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“Why the hell did I pay $100 to get in here if I’m just going to wait in line for 40 minutes?” Todd asked with his hands buried deep in the pockets of his overcoat.
“I don’t know,” she responded with a side eye. “I’m freezing too.”
Taking her phone out of her clutch to text Caroline who was already in the hotel at the party, she debated just scrapping the whole thing and going home to watch Ryan Seacrest bring in the New Year on TV instead. Caroline, who was slow to respond, assured her that it was worth the wait.
Left with no plans for New Year’s Eve just days prior, she and Todd bought tickets off two other friends who were summoned for a dinner party in favor of the grandiose event that boasted an open bar, a live band, a champagne toast at midnight, and an appetizer bar. Weary of spending $200 on two tickets purely to hang out with a bunch of drunk strangers wasn’t on the top of Todd’s list, but New Year’s Eve meant much more to her than it did to him so he caved.
As the line slowly moved up, Todd considered dipping into a bar across the street but knew the fallout wouldn’t be worth the warmth.
“Thank you so much for doing this,” she said to him.
“Of course,” he answered, “I know this is your favorite holiday.”
When they finally got up to the bouncer, he put a velvet rope in front of them. With Todd questioning why they weren’t getting in right away, the bouncer explained that the club was already at its limit.
“Sorry, can’t go in until two come out,” he said coldly looking a thousand miles into the distance.
“Listen, pal–” Todd interjected.
She abruptly interrupted him — “Todd, no, just wait.”
After ten minutes, they were finally granted access to the venue. By this time, it was 10 o’clock and they were dead sober. Immediately upon checking their coats, they headed to the open bar at the back of the dance floor that was filled with four rows of people desperately trying to get a drink.
When they finally reached the bar and ordered a glass of champagne and a whiskey-ginger ale, the bartender yelled, “That’ll be $26 — you wanna leave it open or closed?”
“I thought this was an open bar,” Todd screamed over the hum of a DJ playing “Levels” by Avicii.
“Open bar ended five minutes ago,” the bartender shamelessly responded.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” Todd responded.
She looked panicked as if Todd was going to lose it, so she interjected once again. “Baby, don’t worry about it. I’ll pay.”
“No, no,” Todd said, “I’ll take care of it. Let’s go find Caroline.”
Making their way through sea of drunk postgrads to a collection of tables on the outer edge next to the balcony, Todd spotted Caroline sitting with a group of people he’d yet to meet. She introduced her and Todd to all of them — her friends from college — as they sat down and tried to insert themselves in the conversation. Quickly spacing out after finishing his first small drink, Todd surveyed the room for a waiter.
“Whose dick do you have to suck to get a cocktail here?” Todd said with a hand on his forehead.
With Caroline clearly occupied with her other friends, she began to feel discouraged. Todd wasn’t having the fun she wished he’d have, and no one had complimented her sparkly top from Topshop yet. Trying to salvage the night before the clock struck twelve, she told Todd that she was going to go to the bathroom to touch up her makeup.
Making her way to a different bar with less of a crowd, she wiggled her way to the front.
“How much for a bottle of champagne?” she inquired to the female bartender.
“They start at $200 and go up from there,” she screamed into her ear.
Knowing that she had to turn the night around somehow, she decided to take the plunge. She handed the credit card that read her father George’s name on it over to the bartender and waited 10 minutes for the bottle to be prepared. Upon receiving a champagne bucket with two flutes, she tromped back over to Caroline’s table which had since been cleared out from everyone except for Todd who sat on his phone.
“Look what I gotttttttt,” she said with a smile and a skip in her step. By this point, it was 11:20 and the champagne was just a small consolation prize in an otherwise miserable mess of a party.
They poured two glasses and cheers’d one another.
“Having fun?” Todd asked her.
“Honestly?” she began. “Not really.”
They sat for another twenty minutes, each pouring themselves another glass as the music grew louder and louder. And as the bottle dwindled, Todd finally asked, “Do you want to get the hell out of here?”
“It’s not even midnight, Todd,” she shot back.
“I know, but like, this party sucks,” he responded with a confused and desprate tone.
“You could at least act like you’re having fun, Todd.”
“You just told me you weren’t having fun!” he pleaded.
She quickly turned and faced the opposite direction, tipping the flute in the air and finishing her fourth champagne.
“Five!” the crowd chanted as it was almost midnight.
Todd looked over at her wondering how to fix the situation.
“Four!” the crowd continued a second later.
He reached to put his hand on her thigh.
She shrugged him off while he leaned in closer.
Her eyes still diverted, he decided to go in for the New Year’s Eve kiss.
“Stop,” she said. “I don’t even want to see you right now.”
“HAPPY NEW YEAR!” the crowd screamed as Todd looked bewildered at his angry girlfriend.
“Fine, I’m getting the hell out of here.” Todd said as he stood up and got his coat ticket out of his pocket. “I think I see Caroline over by the buffet. Just get a ride home with her.” .
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