Jonas comes home that night, so happy. He brings pizza home as well and kisses us both on the cheek as he sits between us, telling us a little bit about his day and then asking us about ours. Later that night when I'm going to sleep in bed and he's just going to bed, he looks through my door.
"Ruby?" he asks, softly.
"Yeah?" I reply, sleepily.
"You're gonna make friends here, aren't you?"
I hesitate. "Yeah."
"You're lying." he chuckles. "Look, there's a really cool party happening tomorrow night at one of the sorority houses. You're coming with me."
I groan. "Jonas, that sounds terrible."
"Well you're not going to be a loner here, Ruby, I don't want my friends to think I have a weird, emo sister." we both laugh in the darkness. "And if you don't come, I'll get Mom to ground you."
"Okay." I agree, reluctantly. "Night."
The next day is all about unpacking and Jonas lives up to his word by inviting his friends over to help. I don't know why I expected them to be super super cool. Well they are really cool, but they're not stuck up at all. There's Clare who tells my mom all about feng shui and my mom absolutely loves it. Clare is quite possibly one of the most beautiful girls I have ever seen. Then there's Clare's boyfriend Jon who is very strong and sweet and funny and he keeps forgetting my name and calling me Sapphire or Emerald or Crystal and apologises every time.
Then there is Jonas' best friend in the entire world, Chris, who is literally the most beautiful boy I've ever seen in my life. He's tall but not lanky or anything, just the right height and lean and muscular and tanned with dark hair, light blue eyes and the most amazing bone structure I've ever seen. I sneakily admire him from afar for the entire day. He really is so cool, extremely nice and very very cool. Every time he bumps into me or almost gets in the way, he'll apologise. He does it with everybody, just because he's a nice guy, but I still blush every time and smile, mumbling an 'it's okay'. It's such a silly little crush, but it's keeping me amused.
They all leave at about seven that night to go and get ready for the party. Everything's unpacked by now so I have no excuse to stay at home.
"You're going to a party?!" Mom asks, excitedly. "Jonas, you're taking her to a party!"
"I know!" he shouts from his room.
"Oh my god!" she grins. "This is so exciting! What are you wearing?"
I shrug. "That white dress we got yesterday, I suppose."
It's a lovely dress. It's off the shoulder and white and flowy down to above my knees. Mom tries to convince me to wear something a little more partyish but I insist on the flowy dress. I'm not going there to make friends or look pretty even, I'm just going because I feel like I should. She sighs as I put on my Dr Marten boots with the dress but then winks at me.
"I'm glad you're going tonight."
"I'm not." I laugh, kissing her cheek. "See you later."
"See you, sweetheart."
Jonas is a terrible driver. Truly awful. He drives so fast. It only takes us ten minutes to get to this party when it should have taken us twenty. We both clamber out of the car and he puts a brotherly arm over my shoulders, leading me in.
This is the first party I've ever been to. It's everything I thought it would be. People are dancing and laughing and kissing and it terrifies me a little bit. Jonas leads me over to his friends who are sat together drinking and talking and laughing. The beautiful Chris is there along with Clare and Jon and a lot of other people. They all look at me and smile patronising smiles apart from the few from earlier who smile normally. I get it. I'm just the weird younger kid at the party who nobody really has time for.