Chapter 3: “It’s Traditon.”

Even though I didn’t really like him much at first, me and Nico are sort of friends now. He is nicer when its just us and James or the others aren’t there.

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Today was New years eve and the day of Jason’s big fancy party. I am being forced to go but I was able to invite a friend so Nico said he was going to come. He’s the first real friend I have ever had. The only person who never made fun of my pointy ears or green hair. I told him he had to dress up and wear a suit and he said he would sort it as long as I ask no questions about how he did it. I was dreading the party but also kinda looking forward to it…I just hoped Nico would want to dance.

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“So er, whadya think?”

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Nico was stood in the kitchen posing in his new suit. “I like it. You look all fancy.”

“You look kinda nice a s’pose.”

“Do you want a drink? we have coke and lemonade.” Nico kept looking at me funny. It was weird. Like he would be looking at me and then look away when I looked at him. “Nico, what’s wrong? Why are you looking at me like that?”

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“Like what? Nowt’s wrong Hails. Do you ‘ave any food ‘ere though? am starved.”

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“Do you want to dance? Taylor swift – Love Story is coming on next, it’s my favourite.”

“A don’t dance but…if this song really is yer favourite, May a ‘ave this dance?”

“You may.”

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We were both young when I first saw you.
I close my eyes and the flashback starts:
I’m standing there on a balcony in summer air.

See the lights, see the party, the ball gowns.
See you make your way through the crowd
And say, “Hello, “
Little did I know…

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It was just us on the dance floor, in that moment that song. Nothing else mattered. Nobody else. Just us.

“I thought you didn’t dance?” I asked, Nico’s laugh better than any song I knew. “Just cos a don’t it don’t mean a dunno ‘ow to.”

“Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone.
I’ll be waiting; all that’s left to do is run.
You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess,
It’s a love story, baby, just say, ‘Yes.'”

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“Nico…What’s wrong?” He was looking at me weirdly again. Like he was looking at me and not looking at me at the same time. “Nico?”

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A rough hand ripped me from Nico. “How dare you embarrass me like this at my party?” Jason hissed, If he wasn’t surrounded by people, I would have expected him to hit me.

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“I…I don’t know.” I couldn’t think of anything to say. I couldn’t say I liked the kiss. I didn’t want to apologise when I didn’t do anything wrong and I couldn’t lie and say I disliked the kiss…I also couldn’t get Nico in trouble.

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“You don’t know huh? Get upstairs and get your Pyjamas on.  You are grounded. And I am getting Jeremy to call your friend a taxi.” I hated how he emphasised the word “friend” as though Nico and I were something else…were we something else? As I left to go upstairs Nico grabbed my wrist.

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“So that’s Jason? He is even more of a Dick than I expected. Don’t go to bed Hails, it’s not late and I’ve told Jeremy I am fine to walk home. I’m going to the pier. Meet me at the lampost down the road in like 5 minutes? Please?”

Without thinking I nodded. I WANTED to go to the pier with Nico. I had butterflies in my stomach and I wanted to talk to him again. I even sorta wanted to kiss him again I think…

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I ran upstairs and grabbed my denim Jacket…I could still stay here. I could do as I’m told…but I don’t want to do as I’m told any more. I want to do what I want. I want to see Nico.

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So I sneak out to the garden to see you.
We keep quiet ’cause we’re dead if they knew
So close your eyes… escape this town for a little while.
Oh, oh.

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“Why did you kiss me?”

“uh…yea…sorry ’bout that. James said if a like a girl a should kiss ‘er. And a like you Hails. Like a proper like you. But you don’ ‘ave to like me to. You’re just real pretty an’ nice an a like your ears.”

“My ears?”

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“They’re different. Like you. But not bad different. your like unique an’ yer hair an’ ears an’ that are just real pretty an’ more uniquer.”

“I like you too Nico…And don’t say sorry for the kiss.”

“But it got you in trouble. An’ I don’t ever want to put you in trouble Hails.”

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“You know, we never did finish our dance. I have my Ipod…”

“Will ya sing while we dance?”

‘Cause you were Romeo – I was a scarlet letter,
And my daddy said, “Stay away from Juliet.”
But you were everything to me,
I was begging you, “Please don’t go.”
And I said…
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“Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone.
I’ll be waiting; all that’s left to do is run.
You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess.
It’s a love story, baby, just say, ‘Yes.'”

“It’s only like a minute to midnight.” We had danced for a bit. We’d even played in the sand and the sea but now we just sat watching the stars.

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“You know on midnight you gotta kiss someone.” Nico grinned.

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“No you don’t!”

“You do! It’s tradition. For good luck or somet like that!”

“That’s a weird traditon.”

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“No weirder than mistletoe. Kissing for luck makes more sense than doin’ it cos a plant told ya to.”

I was laughing as the clocks struck midnight and fireworks lit up the sky. Nico leant over and kissed me again. On the lips. And Jason didn’t pull me away.

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You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess.
It’s a love story, baby, just say, ‘Yes.'”

“I think I like tradition.”

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