The phone was ringing. It was an incessant, whiny noise. The phone was ringing. Joanna sighed as she studied her music book, and the notes that Mikey had scrawled for her. The phone was ringing. She was home alone and the phone was ringing. She sighed once more, before struggling to get up, pulling up her ripped jeans. She then tripped over her discarded trainers, hurtled down the stairs, and, having not broken anything, herself included, picked up the phone.
“Hello?” she asked breathlessly.
“Hey Jo,” Mia squealed. “How’re you? I’m fine. I’m having a fancy dress party for Halloween. You have to come. It’ll be no fun without you.”
Joann blinked at the barrage of words. “I, uh, yeah ok.”
“Definitely?” Mia checked.
Joanna cringed before she sealed her fate. “Definitely.”
“Great. Everyone’s coming. Emily, Nat, Kelly, Maha, Ev-“
At this point Joanna zoned out, knowing that Mia could go on for sometime. She tapped her fingers against her leg, then studding them for a minute or two. They really needed cutting. Her fingers would slip off the keys of the piano if she wasn’t careful.
“So yeah, and it’s fifties, sixties fashion. Intro of the mini skirt you know. “ Mia giggled at the end of the sentence.
“Okay, cool. I’ll uh, sort sommot out. I’ll see you tomorrow,” Joanna replied, beginning to get restless.
“Okay, laters,” Mia trilled and hung up. Joanna sighed, and galloped up the stairs. Back to music notes in Mikey’s handwriting, back to normality.
I don’t know why I agreed. I think it was cause I’d already put off going to one of their parties since term began and they were beginning to wonder why.
“Yo dude,” Will began as Joanna reached the group sitting outside the school.
“Hey,” she answered, as she sat down joining them. “What’s going on?”
“Meeting,” Mikey told her unhelpfully.
“It’s Rick’s birthday on the first of November, so we were contemplating celebrating on Halloween,” Maria expanded for her.
“And why are we settling this outside?” Joanna asked, her face paling.
“Why not?” Will asked, and looked up at her. “You okay?” he queried, concerned.
“Yeah, but I can’t do Halloween,” she started to explain.
“It’s okay,” Rick shrugged. “We’re having two parties. One on Halloween for Halloween at Mikey’s and then one the next night at mine.”
“But I wanna come,” she pouted.
“If it’s the cheerleader party you have a duty to your team,” Will grinned but she could tell he was disappointed.
I wasn’t being polite. I did really want to go. And I knew for a fact that there would probably only be the one party. Because they weren’t really heavy party people and I knew Rick’s parents wouldn’t let him party two nights in the same month let alone two days in the same week. And Maria’s step mom was nice but strict. So it was the Halloween party or no party at all.
But Will was right. I did have a duty to my teammates.
“Nice,” Maria said approvingly. Joanna smiled shyly.
“You think?” she asked, looking down at what she was wearing.
“Oh yeah,” Maria responded. “Exactly what they said without wearing a mini. Perfect.”
Joanna looked in the mirror that was hung on Maria’s wall once more. She was wearing a black volume skirt with felt butterflies on, a black halter neck top and patent leather pumps. Her hair was rippling down her back in long, jet coloured waves.
Maria smiled slightly. “Shame you’re not coming to Mikey’s party,” she said. Joanna turned to face her.
“I know. But I already promised I’d go to Mia’s party,” she replied despondently.
“Well does us all a favour and have a good time,” Maria said, and then impulsively hugged her.
I was seriously considering cutting Mia’s party and going to Mikey’s cause it was going to be so much better. But I didn’t. I got dressed up like a good little girl and toddled along to Mia’s party on the thirty-first of October.
“I won’t drink, I won’t take drugs. And anyway do you know what that’s implying about my friends?” Joanna asked as her Dad pulled up outside Mia’s house.
“Honey I’m just bein-“
“A Dad, I know,” Joanna finished with slight smile. “Anyway I’m sleeping at Eva’s so I’ll see you sometime tomorrow.”
“Have a good time,” the father called as she got out of the car. She shouldered her rucksack that really didn’t go with the fifties costume.
“Oh My God…” she stopped dead in front of Mia’s house.
I guess no amount of American teen movies could prepare me for a real cheerleader’s party.