Party People imageI don't usually go to parties, but here I am. I tell myself I'm here for Brianna. She's my sister and she invited me--probably, if we want to be honest, because Mom took her aside and talked to her about how people feel when they're left out. Maybe Mom's right. Maybe there's a bright, happy kid somewhere inside of me waiting to get out, like the ones in fifty-year-old men that make them go out and buy red convertibles. But I don't think so.

So I'm not really here for Brianna, although I know she truly does want me to be happy. My little sister, queen of the lost causes. She used to try to convince Dad to let her get a puppy, with no better luck.

So why am I sitting here, drinking coke, watching cheerleaders and jocks play Twister? Maybe it was some kind of morbid curiosity that made me come. Maybe I wanted to see what these people--happy people--do on Friday nights. So now I know. They eat and drink and play games and talk. They tell sad stories they think are funny and funny stories they think are sad, and a football player with sandy hair tells jokes while cheerleaders giggle and yell at him for making them fall over. I sit and stare into my cup and wonder if they're always like this or if they all got stoned somewhere else before they came.