The Last Party

One by one, each of Lilly's friends move away to fulfill their dreams and aspirations. Lilly feels they are all doing this as a sign of betrayal. Little does Lilly know that the truth is far from betrayal.

But once a mistake is made, it cannot be taken back.

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1. Jade

Lilly's eyes were looking straight down at the wooden floor of the train station’s boarding platform. Nobody had realized that her eyes were starting to tear up. There were shouts of congratulations and hugs going around, but Lilly was the only one who couldn't seem to find herself enjoying these moments. Before her first tears hit the ground, she found a hand resting on her shoulder.

“Lilly, I swear I’ll come back and visit! You know I’m always true to my word, so don’t worry so much. Just watch, before you know it, we’ll be having a genuine party, with all of us there, laughing at the good times just like when we were younger!” Jade said, trying to calm her. Lilly looked up and latched gazes with Jade. Jade’s eyes shone with wisdom far beyond her years; there were no doubts as to why she’d been picked to be the headmaster at the University for the Gifted. After being the past headmasters' protege for nearly two decades, she had almost matched her own wisdom, much to the surprise of the headmaster herself.

“Yeah, Lilly! I mean, she is the nerd, after all, and she’ll never break her promise,” Chloe said, adding onto Jade’s words. She pulled Lilly into a deep hug and started to roughen up her soft brown hair with her knuckles. “You know there’s nothing to worry about!”

Their timid friend, Millie, agreed. “Umm... If I can say something... I mean, if that’s alright with you...” Lilly turned to see Millie walking up to her. She nodded at her, a little bit surprised that even after all this time, she was still so awkward around her friends that she felt she had to ask permission to speak. “Um, Lilly, why don’t we ask Jade to promise that she’ll come back?”

As Jade let out an audible groan, Lilly found a smile creeping onto her face for the first time in the last five hours. Ever since she had waken up she had been wearing a frown. She didn’t want to say goodbye to such a good friend. Although the last seven years had been fun, there were ups and downs and loops that life liked to throw at the group that helped strengthen their bond. Their friendship was immortalized between them, and Lilly feared that saying goodbye to a friend would make them never come back.

Despite her groan, a smile had crept onto Jade’s face as well. “Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a knife in my eye” Jade mimed the words as she said them. “I swear, Lilly. Don’t be sad, I really will come back, and you know what? The thing I’ll be looking forward to most of all will be your ‘Welcome Back Jade!’ party that I know you’ll throw for me!”

Lilly shot her an euphoric look. “Do you really mean that, Jade?” she asked.

“Of course I do! I mean, I did Lilly Promise, didn’t I?” Jade let out a small laugh. Lilly suddenly tackled her into a powerful hug.

“Haha, Lilly. Yes, I love you as well. Now, can you please... let go... I... can’t... breathe!” Jade spat out, in between short gasps of breath. Realizing what she was doing, Lilly quickly let go.

“Whoopsies, Jade! Guess I just got a little bit excited,” she giggled, as she wiped the last tear from her face. “I mean, you will be coming back, and there will be a party waiting just for you! With streamers, and balloons, and punch, and decorations! Then we’ll dance while listening to music, and have a good time, and everything will be normal again!” Lilly finished, giggling.

“Uhh... sure, Lilly. I’ll definitely be looking forward to it!” Jade affirmed her decision with a quick nod.

“Now, Jade. I know yer goin’ to be the headmaster and all of some fancy-shmancy university, but please come back to visit yer friends. This group wouldn’t be the same without yer organizational skills and useless trivia! Heck, we wouldn’t even be the same!” Amber said, finally getting her moment. Jade felt her cheeks redden. She attempted to cover them with her hand.

“Aw, Amber. You don’t mean that. I’m sure everyone can manage just fine without me!”

“Now, Jade. We both know that’s not true.  Just then, Rose rounded a corner while holding a black leather suitcase at her side. 

“Jade, oh, how I’m ever so sorry for being late. But I simply can not allow a friend to leave without a goodbye present! Now, I spent all night making these. They’re part of my new summer catalogue, with extra diamonds thrown in. You’ll simply look fabulous in them!” she, while power walking towards Jade. The new headmaster opened the suitcase and took a look inside. She gasped as she saw the contents.

“Rose! These are absolutely beautiful!”

“I know, Jade. They were tailored specifically for you. Would you expect anything less?” the fashion designer asked. Lilly watched as the two friends hugged for what seemed like an eternity. “Oh, darling. I simply hope you enjoy your time in the big city. Be sure to write to me about all of your fabulous experiences!”

“Oh, I will Rose. You don’t have to worry about such a trivial thing like that, I'm sure there will be a post office nearby." 

Lilly sighed, and began to walk away. She didn’t feel like looking at her friends right now, they all seemed so happy, while she was stuck in a fit of depression. It seemed nobody had noticed her leave. Amber was too busy telling a funny story, most likely about her farm, while Jade was fighting back a laugh. Rose was listening as intently as she could, and Millie just watched with a small grin on her face. Chloe was the only one that couldn’t contain her laughter, as she was rolling around on the wooden platform, tears of mirth flowing from her eyes.

How can you cry when they’re so happy? Lilly thought to herself. It just makes no sense! Anyway, silly Lilly, you shouldn’t be so down on yourself! Jade promised she’d come back to visit. She promised! And nobody can break a promise! With this thought in her mind, she walked back home. She didn’t hear Jade call out for her. She was too busy thinking about how she was going to throw that ‘Welcome Back Jade’ party. The one thing she did manage to hear, though, was the whistle’s shrill cry through the early morning quietness, followed by the sound of the train itself departing. She entered her house with a sigh.

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