Chapter Seven, Party Time!,of A Love From Above, Free Christian E-Novel

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PARTY TIME!

Chapter 7


There were two different graduation parties going on tonight, Denise knew, one which was parent/school sponsored, and one some of the students decided to put together. Denise was surprised when Jon pulled up at a large house on the edge of town. She hadn't bothered to ask which party they were going to, assuming it would be the one highly advertised by the school newspaper, which was held at the local Community Center.

The yard was well lit. but so many cars were parked there already, that Jon had to drive around the block to find an empty parking space.

"Who lives here. Jon? I'm not very familiar with this part of town," Denise asked curiously.

"I think the Benson's. You know Gloria Benson, don't you?"

"I recognize the name, but I'm not sure if I know her."

"She's cool. you'll like her," Jon replied.

Music drifted from the house, and laughter, audible even out to the parked car. This was going to be a night to remember, Denise thought with excitement, and a heady sense of adventure. She felt so mature, so privileged, getting to go to a private graduation party, and she was only a sophomore!

As they approached the door to the house, Jon was saying, as he held her hand tightly, "Babe, are we gonna have fun tonight! Man, we can cut loose! I'm sure glad that stuffy ceremony is over. I couldn't wait to get out of there!"

"I know you must have been nervous, but, it's all over now. At least for four more years," Denise answered. "Then you'11 have to go through it all again!" They laughed, and Jon squeezed her hand.

"Yeah, but that one will be a lot different. I'll have my degree in Business and Accounting, and I'll be set for life!"

"You sure don't look like any accountant I know!" Denise remarked, as she thought he looked more like a movie star or country singer type!

The door opened just as they reached the step, and someone invited them in. The music was turned up loud, the room was packed, and the lights were dim. Jon led Denise over to a table where a keg of beer was sitting, drew up a glass, handed it to Denise. and drew one up for himself.

"I really don't like beer. Jon. Could I just have a Coke?" she asked hesitantly, trying to hand it back to him as she looked self-consciously around the room.

"Oh, come on. Denise. drink it up. You*11 have a lot more fun if you do! Besides, everyone is drinking. You'll get used to the taste after a few drinks."

He took her by the hand. and led her over to a group of older kids. She knew most of them in a casual way, but, she wasn't impressed with them. They had a reputation for pulling all kinds of wild stunts. Denise looked around for someone with whom she would feel more comfortable, but didn't see anyone with whom she was more familiar.

Slowly, she sipped her beer. trying hard not to make a face with each swallow. The bitterness was assaulting her taste buds! Jon was laughing and talking with his friends, and she smiled, and laughed appropriately, trying to appear at ease.Then. Jon turned, took her in his arms, and danced away from the group, to the beat of a very sweet, romantic song. A few of the other couples were dancing, too, she noticed, but there was such an air of excitement, it was difficult for her to relax.

"Hey, this is the first time we've danced together, isn't it?" Jon asked sweetly, in Denise's ear.

"Uh huh," Denise replied softly. "I'm afraid I haven't had much practice."

"You're a little tense, but, you'll loosen up! You sure feel good to me, close like this! What's that perfume you're wearing? It's driving me wild!"

Just as Denise was about to answer him, a guy she knew as Chris cut in and Jon released her to him. Denise reluctantly finished the dance with him, observing his weird haircut, and wondering why anyone would want lines shaved into the sides of their hair. Of course, she knew a lot of guys did it, lately. But she couldn't understand why!

She kept glancing around the room, watching Jon, as he refilled his glass, gulped it down, then began dancing with another, older girl. She winced at how closely he was holding her. Did she have a right to be jealous? She admitted to herself that she was, right or not!

As soon as the song ended, Denise excused herself, and began looking for a restroom. There, she found a place of privacy for a few moments. She tried to get hold of herself. It's just because you don't know the kids well. Surely, they're not that bad. Jon likes them, she counseled herself. And a little beer never hurt anyone! Just because you've never been to a party like this before is no reason to be so uncomfortable. After all. you're with Jon, so it's OK. Just relax and have a good time! Don't get all bent out of shape about him dancing with that other girl, close like that. What do you expect? He"s a man, isn't he? But, he's going steady with you! It's amazing how good a friend a mirror can be. Denise marvelled, feeling much better, now.

Denise returned to the scene just in time to catch the contest! All the guys were drinking beer just as fast as they could, trying to outdrink each other in time, and quantity, Denise decided. Everyone was laughing, and acting really crazy. Denise retrieved her glass, and began seriously trying to drink the beer, in spite of the awful taste. She wished Jon hadn't participated in the contest. She could have enjoyed the fun a lot more. But, oh well, it was his night. Let him have his fun!

The contest ended with several large burps, and the winner was still in question. The group dispersed, laughing, and again, some began to dance.

As Jon held Denise tightly against him, swinging slowly to the music in the dimly lit room, Denise found herself finally starting to relax. She loved being close to Jon. feeling loved. He was softly singing the words of the love song in her ear, sending tingles down her spine.

Just then, she caught a glance, just a glance across the room, between couples. Could it be? Were those the beige slippers she had seen in the restroom earlier today? Her whole body stiffened suddenly, as she strained to get a closer look.

"What's the matter, Denise?" Jon asked, as he tried to avoid stepping on Denise's foot.

Denise noted the sound of slight irritation in his voice. "Oh, nothing, Jon. I'm sorry!" Denise answered, self- consciously. "I thought I saw someone. Oh, never mind. I'd better watch what I'm doing, huh!" She moved even closer within the circle of his arms.

"Who did you see? Someone you wanted to talk to?" Jon questioned.

"Oh, no. It was nothing. Just forget it," Denise responded sweetly.

But when the dance was over, and Jon headed for the restroom, Denise milled about, looking for a pair of beige pumps, and the girl who was wear ing them. And there she was, with bright copper-red hair, worn shoulder length, a creamy light complexion, and looking very pretty and petite in her short dress. The skirt was made in layers of ruffles in a very becoming style, with shades of blue print on a beige background.

Denise recognized her as being in Jon's class, and she had seen her around the school, but couldn't recall her name. The girl seemed to be having a good time, as she was guzzling her beer, and laughing excitedly with her friends.

But suddenly, a loud commotion was heard in the other end of the large room, with loud cursing, as one guy ended up against the wall, and two others jumped on the one who had shoved him there!

And, right before her eyes, a free-for-all began! Denise looked around the room, helplessly. Where was Jon? Surely, he wasn't in on the fight! The lights were so dim she could hardly tell, for sure. Recoiling against the farthest wall, Denise cringed, awaiting the outcome, even holding her breath at times. There was so much noise in the room, with the loud music, hollering, screaming, cursing and fighting, she could hardly hear herself think! It was all happening so fast. Everything was becoming quite chaotic. Other's were jumping in on the fight, even some of the girls.

Then, Jon came running up to Denise, stumbling, and hollered above the noise, "Let's get out of here! Now!" Guiding her out the back door they heard a siren, and he quickened their pace unevenly.

Just as Jon's car pulled around the block, looking back, they saw the police car with the red and blue lights flashing pull up in front of the house they had just left.

"Whew! We barely made it!" Jon said, with relief. Denise noticed his speech was starting to slur. And as he drove, making his way to Main Street, she noticed he was going awfully fast for this part of town.

"Jon. slow down! You're going too fast!" With no response attained, she tried again. "Jon, you've been drinking, and you've got to slow down!

"Denise, I can handle my beer! Don't you worry about that! Man, I bet the neighbors called the cops, with all that fighting and hollering going on. I'm glad we got out of there when we did! I bet somebody is gonna be in trouble over all that!" Jon said excitedly, as he made a right-hand turn, going much faster than was necessary, and swinging Denise almost onto the console!

"Jon, please slow down. You're scaring me! Or let me drive! I only drank that one glass of beer that you gave me. Please. Jon, please!" Denise pleaded.

"What's the matter with you, anyway? What are you nagging me for? I haven't done anything to hurt you, have I? I know what I'm doing! I can drive just fine!" Jon exclaimed, with bitterness in his voice.

Denise was suddenly scared, and shocked! She had never seen Jon like this before. She had never seen anyone like this before! Except, perhaps, in the movies. What could she do? Jon was driving even faster, now, since she had asked him to slow down!

"Jon. it's nearly midnight, isn't it?" She asked calmly, much more calmly than she felt. "I'd better go on home. Jon." Denise was fighting a rising panic, as Jon had turned onto the highway heading out of town, and was picking up speed quickly.

"I'm not ready to go home! I'm having a good time! What are you griping about? You don't even know how to have a good time, do you? That's what's wrong with you!" Jon said, slurring the words. "You didn't drink enough to even loosen up! How did you expect to have a good time? But, that's alright! I know where we can get some more beer. You'll have a good time, yet!"

He sounded very conf ident of that, Deni se thought, doubtfully, in her near-panic. "But Jon, I have to be home by midnight. You know my folks! They'll have a fit if I'm not there! Please take me home, Jon. You're drunk, and you're starting to scare me! Please. Jon!" Denise begged, as she caught her breath between sobs.

"I'm not drunk! It takes a lot more than that to get me drunk! I'm just starting to feel good. And your parents are sound asleep by now. anyway! They'll never even know!" Jon slurred, as the needle of the speedometer kept rising.

Denise continued to plead with Jon to slow down and take her home. But, Jon was beyond reason. He threw on the brakes, bringing the car to a sudden halt in the midle of the highway.

Denise was holding on tight to avoid being thrown into the windshield, and wishing she had used the seatbelt that Jon had tucked in under the seat!

"OK, I"ve had enough of you! Shut up, or get out!" Jon shouted to her. "I'm gonna get some more beer at the county line. You can stay, or go, but make up your mind! Now!"

Denise was scared! Scared for herself, and for Jon! What should she do? Should she get out and try to make it back to town on her own? How far out was she anyway? She looked around for some clue but saw only desolation in the darkness. There wasn't much traffic on this road, tonight, Denise thought. And it was lightening off in the west. If she wemt with Jon, where would it end? Was there any way to keep him from wrecking his car, and possibly killing them both? And. if he got more beer, what then? The man she loved had turned into a monster, Denise thought, as she tried to restrain her tears and decide what to do.

But Jon made that decision for her, as he leaned over and opened her door. "Get out! If it takes that long for you to decide, just get out! I haven't got all night!"

"No, Jon. I'm sorry!" Denise said. crying quietly by this time.

But, Jon pushed her hard, out the door, mumbling, cursing, ignoring her panicked screams. He drove off, leaving her in a crumpled heap on the pavement.

She watched the car door swing indecisively for a moment, then, finally swung shut, as Jon zoomed down the highway. The car went speeding over the hill, and was soon out of sight, leaving a fearful, unbelieving fifteen-year-old girl in the darkness, alone.


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Rose Petals