An hour before the party and I was dressed in my choice of clothing and I was waiting for my friends to come and pick me up. It was at the lake, a favorite place for an outdoor bash here in this town. It wasn’t a place I often frequented. I didn’t mind it, in fact I actually rather liked going to the lake, but these parties that would crop up at the lake shore made me nervous. I was not the party type of girl…at least not their idea of a party. All loud music and drama and it frustrated me and I hated it. I took a deep breath as the car pulled up. They had sent someone for me, this someone happened to be Arthur…so in a sense an ally to her at current times, though if he knew about her and Allan he would be disapproving.
I hurried out to the car, being sure to lock the house up, “Hey Arthur.” I said with a forced smile.
“Hello there, you look nice.” I said and got into his car.
“Thanks…you would not believe what Lizzie and Bella expected me to show up in.” I said and pulled my phone out to show him the picture.
“Wow…” he said in shock, “I couldn’t ever imagine you wearing something like that…”
“Maybe as a costume.” I laughed and buckled up, “I plan to bail out early before they try and break out the booze and have me drink. I wanted to let someone know.”
“And you chose me because…” he asked.
“You’re my student counseling ambassador, you couldn’t tell anyone without me getting you into trouble, because I confided it to you.” I said in a cute tone.
He laughed and nodded, “You’re really smart.” He said, “I wouldn’t tell anyone anyway.”
“Thanks, but you know, I gotta be sure.” She said, “It’s safest for me.”
He nodded, “I’m not mad, I’m intrigued by just what a powerhouse you are.” He said.
“Well, I may only have been stated a nation representative a short time ago…but I lived in low income household out in the real world…I learned how to keep myself safe. My mom…made things really nice, but we weren’t rich and we were surrounded by other small houses. It wasn’t high crime, but it was…still hard, you learned how to barter and keep yourself safe from outsiders.” She said.
“So living as a person rather than a nation helped you?” he asked.
“I think so, I saw the modern world as you didn’t.” she said, “I saw the people many don’t.”
He nodded, “That is a benefit, this world isn’t simple…when I was young it was a lot of wars, but it was obvious who could be trusted…” he said.
“If they had your nations crest on their armor.” She said with a smile.
He nodded, “To put it simply yes.”
“I was being simple and vague, I know there’s more and it wasn’t like now, but at the same time…now everyone looks the same, you don’t know if that person in a T-shirt and pants is your
enemy or ally…you gotta make yourself safe and be wary.” Salacia said and made Arthur nod.
“You understand the world in a way that we haven’t for a long time.” He said softly.
I nodded, “But I’m willing to learn from any who will teach me…without expecting sex or servitude in return.” I said, “But that’s hard to find…so I watch.”
“You want a peaceful life.” He said.
I nodded, “And I’m looking for a way to get it…and that way is not with Alfred.” I said giggling to lighten the mood.
“Believe me, I understand.” He said as we continued to head to the lake.
We didn’t listen to music or anything, and we didn’t talk like we were old friends, but it was a comfortable car ride. It was nice to just be able to relax as best I can. I only hoped that whoever was on the ‘extraction team’ that Allan was sending to get me wouldn’t be slow. I began to run through the 2P’s in my head to search for who it could be. They all seemed to be close knit so it could be any one of them. It could be his brother, but that might be too obvious. I settled on it was either Matt or Oliver…not Francois…he was a bit too…well, laid back is a way of putting it.
“So I heard you went out with Switzerland last night.” He commented.
“As friends.” I said and stretched a bit, “Went back to his house and hung out with Lili.”
“He lets you around her without any kind of supervision?” Arthur asked.
“Yeah, says he trusts me.” I explained, “He can tell I don’t have ulterior motives to our friendships.”
“It’s nice to know that you’re a trustworthy person.” He said with a nod.
“Honest and trustworthy are the best policies, but I won’t be walked on.” She said.
“I can respect that.” He said as we pulled in.
I took a deep breath and steeled myself for this party. I was not really excited for this, I got out of the car and straitened my skirt and top before heading off to find Bella and Lizzie and let them know that I was here. I passed by several people who paid no real attention other than to note who I was. I found Bella first.
“Hey Bella.” I said sweetly making her turn.
“(Nick-Name), that’s not what we chose for you to wear.” She whined.
“I didn’t feel comfortable in it Bell.” I said in an honest voice.
She sighed and rolled her eyes a bit, “Okay.” She said, “He’s not here yet, so you can go and mingle, Lizzie is over by the food table.”
I nodded and walked over to show her that I had actually arrived, “Hey Lizzie.” I said with a smile as I walked up.
“What happened to the dress?” she asked after noting my clothes.
“It’s on a hanger at my house, I was not comfortable wearing it.” I told her simply.
She sighed and shook her head, “Okay, well, now we have some sodas and some punch.” She said, “I wouldn’t recommend it yet…it’s too early.”
Of course it was spiked. I decided to avoid it all together for safety’s sake. I decided to try and find a place where I could hide. It would be hard, but I doubted that they would want to do a proper ‘happy birthday song’ moment; I didn’t even see a gift table or anything. I didn’t want to ask, since this was mostly just people wanting to party and not to celebrate my birthday. I sighed and walked around, being stopped by a few nations to talk and them wish me a ‘happy birthday’. Ludwig gave me a new stopwatch for my training. I thanked him, it wasn’t anything special, but it was meaningful from him.
I looked around nervously, I know that Alfred would be here soon with some embarrassing plan to ‘entertain’ or rather humiliate me. I looked out to where the cars were parked and saw his hot rod. I shuddered, so he was here. I felt harassed sometimes. I walked over and got myself a can of soda and took a deep breath I had only been here for thirty minutes and it felt like five hours. I found a log to sit on and catch my breath while the music began to swell and people started dancing. I looked to the side and jumped when I noticed a card left there for me. I picked it up and opened it.
We will retrieve you from this spot at 8:30 PM sharp. Don’t scream or call attention when I grab your shoulder to alert you of our presence. We will take you to meet A to celebrate your birthday as you would rather.
It wasn’t properly signed but the script was very neat. I sighed at least I knew when and where they would arrive. I checked my phone and saw I had an hour left before I would be rescued. I might as well get up and make my presence obvious so when I disappear to sit down it’s not that big a deal because I was being so social and active that it wasn’t like me so I would get tired easier than most. I walked over and saw Arthur alone and he asked me if I was having a good time. I shrugged.
“It’s not bad…but I would rather be someplace where the party for my birthday…was actually for me…” I said, “So far only Ludwig has given me anything, and it might as well have been given to me by a gym coach.”
I showed him the stopwatch.
“But at the same time, I know he means well and it’s heartfelt, so…I’m glad.” I said.
“Well, I did buy a notebook for you, but…this is an outdoor event with no gift table…” he said, “I’ll leave it in your mailbox.”
I nodded, “It’s okay. It’s not like I expected this to be a huge event of people actually caring about me.” I said, “Not much of a birthday party.”
He sighed and apologized again I shook my head. There was nothing to be sorry for.
“So…have you seen or heard from him yet?” I asked nervously.
“Yes I have.” He said, “He said he was thinking that he would do the stripper cake thing for you…”
I shuddered, “I hope if he does I am long gone.”
“That would certainly give him a shock.” Arthur said.
“I just wish he would respect me…” I said with a sigh.
Arthur nodded and gave me a side hug. I checked my phone for the time, still had forty minutes to go. I began to walk off only to have Bella grab my wrist and drag me off. She had a small gift bag to give me. I opened it, it was a cute necklace, an oval shaped locket.
“So you can put pictures of whomever you want~” she said in a leading tone.
I knew that she was either expecting me to put in her and Lizzie or of Alfred. I thanked her; it was still a sweet gift. I hugged her.
“Thanks Bell. I really like it.” I said.
“I know you don’t wear much jewelry, but I thought you would like this.” She said sweetly.
“I do.” I said and smiled happily and put it on.
“Lizzie has a gift for you too.” She said, “I think she’s over there.” Bella pointed off in one direction.
“Wow, for once you two aren’t together.” I teased.
“Come on we’re not joined at the hip.” Bella said with a roll of her eyes.
“Could have fooled me.” I teased and waved as I headed off to find Lizzie.
I checked the time again, thirty minutes to go. And I hadn’t had any contact with Alfred. So far so good. I found Lizzie and tapped her shoulder.
“Hey there, (Nick-Name) I wanted to give this to you.” She said and handed me a small wrapped up gift box.
I unwrapped and opened it, it was a charm bracelet charm, on the front it was her flag and on the back it was Belgium’s flag. It was a friendship charm for the bracelet I hardly wore. I smiled and hugged her. I was wearing the bracelet at that moment because it was a special occasion. I clipped the charm on and smiled sweetly.
“Thanks Lizzie” I said with a happy smile.
“You’re welcome.” She said, “I know you don’t rock your bracelet that often, but I knew that you always love a charm for it.”
“You do know me after all.” I teased and we talked for a moment before she was called on to talk to a few other people.
I began to walk back towards the extraction point. Just fifteen minutes more…then I would be free. And I hadn’t seen eye or ear of Alfred. I was so happy about that. Just as I was about halfway there someone grabbed my wrist and tugged me into a kiss. I gasped and tore myself away from them It was Alfred. I gaped at him.
“How’d you like your gift, babe~?” he purred.
I didn’t say a thing; I slapped him as hard as I could across the face. I had tears in my eyes as I stormed off. Did he really think that was appropriate? Was he kidding me? I pushed past Lizzie and Bella who were both shocked at what had happened. I didn’t want to hear them defend Alfred anymore. I saw Arthur who merely patted my shoulder as I walked past him to that log I had sat on before. I sat down and hid my head in my knees and started to cry softly. That was not right. That was practically assault level. I would have to report him to the school. I planned on it the next Monday. Though I doubted anyone would support me. I just prayed that that extraction team rescued me soon…