The banging at my door shook me out of sleep. I stumbled out of bead and taking about 30 seconds to unlock all the locks on my door and lift the bar up, I opened the door to see Nat standing there with the biggest grin on her face. Her makeup was impeccable as usual and she had on short denim shorts with a half way brown grunge top and cowgirl boots on to match. She always made things look great. For jewellery she had on a few black and white bangles, feather earrings and a bunch of stringy necklaces with little metal leaves hanging off it. She had two large Styrofoam cup in her hands as she shoved me aside and laid them on my table. Once she did that she took a good look at me and instantly looked disapproving.
'Still in your Pj's?' she said exasperated. I rolled my eyes.
'I just woke up! That's why!' I replied, yawing just to prove my point. She just looked at me.

I got up to search my wardrobe for something decent to wear, when Nat sighed and shoved me out the way, to close that side of the wardrobe. My side, her side consisted of my designer and fashionable stuff I tried to avoid. She opened it and rummaged through, while I sat on the bed watching her with a glare. She liked dressing me up, and if it was before 9 in the morning -which it was –then there must be something important on, which means I'm her Barbie. Yay. She turned around and looked at me with a grin. She held up a nice black top that flows around the chest and stomach with little puffed sleeves that had elastic bits at the end to cling to the arms, and at the hem as well, about an inch long. She had a pair of white denim medium height short shorts, that jus covered the elastic, making it look nice and blowy, and a flashy pair of gold flats with covered toes. I stared at her in shock. 'I am not wearing that!' I said and crossed my arms.
'Sorry Dru-Girl, not really giving you a choice here, .On.' and she mocked glared at me. I shook my head and yanked the clothes out of her hands, and she turned around, in there was also a spare pair of underwear and a bra, and a plain white clingy singlet to under the slightly see through top. I got out of my boxers, oversized top and undergarments and put them in a pile at the bottom of my bed. I slipped into the new ones and the singlet and reached for the shorts when Nat glanced around and took my old clothed into the laundry to wash.
Bleary eyed, I shimmied into my shorts and pulled the top on over the singlet. Nat walked in and stopped dead in her tracks, looking at me with amusement. 'Oh, so you can't dress yourself either?'
She walked over and tugged my shorts so they weren't crooked, and tucked the elastic bit of the shirt in at the back where I missed, and handed me the shoes.

'Just a few added touches.' She said and rummaged through her handbag, and came out with a small, pink Diva bag and held it out to me. 'Here, Happy Birthday.'
'Nat! You didn't have to get me anything!' I said, and gave her a massive hug. Opening the bag I gasped at what was inside. A gold several-string necklace with little diamonds hanging off the edges, golden hoop earrings and a silver two fingered ring with the word Believe on it in cursive writing. I hugged her again, harder this time. 'Thank you! So much! You know what? I had actually forgotten, the year has gone by so fast.' I put the jewellery and flats on and did a little twirl. She looked at me approvingly. Ever since I had bloomed all I needed to do was just run a few fingers through my blonde and brown hair and it would fall nice in smooth, loose salon styled curls. Make up wasn't needed either. Though sometimes that didn't stop Nat.

She squealed and did a little happy dance and gave me another hug, crushing me while she did. 'You're finally 18, Dru! Gosh, can you believe it's already been 2 years since all this madness began? Look at how far we've gotten.' She said. Just thinking about all I had been through since my dad died. His 2 year anniversary was in a week. My birthday was the day we had moved into the town, he ordered my favourite pizza and bought me some movie called legally blonde. He couldn't get me a lot- because we were on the road- but it was the thought that counted. I missed my Dad. I missed my mum. I missed Gran. Most of all, I missed someone else, but I try to avoid thinking about them. I fail miserably though. Tears instantly poured down my face and I glanced at Nat. Her face instantly softened and she grabbed my hand.
'Hey, it's okay. He's okay. Shanks has been keeping an eye on him. Don't worry. We don't know when he's coming back, but he is coming back remember? He promised. I know it's hard but you just have to put up with me 'til he does okay?' I laughed at the last bit and gave her another hug. This one more desperate, and needy. She was my best friend, and I don't know what I'd do without her. It would be like half of me was gone (which is all, seeing and he took half already when he left). Most of all, she understood. She let me cry in her shoulder and just held me. I don't know how long we were standing there in an embrace for, but she just let me cry, while sending soothing words in my ears. We never said his name, apparently, according to Nat, at one of the council meeting when I was coming they had a quick agreement that they would refer to him as he, seeing as I would burst into tears at any mention of his name. I thanked them for it.
Taking a deep breath, I pulled back from Nat. 'I'm okay.' I said, wiping my eyes. She gave me another quick hug and a peck on the cheek before she grabbed my hands and was all happy again.
'C'mon, Dru girl! Theres a council meeting this morning, but the best thing? Apparently its about the funds they've been getting in recently, so you might be getting more money on your card!.' I laughed out loud. 'Nat, you do most of the spending anyway, and I barely let you use half of what the council want me to use! We don't need more!' she just grinned. Yeah, but, it's fun to have it.' She grabbed my hand and lead me to the council room. Shanks came in step with us as we were walking and put his arm over my shoulders. 'Happy Birthday, Dru-Girl!' he said with a smile. ' Gotcha present in the council room, dropped it in there the 'smorning. Your stuck with me all day!' he said. I put my arms around his waist and gave him a squeeze. 'Thanks, Shanks.' I said and quickly hurried up to catch up to Nat, Shanks following right beside me. 'All good.' He said.

'Tsk, Tsk. We're late!' she said when we approached the doors. She didn't make a move to open them, just whispered something in the guards ear, and gave me a quick once over while he said something in the walkie-talkie. 'Looking, hot.' She said, and looked at Shanks. He cleared his throat and grinned at me. 'Definitely.' He said, and we all laughed. I didn't think of shanks in anyway but friendly. He thought the same, and we all know he's got the hots for Nat. He keeps asking about her when she's not around me. Shanks and Nat stepped forward to open the doors either side of me and we stepped through.

'Surprise!' everyone said, as I was hit with thousands of pieces of confetti and streamers.