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Chapter 40 – Nancy

Fighting the urge to roll my eyes as I get the ‘I-know-that-you-know-that-Greg-wasn’t-where-he-supposed-to-be’ look from mom the minute Greg walks in the door looking rosy-cheeked. Not at all like he was studying his butt off for an upcoming test like I have to do. I continue to let the cool water fill the glass, thinking over the material I just reviewed. Sadly all that comes to mind is a jumble of words, names, and dates.

Letting out a lifetime long sigh, I turn off the tap and take a refreshing sip. “Fess up Cookie, I know you know something I want to know about Greg and Tay.” Mom stands there, leaning on the kitchen table, arms folded, patiently waiting. Yet, unlike Greg, I am a hard nut to crack when it comes to secrets, especially ones that are not mine. “I am sorry mom, but I have more important things to worry about than Greg going out to the sea for a break from studying and not telling you.”

In fact, I wish I could go outside for a while too, but I need to review two more subjects before dinner so there is sadly no time.

"Carina, go outside for a while, the sun and fresh wind will do you good." Dad's words have me stumble on the stairs as I nearly choke and almost miss a step. "You are cooped up too long inside sweetheart, go outside and enjoy the glorious weather for a while. You will see that it will help with your concentration."

Racing up the stairs, I hear mom grumble as I hastily grab my books and notes before rushing down again. Only to realize that I left my glass upstairs and am about to turn around after dumping my books on the dinner table when mom walks past me upstairs and returns within a few minutes holding my glass, sunhat, and sunglasses.

Grinning, I spread out my stuff on the outside dining table and sit there for a few minutes just soaking up the vitamin D. Donning the sunhat and glasses, I manage to get a lot more work done than I thought. My notes are more organized and actually started making sense when I was disturbed in my work.

"Have you thought what you are getting Rafa for his birthday?" All of a sudden my thoughts derailed and grind to a stop.

Rafa's birthday is soon and I haven't even ordered his present yet!

I look wide-eyed at Greg, who looks back at me, face filled with concern. "I guess not." I can only hear the words vaguely as he mutters and leaves the table, coming to a stop beside me. "You might want to get a move on with it if you want it to be here in time." His hand leaves my shoulder as he walks away, not noticing that my thoughts are in turmoil.

Looking down at my notes, I realize that I have two choices; one is to finish my notes and pray mom or dad will let me use the family computer to order Rafa's present, or race off to the library and hope a pc is free so I can order it there. Looking at my wristwatch, I notice I have only 20 minutes left to clear up my notes grab my keys, pray my bike doesn't have a flat tire again and paddle like mad towards the library in the hope of making it in time before closure.

Sadly my decision was made for me before I could do anything about it. "Time to clean up Cookie, it is nearly dinner time so help me set the table." Knowing better than to argue, mom can be really stubborn and twist his words so that you will end up doing his bidding regardless of whether you wanted or not. "You have studied enough for today." I nod my head mechanically at the words, my mind still churning about how to order Rafa's present in time for his birthday, making me miss most of what mom said afterward.

"Huh?" Was my intelligent response as I blink up at him from laying out the knives and forks.

Mom rolled his eyes, hands on his hips but the look in his eyes was kind. "What I said was that after dinner, I think you might want to use the family pc to do make sure the gift for a certain birthday boy is here on time?"

Putting the remaining cutlery on the table I rush around it and hug mom tightly at the waist. "Thanks, mom!" After giving mom one more squeeze, I continue laying down the knives and forks, feeling relieved that I don't need to worry about how to explaining to mom or dad why I would need to use the pc and a peculiar site and that they should expect a delivery sometime next week.

"I want a hug too!" In my happiness and relief, I turn and scoop Lo up into my arms squeezing him tight enough to make him squirm. I think I surprised him with it as he blushes and starts wiggling and pushing against me. "Enough already, let Lo go!" Usually when he demands a hug from me, I usually just pat him on the head or ruffle his hair, never once I really hug him like I was doing now and I think I scared him a little.

All through dinner, Lo kept sending me sneaky glances, probably wondering I was an alien taking the real Nancy's place. He has been into the aliens lately and superheroes. He is still naive enough to think that the good guys will always win, no matter what. Thankfully he is a big believer in seeing the good in everyone instead of whether someone reaches out to him will hit him or push him.

Like I used to when I was his age.

"Are you going to contact your mothership with this?" The corner of my lips curl up slightly as I hear Lo ask that question and feel a solid poke of his lightsaber in my side. Glancing at the side, I have to work very hard to keep my laughter in, as I see Lo fully decked out in his outfit. He is wearing his Optimus Prime suit and helmet and holding Coby close to his side with his left arm.

God, he is adorable!

I finish placing my order, pay and wait for the ping on my phone to tell me that I have received my order confirmation. My phone chimes and I scroll through the confirmation email and check if my order number is the same as on the pc screen, confirming that it is, I turn to Lo.

"Nope, I just used it to buy a birthday present." He still looks quite suspicious as I turn back to the screen and proceed to close down the website and call out for someone else if they want to use it before I shut it down for the night.

I hear a shout from upstairs, followed by the thumping of running feet on the stairs and Greg barrels into the room. He pants lightly as he mutters that he would like to use it. Nodding, I get up out of the chair, making sure I have all my things, I leave Lo and Greg to it.

The walk to mom's study is short and I can hear a murmur of voices. That means that mom and dad are in there. Good, that saves me from repeating myself.

Despite the fact that I can hear the murmur of voices, I still knock a few times on the door. I remember one time that I just barged in when I heard voices in mom's study, thinking it was mom and dad, I interrupted a skype meeting mom had with a client.

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