632 - Emma
Despite me not wanting much of the attention to be on me, I've managed to make myself look gorgeous in a way I haven't felt before, which makes it hard for me to keep my eyes off of any reflective surface. The black dress I've put on is tight, but in a way that it hugs me in all the right places without accentuating other parts of my body I don't want to be seen, and I even managed to do a pretty okay job on my make-up.
It promises to be a good night. With two of my favourite men bartending, a piano and a lot of my favourite people showing up not long from now, I'd almost forget about all of the nerves I felt before.
"Now, did you get my playlist?" I look over at Charles. "And will it play all night, no funny business?"
My brother used to hate my taste in music, and made a game out of interrupting playlist I put on with bad songs mixed in between, so David Bowie would suddenly be followed up by the Venga Boys.
"All I need to do is press play," he chuckles, "and I only added one bad song to the queue."
People are slowly piling in, and for once in my life I'm glad not everyone shows up at once. It's Kenna and Tom first, because they'll probably also be the first to leave with Kenna's growing bump needing a lot of rest and attention. Not much later, my other girl friends show up. They're all looking like absolute models, and after some short talk about how much we've missed one another and how sorry they are for what happened, I send them over to the bar to get drinks from Charlie, banning the topic of our child for the rest of the night.
Brie is next to enter the building, dressed to the nines. I haven't seen him in ages, his reuinion with Lucien all happening without me being there.
He wraps me in a big hug as soon as I open my arms for him, and he rubs my back gently. "Thank you for inviting me."
"Of course," I smile. "Couldn't celebrate without you."
"Sorry about...," he waves his hands around, "everything, you know?"
"You've been forgiven entirely," I smile, one of my long nails poking his cheek. "Not in love with me anymore, then?"
He chuckles, though a little akwardly. "No, not anymore."
"Good," I fix some of the creases in his shirt. "Then this whole shit show has at least caused something good to happen."
We both laugh, though filled with relief and pain at the same time. "I did get you a present," he shrugs, "put it on the gift table, as requested. Lucien explained that you felt awkward unwrapping presents in company, so I've given him the receipt as well, in case you want to return it."
"Much appreciated," I peer over at the table, which is now slowly filling up with gifts, making me feel loved but spoiled at the same time. "Now, my brother does a mean Cosmopolitan. I know you love those."
Being in the Griffin with some of the people I love the most truly is special. Eschieve and Beth are dancing together to the Arctic Monkeys song that's playing, whilst Daniel is chatting to Matthew at the bar. Bree, Elizabeth, Pearl and Isabella have split up, and whilst the two blondes are talking to Selene, Bree and Pearl have taken it upon themselves to nag Charles until he'll make them a mojito, which is known to be the most annoying cocktail to make - exactly why they want him to do it.
"Enjoying yourself?" I am stood in the corner, taking in the crowd of very different people that have gathered here to celebrate me when I hear Lucien's voice in my ear.
"Very much so," I smile, sipping on my cranberry-vodka drink, the most basic of all but very enjoyable, going slow on the alcohol today. I want to remember this birthday, see it as a fresh start. "You've done a great job."
"All I did was follow your orders," he smiles, "but I'll just take the compliment."
"Wel, you followed orders well," I lean my head on his shoulder lightly, peering up at him through my lashes. "All I'm waiting for now is a song."
"On the piano," I shrug. "I've already seen some flairtending - Charlie's quite good, considering he didn't start learning until recently. But I'm dying to see you play again. Something... special, yeah?"
He smiles. "I'll try my best."
The song playing fades away, and in comes a new song that I'm sure wasn't in my playlist, meaning it's Charles' choice of playing with me for tonight.
Lucien raises an eyebrow. "Why are you staring at your brother like that?"
"Because this used to be my favourite song when I was an angsty teenager," I smile, "which means I'm going to pull Charlie from behind that bar right now and we're dancing."
It's been a while since I've been this out of breath, as it turns out dancing to shitty emo songs gets harder when you get older. The music has returned to normal, and thus most of our guests have gone back to their usual ways.
I've even danced with Brie in the mean time, and Eschieve, and Beth. We've all done a round of shots, which didn't hit me as hard as they usually do, which means the hangover tomorrow will be killing, and Matt has already twirled me around to one of The Kooks' songs.
Now, I'm leaned against the bar, sipping a ginger ale - trying to stay as sober as I can whilst still enjoying the buzz that alcohol brings, watching Lucien get bothered by my best friends. It looks like they want him to dance with them, and knowing Lucien, he's playing hard to get. I put my drink down and make my way to my boyfriend, tapping on Isabella's shoulder.
"Ladies, if you don't mind..." I smile, "if he's dancing with anyone tonight, it should be me."
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