.
I had allotted myself exactly an hour at the mall, from the time I sped into the parking lot to the moment I had to exit whatever store I was in so I could make it to work on time. My time was quickly ticking away as I combed through the racks of Forever 21 with lightning speed. I was 3/4 of the way through the store when I pulled out my phone to do a time check, and I saw a missed call on the screen and a voicemail waiting for me. Andrew Kang.
I sighed, and quickly snatched a navy knit empire dress that had caught my eye, and I bolted to the dressing room. Voicemails made me nervous, if someone really really had something to say they left a voicemail, and if it wasn't important people don't bother. I was running through worst-case scenarios as I started to try on a scarf-print skirt: someone's in the hospital, the truth about Ian came out, plane crash...
The skirt was too short, I needed a medium for the length but I didn't have time to grab another size. I yanked on the navy dress and, my worry getting the best of me, I checked the voicemail.
"Hey Kaitlyn, it's Andrew, give me a call back when you get this."
I don't know if it was possible to leave a more specific voicemail as to the nature of one's call.
I sighed again, and redialed. This dress wasn't working for me, I thought as the phone rang.
"Hey, what's up?" I said instantly.
"How are you?"
I rolled my eyes. Obviously everyone was alive if he wasn't cutting right to the chase.
"Want to go out tonight?"
"What are you planning on doing?" I said, trying to keep the sarcasm out of my tone.
"Well it's Jen's last weekend in Livonia-"
That's right. My best friend was leaving later in the week to go away to school.
"So we were thinking of going out to that club, Elektricity, where Ian works on Sundays-"
I had heard far too much about Elektricity. Ian worked there on Sunday nights for the radio station he worked for, and either he was telling me to come out or texting me while on the job telling me that I needed to come out sometime. It was 18 and up, so I could get in, but a Sunday night party isn't conducive to someone who had an 8:30am Monday chemistry lecture. But this was my one last weekend of summer before I had to embrace 8:00am Monday calc III...
"Who's going?" I asked, checking the time quickly.
"You, if you can, me, Jen, and Marcell."
"Solid, I'm in," I said quickly, "I'm working until close, and we close at 9 so I'll be done by 10pm hopefully, 10:30 at the latest," I began swapping the empire dress for the floral skater dress I had come here in. My time was up.
Kang was giving me some not-set-in-stone details as I began to rush backwards through the store. I didn't fall in love with anything enough to buy it, but I still had the amazing skirt and my earlier Sephora purchases to keep me happy.
As soon as I was on the highway I dialed Jen.
"Jen, I'm freaking out."
"Wait, what? Why?"
"Clubbing tonight?" I anxiously looked at the clock, "I'm on my way back from the mall and I was going to go straight to work, but now I've got to stop home and grab stuff for after work, can I come over to your house and get ready?"
"Yeah, I was just about to tell you to, I'll be done with work by 8."
"And I'm closing so maybe like 10? I seriously can not become aware of these plans at a little after 3pm when I have to work at 4. I haven't touched my hair since I got out of the shower before church and I'm just wearing foundation, you know that when I go out after work I come to work prepared! I'm not at all prepared!" I ranted.
"I'm on my lunch break, so I'm eating, but I'm still listening," Jen said through a mouthful of something.
"That's fine, I just need to vent for a second. Kang left me that dumb 'call me when you get this' voicemail, which could mean someone's dying, or hey, let's go get tacos! I hate that voicemail! I was worrying something was wrong so I called back when I was in the dressing room and now I'm racing home like a mad person, and I don't even know what I'm going to wear! Isn't Elektricity all glow-y and shit? I don't own anything glow-y for going out! Everything is black! Black dresses, black skirts, black tops..." I was having a minor fashion panic attack.
Even Jen couldn't call me down. This was a crisis.

Hours later, I was unloading the contents of my Victoria's Secret tote onto Jen's bed, "So I brought the peplum dress," I unfolded a black dress, "I brought my shorts, a couple tops," I set out my favorite black high-waisted short shorts, a grey sequin tank, a black lace trapeze tank, and a white tank with the names of cities printed in black, and a black peplum top, "Plus I've got my beauty of a new skirt," I unfolded the lace skirt from its' bag, "and two pairs of flats, and heels."
Most of Jen's clothes were packed for school, so she was going in a cheetah-printed day dress. If she wasn't doing neon, I sure as hell wasn't.
"You look good," Jen's brother Andrew nodded his approval as I poked my head out of Jen's room, wearing my new skirt with my black peplum top and black glittery platforms.
With my hair in a messy, rockstar ponytail, I looked mildly hot.
Then Ian called.
And cue the costume change. He said we had to wear neon.
So my black shorts were paired with the white tank. The white tank was slightly sheer and I wore a hot pink bra underneath. In elegant hot pink letters, the shirt said 'I Love' and below in black 'New York, Paris, London, Tokyo." I had already worn this outfit out once already, and with so many awesome going-out outfits, I hated being a repeat offender. But this was as close to neon as my going-out wardrobe got. I favored the dark and the dramatic.
As we parked across the street from the club, we spotted Ian waiting for us outside. I was instantly glad I was wearing my heels. They were a confidence boost in addition to a couple extra inches.
Ian got us in for free and as soon was I entered I cringed. Neon and glow-y was code for trashy in far too many girl's minds. I found myself instantly thankful for my Audrey Hepburn-esq wardrobe.
But I was dancing either way. It was a Sunday night and I was clubbing. Yolo.
As the night came to a close, there was something weighing on my mind. Ian had hardly seemed to acknowledge my existence, short of buying me and Jen shots, and nearly getting us on the radio. I wasn't sure how I felt about that, but there was a tiny part of me that almost didn't care.
I had just danced my ass off, with several hot guys, plus Jen, and Kang, and Marcell. I couldn't recall a Sunday night that had ever been that much fun.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

You're Nobody Until You're Talked About

"We should probably stop talking in British accents or people might think we're a tad strange," I said in the British accent I had perfected years ago.
"Probably a wise idea," Sarah agreed, sounding straight out of Harry Potter as we stepped out of my car that was parked halfway down the block from the final destination of the night. We had already had a proper get-concert-glam hair and makeup session, followed by a delicious Panera bread dinner before we went to one of the best concerts either of us had gone to, and now we were making an appearance at my best friend Jen's birthday party. It was supposed to be a pool party, but the evening had grown unseasonably chilly and damp. The only plus to this was that I had my trusty leather jacket thrown over my shoulders.
My black leather jacket had been with me through everything major that has happened in my life over the past year. I had worn it to my second-ever college party (which had been a lot more legit than the first-ever college party), I had worn it all weekend when I visited Sarah at college with Jen, I had worn it the first time Jen and I ever went out together, and I believe it's the only piece of clothing that a grand total of two guys have taken off of me. It felt good to be reunited after a summer apart.
As we approached Jen's house, I saw her familiar form standing in the doorway, hugging someone who appeared to be leaving. We were a little more than fashionably late, the party had started two hours ago, but I had a feeling there were a few people there who were waiting on my arrival.
"Happy Birthday!" I called as I threw the door open.
"Shhh! My mom's sleeping!" Jen said with a smile as she turned to hug me.
"Happy Birthday, Jen!" Sarah echoed, at a much more appropriate volume.
"Thanks!" Jen said, hugging her as well. Sarah and Jen had met at the Coldplay concert exactly nine days ago, and I had told Jen as soon as she announced her birthday plans that I was bringing Sarah as my date. I was glad my best friends knew each other now, it would make a lot more sense when I told the stories of my adventures with one, to the other.
"Hey stranger," I turned to see Jon, one of Jen's friends, smiling in my direction as Sarah slipped into the bathroom.
"Xaylia!" called the voice of another friend as Jen and I leaned our heads together in hushed discussion. Some things are for best friends' ears only, not the entire party.
"See that guy over there, in the plaid shirt?" Jen said in a hushed tone.
"Yeah," I said, glancing out of the corner of my eye.
"He thinks you're really hot," Jen said.
I blatantly turned and stared at him, "I don't think I've ever seen him before."
"He stalked you on Facebook-"
"What?" my face contorted into an expression that wasn't exactly attractive.
"Yeah, kinda weird, I know, but do you think he's cute?"
I turned and blatantly stared again, "No."
"Who do you think's cuter, him or Kang?"
I bit my tongue to repress the 'neither' response at the tip of my lips and at the exact moment, Sarah returned from the bathroom.
"I've still got to do my birthday shot!" Jen said, heading toward the breakfast nook as Sarah joined us. "You've got to do one with me!"
I glanced at the clock, I would be driving in less than an hour again, but one shot couldn't hurt.
"Hey, its Xaylia, right?" said the guy holding a bottle of Three Olives.
"Yeah! How are you?" I asked conversationally, forgetting the guy's name. He worked with Jen, and one night the two of us had hung out with him.
"I'm good, hey, have you met Bryce?"
Plaid shirt guy was standing right besides him. Why did I have the feeling Bryce's facebook stalking of me wasn't exactly a secret?
"Hey Bryce," I said, smiling politely. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Ian standing casually in between the kitchen and the breakfast nook. He was still wearing the neon green 98.7 staff shirt he had been wearing when I saw him earlier in the evening after the concert.
Jen handed me a shot glass and we exchanged smiles, mine and the one in her hand matched. I showed the "I heart LA" shot glass to Sarah, "Ian got us these," I said, motioning to Jen's, "Jen got us matching shot glasses when she was in Florida, and then Ian broke them, but he got us replacements when he was in Los Angeles," I explained.
I found myself in the kitchen next, giving hugs to Kang, Marcell, and Andrew, and introducing Sarah to the friend's who hadn't met her yet.
"Ring, ring!" Andrew said, leaning over to me and holding his hand to his ear like a phone, "The cheetah just called, he wants his skin back!" Andrew had his I'm-so-clevar smile on as he looked at my pants.
"These are not cheetah!" I said to a rousing laugh from the people near enough to hear, "This is python skin," I said with the air of explaining that 2+2=4 to a small child, as I pointed to my pants.
The topic turned to Andrew's wedding, and he began pointing out the various people that were in the wedding party around the room.
"Sarah," he said, throwing an arm around my best friend, "this is my best man, Ian,"
Ian waved a hello.
"Xaylia," Andrew said, drunkenly motioning to me, "this is Ian, he's my best man.
I laughed and Ian and I caught each other's eye for a fraction of heartbeat, "We kinda know each other," I said just as Ian also said something along the same lines.
Sarah giggled.
"Jen, you've got to open your present!" I said, swinging the Victoria's Secret bag tantalizingly from my fingers. Jen, Sarah, and I slipped quietly back into Jen's bedroom. I never thought it would be such an ordeal to open a present, Jen and I both ended up getting emotional before she even opened the lavender VS Pink zip-up. And the second she actually did open it, she ditched her white lace top for the new sweatshirt and spritzed on the shimmering body mist I had included as well.
"Smell me!" Jen declared, running over to Ian as the three of us rejoined the rest of the party, "And isn't this is coolest hoodie?"
"She looks gorgeous," I chirped from behind Jen's shoulder, and Jen and I exchanged a smile.
"Ian, how was London?" I asked when Jen skipped off to show her sweatshirt off to Gabi, "Glad to be back?"
"It was awesome," he said, "Yes, and no, it's a bit of a reality check being back home-"
We made small talk for a few minutes, I hadn't expected his sister's birthday party to be the best place for cozy catch-up. Before I knew it, Sarah and I had to depart. We made our way around the party, saying our goodbyes before taking our last journey in my car for the night.
"I would say that was decently successful," I concluded thoughtfully when the two of us were alone, "For a first time that Ian really gets to see me in a social situation, I'll take it."
"I give the best birthday present, walk right in and do a shot with Jen, he saw me chatting with Andrew, and had to see how everyone got excited when I walked in," I said with a slightly-sarcastic laugh.
A moment later, my phone buzzed and Sarah checked the text message from Jen, "Apparently Kang and Bryce were fighting over you after we left."
I really laughed, "Perfect! Conclude my evening with guys fighting over me!"
These things are all about making the right impression, and if they're still talking about me, or fighting over me, after I leave then I would say I succeeded. Mission indirectly-impress-Ian accomplished.