A Date for Midnight (The Dating 1) - Page 7

I knew from the moment I tripped over the amp cord and busted my knee open she was my angel. She, the cute brunette with brown eyes full of caring and expression, expertly cleaned and bandaged my knee so I could perform. All night, every song I sang, I looked directly at her. The next Monday at school, I made sure to stumble and fall, right in front of her. It was sly, but I knew no other way to get her attention. My clumsiness worked and we started dating—right up until August after we graduated high school. By then, I had a following. During the middle of our senior year, some media student asked if he could make videos of me performing. Sure, why not, I had nothing to lose. He helped me create a video channel and overnight I had thousands of people listening to me sing. By weeks end, I had a million followers and several offers from labels and agents.

When you’re eighteen, you shouldn’t have to face life altering decisions. I wanted to, but never asked Natalie to come with me to Los Angeles. She wanted college and never asked me to go with her. Back then, maybe I would’ve. Ask me today, and the answer is yes. I would’ve followed her anywhere knowing what I know now. Life’s funny that way.

The elevator doors open one floor above where Natalie is. I pull up Jordan’s text and look at the number. It’s obvious by the loud music playing. “Low key, my ass,” I mumble as my knuckles wrap on the door in quick succession. It swings up, the person on the other side is holding a beer and his eyes go wide.

“No fucking way . . .”

Yes, fucking way.

“. . . when Jordan said . . .”

The guy doesn’t finish his sentence. Really, what’s he going to say? Jordan is a liar? Not likely. While I don’t keep in touch with many friends from high school. By many I mean more than one, Jordan has always been a good friend to me. He doesn’t care about my life, my status or any of that shit. He cares about me. I spot him across the room and head in his direction. He puts his arm around me and introduces me to the woman he’s speaking with, Carmen.

She shakes my hand, a dainty and not firm shake. She bats her eyes, her long fake lashes looking like butterfly wings and I want to ask her if she has something caught in her eye. She puckers her lips, almost as if her drink is sour.

“Nice to meet you,” I say to her. I’m polite, even if my thoughts aren’t.

“The pleasure is all mine,” she purrs. I feel my lips form into a thin line as I nod. Great, perfect.

“I’m going to mingle,” I tell Jordan. I’m not, but standing here is not an option either. I take the six-pack I bought into the kitchen and open the fridge. There are multiple buckets of ice with bottles, cans, different kind of drinks, and bottles of champagne spread around, but I prefer mine out of the refrigerator. It’s safer this way.

After taking a bottle from the pack, I pop the top and slip it into my pocket. Call it hazards of the job and whatnot. Aside from the loud music, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of people here. Maybe as it becomes later, more will show up. With my beer in my hand, I survey the apartment. It’s nice, with a great view and some classic artwork on the walls, which interests me. While it wasn’t how I thought I spend my New Year’s, it’s better than sitting at my parents, alone.

I peruse. Check out the art, and look—but don’t touch—the decorative vases and such on the tables. Whoever lives here seems sophisticated and if I had to guess probably holds a nine-to-five in the banking district, especially to be able to afford a place like this.

The apartment has an impressive view of the harbor. I try to count the boats out there having parties but lose track after ten. It’s crazy how people in New England treat storms. The nonchalant attitude of “eh, it’s just snow” doesn’t deter anyone from changing their plans. Evident by my parents going out and the boats anchored not too far from shore.

“You’ll be able to see the fireworks from here,” a voice interrupts my thoughts.

I turn slightly to find a well-dressed woman standing beside me. She has one arm crossed under her breasts and the other holds a glass of white wine. “Jordan told me he invited you. This whole time I thought he was kidding when he said you were friends.”

“I’m assuming this is your place?”

She sighs, drops her arm down to her side and looks over the party. I follow, wondering what she sees. “It is.” She looks around and smiles. “The view makes the price worth it.”

Tags: Heidi McLaughlin The Dating Romance
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