What the hell am I doing here?

This is the third time I've asked myself this question today. Ever since I let that idiotic clown Rock talk me into attending Romana's annual Starry Night party, I've been wondering how he managed to convince me. I don't belong in a place like this, especially not with a party going on, or with happy couples everywhere... Or with those two lovebirds being so happy around her piano... Ugh.

I honestly don't begrudge Gustafa and Lumina their relationship, but that doesn't mean that I want to be around it. I don't want to hear their sappy love ballads, watch them staring into each others' eyes like fools, and I certainly don't want to feel that horribly sweet aura that surrounds some lovey-dovey couples... why can't they just skip the formalities and go up to her room?

*Sigh* And there's Rock, chatting with Jack and Celia as if he'd just met them on the street. Mayor Thomas of Mineral Town is busy chatting with Romana, Harris and Aja disappeared into a storage closet five minutes ago (honestly, can't newlyweds keep their hands to themselves? They could at least wait until that kid's outta her), while Basil and Anna seem to have decided that this party needed to become a ball. Well, at least their daughter seems to be having as much fun as I am in her little corner by the punchbowl... I'd join the girl, but I'm a little too sober to feel comfortable about her muttering. Apparently Kai chose to stay at the inn tonight, probably drinking his Starry Night into oblivion.

I always knew that boy had more sense than I did.

Then Griffin and Muffy walk in, dressed as Santa Claus and his "little helper." Tim and Ruby help to distribute the presents, and when I see Lumina recieve a blue-wrapped box of just a certain shape and size... forget it, I'm outta here. The last thing I need to see tonight is a proposal.

Outside, quiet. The sun has set, the moon is absent. Only the stars and the snow provide light. I brush off my favorite bench, sit down, and look up to the sky. Just another day in the life of Nami the Wanderer.

"Feeling lonely?"

I nearly punch the arrogant prick, but he just jumps back and begins laughing at me. Then he falls flat on his ass into a snowdrift, and I get to laugh at him in return.

"Maybe you just don't get it-"

"Get what? That you don't like being around happy couples? That you're jealous of Lumina for dating Gustafa before you even managed to work up half the courage you would've needed to admit that you liked him? Or maybe you think that I don't get how you feel in the middle of a party, surrounded by people but feeling that you don't belong around any of them?"

I didn't respond. Obviously, Rock knew me better than I thought he did. Sighing, he sat on the bench beside me and started talking again

"Look, I know that you're not much of an extrovert. I'm sorry I dragged you here, but... welll... I didn't want to be alone either tonight."

What, this loser? Alone in a crowd?

"I know what you're thinking, but we're not as different as you might think. For one thing, we share a common family history. The only difference there is that I got adopted, and you didn't."

I really oughta stop drinking if this dork is picking up on my family history...

"I'm happy with my parents, don't get me wrong. Tim and Ruby couldn't be better to me. Heck, there are times when I almost wish that they weren't such gentle-natured people. But, they're not my parents. Not biologically, anyway. And as happy as I am with them, there are still moments when I don't feel like I belong to them."

I just shrug. I never had parents, and never really cared for them.

"Harris and Aja are the ones that really depress me tonight. There they are, about to become parents themselves. Having kids... well, it kinda fascinates me. I wonder, sometimes, what it would be like to have the same kind of family that everyone else does. Maybe I didn't get the chance for that as a kid, but I would kinda like being a dad to someone..."

"Kids aren't a lot of fun, y'know..."

"Yeah, sure," Rock replied. "But there are plenty of good moments to make up for the bad. Too bad I'll never find out."

I simply nodded, and went back to staring at the sky. As someone who'd all but given up hope of having a "normal" family herself, I knew what Rock meant by never finding out. Even if he was lucky enough to find the girl of his dreams somewhere, life never turns out the way we think it should. Nothing is ever as beautiful as it seems when you get a close look at it.

"We're missing out on a fun party, y'know."

From the corner of my eye, I can almost see Rock smirk.

"Yeah, but I think I like it better out here right now. The stars are quite beautiful, aren't they?"

"Yes," I reply,"you are."

For: Therainydaykids

I hope you enjoyed it.