By Enzed Writer
After dinner there was going to be a break period where the awards were going to be announced and then the party was going to continue. Nick and Tor seemed to be subdued for some reason while Andrew seemed distant. I was beginning to suspect something was going on. Their moods were far too gloomy for an evening like this. Both the head boy and head girl walked onstage to make an announcement.
"Hello everyone!" the head girl said. "Sorry to interrupt but it's awards time!"
Everyone applauded loudly and those who were still eating stopped. The head boy also had a microphone and he spoke next.
"As you know it has been a Hutt Valley High tradition to give away these annual awards so without further delay, here are the results" On cue a drum roll was played for the first award. He opened an envelope and passed it back to our head girl.
"There are 3 awards categories tonight. These are most outstanding achievement in dance, the best creative attire and The 1999 Best couple of the evening."
"These were voted on by the teachers who have been observing everything tonight and by you the students" said the head boy and everyone clapped."So, the first award, for most outstanding achievement in dance goes to... Lisa Pryor!" A blonde senior stood up whom I could only assume was Lisa, ran to the stage and accepted her award. The table she came from hollered as She bowed and exited the stage.
"The next award is for most creative attire and this year I can honestly say that we've all been overwhelmed with the amount of effort and creativity that's gone in to your clothing" she paused as everyone applauded. "So the 1999 winner of best attire is, Josh Davis!"
I turned around and noticed an attractive young lady walking to the stage. She had long white hair with different shades of colour on her face to make her look very at one with nature coloured green blue and white. Her dress was made up of golden leaves, which had been intricately been sown together while an elegant shall was draped around her shoulders. It was on closer inspection that I realised that this young lady was actually a young man! There were gasps and cheers from the audience.
"Wow he looks really good!" Tor said.
"I know! Damn!" I said feigning frustration.
"What?" Andrew asked.
"I thought I was going to win that award!" I sighed dramatically and everyone on our table laughed.
"Bite me!" I responded while poking my tongue out.
"Now its time to announce best couple" the head girl said and everyone in the ballroom applauded. "Now there are so many great looking couples and I wish we could give out an award to everyone but alas... there can be only one!"
"Well, two if you count both partners individually" the head boy said which got a giggle from the crowd.
"Well thankyou Mr Semantic. Anyway, this year's best couple is" she paused for dramatic effect "Nick Arthur and Victoria Jenkins!" Tor had a look of utter shock on her face and Nick did a double take himself before he realised that she meant him.
"That's you guys, go!" said Andrew. They both stood and everyone applauded loudly in appreciation. Tor was ecstatic and jumping up and down while Nick was more reserved and grinned in thanks. Andrew and I stood with everyone else and joined in with the cheering. Music started playing as they walked up on stage where Tor was handed a crown while Nick received a sceptre. Tor looked slightly embarrassed and tried to walk off right away but the head boy held her back.
"Hold on you two, it is tradition that the best couple re-open the dance floor." Everone clapped and chanted 'Dance, Dance, Dance'. "Yes that's right! So Victoria and Nick what song will you be dancing to?" asked the head girl. They both looked at each other questioningly then huddled together whispering to each other. Tor then spoke to one of the band members while pointing to me. They both giggled and the band member gave Tor the thumbs up.
"What is she up to?" I asked myself. Tor grabbed the microphone.
"Hi everyone!" Tor said and everyone cheered. "I know its tradition for the best couple to re open the dance floor but since Nick and I aren't technically a couple as such, we wanted to try something different. " That statement got everyone murmuring in anticipation.
"Nick and I just had a word with the lead singer of the Phat kats and what we want to do is perform for you guys a song instead!" Everyone hooted, cheered and applauded.
"But we can't do this song alone! It's a group thing so could Blair Mclean please come up here!" Everyone applauded but I sunk lower in to my seat. "Aww wooks like Mr Mcwean is wittle ascared!" Tor said in babying voice. "Come on everyone, give Blair a hand!" Everyone clapped louder chanting 'Blair, Blair, Blair'. I sighed and stood to make my way towards the stage. As I got up everyone applauded loudly. I caught Tor's eye and tried to muster up my best death glare but she just smiled which got me even more annoyed.
"I'm gonna kill you girl!" I mumbled as I stood next to her on stage.
"Trust me man, this is all part of a grand plan," she grinned while holding her hand over the microphone.
"Oh yeah? And what grand plan would that be?" I asked frustrated.
"I'll tell you about it after the song!"
I looked at Nick and he shrugged. "Just go along with it dude, its just a song!" I sighed in defeat and next thing I knew I had a cordless microphone thrust in to my face.
I tapped Tor's shoulder "So genius, what song are we doing?"
"Wannabe!" she said excited. I gave her the strangest look.
"Why oh why are we doing a Spice Girl's song?" I asked incredulously. If I was going to put my credibility on the line she could have chosen a much better song to do.
"Easy because it's a fun song to do and trust me everyone will get in to it." She said it with such confidence yet I was still sceptical.
"So who's going to sing what?" Nick asked.
"Well I'll go first, Blair you do the reply rap and we'll alternate each line, hows that?"
"Well it's a plan at least" I replied. Tor gave me that 'trust me' look again and I nodded.
Tor got everyone's attention "Ok everyone, we're just about to
perform our song, but we're going to need a hand, can you guys help us
Everyone in the room shouted yes.
"Ok everyone, it's an oldie but a goody, who knows the words to wannabe?" Mostly everyone clapped while others looked a bit disturbed at the possibility of singing a spice girls song.
"Oh c'mon people, when I ask if you know a song you don't need to go in denial about it! So I'm gonna say it again, do ya'll know a song called Wannabe?" Tor asked trying to wind up the audience and this time more people replied enthusiastically.
"That's more like it! Now, as I said we're going to need your help in this song so I think we need to take sides in this! Everyone on the left, you're my side!" she said as she walked towards the left of the room. Everyone on that side cheered as she made her way there.
Nick grinned then spoke up "Ok then well that means everyone on the right side, you're my side!" He made his way to the right side of the stage and everyone on the right clapped louder than the left, which caused a bit of booing from Tor's side of the room.
I sighed deeply and was about to walk off stage but after a nasty glare from Tor, I fell in to line. "Ok enough of that booing left it's pretty offensive! Besides the best is always saved till last, the middle side you're MY SIDE!"
Everyone in the middle stood up and cheered the loudest, which I must admit was a major ego boost.
"Ok ok!" Tor interrupted. "So left, here's what you have to do. I need you to shout 'yo I'll tell you want what I really really want!" The left side yelled yes "Ready, shout on three! One two three..."
The left side erupted in to a loud chorus of "Yo I'll tell you what I want what I really really want!"
"HEY! That wasn't bad at all! I wouldn't say no to that!" Tor replied sounding very pleased.
I signalled for my side to pay attention "Ok middle! Your going to have to be extra loud so that the whole of Wellington can hear you, your part goes 'so tell me what you want what you really really want! On Three! One, two, three..."
"So tell me what you want, what you really really want!" The middle roared.
"Faaaaaantastic! I like it when you all join in!" I said honestly.
"Ok Right side, you know your part don't you!" Everyone cheered and sung with Nick at the same time 'I wanna Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! You really really really want a zigazig ha!"
"And we all join in on the Zig a Zig ha!" I added and everyone shouted in approval.
"Ok so everybody up! You can move along, you can shout, you can sing along, you can stamp your feet, but just remember your parts!" Tor yelled and everyone cheered in approval
"Ok Phat Kats, ROLL THE MUSIC!" Tor shouted and the drummer counted us in.
"Yo, I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want!" Tor's side shouted while she jumped in to the crowd
"So tell me what you want, what you really really want," my side replied as I pretended to conduct them like an orchestra
"I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want," The left screamed again this time with more enthiusiasm.
"So tell me what you want, what you really really want," My side yelled almost in a taunt.
Then Nick and the entire roomed screamed at the top of their lungs "I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really really really wanna zigazig ha!"
Tor sat in one of the laps of some poor guy at the table. He looked embarrassed but she sang anyway "If you want my future forget my past"
"If you wanna get with me better make it fast" I sung while dancing on stage.
Nick held out his microphone to everyone to sing "Now don't go wasting my precious time,"
"Get your act together we could be just fine" the whole room sung at once and people began to gather in front of the stage.
"I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want," The left side of the room screamed at the top of their voices.
"So tell me what you want, what you really really want," The middle replied once more. The environment was peaking towards a pep rally.
Nick crowd surfed on the right side as the sung "I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really really really wanna zigazig ha."
Everyone seemed to be in a dancing and singing frenzy. We all sung in to our microphones but everyone singing at once seemed to drown us out. Everyone in the ballroom sung together "If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends Make it last forever friendship never ends, If you wanna be my lover, you have got to give, Taking is too easy, but that's the way it is."
Tor jumped back on stage "What do you think about that now you know how I feel, "
I strutted towards Andrew and sung to him "Say you can handle my love are you for real,"
Nick was still in mid-crowd surf "I won't be hasty, I'll give you a try"
On cue everyone sung at once "If you really bug me then I'll say goodbye."
Tor was back onstage and conducting the left side again "Yo I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want, "
I was in the middle of the dance floor and everyone around me shouted together at once "So tell me what you want, what you really really want,"
Nick was on top of one of the dining tables and was directing his side to scream "I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really really really wanna zigazig ha."
"If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends Make it last forever friendship never ends, If you wanna be my lover, you have got to give, Taking is too easy, but that's the way it is." Everyone shouted at the top of their lungs. Even the adults present seemed to be getting involved.
Tor started dancing about on stage and rapped "So heres the story from A to Z you wanna get with me you gotta listen carefully we got Blair in the place who gets up in your face you got Nick McLean who aint so little"
"Then theres V she likes to shake that thing... she's Miss thang baby!" Nick added while him and I joined Tor back on stage.
"So Hutt Valley, LET ME HEAR YOU SCREAM!" Tor shouted and the room erupted in cheers.
We all sung the last bit together "Slam your body down and wind it all around Slam your body down and wind it all around! If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends Make it last forever friendship never ends, If you wanna be my lover, you have got to give, Taking is too easy, but that's the way it is. If you wanna be my lover, "
Tor jumped up and down as she continued singing "you gotta, you gotta, you gotta, you gotta, you gotta, slam, slam, slam, slam"
Nick and I sung together shaking our hips on stage "Slam your body down and wind it all around, Slam your body down and wind it all around! Slam your body down and wind it all around...
"Slam your body down zigazig ah" Tor shouted as the three of us jumped back in to the audience and screamed "If you wanna be my lover!"
The whole room erupted in various forms of cheers and applause. Everyone around us was congratulating us and the shouts were deafening. Nick, Tor and I hugged each other and I felt hands wrap around me. I turned and saw Andrew grinning back at me.
"You guys were fantastic!" He shouted and I nodded in thanks.
"So what was your plan anyway Tor?" I tried yelling over the noise. She grinned and gestured for us to get out of the dance floor. I handed our microphones back to the lead singer who was kneeling on stage waiting for them.
"That was the shit man!" She shouted. I smiled and yelled my thanks then followed Nick and Tor out in to the foyer. It took a while as everyone kept stopping us and congratulating us for a great performance. A while later we finally made it out of the ballroom.
"Well, that was something!" Nick grinned.
"Something? Shit guys that was hot!" Andrew said enthusiastically.
"Yeah definitely! The plan worked!" Tor beamed.
"Yes well I remember you saying something about elaborating on this grand plan of yours Tor" I said."It's simple B! By performing that song and getting everyone pumped we all have in a way earned everyone's respect. No one is going to hassle you about your sexuality now dude, face it. You're cool!"
"That's a bit presumptuous don't you think?" I asked warily. It was a good idea in theory but could it work?
"Are you kidding me? It worked Blair trust me! The seniors who are here tonight wont be at school next year and those who continue on will always remember what happened tonight. You'll see, your just being your usual pessimistic self!" She said honestly.
"Hey I'm not a pessimist, I'm a realist! Anyway, you wont see a repeat performance of that anytime soon" I said.
"Aww not even for me?" Andrew said with puppy dog eyes. I noticed that Nick and Tor had weird expressions on their faces.
"Are you two okay?" I asked.
"We're fine" Tor replied. "Just still on a bit of an adrenaline rush if you know what I mean."
The rest of the night went like a great roller coaster ride. Everyone wanted to dance with us so there was never a moment when we were off our feet. Our little group was having the time of our lives and all four of us went back out to have a group photo of us taken. I even noticed that John and David were there but I brushed that thought aside since I was having so much fun. As we were coming back from photos it was announced that the final dance of the evening was about to take place.
"Man is it that time already?" I asked.
"Yeah I can't believe it! Tonight has been great!" Nick said.
"Definitely! What's the time?" Tor Asked.
I looked at my watch "11:30, well c'mon lets go catch the last dance!"
As the four of us made our way back in to the ballroom, the unmistakable introduction to No Matter What by Boyzone started playing. I was a little disheartened and sat back at our table.
"You guys go ahead I'll sit this one out," I said while sitting back down.
"You can't sit this one out, it's the last dance" Tor wined.
"Yeah but it's a slow song, its not something two guys could get away with" I said sadly.
"Dude, haven't you been paying attention all evening?" Nick asked. "Your famous now, it doesn't matter what everyone else thinks!"
"Look guys, just go, ok?" I said as I turned away from them. Andrew put his hand on my shoulder.
"You know they're right"
"Are they?" I sighed
"Yes definitely, besides, I didn't ask you to the ball not to dance. Please Blair, dance with me?" I looked in to Andrew's face and he had a look of sincerity about him. His eyes seemed to communicate an affection I never noticed before. He held out his hand for me to take it. I grasped it firmly and smiled as he led me to the dance floor next to Nick and Tor. They both smiled as they saw us together. We got a few stares from other students but mostly people were too caught up in their own moment to care.
No matter what they tell you
No matter what they do
No matter what they teach you
What you believe is true
And I will keep you safe and strong
And sheltered from the storm
No matter where it's barren
A dream is being born
The lyrics to that song took on a new meaning for me as I slow danced with Andrew. He drew me closer and wrapped a protective arm with me. I shivered with nerves at the thought of being this close to him. I wrapped an arm around him and tenderly swayed to the music. I swore I felt a hand pinch my but and I drew back and looked in to Andrew's eyes. He had a goofy smile on his face that made me laugh softly.
"What?" he asked.
"Nothin... actually yes there is something"
"What is it?" he asked looking concerned.
"Well, I've had a great time and well... I just thought that I'd say thankyou for giving me such a great time," I said honestly. Andrew blushed.
"No way man! It's me who should be thanking you. Your crazy, your sexy, smart and you even have the moves. You've made this evening a night to remember so thankyou for being my date Blair." I closed my eyes and felt a bit flushed. I opened my eyes again only to be greeted by a soft kiss. I looked around and it seemed a few eyes were on us. But rather than keep on staring, they just turned and continued dancing. It was our turn to look shocked
"And you thought my plan wouldn't work!" Tor kidded. At that moment I thought I was going to cry but rethinking the situation, it made me smile instead. I rested my head on Andrew's shoulder for the rest of the dance and we were able to finish it uninterrupted.
The ball finally broke up and we all went to grab our coats and head for the elevator. I never once let go of Andrew's hand and even tho people did seem to glance a little longer than usual, no one said anything. When we got to the front desk our Limo's hadn't arrived. There was a female clerk behind the desk.
"Excuse me, do you know what has happened to our limousines," I asked the desk clerk.
"Yes, there's been a bit of a delay. Traffic is backed up because of a rugby game but they should be here within the next half hour."
"A half hour??" Tor squealed.
"You're more than welcome to sit in the waiting area over there" she pointed to a lounge suite near the grand staircase going upstairs to the Hotel Restaurant. I thanked her and the four of us went and sat down. I was feeling tired and I decided to close my eyes for a moment.
"Well if it isn't the little fairy and the fag lover," a voice sneered. My eyes shot open and I saw David and John standing in front of us.
"Guys why don't you piss off man, this isn't the time or place!" Tor snapped.
"Shut your hole slut, I wasn't talking to you" John barked.
"Fuck this, look you two, why do you have to come here and start up this shit? You're only spoiling what has been a fantastic evening," said Andrew as he stood.
"Fuck you hypocrite, you're even more stupid than that fag fairy there" John spat while pointing to me. "Does your buttplug know that you've been offering his services, punk?" John emphasised every word by poking Andrew in the chest.
"What's he talking about Andrew?" I asked curiously.
"Nothing Blair, he's just talking shit" Andrew got in John's face. "Now fuck off John or I'll finish what I started on Wednesday"
The two stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity but was more like twenty seconds. Neither of them flinched then David broke the stand off.
"Fuck you Barclay, you ain't worth it" David huffed then he led John away. Andrew sighed then turned around coming in to face-to-face contact with me.
"What was he talking about Andrew? Did you say something to him about me?" I asked. The colour visibly drained from his face. "Andrew, I asked you a question, what did he mean by that huh? Was what he said true?" Andrew seemed to fumble for an answer. He gave Nick and Tor a look then I turned and noticed that they were trying to hide something.
"Do you two know something?" my voice was beginning to rise.
I was at a total loss for words. Do I deny it and risk planting distrust in to our relationship or do I tell him the truth and destroy any chance of a relationship? Did we even have a relationship?
"Well! What did he mean by that Andrew?? Answer me!" Tears were beginning to brim in his eyes.
"Blair, I can explain! It was just an offhand comment..." I said pathetically.
"You bastard!" He snapped and ran out of the hotel.
"Shit! I told you this would blow up in your face you stupid dick!" Nick snapped.
"Its too late now! We gotta go after him" Tor said.
"No! I'll go after him, after all I started this shit" I said. Tor looked like she was about to protest but Nick held her back.
"Maybe he's right Tor, if it's going to get fixed, he has to go do it." Tor seemed to accept that and settled back down.
I ran outside of the hotel and looked left and right but couldn't see Blair anywhere. The traffic on the road was busy so there was no way he could have ran across the road. I then saw that there was an overbridge a few meters down from me. I looked up on to the overbridge walkway and Blair was moving briskly across it. I called out his name but he didn't turn around so I ran quickly to follow him.
As I made my way across the bridge I looked down and traffic was backed up a long way. When I looked back up again Blair was gone. I cursed myself and kept moving. The overbridge leads to the waterfront area where all the boats were. I made my way down and saw him standing at the edge of the wharf. He looked like he was about to jump in.
"Don't do it Blair!" I yelled and he turned around.
"Do what?" he said not facing me.
"Don't jump!" I pleaded
"I wasn't even thinking about jumping you fool!" He snapped then turned away from me again. I walked up behind him.
"I'm sorry Blair, let me explain." His shoulders were slumped as he stared out towards the ocean. It was calm and eerily quiet. He remained silent so I took that as my cue to talk.
"Well its like this, David and John. I saw those two when we entered the ball. They seemed to notice me and followed me in to the toilets." He remained silent so I continued. "They were threatening to beat you and I up so I told them a little white lie so they'd back off. I didn't mean anything by it, honest!" After hearing myself say it audibly did sound like weak reasoning.
"So you told them I'd suck their dicks? God Andrew is that what I am to you? A whore?" the pain was evident in his voice.
"No not at all! I wasn't thinking and now that I think about it, it was a stupid thing to say and do. Please forgive me Blair!" I begged
"Well what about Nick and Tor, what do they have to do with it?"
"Don't take your anger out on Nick and Tor. They found out because Nick was in the toilets while it all took place. They defended you, more so than I," I said dejectedly. We stayed there for a while, not a word was spoken. Staring out to the ocean had a soothing effect, especially with the lights of the tall buildings reflecting off the water. I felt a hand snake in to mine. I looked up and Blair was looking at me. I couldn't read the look on his face.
"Look Andrew, in a fucked up way I can see why you did it, but I don't like it either. It would have also been better if you had told me up front" I was about to interrupt but he stopped me. "Let me finish, look. I like you and after tonight I know you like me and maybe we can just put this in the category of growing pains, what do you think?" A slight smile crept in to his face. I gripped his hand firmly.
"Yeah, growing pains" I kissed his palm and rested our hands on my lap "I could go for that."
Over time Blair forgave Andrew for what happened that night but Tor and Nick were a different story. They never trusted him after that but it was their strong friendship with Blair that kept them from making any type of intervention.
Blair came out to his parents and to his surprise his mother already knew but was waiting for the time that he would be comfortable to make that admission. He became a peer counsellor in Hutt Valley High and seldom encountered any confrontations regarding his sexuality in school. At the end of the school year, Blair decided to take a year off before going to university.
Andrew continued on to Victoria University in Wellington to study classical music. However while he was attending university, a rather out and flamboyant gay student was beaten severely while leaving campus grounds. The police never found who the culprits were but UniQ, the University gay support group campaigned endlessly to make sure people knew about hate crimes and that mistakes like that would never be repeated. This beating scared Andrew and put an end to any idea he had for coming out which would become a slight problem in his relationship with Blair.
Victoria also continued on in to the Seventh form year. She was one of the top students of her year level and was made a prefect. She applied to Massey University and was accepted straight away.
Nick finished out his seventh form year but then returned to Sydney Australia to live with his mother. He did a stint of working before applying to study at the University of New South Wales.
As for Andrew and Blair's relationship, well it was an educational experience for both. They made the voyage of a same sex relationship together and it lasted for nearly three years. In that three years they had grown together and learnt things from one another. They discovered love, intimacy, respect and affection but eventually their love came to an end, but then that's another story. Usually this is where one would say the end, but this was definitely only the beginning.
And thats A night to remember. Its from this point that Roam begins. Roam is the continuation of what happens to Blair after he breaks up with Andrew. Roam can be found in the Beginnings section of the Nifty archive.
I'd like to take this opertunity to express a concern and its regarding feedback. My last post recieved the lowest feedback in a while and even tho it was not the sole reason for such a long delay in postings, it was definitely a main contributor. Please remember that for a lot of writers, feedback is the only thing that keeps them going whether it be good or bad. It allows us to perfect what we do and motivate us to improve. It inspires us with new ideas and rewards us for our efforts. I'm trying to be a matyr but just trying to illistrate the creative difficulties that could occour. For you readers out there, perhaps next time you read a story and it brings you some enjoyment, take the time to thank the author for that they do. There are a lof of fantastic writers in the archive and it makes me wonder if the lack of correspondence from readers has made them give up their stories. For those who do give feedback, my sincere thanks, I do appreciate hearing from you and it is your continual persistance that keeps me going.
Remember you can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org I also have msn if you wish to talk to me but don't get offended if I sometimes don't reply, I tend to get busy now and then.
No matter what
Performed by Boyzone
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber Lyrics by Jim Steinman
Performed by the Spice Girls
Written By Melanie Chisholm/Melanie Brown/Geri Halliwell/Emma Bunton/Victoria Beckham/Biff Stannard/Matt Rowe
Performed by Cher
Written by: Higgins and Gray,
BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM!!
Performed by The Vengaboys
Written by: Danski/Delmundo
Baby One More Time
Performed by Britney Spears
Written by Max Martin