Okay! I'm trying this out from the beginning. It's challenging!!! If you like it, then I'll keep going, but I'm not entirely sure if I'm getting his character right. Of course he has to be so freaking quiet and mysterious. Also, I realize it might get a little boring reading the exact same dialogue from the book. Let me know if it is. Review if you like it!

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the following characters, plots, dialogues, etc. They belong to Sarah Dessen!!

It was a nice night as I headed over to the van. As usual, I had barely taken in the atmosphere. They were mostly the same: bustling, rich people, who wanted nothing more than to loiter around a fancy house with a drink in their hands. Of course, I didn't mind. This was how my family and I made a living. But, despite the chaos that was always bound to ensue during these catering jobs, I just wished it would all happen differently, if that made sense. I took in a deep breath of the summer air, glad to be outside.

I was rummaging around through our supplies, looking for a platter Delia had-surprise-forgotten to bring in, when I heard Bert's unmistakable voice calling out an unmistakable "Gotcha!" I cringed as a startled shriek followed, then sighed, grabbed the platter, and made my way over to the debacle.

"Bert?" I called from the driveway. "What are you doing?"

"I'm...I'm scaring you Aren't I?" he asked.

I stopped next to a girl around my age. Bert could be so dense sometimes.

"Nope," I said simply to the bushes his voice had come from. "Not me." Definitely not me. I looked at the girl, unable to make out much of her features, seeing as how it was dark and she was silhouetted against the light from the house.

"You okay?" I asked her, hoping she didn't plan on claiming assault or anything irrational like that. To my relief, I saw her nod.

I sighed inwardly and turned back to the bush, eyeing it until I caught a piece of Bert's clothing. I stuck my hand in and pulled him out. He stumbled forward onto the driveway. I didn't know people could turn that red.

"Bert. Honestly," I scolded.

"You have to understand," he said to the girl. "I'm down in a big way."

"Just apologize." Poor girl.

"I'm very sorry...I, um, thought you were someone else." I suppressed a snicker.

"It's okay," she replied sincerely, probably just wanting to get out of here. I noticed a box at her feet, then traced papers all down the driveway. I nudged Bert, alerting him to this. He mumbled something and bent to pick them up as I walked down the driveway, picking up the vagabond fliers there.

A light flickered on from outside the house, followed by Delia stepping outside.

"What in the world is going on out here?" she asked, hands on her hips, a spatula in one hand. "Where is that platter I asked for?"

"Right here," I replied as I walked back up to the girl, handing her the fliers.

"Thanks," she said.

"No problem," I replied, making one last attempt to make out her features before going back inside.

The rest of the night passed by with normal Wish chaos entwined with normal party boringness. To ease my suffering, I watched my friends bustle around. Bert with his heavy, almost obnoxious walk, but, by no doubt, a people-pleaser. Kristy with her bouncy walk, full of confidence, her usual, subconscious game of avoiding the grabby people she played. Monica, with her slow, languid drag, completely oblivious she was out there to walk and let people eat, rather than just walk. Every now and then I spotted Delia in the kitchen as the door burst open, bustling hastily as she attempted to keep up with the demand. I found myself thinking back to my mother, wondering what it would be like if she were here, how different it would be. I shrugged this off as I poured someone else a drink. Before I knew it, we were loading up the van.

When we were finishing up, I tried as hard as I could to tune out Bert's apocalyptic theories and reports he was now rattling off to Monica. Though, the thought of being crushed, or however it was we were to go, by another planet was a tad bit disturbing.

"Ummm-hmmm," said Monica slowly, as if she'd paid attention, or cared, in the least.

"Bert, give it rest," I said, unwilling to go through the duration of another crackpot theory.

"I'm just trying to help her be informed!" Bert retaliated. I stared at him blankly, trying my hardest to keep my face nonchalant as Bert's turned dead serious. "This is serious stuff, Wes. Just because you prefer to stay in the dark–"

"Are we ready to go?"called Delia, returning from the house once again, carrying the car seat she'd basically used to help keep Lucy sedated in one hand, the actual demon in the other. I took the seat from her hand. As I did, I caught something out of the corner of my eye. I looked towards the roof, but nothing was there. Great, I thought to myself. Bert's finally getting a hold on me.

"Did we get paid?" Bert asked, picking at a stain on his shirt.

"Had to comp half...The price of chaos," said Delia, as she made her way over to the other side. "Probably should bother me, but frankly, I'm too pregnant and exhausted to care. Who has the keys?"

Bert instantly offered to drive. I felt myself yawn as I pictured sitting in the van, going ten miles an hour towards home. No thanks. Obviously, the others were thinking along the same lines, as usual, as they all voted against it to, deciding to ignore Bert's indignant arguments.

Bert began pouting as the others climbed inside the van, having designated me as their driver.

"It's not a big deal," I said reassuringly to him, feeling pity for him. Bert took things way too personally, and, sometimes, if you let it go for too long, he managed to stretch out his unhappiness that much longer.

"I never get to drive. Never," he whined. "Even lazy Monotone got to last week, but never me. Never."

"You will," I spoke confidently. "Next week you'll have your own car, and you can drive whenever you want. But don't push this issue now, man. It's late.

He grumbled something in reply, but I knew he'd relented.

"You know that girl who was in the kitchen tonight, helping Delia?"

"Yeah," I said. I'd seen her only a few times after the little incident, whenever the door opened to reveal the kitchen. But I still hadn't gotten a good look at her. "The one you leapt out at?"

"Anyway," Bert said, clearly wanting to move past that. "Don't you know who she is?"


"Yeah you do," he said. Okay, Bert, I thought. Whatever you say. "Her dad was the coach when we used to run in that kids' league, back in elementary school. The Lakeview Zips. Remember?"

I opened the back door, hoping he'd get the hint as I noticed the others waiting impatiently inside. But then I did remember, stepping aside so he could get in.

"Oh yeah," I said, recalling my school running days. "Coach Joe, right?"

Bert repeated his name, sounding it out. "He was a nice guy."

I took a look around the area, silently agreeing with him, as I went to the driver's side, got in, and took off with the rest of the Wish gang.