Off to Neverland: A modern day Peter Pan story
To never grow old. To never grow up. Thats what I thought I wanted, until I had the option. The faritytale of my dreams, that I'd had read to me what felt like a hundred years ago, was becoming my reality. A boy who I'd grown up believing was just another character in a story book turned out to be the realist thing in my life. But when you're given the chance to turn your back on everything you'd ever known what do you learn about yourself?
-Knock Knock- Come right on in Mr. Sexy
The guests were due to arrive in just a handful of minutes, but where was I? Downstairs ready to greet them at the door? Oh heck no, I was upstairs in my room trying to drown myself in the lyrics pouring out of my head phones. My mother and I lived in a neighborhood of CEO's and stock brokers. Stay at home moms and the occasional mistress. Spoiled toddlers and moody teens. and how did we fit into this equation? We didn't, but don't tell my mom that. She seems to be under the impression that with the right amount of lipstick and duct tape we could actually fit in around here. So because of her false hope every year she decided to host a stupid Christmas party so all the dip wads on our block to get together in one big dip wad party. I of course was forced to attend. I'd been ready for hours in my knee length, strapless purple dress. It's rich color made my already dark blue eyes look like the color of the sky just as the first star blinked it's way into existence, and my extremely dark brown hair look black. The pumps I planned on wearing were laying somewhere on the floor along with the rest of my closet's contents.
The lyrics pouring out of my headphones wrapped their way around my brain and buried themselves in my heart. They told the story of some far off land. Somewhere inhabited by knights in armor, evil pirates, and damsels in distress. And like every other night around this time I wished for that escape. Maybe every teen occasionally had that notion. That longing to skip off into some make believe land full of danger and action, but for me it wasn't just a fickle friend. It was a constant ever-growing, ever-burning desire.
A knock at my door pushes me out of daydream and I land back in the middle of my bed with the smell of adventure still swimming in my head. I scoot off my bed and hook the headphones out of my ears.
"Come in." I call and the door slowly eases open. My mom pokes her blonde head in a grins.
"Oh you look gorgeous!" she says in surprise I roll my eyes at her and she giggles. "Come on downstairs, people are starting to show up and I need you at the door." she says and I groan.
"But mom" I whine and she silences me with a look.
"It wasn't a suggestion. Now put up your ipod and come on." She goes back into the hall only to poke back in again. "And don't forget your shoes." she says and I laugh out right at this.
"Oh yes mom because I would be the one to go to a Christmas party barefoot." I say and her pale cheeks redden.
"Hush up and get your butt downstairs." she orders trying to sound firm but I can tell she's just embarrassed. I salute her and soon I hear her heeled feet clomping down each step as though on a tight rope. After scooping up my shoes I follow suit being even more careful than she. I was the known klutz in the family. Not to mention kind of a jinx. When both my feet are planted firmly on the ground I slip my heels on and prepare myself for the on coming stampede of snootyness. Just when I've got my heartbeat back to normal the first knock comes and it skyrockets again. I hear my mother squeal from the living room and I take a deep breath. They were just people. Just people who had kids that went to my school that would love to start rumors about how much of a joke my family was. Just people who would rather laugh behind our backs then try to become friends. Just people. I make my way for the door just as someone on the other side bangs impatiently. I yank open the door about to scold them when I realize that scolding this very large man in possession of a very large moustache who just so happened to be my mom's boss would be a bad plan.
"Good evening." I say with a smile that he doesn't return. Instead he shoulders past me into our warm home followed by one equally large toddler, and a stick thin woman. "Please make your way to the living room." I say and he grunts in response. His wife pauses beside me and shoulders out of he overcoat. She doesn't even bother to look me in the eye when she hands it to me. Was I a coat rack now? I swallow my comment and close the door.
I wait until their family of three makes there way to the living room before turning to the hall closet and shoving the woman's ugly green coat in there. Maybe I'd get lucky and some moths would eat it. I have to hold back a groan when I hear a knock at the door.
Couldn't I just tape a sign to the front door saying "Come on in y'all and we promise not to pee in your punch!" or would that not be fancy enough?
I go to the door and plaster a smile on my face.
"Good eve--" I'm cut off with a squeal. And I grin. It wasn't just some ordinary dip wad at the door. It was my moms dip wad, and best friend, Margret.
"Aren't you just the cutest little thing!" She exclaims while pulling me into a hug I laugh as she rocks us back and forth. "And your legs have got to be at least a mile long! When did that happen?" she asks. I laugh and open my mouth to answer her but she squeals again. "They must have come 'round the same time you grew those." she says while pointing at my chest. I blush and fold my arms over my boobs.
"Margret stop pointing at my boobs." I say under my breath and she waves a finger at me.
"Audrey, you listen here. Boobs are nothing to be ashamed of! Especially if they're as perky as those. Now you unfold your arms this second so everyone who pleases can look at them." she orders and I can feel my blush as I unfold my arms. When my boobs are back in plain sight her smile comes back and she pinches my cheek. "Good, now where's your mother?" she ask and I readily point her towards the living room, happy to have her annoyingly adorable self out of my hair. She skips off and I turn to shut the door only to find myself face to face with the one family that didn't make me want to pull out my hair.
"Mr. Anderson." I say in the most respectful voice, but you don't know how hard it is to keep a straight face around a man who you'd known for years. He'd been like a dad to me since the time I was a child and he and his family would always hold a special place in my heart. Not to mention his son was my best friend.
"Audrey." He says as his eyes crinkle with a smile. He walks into our home and makes his way to the living room without having to be told. He knew this place like the back of his hand. I mean he'd been here enough. Every time my mother and father had gotten into a fight and my dad had packed up his stuff and left Mr. Anderson had been here. He'd held my mom when she needed consoling and brought tissues and blankets when she'd needed to vent. So you can understand why being formal around him seemed unnecessary.
I turn back to the door as Joshua walks in.
"Good evening sir." I say in my best British accent. He bows until I'm sure his nose is going to scrape his knee.
"Good indeed m'lady." he says following along I swat the back of his head and we both giggle like little kids. When he's back standing up straight he gives me a once over and I sigh. I couldn't wait to hear his assessment of me.
"Whataya think?" I ask him and he snorts before bursting into a fit of laughter. My face goes red in anger and I stomp on his toe. "Get into the living room before I kick your butt in front of all these fancy folks." I say and he sticks his tongue out at me before making his way in the indicated direction.
"I was just gonna say you look really nice Audrey." I roll my eyes at him and point to the living room.
"Go." he does as I say but I can hear him laughing the whole while. I slam the door in frustration caused by his laughter just as someone steps onto the porch. "Oops." I say as I hurry to get the door back open. I open the door to see four very surprised faces. "I am so sorry!" I exclaim with wide eyes. The man in the front of the group is very short. Like he'd be shorter than me even if I wasn't wearing heels and he was really skinny too. To balance out the equation his wife was the size of a very un-mini, mini van. If I were to see them out on the street I wouldn't hesitate to trade a few insults with them but now wasn't the time. "Please come in." I say trying to establish my respectable demeanor again. They file in one by one and I'm able to catch sight of the two people that follow after them. One I recognize instantly. Thomas. I have to suppress the urge to slam the door again. Did my mom really have to invite the dip wad king of dip wads to our party? Thomas was as rich as God and he liked for everyone to know it. He was a total bag of crap. I mean what other description is necessary. I mean I guess with the right lighting and mind set he could be attractive. He had the strong jaw and sandy blonde hair. Not to mention a body most male models would trade their soul for, And those deep green eyes that you could just imagine staring lovingly into your soul as he whispered sweet nothings while you passionately made love. You know if you went for that sort of thing. cough cough Is it hot in here? But like I was saying, he was a total dip wad.
"Hey Audrey." He said in that superman-voice of his. I clear my throat, knowing that if I didn't my responce would come out sounding breathy.
"Hi Thomas." I say, trying to sound as indifferent as possible. He waits as his parents and who I assume is his little sister make their way into the living room to turn back to me.
"You look beautiful tonight." He says as if only a fool couldn't see that. More like only a fool would believe that. I look down at my hands and try to come up with a witty response. He slides his finger under my chin and tilts my face up. "Honestly you do." he says and my heart skips a beat as his minty breath fans over my face.
"Hey douche bag." calls someone from a few feet away. I look up and grin at the sight of my hero, Joshua. "Party's in the living room, and if I'm going to put this nicely you're not wanted out here." he says with a smirk. Thomas snorts but lets his hand fall from my face.
"Oh look who it is. Joshua Anderson. As he swoops in to save the day yet again." Says Thomas with a sarcastic tone in place. He shoves his hands in his pocket but takes a step forward, towards Joshua. "Let me ask you this though, Josh. Did Ms. Audrey look like she needed saving? I mean honestly from where I was standing it looked like she was enjoying herself." he says with another menacing step forward. Even from here I can see Josh clench his jaw.
"Do you really need me to teach you another lesson Thomas? I thought I got my point across last time.' Says Josh and I flinch. I remembered the last time these two fought. And the time before that, and the time before that one. None had been pretty and a few times all three of us had gotten ourselves landed in a jail cell. I take this memory as a warning and hop between them.
"Okay guys can we break this up? It's practically Christmas. How does that song go? He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake? Can't we all just learn something from that song." I say. I'd never been one for on-the-spot thinking and I can tell by the confused looks on their faces that I hadn't improved.
"Santa's not even real though?" says Joshua and I smack him on the arm.
"Hush your mouth before Margret hears you! She'd rather you become a devil worshipper than say Santa wasn't real, and you know that.' I scold and I can practically hear Thomas's eyes roll. "Now both of you get into that living room and behave yourselves." I say and they both do as I say. I turn back towards the door and I feel someone's hand smack my butt. I turn around with a gasp and see Thomas's wink. That boy was gonna get it. With my face still flaming I go back to meet-n-greet duty until finally, after what feels like hours, everyone arrives.
And now the real fun (torture) begins.