I know it’s past New Year now but I started writing this short story before NYE and I’m quite proud of it, so I’m going to post it anyway. I’m also (so far) sticking to my goal of posting every weekend (even though I’m posting this at 10pm when I’ve had all day, whoops); this will be the second weekend in a row. Go me!
This story has a naughty word somewhere in the middle (it’s not a bad one. Promise.) so apologies in advance. I hope you all enjoy. As always this story hasn’t been checked/edited by anyone apart from me, and any feedback will be greatly appreciated 🙂
The icicle lights, which hung down from the porch roof, twinkled softly as I walked up the garden path towards my friend Nikki’s front door. The door was solid oak, and, in the centre, hung a green Christmas wreath decorated with ruby red ornament berries. It looked expensive and, knowing Nikki, it probably was. Once I was standing directly in front of the door I had to shuffle the two bottles of rosé and the clutch bag I was carrying around in my hands so that I, at least, had a finger free to ring the doorbell with. As I pressed the bell I heard the buzz mingled with the low beat of music and the laughter of people, who had arrived at the party earlier than I had, resonating from within the house. Nobody’s ever going to hear the bell over all that noise I thought despairingly. I rang the bell again and waited. As I waited I felt a gust of cold wind pull the hem of my little black chiffon dress up behind me. I scrambled to try and hold it down but my efforts were in vain; any passers-by, of which there were a few milling around making their way to New Year’s Eve parties, had definitely gotten a glimpse of my knickers. Oh well, at least I had a pair on I thought, trying to bring myself a little bit of comfort. The cold December wind had also caused goose bumps to rise on my bare arms and legs. Why I thought that wearing nothing but a mini, short-sleeved dress in the middle of winter, without tights or a jacket, was a good idea I’ll never know. I pushed the doorbell again, letting it ring for a longer-than-necessary amount of time this time.
Eventually I heard the lock being turned from inside and the door began to swing open. “FINA- Oh, you’re not Nikki?” I was completely ready to let my friend know how annoyed I was at being kept waiting in the cold for so long, except it wasn’t Nikki who opened the door. Instead, I had just been about to shout at one of the most beautiful human beings I had ever set eyes on. “No I’m not. What excellent observation skills you have,” he replied, flashing me a cheeky wink as he spoke. At that moment, Nikki appeared at the doorway, saving me from the embarrassment of trying- and failing- to deliver a witty comeback. “Oh, Nikki, hey!” I pushed my way through the door and past the handsome stranger to embrace my friend. “Oh my God, Jen, you’re freezing!” she exclaimed, tightening the embrace.
“Well, yeah, I’ve been standing outside for ages. I feel like I’ve been out there long enough to welcome in 2016 now.” We broke away from our hug and gave each other sarcastic fake laughs before Nikki dragged me off to the kitchen.
Nikki’s kitchen was as lovely as I remembered it to be. All of the surfaces were pristine black marble, but it wasn’t a dark room due to an abundance of windows covering half of the walls. The black marble island that stood in the centre spared the room from looking like a huge empty space. It looked extra lovely tonight as it was still adorned with silver Christmas tinsel that sparkled where the light caught it. The kitchen, like the rest of the house, was larger than what would be affordable for your average twenty-something. But Nikki wasn’t your average twenty-something; she was rich. “Here,” Nikki handed me an empty wine glass, “start drinking.” I reached across the island for a corkscrew that had been abandoned by its previous user. I popped the cork, poured as much into the glass as it would hold and took a big gulp. Nikki laughed. “You know, I’m going to make it my mission tonight to change your opinion of New Years’ Eve parties.”
“Okay, but you won’t.” I took another gulp of my wine before asking Nikki who else was already here.
“I will,” she replied confidently, “and not many are here yet, only Katie, Lucy and those lot. Daniel’s here with his new girlfriend. Oh and he’s brought a couple of mates along. They’re all in the living room arguing about who’s going to be in control of the music.” I rolled my eyes and Nikki giggled. We both knew that Daniel would be victorious in that little argument. “So, who was the guy who opened the door, Nik?” Nikki raised her eyebrows and a smirk slowly spread across her face.
“Oh you liked him did you?”
“No. I just wondered because I’ve never met him before.” I knew she didn’t believe me.
“Yeah, yeah, whatever.” Just then the doorbell rang, “oh saved by the bell, Jen. But get some more drink down you and I’ll introduce you to him in time for midnight,” Nikki said before winking at me and skipping out of the room to answer the door.
Ten-thirty rolled around in the blink of an eye and, so far, Nikki had failed in her quest to change my thoughts surrounding the night. There was still an hour and a half to go until midnight but, looking around, I wondered how people were going to make it that long. Daniel was siting crossed legged on the floor next to the stereo, slumped forward with a beer in his hand, whilst his girlfriend was lying, face down, on his shoulder. I looked over at Nikki. She was sitting on a sofa next to the handsome stranger,- who I still hadn’t been introduced to yet- covered in the remnants of multiple party poppers and giggling to herself. Then I looked at him. His hair was a light brown and perfectly messy, and he was wearing a fitted shirt that wonderfully emphasised his broad shoulders. My eyes looked him up and down, drinking him in, before making their way back to his face. Our eyes met and he winked. Shit. I felt my face burning and I’m sure it was now the colour of a tomato. Instead of looking away I just carried on staring, trying to come up with an excuse as to why I was practically drooling over him. Nothing. Eventually he let out a soft giggle and made his way over to me. He sat down next to me and finally, after realising what a complete idiot I must have looked, I managed to speak, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to… err I mean, I wasn’t- “. He laughed, again.
“It’s fine, really. I don’t think we’ve been introduced. I’m Luke, short for Lucas but nobody ever calls me that.” He held out his hand for me to shake.
“I’m Jenny, short for Jennifer but nobody ever calls me that either.” I took his hand and shook it firmly. I felt a tingle envelop my arm as his skin met mine for the first time.
At eleven forty-five, Luke and I were in the kitchen, facing each other and each leaning on an elbow against the marble island. We had spent the last hour or so just talking about anything and everything, from our childhoods, our old favourite school subjects, even about the flowers in Nikki’s garden, which we had the perfect view of from where we were standing. Not that we took our eyes off of each other long enough to admire the shrubbery outside. I think the only time he let go of my hand was when he was pouring me another glass of wine. With around ten minutes to go until midnight, Nikki stumbled into the kitchen shouting, in a series of slurs, that we had to join them all in the living room for the countdown. She winked at me, not as subtly as she had done earlier when she was sober. I looked back at Luke who clearly understood her meaning. We laughed, and I dipped my head coyly. “Come on, I mean it. Countdown guys,” Nikki slurred as she held out her hand for me. I took it, somewhat begrudgingly and followed her, with Luke not far behind me, into the living room. I found it more difficult than I anticipated to walk in a straight line or even stand up straight without wobbling. Obviously I’d had a lot more to drink than I first thought.
In the living room the rest of the party guests were either eagerly watching the TV, or staring at the screen bleary eyed, anticipating the fireworks around Big Ben and the London Eye. It was nearly time. There were so many unanswered questions rushing frantically around my head: will he kiss me? What if he doesn’t kiss me? Do I kiss him? My heart was pounding inside my chest as the countdown began. Then the room erupted as everyone joined in at once. FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE. The sound of a thousand fireworks exploding at once to the roar of ‘Happy New Year’ emanating from the tv sounded as Luke’s lips locked with mine. He kissed me ferociously, he kissed me passionately. He kissed me and didn’t stop. I heard everyone around us singing Auld Lang Syne but he carried on kissing me. When we finally pulled away from our passionate embrace the singing and the fireworks had stopped, and most of the guests had left the room. Except Nikki who was standing watching us, grinning like a Cheshire cat. “Changed your opinion of New Year’s Eve parties then?” she asked knowingly. I looked into Luke’s eyes and smiled. “Yes, I think I have.”