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Fireworks: A Short Story


Tonight, would bring a new year and a new start but right now it was all about these two people before the clock was to strike midnight. This is the story of a boy and a girl and how they would start to fall in love.
Holly had been forced to the party by her friend. It was the Christmas holidays and they were both home from university. It’s not that Holly didn’t like parties, it was just that she didn’t want to be at this one. With people that she didn’t know and where her friend, Jess would inevitably leave her to mingle with others.
Leaving also was not an option, Jess had asked her to stay the night and there was no way that she would leave London. At night. On New Years Eve. That seemed like her worst nightmare and something that she would not think about.
Instead, she had gathered all the snacks in the flat, mainly cheesy Wotsits and had locked herself in the only quiet room in the house, Jess’s room. The only room that was free and locked after she had given strict instructions not to let anyone in.
“I am not letting anyone have sex in my room,” was her response and Holly could understand why. No one wanted anyone to have sex in their bed. New Years got crazy so who knows what would happen.
It was half 11 and Holly had had enough, people were getting drunk, too touchy and not something that a sober person would like. The music was pounding although the room was sealed, and no one could get inside but people tried. Jess must have had too much fun, Holly hadn’t seen her since 11 but she had blocked her out of her mind.
“HI, IS THIS THE TOILET.” Someone shouted from outside the hall, trying to be heard over the music.
“Keep going down the hall. It’s on your left.” She replied.
“IT’S LOCKED. IM GOING TO BE SICK.” The voice responds.
“Not my problem,” Holly answered, hearing the gradual person be sick in the corridor outside. Holly was slightly disgusted, this was giving her more reason to not leave the room.
Holly checked her phone, went on Instagram and saw all the people taking pictures. Everyone looked so happy and many respects she was, she had Wotsits and that was all a girl needed. Another knock on the door jumped her.
“Hello,” a voice echoed through the thumping music.
“Toilet is down the hall, on your left,” Holly replied.
“Em, I’m not looking for the toilet, I’m looking for somewhere quiet.” The voice responded.
“Not my problem. This room is taken.”
“Please. It looks like someone was sick out here.” He stuttered. “I have anxiety, please, I can’t really take much more of this.”
“Fine. You can come in.” Holly got up and opened the door. Outside she saw a nerdy looking guy, he was wearing glasses and a Star Wars t-shirt. It wasn’t exactly New Year's attire, compared to her purple sparkly dress.
“Before you come in, what’s your name?” She said munching on some Wotsits.
“T-Tom.” He stammered a little. She wasn’t an amazingly attractive girl, but he was still taken back a little even though she had Wotsits around her mouth. “I’m a friend of Molly’s. At Uni. She said you might be in here.”
“OK Tom, come in. She mentioned me?” She patted on the bed suggesting for him to sit next to her. Instead of sitting next to her on the bed. He went to sit at Jess’s desk instead. Holly wasn’t offended. He looked quite flustered so it was understandable.
“Yes, all the time. She said I would like you. We have the same interests apparently.”
“Like what?” She waved her hand, gesturing for him to speak, trying to make him feel somewhat comfortable.
“Doctor Who? I'm guessing that you are excited about the new doctor?” He asked, hesitantly as he was really unsure, afraid as she seems quite standoffish.
“Yes. Doctor Who. Figures.” She was trying to gage him. “Always down for a female doctor. It’s about time.”
He laughed softly. “Yeah, true.” He didn’t really know what to say.
His comment hung in the air. Clearly having things in common was not the key to a new relationship, platonic or otherwise.
Holly didn’t care. I mean why would she. This was her space whatever this boy might want. He was there because he had anxiety which was fair. She wasn’t going to let him suffer outside. It was by this time that they had just accepted the silence. It was a party and they were together. Talking or not.
Holly was normally asleep by now. She watched the rerun of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that ITV play every year and then slept. She was one of those people that dreamt of the movie screen kiss that surrounded all the Hollywood films on New Year’s Eve regardless of how cringey they would be. Too that she would tell anyone about it though. She had to keep up the hard exterior somehow. She was a softie really.
 She looked at her phone. 10 minutes until the countdown. She could go to sleep but Tom was in the room so that was out of the question. She was very aware that he was still in the room. Looking slyly at her phone she could see that he was looking at his phone, scrolling through some social media. Not that she could tell what it was. She was trying to be discrete.
She was worried about him. Surely if you had anxiety and felt uncomfortable, you should go home.
“You know you can go home right?” Holly asked.
“I mean, I could but I don’t think that I’m going to get back to Kent on New Year's Eve.” He said so quickly that he stopped. Why had he spoken to her so casually? This was so unlike him.
 “You are staying over then?” Holly asked. This had to be the only explanation.
“Yes.” He replied not wanting to overstep his welcome. “I’m guessing you are too?”
“Yes. If not, there is no way that I would still be here.” She replied. “You know I’m not even into parties. I just did it because I haven’t seen her in since starting university and I haven’t even seen her.” She laughed. “What’s the point? I didn’t imagine that I would be stuck in a room with a boy I met 10 minutes ago eating Wotsits.”
He laughed, “Yeah I didn’t think this would happen either.”
They both laughed. It’s funny how faith can drag two people together.
Tom got up and sat on the bed. He started to feel more comfortable around her. She wasn’t as scary as he had first thought. “You have Wotsits on your face.” He pulled some tissues out of his pocket. “Here.”
“Oh.” She said, taking the tissue from him. “You see this wouldn’t happen if women’s clothing had pockets.” She giggled nervously and tucked a piece of hair that was loose behind her ear. She always did this when she liked someone.
Distracting herself from that moment, she looked at the time on her phone. 5 minutes to Midnight. She got up and opened the curtains to the room. Tom followed.
Fireworks had started going off. “A bit early.” She said. “Five minutes to go. They're pretty.”
“Yeah, I’ve always liked Fireworks,” Tom replied.
“Cool,” Holly replied, not really knowing what to say. It was weird although they were not in Central London. They could still see all the landmarks that made London well London. Canary Wharf. The Orbit of the Olympic Stadium. It was nice seeing it like this. It always reminded Holly of home.
“So how’s the view?” Holly asked.
“It’s good. You don’t get to see this in Kent.” Tom replied.
“Isn’t Kent called the Garden of England? Must be some good views there?” Holly cautiously responded.
“I mean, Yeah. But there’s just something about London.” Tom said.
“Yeah, there definitely is,” Holly replied. “OK. So this might seem rash. Like really fucking rash. But it’s almost midnight and we are here. Together. Do you see where I am going with this?”
“Yes?” Tom replied.
“Look. I am never normally this forward. But in two minutes it is going Midnight. A new year. New ideas and I kind of like you.”
“OK, Holly. This is extremely sudden. I mean. I’ve known you for what 30 minutes.”
“I’m not saying I love you. That’s mental. I have literally known you 30 minutes. I don’t want your babies. I just want to kiss you.”
“OK. Just so we are clear.”
“So you will do it?”
“Yeah, why not.” The countdown started playing in the background. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
“Happy New Year, Tom.”
“Happy New Year, Holly.”
Holly kissed Tom. Their lips touching but no one going the full way. They hadn’t really discussed tongues. There were faint echoes of fireworks in the background. It was obvious that this wasn’t the kiss that Holly had dreamt it would be. But when was it ever? It was a girl kissing a boy she liked on New Year’s Day. It was a new day. A new year. A new beginning and they didn’t know where it was going to go.

To Be Continued….


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