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How New Year's Was (standard:other, 0 words)
Author: AJAdded: Jun 04 2001Views/Reads: 1968/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A group of friends spend their New Year's Eve at the east river...
 



“I love everybody!” The drunken shout drifted across the river and
reached us as a whisper.  The source was visible, lit up like a 
miniature sun on the inky water.  People spotted the deck of the party 
boat.  A few bars of quiet music crept ashore, then retreated, and were 
washed back to us.  “Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1999.” 

George was sprawled on the bench, his gold cardboard, red feathered
tiara askew on his blonde head.  Hilary leaned dangerously far over the 
railing; her face lit up by the muted boat, gazing at the bridge and 
the city.  Her shiny black plastic top hat had ‘2000’ inscribed on it 
with silver glitter. 

I lit the tip of the already charred stick and doodled on the concrete
beach with the crumbling black remains.  We could hear Ceetee’s 
high-pitched laughter from the unlit basketball court.  She was trying 
to play Frisbee in tight leather pants with a group of boys she’d 
attracted to the East River.  The basketball court was as dark as the 
inside of a Magic 8 Ball before your fortune surfaces.  The only light 
was the glint of Ceetee’s fake jewel encrusted, pointy princess hat and 
the liquid serpentine twisting of its white ribbon. 

“George, are you alive?”  Hilary asked repeatedly, at intervals of about
five minutes.  He didn’t answer, but he stroked my hair with his hand.  
“Shit!” Hilary exclaimed, as her top hat fell into the dark water, 
shedding glitter.  She plopped down on George’s legs, pouting.  “I 
liked that hat.” 

I reached into my purse and took out my pink and purple sparkly crown. 
I tossed it onto Hilary’s lap.  She made a face and yelled, “Ceetee!” 

A few minutes later, Ceetee stumbled into the relative brightness near
our bench.  Her breath filled the icy air with little puffs of white 
steam.  She tripped.  The mixture of vodka and high heels affected her 
balance. 

Hilary prodded George.  “Go help her, George.”  When he didn’t budge,
she poked harder.  “George...” she whined.  He didn’t move.  Hilary 
carefully positioned my crown on her head and walked over to Ceetee.  
She dragged Ceetee to the bench and dumped her onto George.  Then she 
sat next to Ceetee, on George’s back. 

“Ceetee,” Hilary said, “Truth or Dare?” 

Ceetee shifted her position on George’s bony ass, which Hilary
interpreted as “Dare.” 

“Okay, Dare...” Hilary mused.  “Marj, help me think of one.”  I
shrugged.  “Okay, Ceetee, I dare you to climb over the railing and hang 
by your hands for ten seconds.”  Ceetee began plucking at the fake 
feathers on George’s tiara.  “Ceetee, are you turning down the Dare?”  
Hilary asked.  “Okay then, George.  I dare you to...kiss Marj.”  She 
smirked, but her eyes darted from me to George nervously.  I had to 
smile, because I knew that she wanted to be the one to kiss George.  I 
reached up and touched my mouth to George’s slack smile.  He nibbled my 
upper lip and I laughed into his teeth. 

“All right, enough,” Hilary said, with a clenched jaw.  We ignored her
for a moment, and then George broke the kiss to continue his search for 
split ends in my hair. 

“Your turn, Marj.”  Hilary poked me with the toe of her shoe.  “Truth,
right?”  She knew I never chose Dare.  At least with Truth I could lie. 
 “Who do you like best, me, Ceetee, or George?”  She put unnecessary 
emphasis on “George”, and I could tell she wished I would reveal some 
secret crush.  In reality, Hilary was the one with the crush on George. 
 Her face was pink from the cold, and underneath my crown, her long 
maroon hair was tucked into the collar of her winter jacket.  Her 
eyelashes were the same shade of red as her hair.  It always fascinated 
me that Hilary had red eyelashes.  “So?” she insisted eagerly. 

I tossed pebbles from the gravelly pavement into the water.  From my
angle, I couldn’t see them hit the river, but the small ‘plunk’s they 
emitted on impact were satisfying. 

I stood up, and George released the fistful of my hair he’d been
examining.  “Marj?”  Hilary still expected me to answer her question.  
Well, I could tell the answer would become clear soon enough.  I walked 
away from the bench, gripping the cold metal railing with one hand.  I 
turned around.  Ceetee was struggling to her feet.  She kicked of her 
cumbersome shoes and dove back into the depths of the basketball court; 
her hat winking after her body was no longer visible. 

“Ow!” Hilary yelled, as George arose, and she hit the ground.  My crown
toppled off her head and into the river.  “God damn it!”  She pulled 
herself up, using the railing, and watched the cardboard crown sink as 
it drifted. 

George took my hand and we walked.  “Happy New Year” he whispered.  I
smiled. 


   


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