Miss Aida
Late nights and barely any sleep on days leading up to the weekend, and 48 hours later I was buzzing with the adrenaline I needed to help Azreen prepare her birthday party. A throwback to the eighties; Azreen had to choose the absolute worst in the style era. Fun, but fun that came with a grimace at the sheer horror of everyone's costumes, for the most part.

When I opened the door to Eric and his friend Dincha, I was surprised, if only for the fact that he was someone we just met the night before, and at a random club at that. Granted, he did seem nice enough when we talked to him the night before, but every single bit of safety advice that I had ever been told in past years started bells ringing in my head at that moment. I was more surprised that he had actually accepted the invitation as opposed to Azreen actually inviting him.

They were outsiders. Different. They were working as opposed to all the students there. We didn't have similar backgrounds. We didn't come from the same country. Yet, the two men had the confidence to rock up to a roomful of complete strangers and take it by storm.

The two of them turned out to be incredibly fun. A bit on the wacked out side, a bit on the crazy side, but entertaining for the most part. There was no shyness, no objections about the games we wanted to play; they just jumped in headfirst.

It was slightly bizarre, considering the game we ended up playing throughout the later part of the night. The 7 Deadly Sins, a game where we were stretched to the limits of our own personal social acceptability, where we had to perform actions in order to earn the tokens we needed to win the game. Bizarre in the sense that we were performing actions that may cause some individuals to shift in their seats uncomfortably, to raise eyebrows; actions that one might be less than comfortable with performing with new friends as opposed to old. I know I definitely got more than I bargained for that night! I hadn't laughed so hard in ages, but neither have I been so self-conscious either! Nevertheless, I suppose there are less interesting ways of getting to know new friends as opposed to making complete fools of yourself on the first meeting.

I still remain wary with strangers, but there are always exceptions to the rule. We were lucky enough to have met individuals that justified Azreen's actions and I am glad that she enjoyed herself on her birthday party all the more for it. For my part, I admire the way she manages to be so comfortable with people she has just met, and wish that I could be less reserved, less shy with new people. Confidence is an art, and it is an art that I can only fake, but at least I can fake it well enough to shield my insecurities from the outside world.

I admire the individuals with natural charisma and charm, with that inborn spark of confidence, especially when it comes to being social. I admire people who can approach strangers and effortlessly strike up a conversation, knowing somehow that the other individual will respond well, to my utmost amazement.

Now if only I can figure out how to do what they do.
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