From the three degree weather, I walked into the Ridge apartment with Lauren and Russell.
"We've got cake, ice cream, hot chocolate; do you guys want anything?" I dont remember his name. He talked like a cartoon character. He was the birthday boy.
"I'll take some hot chocolate," I said to him and smiled. He grabbed a styrofoam cup and ran the hot tap water, periodically checking the temperature with his fingers; he put two scoops of cocoa into the cup, stirred, and handed it to Lauren. He didn't go to make another.
"Oh, I'll make my own, I guess," I whispered to myself. And I made my own hot chocolate.
I didn't know anyone there. Boys--who were aged somewhere between twenty-one to twenty-seven--ricocheted a tennis ball off of the ledge above the kitchen; they threw the tennis ball to each other; they aimed the tennis ball at others' faces. Once, the ball missed my own face by about two feet.
"Do you guys want whipped cream for your hot chocolate?" The birthday boy looked at Lauren first, then me.
"Oh, no thank you," Lauren said sweetly. I think she wore fake eyelashes. The boy looked at me, his jaw crunched and his bottom lip covered his top.
"No thanks, I'm good," I said, and I sipped my semi-warm, diluted cocoa.
"You sure?" He shrugged and outstretched his arm towards me. I smiled.
"Yeah, I'm sure," I said nodding, taking another sip.
"I think you should have some whipped cream."
"Fine, I'll try the whipped cream," I sighed loudly. Nobody laughed. The boy walked to the fridge.
"You sure you don't want any whipped cream?" Oh my gosh.
"Yeah, I really don't want any whipped cream," I said sternly. I looked at Russell. His eyebrows furrowed and he quickly began watching the boys playing with their tennis ball.