Chapter 17

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When we got there at around 10:10, we saw tons of people on the streets, way more than what we see on TV. This was a concern to Nancy, who so desperately wants to see her boyfriend again, even though it's been only a week since they last saw each other.

"How the heck are we going to get to where Blair is at?"

"I don't know…" Mrs. Garrett answered. Fortunately, the answer came from the men in blue. Yes, the same ones I called "pigs" on Christmas Eve.

"Are you Edna Garrett?" The policeman asked her.

"Yes I am. Are we in trouble officer?" she responded with a touch of fear in her tone.

The officer just smiled and snickered, "Nothing like that, ma'am. Come with us."

We got into their var and with sirens wailing in the air; we were driven to the hotel where Blair was. The crowded area parted like that fable about Moses and the Red Sea. Finally we got to the hotel and went up to the fifth floor. I was quite taken when we got to the room. It was huge and it was fancy as well. There were balloons all over the place, a big table for all the guests to eat when they have their New Years Day dinner. It had lots of gold and glitter everywhere. Blair sure did put a lot into it.

As Greg mentioned to Cindy earlier, it was a young crowd. The only one the seems to be older than 25 here was Mrs. Garrett. Blair was chatting with a few members of The Group, but oddly enough, Tumpy was not there. Now why wouldn't she be in an event like this? Blair looked quite amazing in her satin blue dress. She had quite a bit of makeup, but that's Blair for you.

Blair eventually noticed us and quickly came. "I'm so glad to see you guys." Blair said as she hugged and greeted each one of us, except Cindy. Her response to Cindy was a rather cold "Hi". Cindy returned a chilly greeting back. She was smiling as usual, but Blair had a certain bit of sadness to her. Her smile didn't have that energy like it usually does, and her body were saying that she was disappointed about something. Then it became clear to me, because her friend Tumpy wasn't here. However, if I were her, I would make the best of it. A new decade is coming, and she got a great party going.

There was this one guy who was with her. He was blond, about at least six feel two, looked like he was at least 21 and was wearing an expensive blazer from L.L. Bean or some place like that.

Mrs. Garrett took notice of him and asked, "So who's this young gentleman you brought here with you?"

With impeccable manners I might say, Chase introduced himself. "Hi, I'm Chase Barrington the Fifth. It's such an honor to meet you." He shook Mrs. Garret's hands. He was very much Blair's so-called "type", high-class and all that.

"Nice to meet you too. Blair, where's your friend Tumpy?"

"Umm… She said she wasn't feeling well, so she couldn't come." Blair answered, yet there was some hesitation on her part. Also, why was the rest of the group looking the other way when Mrs. Garrett asked the question, like they got something to hide? Could those two be? Nah!

Anyhow, Chase didn't mind one bit. "Well her lost was my gain." He smiled.

Tootie than took notice of Blair's dress. "Wow Blair, that's a stunning dress!"

"Why thank you, Chase picked this one for me."

Chase just blushed, "I just saw this dress the other day in Bloomingdales down at Madison Avenue, and I thought it would be perfect for her."

"Well, I can't say you picked a bad one alright." Mrs. Garrett smiled. "So how long have you two been dating?"

I saw quite a bit of hesitation on both of their faces. Chase and Blair didn't answer Mrs. Garrett's question immediately.

"Um… Just about two weeks ago, right Blair."

"That sounds correct." Blair responded. She really wasn't sure about it. How can you not be sure when you start dating someone? I still remember when me and Ralph dated like it was yesterday, even though it's been about two months already. Something's not right here.

"Well Blair's lucky to have a handsome and proper gentleman like you." Mrs. Garrett told Chase.

"Thanks again, Mrs…"

"It's Mrs. Garrett," she smiled.

"Well thank you, Mrs. Garrett."

Then a group of old friends came into the suite, it was Kimberly with her brothers Willis and Arnold.

"Hi Kimberly," Blair said in a somewhat cold tone. Those two aren't really the best of friends. I'm surprised she invited her.

"Hi Blair." She replied back in the same manner.

"Hey there Blair." Willis came over with a handshake.

"Well if it ain't Miss Park Avenue Princess herself." Arnold said with a sarcastic tone. He can be a real wise apple.

"And you must be the toad that no girl wants to kiss. How are you doing?" Blair shot back.

"Yuck! I don't want no girl be kissin' on me! Where's the food at?"

"We won't have a meal until New Years Day come, but we do have some delicious hors d'oeuvres that you might like."

"Good. I don't mind eating some finger foods. It's probably better than whatever Willis cooks. Most of it taste like he made it with his foot!"

"Arnold, be happy that I was willing to cook while our housekeeper is still on vacation." Willis responded.

"And I'll be happy when I finally get to eat something that is editable for human consumption." Then that little brat went straight to the hors d'oeuvres. Good, hopefully we don't have to deal with him for the rest of the night.

"I thought you guys wouldn't get here on time." Blair worried for a bit.

"Blair, it was because of all those people on the streets. It was more pack than it was for the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade." Willis explained.

"I know, but you could have called me and I would have gotten the cops to get you."

"I wish you had told us that, considering that I'm playing for half of this place." Kimberly scorned a bit on her.

Blair smiled, "Yeah, but don't forget who thought of it first."

During the time that Blair and Kimberly were talking, Cindy was talking to Chase for a bit. I don't think Blair noticed though, as she ended up talking to other guests after Kimberly.

About twenty minutes later, Greg finally came with his friend Scott and Nancy's boyfriend, Roger. It's good to see Greg, but not the other two meatheads.

"Greg! It's good see to see you buddy!" I came up and hugged him. I saw a sneering look coming from Scott and Roger.

Nancy got elated when she saw her boyfriend. "Roger, you're here!" She greeted like she hasn't seen him in ages. If the movie "Love Story" was based on those two, people would mistake it for a silly melodramatic comedy! Not like the original one was any less silly…

"Of course, baby. How are you doing?" said the black-haired musclehead.

"Fine now that you are here," she smiled brightly.

Roger than turned his attention to me, "Hey Molly we got something from you."

"Like what? A jock strap?" I said rather sarcastically.

The boys laughed, I'm surprised that they didn't take it seriously, but then again, I'm dealing with the real-life version of Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber.

"No, it's something you will like."

Greg than joined in. "I know that Christmas has passed, but we do have a present for you."

"What is it?" I asked.

Greg and Scott then parted from each other, and there appeared Ralph! Oh my, they must have went trouble a lot of trouble getting Ralph. I quickly ran up to him and give him a heartwarming hug.

"Ralph! How did you get here?"

"You can thank Greg. He was able to arrange a flight for me to come back."

Greg smiled, that's why he's the world's best buddy.

"Thank you so much Greg."

"No problem, Scott helped out as well. He was able to get his father's personal jet to pick him up when we found out that all the airlines booked."

Scott smirked at me like he got me. He did – for now. "See I'm not a bad guy after all."

"Sure you're not, but that one act of kindness doesn't totally convince me that you're a total jerk."

Scott quickly flared up and was about to tell me something, but Roger cooled him quickly.

"Molly, that was inappropriate. I think you should tell him you're sorry."

"Roger's right, you should." Nancy backed him up while Greg agreeably nodded. Thanks Nancy…

"Alright. I apologize for calling you a jerk."

Scott smiled rather arrogantly, "That's much better."

Then Greg spotted Chase. "Hey, is that Chase?"

Scott's and Roger's eyes peaked up and looked where Greg was looking. "It sure is, and he's with Blair." Chase was talking to Blair at that moment while Cindy was chatting with Sue Ann.

The three guys started to laugh their butts off. I don't know why they found it funny.

"Of all the people Blair choose to be with… Hahaha!" Scott jested.

"Talk about barking up the wrong tree. I know that Blair likes to have a man around, but I didn't know that she was THAT desperate." Roger added. Until recently, I would agree with Roger about Blair, but Blair has changed somewhat.

I didn't get what was so funny about Chase. He's handsome, well groomed, sophisticated, and intelligent. He might come off strange a bit, but people say the same thing about me. "Hey, what's so funny?" I asked.

Greg cleared his through. "Nothing, really."

"You guys are hiding something from me. I can tell." Their body language said it all. The lack of direct eye contact, the small around of shaking, and the way they answered my question.

Before I could say anything else, Sue Ann came up to Scott with Cindy tagging along.

"Hey there Scottie! I'm glad you made it, what took you so long?"

"We got caught up in the crowd, so it took us some time. Plus Roger got lost driving us."

"Did not!" Roger protested.

Greg was not in the mood for any arguments. "Look fellows, there's no need to start some silly arguments. The end of the decade is coming, so let's enjoy it while it last, right Cindy?" Greg ended with a wink.

Cindy blushed a bit and responded, "That's right Greg." Then she turned her head to look at Sue Ann. Sue Ann quickly looked the other way. Greg looked at the two like they were acting weird. I don't think he caught on, but it did raise his attention.

Before I can examine further, Ralph asked me a question. "Hey Molly, do you want to dance? They're playing 'Cars.'"

"Why certainly! I love Gary Numan!"

We quickly got on the dancefloor and started to shake our butts off! It was fun spending time dancing with him. For a while, the DJ was playing a variety of stuff, not just disco, thank goodness! He was able to put in some danceable rock music. This was quite surprising Blair would allow this type of music in her party, she prefers Opera, Broadway musicals and French music. I should hire this DJ if I have a party!

Then the DJ changed it to slow dance music. The first song was "Special Lady" by Ray, Goodman, and Brown; or was it by the Moments? I don't know these R&B groups too well; Tootie and to a lesser extent, Cindy, are more knowledgeable in that department.

While I was slow dancing with Ralph, I was observing Cindy and Sue Ann, dancing with Greg and Scott respectively. It was almost like the dance at Bates Academy. Cindy was looking at Sue Ann, practically longing for her. However, Sue Ann tried not to look back this time, every time Cindy looks at her, she look away. Yet, on occasions, Sue Ann looks at her rather fondly when Cindy wasn't looking and when Scott wasn't paying attention. Oh boy, this is going to be disastrous if Sue Ann keeps it up. The slow music kept on going until three minutes before midnight. After that, the DJ stops the music.

"It's 11:57 PM right now, are you ready for the groovy 80's?" He said in that phony voice DJs like to use. The crowd shouted 'yeah!' Now the hoopla begins.

The curtains covering up the windows were now wide open, for all of us to see the frenzy at Times Square. We could actually see Catherine Bach across from us. She actually waved a 'hi' to Blair. Blair was blushing red as a cherry, as she waved back. It's not that much of a surprise that she knows Catherine Bach. After all, she's rich. I wish I knew someone famous like Gloria Steinem or Georgia O'Keefe.

After it became 11:59 PM, the ball started to drop down and people started the countdown.

"This is so exciting, I've never had been to a party like this for New Year's!" Ralph elated.

"Neither have I!"

When it reached to ten seconds, everybody joined in the countdown.

"10… 9… 8… 7… 6… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… Happy New Year!"

Then the DJ added, "Happy New Decade everybody!" The cheers and jubilation rang through the air. As tradition, you were supposed to kiss your significant other, and so me and Ralph gave each other a long peck.

"Happy New Years, Molly."

"Happy New Years to you to, Ralph."

Then I saw Scott and Sue Ann kissed. Sue Ann tried to like it, but her body was saying something else. I saw a mad look on Cindy's face, but before she can get to her full reaction, Greg grabbed her and kissed her as well. Cindy was equally uncomfortable about the kiss. It looked like her brain just shut down when he kissed her. Sue Ann did see that and her lips were tightened up, though she pretends to be happy about it. But forget about those two kisses, they couldn't top Nancy and Roger's kiss. They must have kissed for at least five minutes, it seems! Everybody surrounding them gave the two lovebirds a rousing cheer.

Back to the main couples, as soon as Greg's kiss ended, I saw a grinning face on Greg with his crooked smile, and also on Scott's and Roger's, but I saw an awkward look on Cindy and an angry look on Sue Ann's face that directly squarely at Greg. Through all the celebration and jubilation that was going on, there was some bad tension going on between the four.

Luckily, those tensions went away when everybody started to sing "Auld Lang Syne." I never really understood the song and what it really has to do with New Years. The Scottish people, where it originated, didn't sing that traditionally for New Years. They sang "Hogmanay."

Back to the two women, then Cindy looked at Sue Ann and told her, "Happy New Year Sue Ann."

"Happy New Year, Cindy!" She replied back in the same jubilant manner. Then they hugged, for quite a long time. The embrace, I mean hug, was more intimate than the kiss they gave to their so-called "boyfriends." Cindy just hugged her, but knowing her, she will try to find a way to kiss her, just not in front of everyone. Scott was a bit amused of it, but I think I saw a worried look on Greg's face. His eyebrows dropped and he mouth was slightly opened. Uh oh, I have a feeling that Greg suspects something more between the two women. Although he's a jock, he's not stupid. Blair was around and so was Chase. I saw Blair shook her head slightly, like she was a bit disgusted, while Chase had something of a smirk on his face, does he knows something about the two? It could be, for he and Cindy talked for a while. Luckily, Mrs. Garrett didn't notice. She was a bit tipsy and shouted "Happy New Year" while nearly stumbling.

Lots of partying was going on, then about a half-hour later, in came a woman with a thick fur coat. It was Catherine Bach. Instantly, Blair forgot about Chase and ran up to Catherine Bach, like a sailor coming back from the sea to greet his lover. She hugged Catherine, not like how Cindy and Sue Ann hugged, but it was a bit more passionate than a friendly hug. I don't think Catherine picked it up. She probably though it was just another crazy fan hugging her.

"Hey there Blair!" Catherine greeted with a Midwestern accent, nothing like her accent on the show. Didn't know that she was a Midwestern until that moment. Her accent is similar to that of Sue Ann's. Found out later that she's from South Dakota.

"Hi Cathy! It's good to see you."

It was pathetic. Blair was gushing over her like a lovesick puppy. I'm just glad for Blair's sake that Catherine didn't pick it up. I noticed that Cindy was looking at Blair with peculiar interest, maybe she knows about Blair's true sexuality.

I came up to Blair and asked her, "So you know Catherine Bach?"

"Oh yeah, she's a family friend of ours." I bet you want her to be more than just a family friend, Blair.

Catherine smiled. "Well, I had done a summer job with Warner Textiles when I was a teen in South Dakota."

Then I went straight to the point with her. "Do you feel ashamed of what you wear on the show?"

I saw her muttered to herself, "Here we go again…" Blair looked at me crossed.

"Molly! How dare you talk like that to Catherine Bach?"

"Well I have the right to say what I want, it's in the Constitution. Also, I have the right to say that what she wears on the show takes women back two decades."

Catherine surprised me with her comeback, "I bet you don't watch the rest of the show. Daisy Duke is more than what she wears. She can fight, handle a gun, and put a man in his place, but you would know all that if you took the time to watch the show. You need see beyond the short shorts, honey."

Then Blair intervened. "Molly, I don't want any of your radical, militant, flannel-shirt wearing, bra-burning feminism here. And before you use the First Amendment on me, let me tell you this, it only applies to public area, and this is not one of them. I run this party and I can have you kicked out, c'est compris?"

"Yes, I understood." I replied, knowing that what she said in French from my French class.

I walked away when she told Catherine, "Now where were we?" Sometimes, my big mouth would do me in. Ralph then came to me.

"Oh wow! Is that Daisy Duke from the Dukes of Hazzard?" Ralph elated.

"Is sure is." I muttered.

"Can you get me her autograph?" Great, I can't believe that he's a fan of hers.

"You better off getting it yourself."

"Did you criticize her outfit, Molly?" He knows me too well.

"Yeah I did."

"Molly, there's a time and place to express your opinions, but now is not the time and here is not the place."

"You're right, Ralph." I moped, but Ralph didn't waste no time attracting Catherine's attention.

"Wow, it's you, Daisy Duke!"

Catherine chuckled, "Well right now, I'm Catherine Bach."

"Can I get your autograph?" He said with a napkin and pen in hand.

Instantly, everybody took notice of Catherine and they swooned in to see her. The crowd was totally star-struck. I guess it's not everyday you see a celebrity. I just went away from the crowd and watch to see various people's body language. I'm glad Blair didn't kick me out of her party.

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We partied for another two-hour before we all left. By the time we got back home, it was close to three AM, way past our bedtimes. Greg, Scott, and Roger came with us, since Greg had to drive the van back.

When the party was over, we went back home, way past our curfew, but thank goodness Mr. Bradley wasn't here. He probably would give us one of his dorky lectures.

Mrs. Garrett was fumbling with the keys, even though she wasn't drunk, so Nancy took it from her and opened the door. We all got inside, except for Cindy and Sue Ann. I looked out in the windows, and it looked like Cindy told Sue Ann "Happy New Year." There was no noise, so I had to depend on reading their lip, but the outside light was on. Then I think Sue Ann replied "Happy New Year."

Next Cindy came closer to Sue Ann and smooched her. This time Sue Ann didn't pull back, but immediately she came to the front door. I quickly moved away from the window and went straight to the kitchen. I think I need to have a word with Cindy, she's becoming a bit too aggressive.

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