Mending and Sleepover
Leah’s POV :
When I got home, Tracy, Maggie, Kevin and Grant were already there, waiting for me with big grins on their faces.
“What’s with that look?” I asked suspiciously.
Grant gave me a weird look. “Guess what?” Before I could guess, he answered himself. “Mom and Dad are out for a party Dad’s friend is hosting. And, they won’t be back until late at night.”
I looked at him, unsure where he was going? “And? Don’t tell me you’re planning on throwing a party? I am so not going to let you do that.” I warned.
Kevin grinned and threw his arm around my shoulders. “Close. We’re having a party but it’s a slumber party with just the four of us.”
I looked back to see Grant, Tracy and Maggie grinning and nodding like children having their first sleepover. I nodded too. “Fine, that’s something I can agree too.”
“As if you had a choice.” Tracy smirked making me roll my eyes.
“Now that you’re here, we just need to select the movies we’re gonna watch and order food because none of us can cook.” Maggie sighed.
It was my turn to smirk. “Oh, are you sure, Mags?”
Grant chuckled. “Lee Bear here is just as good in the kitchen as daddy dearest himself.” He informed my three other friends. I shrugged with little arrogance, proud that my cooking skills matched Dad’s.
“Fine then, it’s settled. Leah cooks, Trace and I help her as assistants and you boys can set the table and serve.” Maggie said and we all agreed.
“Then we can pick out all the best Christmas movies and waste the night away.” Grant hollered.
I chuckled but a little thought interrupted my mind. “Hey guys, mind if I invite a friend over too?”
Tracy narrowed her eyes at me. “Who is it? Who do I need to kill so as to not feel insecure?” The others looked at me curiously too.
I chuckled. “You don’t need to kill anybody, Trace. Emilia is younger than us but she’s fun to be around.”
Trace folded her arms defensively and nodded. “Fine, invite whoever you want but I’m already warning you all. If I see my position threatened, you will have to hide a dead body and answer to that Emilia girl’s parents where she disappeared.” She then made a dramatic exit towards the kitchen.
I chuckled at her theatrics and took out my phone to call Emilia. I have known Emmy for four days only, to be exact but I know her enough to enjoy myself around her. She’s just sixteen, a bubble of liveliness and energy, the exact opposite of her cousin as I learned today. She reminds me of my old self so much. And the way she gets excited to see me and clings on, I know she thinks of me as an older sister.
“Okay so I can invite my friends over too?” Grant asked looking directly at me after I’m done inviting her over.
I narrowed my eyes at him, not comfortable with the idea. But it was only fair if I was doing it too. “One.”
“Deal!” He jumped and went out to call whoever he was inviting.
I sighed and shook my head. “That trickster.”
Kevin snickered beside me. “Go change or something.” He nudged me towards the stairs and I did as asked.
When I got back down in fluffy snowman pajamas and an old sweater, Tracy and Maggie were already searching the net for recipes. “What are you guys doing?”
They jumped at my voice and sighed in relief seeing it was only me. “Thing what to make that’s easier.”
I rolled my eyes. “I’m the chef, remember? What do you wanna eat? If we have ingredients, I can make it.”
“Grant!” Maggie yelled, successfully bringing the two boys in the kitchen. “What shall we make for dinner?”
“Anything, I can eat anything.” Kevin answered.
“Same.” The three others said simultaneously.
“Usual Christmas dinner?” I asked.
“We’re gonna have it tomorrow night so no, it would be boring.” Tracy reminded.
“True.” I nodded, remembering how Dad and I used to spend the whole day in the kitchen making a variety of dishes every Christmas. We made so much food that for the next week, we survived on the leftovers, even after giving some to our neighbors including Kevin.
“So how about Pasta, baked Chicken and Garlic bread?” I asked again.
“Sounds good.” Grant agreed.
Maggie sighed. “Great. Now let us all get to work. It’s four already.” With that, we all got to work. Grant and Kevin assigned themselves as DJ’s playing songs and asking us girls to dance while we cooked. Sometime later, Dexter =, Grant’s best friend joined us too and surprisingly, he was a good cook. He and I, with Tracy and Maggie’s help of course, got everything done in two hours.
“Great, now what’s there for dessert?” My co-chef asked.
I shrugged. “We didn’t think about that.”
Dexter grinned. “No problem, Lee Bear. I’m sure I can fix some delicious red velvet cake if we have the ingredients.”
Tracy scoffed. “It’s a chef’s house. Why won’t they have the ingredients?”
“True.” Dexter commented and got to work. I helped him as the others set the table.
“Hey, how are you?” He asked me once no one was listening.
I knew he knew vague details about my emotional derailment being Grant’s best friend and all. Also, while growing up, I had seen a lot of Dex and he was my other older brother. I could feel his concern.
“I’m doing better, thanks Dex.” I smiled.
he nodded and smiled. “I can see that.” After a while, he added, “Grant worries about you.”
I sighed. “I know, but there’s not much to worry about. I’m slowly getting back on track.”
He nodded in agreement. “Yeah but you should talk to him. Let him know that.”
I smiled. “I’m planning on it.”
His reply was cut off when Grant entered the kitchen. “Hey, are you guys done?”
“Almost.” Dexter and I said in unison. He then added. “I’ll clean up, you guys go ahead.”
Even though I should have helped him, seeing that it was I made the mess, my tired self nodded and walked into the living room only to slump onto the couch. Grant and Kevin stayed back to help Dexter clean up and Tracy and Maggie followed me.
“So,” Tracy starts, “Who is this new friend of yours?”
I roll my eyes, smelling jealousy and chuckle. I sit back up and wrap my arms around her shoulders. “Emilia is just sixteen, Trace. And she works at the cafe I keep visiting. Maybe her mother owns the place, I’m not sure. And we just get along well. But trust me when I say she’s nowhere close to becoming what you already are.”
Tracy gives me a forced smile and Maggie sighs. “Will you believe her if she kisses you senseless?”
Tracy’s face flushes red and I laugh, getting on the joke and leaning in seductively towards her. “Okay, jeez, fine. I believe you.”
Maggie and I laugh and high five while Tracy huffs, obviously embarrassed. The three guys join us back too, asking why we were laughing. When Maggie finishes retelling the incident from moments ago, the boys burst out laughing, much to Tracy’s embarrassment and Kevin even winks towards Trace making me smirk.
Just as Grant asks us all to follow him to the den so we could start with the movies, the doorbell rings. I jump instantly and rush towards the door. “I’ll get it.”
I’m proved right when I open the door to find a grinning Emilia, however, she’s not alone. Behind her, I see Mr. Scowls, well, scowling. “You brought him along.” I comment as I hug my new friend.
She looks back and sighs and then gives me a sheepish smile. “Mom agreed to let me come if I let him tag along seeing as it’s a sleepover and she has met you only once. And I really wanted to come.”
I sigh. “I understand.” I let them both in, glaring back as Mr. Scowls scowls at me.
“Guys, this is Emilia and her cousin, Axel.” I say out loud as we enter the family room gathering everyone’s attention. Then I turn towards Emilia. “And Emmy, that’s my brother Grant, his best friend Dexter, and my friends, Kevin, Tracy and Maggie.”
They all wave at each other and seeing the bubbly personality that Emilia is, she instantly clears the awkwardness by engaging everyone in the conversation. Mr. Scowls stand in the corner, bored.
Grant and Dexter approach him to talk and he surprisingly shakes their hand like a normal person and even continues a decent conversation but when our eyes me, he scowls again.
“I’m guessing you don’t get along with that guy.” Grant whispers in my ear as we lead the rest into the den down in the basement.
I turn to glare at the said person who is walking at the very back. “Not at all.”
Dexter chooses to whisper in my other ear. “Well, if you need us to beat him up, just say a word.”
Grant grins, excited at the prospect of playing the protective older brother. “Anytime of the day.”
That reminds me of Sean, again. Grant and he had gotten along well from the start so when I officially started going out with him, Grant hadn’t minded a bit. I shook my head to dismiss sad thoughts and smiled at my two brothers.
Just as we enter the basement, the doorbell rings again. “That must be the other two,” Grant says, reminding me that he invited three friends over, Dexter being one of them. I nod as he retreats back to let the other guys in.
Axel immediately seats himself on one of the two bean bags and Dexter occupies another. Tracy, Maggie and Emilia grab seats on the couch and I take my favorite and the only recliner, the most comfortable furniture down here. The carpeted floor is soft and thick enough to comfortably seat three more people that is Grant and his other two friends.
The basement is just like any other den - a large wide room consisting comfortable furnitures, a wide screened tv, a few game tables that Grant insisted we had ‘to look cool’, his X-Box system and a fridge that was usually stacked with sodas and snacks to have during movies.
A few minutes later, footsteps approached and I looked up to see Grant entering the basement with two familiar boys following close behind. Dave’s eyes meet mine and he grins, although his eyes show the same surprise mine hold.
“Hey you.” He says directly approaching me and engulfing me in a hug. I pull back and grin.
“Hey yourself.” I look over his shoulder to see Pete waiting for his turn. “Pete!” I exclaim, hugging him too.
“I see we meet again sooner than we thought.” He says, laughing.
“World’s plans,” I comment.
“I’m not sure how I feel seeing you guys getting cozy with my sister.” Grant comments playfully.
Dave’s eyes widen and he looks back and forth Grant and me with shocked look. “She’s your sister?” He finally asks him.
Grants nods. “She’s lucky.” He says making me roll my eyes.
Pete laughs. “Wow, small world. We just saw her at the cafe this afternoon.”
“Happy reunion, now can we start with the movies?” Axel comments and it’s almost as if I’m used seeing him glare at me, only this time he’s glaring at Dave and Pete too.
Dexter laughs goes to put in some DVD while Grant introduces his two friends to everyone. I, meanwhile, take out sodas and snack from the fridge. I hear Grant say they are his college friends visiting our town to see the Christmas here and realize why I didn’t know about them before. I put all the sodas and packets of chips I grabbed on the carpeted floor so anyone could pick whatever they wanted and take back my seat on the recliner.
As credits for Home Alone roll up, I get up and stretch, hungry and ready to devour the food. “Are you guys hungry? Cause I am and I was hoping we can have dinner first before continuing.” I say.
Suddenly, as if everyone got hungry at once, I hear multiple groans and agreement and we all make our way up towards the dining room. Grant, Tracy and I heat the food and Dexter, Maggie and Emilia helps us in serving. Conversations flow easily around the table. Axel sticks to talking only to Grant and Dexter and Tracy and Maggie realize what I was meant when I said that Emilia was far from being what the two were to me.
“Whoever cooked this meal is the best cook ever, right Axel?” Emilia moans as she finished off her last bite.
Axel nods and mutters an almost inaudible, “Yeah.”
I meet his eyes and smirk and turn to thank Emilia only to find her grinning cheekily at me. I have a feeling she knew I cooked.
“Lee Bear is the best cook in the household, other than Dad, of course.” Grant comments which makes Axel start choking, now that he realizes he indirectly complimented me. Our eyes meet again and he glares while I continue smirking.
“Who wants the dessert?” Dexter sings.
“What is it?” Emilia jumps in her seat like the excited girl she is.
“Red Velvet cake. If anyone doesn’t like it, I’ll happily hep you finish it.” He grins as he goes back into the kitchen to bring out the cake.
“I’ll help.” Emilia jumps at the chance and rushes behind him.
Moments later, they come back with plates of deliciousness for everyone. I see Axel denying Dexter, saying he’s full. Intake that moment to make a comment. “Dexter makes the best desserts, sometimes even better than me.”
“I will not disagree.” Dave says as he gulps down half of his plate’s contents.
I notice Axel perking up and accepting the plate that was kept in front of him and I bite down the smile that is threatening to form. I notice Emilia doing the same while Grant and Dexter look amused.
After we are done, Dave and Pete apologize and tell us they have to leave as they already have plans, the plans being dates with two girls from their college who happen to live here in our town. That explains then visiting the town for Christmas.
Kevin and Tracy somehow find themselves on the dishes duty and Emilia helps me clean up. Axel takes out the trash while Grant and Dexter set up sleeping bags in the family room for us girls. The four guys plan on sleeping in the basement itself.
When we are done with cleaning, we all head back to the basement and manage to watch a couple more Christmas movies before we simultaneously start yawning. When we hear Mom and Dad entering the house sometime past midnight, we decide to call it a night. Tracy, Maggie, Emilia and I retire back to the family room and the three of them sleep as soon as their body hits the pillow while I take some time thinking about how suddenly my life seems to be taking turns, I never know what to expect.
My thoughts get mushed somewhere ans I finally lose myself to sleep.