Lilly's friend cancels their party plans.
|Lilly hummed to herself as she danced down the stairs. New Year's Eve. Second only to Christmas Day itself in her mind. It was a time to dance, get drunk, kiss family, friends and strangers alike and stagger home in the early hours.
Her phone rang. It was her best friend, Amy.
"The boys are sick."
"Oh, that's not good. But we can still go out, surely?"
Amy paused, "I can't, Lil."
Lilly ended the call, swallowing the lump in her throat. First her holiday, now her New Year's Eve plans. She dumped the lunch dishes into the sink and attacked them with a ferocity they didn't deserve. Outside, a robin chirped. As she watched and listened to the small bird, a plan formed in her mind. To Hell with her mates. She'd go out alone.
The polite whispers of a handful of patrons, punctuated by the occasional order at the bar, turned into a constant din as the pub filled. Lilly sat alone, nursing a green coloured cocktail, lost in her thoughts. Going out alone sounded great while she stood at her kitchen sink, but as more party goers squeezed into the last spot, and the air became thick with the mix of sweat, perfume and smoke, she fantasised about a quiet night in with a good book and a leisurely glass of wine. She knocked back the rest of her cocktail, feeling the alcohol go to her head. She was about to slam the glass down when a good-looking stranger sat down, facing the bar. He turned his head towards her and lifted his drink in a toast.
"Happy New Year," he said.
Lilly raised her empty glass and smiled as she returned the greeting. Maybe it would be a happy New Year after all.