229 Days Until Celebration and the Uncertain End (Part 3)
The music pounded from Evester’s room, a room that Heia had assumed he hadn’t touched in years. It reverberated down the halls and shook the walls. Laughter filled in the spaces where the music did not fill, and the smell. It was sweet, liquid, inhibition suspending. Door open, Heia watched as Evester and his friends were preparing for the party. They’d gone over the plan, the four who would go: Robee, Trace, Shawn, and Heia. The triplets, Layla and Andre were to be left to watch the other kids. Endwin was going with, but Europa was staying. They had their ins and outs, plans of the structure of the club where they were going, as well as the house for the after party. Heia knew her part in the plan and this: this was not a party.
EverDanger danced through the room, sipping out of bottles and singing along with the music. Evester was looked over Endwin a few times before pulling his brother up from the chair. Kim gave Endwin a thumbs up while Phil made a comment that Heia could not make out, causing EverDanger to laugh. They were dressed up in what Heia had to assume was party fashion for the high class, bright colors or blacks, make up and adorned in interesting designs of neon color that glowed under the black lights of Evester’s room. Their eyes were electric. Their hair was done up into simple styles with jewels, or colors placed into the strands that made it seem to shimmer under the changing lights.
The girls were as eccentric as the boys, each with their own style. Singing songs, laughing, listening to the beats that were far extreme to the music she knew from home. Kim’s eyes landed on her.
“The X’s have arrived.” Kim announced and as soon as she had, all eyes were on them like vultures.
“There is no way they can wear that.” Rayda held out the bottle to Crass. “What do we have for them to try?”
“I brought extras.” Kim answered. “From Onyx and Lynx things.”
“That’ll work for Heia and Trace, but Shawn? Crass you have stuff?” Phil asked.
“I do.” Crass answered tossing Phil is bottle and sliding over to bags of clothes, haphazardly. EverDanger was graceful in a different sort of way today, smooth, but a bit tipsy.
“Robee can borrow Evester’s old clothes,” Endwin suggested.
“How kind.” Evester lightly punched his brother. “Offer my clothes.”
“You aren’t wearing them.” Endwin was not sober, Heia realized, based on the soft smile on the man’s lips.
“True.” Evester shrugged and walked towards his closet as Kim pulled Heia to the room. Lynx and Kim helped Heia into the oddly constricting, but breathable clothing. Heia heard the others being crowded and helped, the protests of her sister and brother as they demanded space. Shawn who mumbled and took the clothes to change. Clothes, then hair, then makeup, one after another after another until Heia stood looking at those she knew her whole life, questioning if they hadn’t been replaced by actual Circles.
“Good.” Evester handed her a bottle.
“What?” Heia took it.
“I’m not drinking.” How could any of them be drinking? This was a heist, a risk, danger… EverDanger knew better than to act this recklessly.
Evester shrugged at the words and walked a bit away. The laughter, drinking, conversations on random stuff, continued. Heia handed the bottle to Shawn, before racing after Evester. Clothes? She could understand. The alcohol? She could not. Spinning Evester around Heia faced him. “Why are you getting drunk?”
“Not drunk.” Evester rolled his eyes.
“You are drinking.”
“You have to get ready for the party, Heia. We aren’t drinking while there, or if we do, very little. If we show up already out, then it’ll be easier to pretend when everyone else gets out of their minds. Less will suspect us.” Evester’s words were slurred, but the logic was sound. Heia could not debate that.
“So you are getting drunk.” She still was angry that they were drunk and not simply acting.
“I’m not drunk.” His words slurred a little more, which made her believe him less.
“We have a plan.” Heia’s words were cutting over all the noise now, as conversations died.
“Who knows Circle parties? You or me?” When she didn’t answer he placed his hand on her shoulder. “You know the deal. You don’t take or drink anything that doesn’t come from the bar to your hands, and at the after party, you do not take anything. The best plan is to not drink at all, and only to do it now.”
“But you will.”
“I will be fine. You? Not so much. Trust me.”
Heia had never liked this plan, not ever. She was trusting Evester with his crazy plan. She had decided to trust him by coming here and doing this with him. She had to believe that there was a rhyme and reason to this madness, even if she couldn’t see it.
Evester walked off, laughing and declaring that they needed to teach all the X’s how to properly dance like Circles, and to introduce them to common songs. Songs that he didn’t even know, as Kim pointed out. They made their jokes, and deep in Heia’s gut she wondered if this was going to work out at all.
Sorry this took so long to get out. I am a failure, I know. See you next week.