Mending and Coffee
Leah's POV :
Have a coffee, heal your heart.
That is my new motto of living after Kevin had joked that just like bitter medicines heal external injuries, bitter coffee is really effective with heartbreaks and so I had taken up on his advice.
After last night’s bonfire, I could say that things have taken a better turn. Mom and Dad were extremely happy seeing me out there, opening up. I also tried to partake in small conversations and one could see the smile radiating off their faces. It warmed me from the inside seeing how such a small act from me could make them so happy.
Another reason for their happiness was Grant’s homecoming. They were obviously mad at him for disappearing into the night and then not calling for two months straight but having him back home was like all sins forgiven. They didn’t bring it up either fearing that he might get upset and the night would be ruined.
Dad had no idea what to make in such a short notice so we had ordered pizza and guess what? Dad had offered to drink beer with me. We had made quite a night off yesterday. Mom had invited Tracy and Maggie to stay the night. We had, then turned it into a movie night playing every Christmas movie we could until we fell asleep. We had also made plans to go Christmas shopping today seeing as there were only five days left for the occasion.
Surprisingly, I was feeling very Christmas-y today unlike yesterday.
“Someone wake this girl up. She sleeps like a koala.” Maggie let out an exaggerated sigh and plopped down on my bed where Tracy was currently sleeping.
“She woke up just to go and sleep on my bed, Mag. I already tried.” I rolled my eyes and went back to outfit choosing for a shopping afternoon.
“Uh, Leah?” She called.
“Do you mind if I wet your bed?” She asked.
I turned around and looked up at her in confusion. “What?”
She groaned and hid her face in her palm. “Ugh. That came out wrong. I meant, do you mind if I wake this girl up and your bed gets wet in the process?”
It took me one whole minute to understand her plan. “Oh.” I shrugged. “Yeah, I don’t mind. Go on. I’ll shoot it.” I said as I picked up my phone and started to record this fun morning.
She grinned. “Got it, boss.” Then she rushed towards my bathroom and came back with a cup of water. “Ready?” She asked me and I gave her a thumbs up as I fixated my phone camera at a sleeping Tracy. “Here you go, sweet Tracy. Good Morning!” Maggie sang as she threw water at her.
Tracy gasped and sat up straight making a perfect L shape as Maggie and I rolled on the floor laughing.
“Not funny guys.” Tracy laughed.
“It really is. I have proof.” I said as I raised the phone in my hand.
She glared at me but I didn’t miss the look of amusement of her face and how her lips twitched at the corners.
“What?” I asked after composing myself a little.
“Nothing.” She shrugged. “It’s just that you’re laughing without holding back. It’s nice to see.”
In an instant my smile vanished and I coughed trying to hide the blush of embarrassment. I don’t know why it made me embarrassed that my friends caught me laughing freely. It was just weird to laugh like I used to. It felt like it has been too long since I had done that.
I clapped my hands together. “Yeah, okay. Now get your asses up and get ready. We are going shopping, remember?” I changed the subject not so elegantly.
Tracy and Maggie rolled her eyes as they caught on what I was doing but didn’t say anything. “Fine.” Tracy huffed and went inside the washroom to freshen up.
“We’re raiding your closet.” Maggie announced and went inside the other door.
“Sure. Just be glad we’re almost the same size.” I chuckled.
“You’re a size shorter than me, love. But I’ll manage.” She said as she came out with a large hoodie and jeans. The smallest hint of smile vanished from my face seeing her dress choice.
“That was Sean’s.” I said in a small voice.
“Oh.” She paused. “I’m sorry I didn’t know.”
I shook my head. “It’s fine.”
She pursed her lips. “I’ll just ask Grant for one of his hoodies.” She said and threw back Sean’s hoodie inside the closet before darting out of the door.
I didn’t have much time to wonder as Tracy exited the bathroom with a towel wrapped around her body. “I don’t even have an underwear.” She groaned.
“I have some new ones.” I said and pointed towards the drawers behind her.
“Thanks.” She smiled at me and took out a new set and vanished inside my closet.
Maggie returned with one of Grant’s old hoodies in her hand. “Got one.” She said and smiled and started walking towards the closet.
“Tracy is in.” I told her.
“Mind if I change here?” She asked.
I shrugged. “Go ahead. Strip. Kevin’s getting a show too.” I told her.
She gasped and looked out the window to see Kevin sitting on his window sill. When he saw us, he waved. Just then, Tracy came out with a mint green full sleeved dress and beige cashemere sweater. “What do you guys say? Dress or sweater?” She asked.
“If I were you, I’d go with the dress, Trace. It matches your underwear.” Kevin called from the opposite window.
Tracy gasped and threw my sweater at him which landed somewhere in my backyard and rushed back inside the closet leaving me, Maggie and Kevin cackling. “God, Kevin you’re savage.” I said between laughs.
“Thanks, I try.” He grinned attempting a wink and failing miserably, making Maggie and me laugh even more.
“I hate you guys.” Tracy huffed as she exited the closet in that mint green dress and black tights. “Specially that asshole over there.” She said glaring at Kevin. He in turn blew her kiss angering her even more.
“But you gotta admit babe. That was funny.” Maggie said between laughs and I nodded in agreement.
“Not when you’re the element of fun.” Tracy groaned and I laughed even more.
“Did I miss a good joke?” Grant asked as he entered my room and and plopped beside me.
“You missed one epic joke, Grant.” Kevin yelled.
Grant looked out to see Kevin cackling and making weird faces. “Hey man!”
“You should’ve seen Tracy......” Kevin trailed off.
“One more word Kevin and you won’t be able to speak forever.” Tracy warned.
Kevin sobered up immediately. “Jeez woman. Gandhi opposed violence.”
She rolled her eyes. “I’m no Gandhi.”
Grant chuckled. “Okay guys. Get ready. We’re having breakfast out too. You too Kevin.”
“What?” Kevin gasped. “I’m not going shopping with these girls. Oh hell no.”
Grant fake glared at him. “I dare you to not listen to me.”
Kevin groaned. “If you guys are not ready in ten minutes, you can forget about me going anywhere.”
Maggie and I immediately jumped off the bed and rushed towards the closet while Tracy and Grant laughed at us. It took me barely ten minutes to change into some random jeans and sweater while Maggie donned Grant’s hoodie. “Okay let’s go. We’re ready.”
Kevin stood on the opposite side of my window smirking. “You can thank me later, Grant.”
“Can we go?” I asked annoyed at not getting enough time to get ready while arranging my hair in a bun.
Grant laughed. “Let’s go.” He then exited the room leaving us three girls to follow.
“Have you told him?” Maggie asked.
“Not yet.” I said grabbing my purse and phone
“Well, will you?” Tracy piped
“Yes but not yet. Besides I think he already knows.” I said.
“Yeah but you know he will want to hear from you. You guys are more like best friends than siblings, Leah.” Tracy sighed.
“I know but I just don’t want to ruin it all. You know how Grant is. He would kill Sean and then blame himself for not being there for me. Plus he’s happy and I won’t ruin it until I definitely have to.” I said walking out of the room.
“He’s happy because you’re smiling and laughing more. It’s you that matters the most to him, Lee.” Maggie pointed.
“I know.” I whispered.
The three of us said goodbyes to Mom and Dad and walked out. Grant had already taken out his truck. Kevin was sitting in the passenger seat and playing on his phone.
“Finally.” He let out a dramatic sigh.
“Shut up, doofus.” I hit him with my bag and climbed in the backseat.
When all of us were seated, with Tracy, Maggie and me in the back and Kevin and Grant in the front, we drove off to a nearby diner for breakfast. Soon, all five of us were seated in a corner booth of Monet’s talking after placing our orders. Our current topic of a very hot discussion was what were we gonna do for the next two weeks of holidays.
“I know what I’m doing for the holidays.” I said munching on my Nutella waffles.
“And what is that?” Grant asked while the other three looked at me curiously.
I shrugged. “I’m gonna round the town on my bike on the best cafe hunt in town. When I figure it out, I’m gonna spend my free time for the rest of the year there.” I told them.
Kevin scoffed. “Best cafe in town? That’s easy peasy. Busy Bean. You don’t need to go around the town on your bike to know that, Leah.”
I rolled my eyes. “Personal experience, not goodwill, Kevin.”
He rolled his eyes and flicked my forehead. “You’ll see I’m right.”
“We’ll see.” I accepted his challenging looks.
“Want me to tag along?” Tracy asked with worried look in her eyes.
I shook my head. “Nope. Just me.”
I turned my head around to see Grant looking at me skeptically. I groaned. “Grant. I promise it’s not like that. I’m not shutting down again. I just have too many things to figure out about myself and everything around me. And I need solace for that. Just me. I promise I won’t go back to being what I was for the past two months. Plus Kevin only said that bitter coffee is my best medicine. It’s all for good coffee, really.”
The look he gave me told me that he didn’t really believed me but he sighed. “If that’s what you want.”
“It is.” I confirmed.
“Okay, so now my turn. I’m going on a boyfriend hunt during these holidays.” Tracy cut in the silence.
Kevin laughed. “Good luck on that.”
Tracy glared at him. “What is with you commenting on everyone’s plans? What are your plans?”
Kevin smirked. “Oh me? I’m gonna raid all of Leah’s Stephen Hawking collection. A perfect holiday.”
Tracy snickered. “Yeah, for nerds.”
Kevin quirked an eyebrow. “And what’s wrong with being a nerd?”
Tracy shrugged, not having a real answer making Kevin chuckle. “Okay fine. Suggest me the first thing you can and if it even sounds interesting, I’d do that for the holidays instead of drowning in books.”
Tracy thought for a while before jumping in her seat with her Newton like idea. “Okay I know! How about you accompany me in my boyfriend search and meanwhile do yourself a girlfriend search. The one who succeeds first wins.”
“What? No thanks, I’m good.”
“Oh come on. Say yes chicken.”
“I’m not a chicken.”
“Then say yes.”
Kevin sighed and looked at all of us for help but when neither piped in, he gave up. “Okay fine. you have a deal.”
Tracy smirked. “Would be fun to see you lose, Hawking nerd.”
“And what would the winner get?” Kevin asked.
Tracy squinted her eyes thinking and then spoke. “Loser will be a slave to the winner for the next two weeks.”
Kevin smirked. “Deal.”
Beside me, Maggie snickered. “50 bucks say these two are gonna end up together by the end of their bet. Wanna bet.”
I smirked. “Nah, I’m shipping.”
She then turned to Grant and asked him in a whisper while the other two bickered among themselves. “Hey, Grant?” He cocked an eyebrow asking her to continue. “50 bucks say these two are gonna end up together by the end of their bet. Wanna bet?”
Grant looked up at the potential couple and smirked. “Oh, you’re on.”
“Me too.” I piped.
“Deal.” My brother grinned.
“Okay so Mag, what’s your holiday plan?” Tracy asked after her personal verbal fight session was over.
“Um. I’m gonna babysit my sister all while when I’m not with you guys.” She answered pursing her lips.
“Oh.” Tracy’s face fell. “She isn’t doing well, is she?”
Maggie shook her head. “Not really.”
I felt left out but I thought that if Maggie would want to tell me, she’d do it herself. Plus, I had my own secrets hidden from her and I wouldn’t like if I piped in.
“Can we go now if you guys are gone? It’s gonna take a while in the mall.” Maggie changed the subject.
“Sure.” Grant said getting up. We all followed and walked out of the booth.
I had not taken even two steps forward that I froze where I was, my eyes glued to the couple who just entered the diner, laughing, holding hands, joking. Tears started flowing without me knowing. From my peripheral view, I saw Tracy look at me confusingly before following my gaze and she too froze.
“Let’s go, Leah.” Kevin said and dragged me by wrist.
My name must have caught their attention as they both looked my way at the same time with wide eyes. Before I could see them react further, I was dragged out of the diner. Kevin dragged me towards Grant’s truck and held me while I cried into his chest. Tracy and Maggie soon followed out and rubbed my back.
“Leah!” I heard Sean’s voice call for me.
“You should go man, really. Go before I lose myself.” I heard Grant say and turned around to see him stopping Sean by an arm in front of the latter’s chest.
I didn’t really hear the next few words of their argument as their voices blurred my senses but finally I saw Sean sigh and leave.
Grant turned around and kicked a stone with his feet. He put his hands on his waist and sighed heavily looking up at the sky. “You know what I am gonna do for the holidays?” He spoke after a while. I was confused where this was coming from but before anyone of us could ask, he answered himself. “I’m gonna try to be a better brother.”
My heart jumped into my throat hearing him and I removed Kevin’s arms from around my shoulders and ran to him, hugging him tightly with me head hidden in his chest. “You’re the bestest brother, Grant. I wouldn’t trade you for anyone else. Ever.” I sobbed out.
He wrapped his arms around me and sniffled. “I wish I saw it that way too.”
“You are.” I pressed breaking the hug and looking at him in the eye. “You really are.”
He kissed my forehead and gave me a small smile. “If you say so.”
After collecting ourselves after the emotional moment, we all climbed back into the truck and drove off towards the mall. They had initially wanted to go home but I insisted that I wanted to go shopping. After all, I had promised myself to give healing a chance, hadn’t I? And I was not going to let one look at that person to ruin my whole day worth of happiness.