t h i r t y o n e

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"ALL OF THESE people are so lucky

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"ALL OF THESE people are so lucky." Hayley says as I lean my elbows onto the round bar table covered in a very nice tablecloth. It felt like a million dollars and I was afraid to spill anything on it. 

I hum and take a sip of my drink, "Because they don't pay taxes?" 

"Because they get to work in hospitals." Hayley explains and I frown in confusion. She sighs in awe, "Hospitals reek of death and grief and depression. So beautiful." 

I reach across the table and grab a hold of her hand, "You are amazing." 

"Thank you, wrestling buddy." Hayley says as we both giggle. 

After dinner, we were all moved into a bigger ballroom that had a huge classical ensemble situated up on a stage and bar tables situated around the edges of the rounded room. The middle of the room was filled with people dancing together and enjoying the rest of the night. 

Hayley and I were standing at one of the tables while everyone else had disappeared to who knows where. Vera was probably face-timing Sam who had stayed back in Holden Bay with Stella. Spencer was probably with her because he has the worst case of baby-fever. He's so adorable. 

I'll see them in the morning anyway. Well, at the rate I'm drinking these vodka martini it'll be tomorrow evening at the earliest. 

"I'm so sorry I got you arrested Hayley. I tried so hard to tell the officers it was just me but they wouldn't listen." I explain as Hayley laughs and takes a sip of her red wine. 

"Are you serious? You really think I'd let you kick Vanessa and her minions' asses all by yourself? I've been wanting to to that since the first day of senior year." She explains with an evil smirk and gives my hand a gentle squeeze, "Over these past two weeks, you've become so important to me Hayden. I couldn't picture getting arrested for the first time with anyone else." 

"That is so sweet." I smile at her before we both start laughing again. I finish off my glass as I stare out amongst the dancing crowd, trying to see if i could spot anyone familiar. I hadn't even seen Chase since the start of the evening—a key factor as to why I was drinking so much. I missed him even though we were in the same room. 

Suddenly Noah sprints over to us, puffing heavily, "I don't have enough pocket space and they just bought out chocolate fondue. Chocolate fucking fondue, Hayden." 

"Uh..." I glance at Hayley who looked equally as lost as I did, "...oh...no?" 

"How tight is your dress?" Noah questions as he glances down at my chest. 

I fold my arms instinctively, "You're not shoving chocolate fondue down my dress, Noah." 

"But it'll be in plastic bags?" Noah gives me a sheepish smile as if it would convince me. His eyes then swivel to the person on my left, "Hayley? Hay Hay? Hails? My new best buddy?" 

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