Operation New Years a go part 2
'I don't know Si, it's just such short notice.' Lindsay's voice floated down the hallway.
'What's short notice?' Taliah interrupted as we walked into the kitchen.
Lindsay raised an eyebrow at her butting in but knew after 16 years there was no use trying to hide anything from her nosey daughter.
'Your father and I have been invited to a party being held by one of my biggest clients this weekend.'
Lindsay owned her own interior design business and was really becoming quite successful. At the end of last year, she finished working on a well-known actors house, or should I say mansion. She showed us the photos of the end result and what she'd done looked incredible! Since then her companies been blowing up to the point where she's now looking into expanding the business. Which is really no surprise seeing how amazing she was at her job.
'So, what's the issue?' Taliah shrugged as both of us helped set up the dining table ready for dinner.
Lindsay sighed and shook her head.
'The problem is it's in San Diego.'
Simon rolled his eyes.
'I've been trying to convince her that it's one weekend and we should go and have fun but she's concerned about leaving you kids at home.'
'Mom we're 16. I think we'll be ok spending one weekend by ourselves.' Taliah said sarcastically.
I could tell Lindsay was wavering. She kept on looking between Taliah and I and nervously biting her lip. I could tell she really wanted to go but felt like she should stay home and be with us. I wasn't having that though. She worked so hard and she deserved to have a fun weekend. Plus, I can't remember that last time Lindsay and Simon went out together.
'Really Lindsay, we'll be fine. You two both deserve a nice weekend away.'
I could see the clogs working in her head as she bit the side of her cheek.
'Are you sure? We'd leave Saturday morning so would still be able to come to the soccer game on Friday night. We'd aim to be back Monday morning but probably wouldn't see you until after school.'
'Really Lindsay we're sure, aren't we Taliah?'
Taliah nodded enthusiastically.
Simon reached over to Lindsay and wrapped an arm around her waist.
'Sweetheart, they're not kids anymore.'
'I know.' She sighed. 'Ok we'll go.'
Whilst Lindsay and Simon were having their cute coupley moment Taliah and I looked at each other with matching glints in our eyes.
Operation New Year's step one complete.
Later on that evening I was sat on Taliah's room with a notepad in front of me, trying to think of there was anything I was missing.
'So I'll go over to Lucas' on Saturday night so you can have the house alone with Harrison.'
I looked up from my notebook.
'Are you sure?'
'Yeah dead sure. Plus we spent New Year's at a house party so this is perfect!'
So after Taliah basically forced Lindsay and Simon to book their flights Monday morning that was part one accomplished. Next, I had to make sure Harrison was free. Taliah and I had got so involved in the planning part that we almost forgot I needed to invite him over. Thank god during Monday lunchtime I managed to get that done otherwise the plan would've gone to shit.
Next, we had to remember what exactly we'd done on New Year's, as...well...too many of Zara's special mixes had been consumed that night so a few things were a little foggy.
Up until I was roped into playing Jenga I'd been sat on my phone so we started with that. Taliah reminded me that Harrison and I had danced for a long time before going outside the watch the fireworks with everyone. And that's when we realised we'd hit a road block.
'Well shit. How're we going to plan that?'
Taliah looked off into the distance, frowning as she thought.
'How about we just buy you both some sparklers?'
'Taliah, it's not New Years without fireworks! Otherwise it would just be a regular party. That's like saying it's Christmas even without presents.'
'Well some people don't-'
'No. If we can't get fireworks then I may as well come up with something else.' I was being stubborn and I knew it but I just wanted this night to be perfect.
'Damn you Eve, you're such a pain in my ass.' Even though she complained I knew I had her back on board.
'I have an idea but trust me when I say you might regret being so mean about my sparkler idea.'
'Why? What are you thinking of?'
'Not what, who.'
So it turns out Lucas' family live on a farm. It also turns out they're a little crazy when it comes to explosives.
'Why did I not know Lucas lived here?'
Taliah parked the car and turned the engine off.
'We don't hang out here that much. Zara always complains about the farm smell and Joseph's got a fear of chickens.'
'Wait what?!' I burst out laughing. 'He's got a fear of chickens!'
'Well he's scared of birds and well the chickens just kind of roam around everywhere here. Joseph says he doesn't trust them.'
Ok I really didn't want to let that conversation go but we had other things we needed to discuss right now. Instead I made a note to take the piss out of Joseph the next time I saw him.
'Ok so why're we here?'
Taliah unbuckled her seatbelt and turned to me.
'So it was 4th of July a couple years ago. Lucas' older brothers had planned this firework extravaganza. You know Fred and George from Harry Potter?'
'Duh.' It would be a crime to be brought up in England and not know who they were. Actually, scratch that, it would be a crime to be brought up in the early 2000s and not know who they were.
'Well that's what they remind me of. A little insane, a lot of crazy. I swear those boys are going to get themselves blown up one day. Lucas' dad is just as bad and hey so is Lucas. The four of them together is a recipe for disaster.'
'So this 4th of July?' I said hoping to bring her back on track.
'Oh yeah. The boys planned this massive thing, making out it was going to be the best fireworks display in history.'
'And was it?'
'Oh it was something. It started off well and we were actually all praising them for how amazing the fireworks were but that was until they got to their "pièce de résistance". They lit the mega 3000.'
'The what?' I frowned.
'It was a homemade firework. Basically, a science experiment gone wrong. The thing practically blew up and everyone was hiding under tables and behind bins. Their Nana tripped over and fell straight into the cake. It was a disaster. It's become a bit of a local legend and not for good reasons.' She gave me a serious looked until the imagine of a grandma falling face first into a cake made us both burst out laughing.
'Ok, so it was kind of funny but I'm not surprised their mom banned Lucas' brothers away from fireworks for life.'
When our laughter finally died down, I wiped away a tear and looked out at the farm house.
'Ok so I'm not really understanding why we're here?'
'Oops sorry. Well I was reminded off it because my parents practically witnessed the whole thing and they were in our backyard with our neighbours. If we light fireworks here in one of the fields you and Harrison would be able to see them from the backyard.'
'Well that's great! But would Lucas' parents let us do that?'
'Oh yeah they said it was fine. They love me so I can convince them to do anything.'
'Ok great. So who would we get to light them?'
Just as I finished answering the question Lucas rounded the house wearing goggles and rubber gloves. His arms were stacked high with boxes of fireworks.
Taliah glanced at Lucas before turning back to me with a raised eyebrow.
'Lucas really? You do know he's related to those crazy brothers.'
'I know but I promise he is a bit more responsible than they are.'
I don't know what Lucas she was thinking of but the one I knew definitely couldn't be described as responsible. Last week at lunch he went into great detail about how he spent his Sunday night trying to light his farts. Why are boys so gross?
If Lucas could be described as responsible in comparison to his brothers then they really must be something.
We got out of the car and walked over to where Lucas was stacking the boxes on top of a picnic table.
'What's with the goggles?' I asked when we reached him.
'In this house I learnt from a young age it's best to take safety precautions when my brothers are around. That reminds me, where did I put my crash helmet.' His eyes wandered around the yard as his black rubber gloves scratched his messy blonde hair.
'I thought your mom told the boys to get rid of these?' Taliah said bringing Lucas' attention back to where she was holding one of the boxes of fireworks.
'She said they couldn't have them in the house anymore. She said nothing about getting rid of them.'
Oh god, I had a feeling Lucas' mom was used to having to be very specific with her words when it came to speaking to her sons.
'So tell me Eve do you have any requests or ideas you'd like to go with?'
'Erm just normal fireworks?' I didn't know there was a difference to be honest.
Lucas' shoulders dropped as I killed a little of his excitement.
'Well that's a bit boring.'
'I'm not really a firework connoisseur. I'll let you have free reign.'
Taliah slapped a hand to her forehead.
'Shit you shouldn't have said that.' She muttered.
Ignoring his girlfriend, he gave me a wide, almost terrifying grin.
'Well lucky you've got me here to help then. I'm an expert.' Suddenly I wasn't feeling so reassured.
'You know what would be epic? If we just light them all at the same time and see what happens. Think about how cool the noise would be and the colours!'
Wide eyed I turned to a worried Taliah.
'What was that you said about responsible?'
'Well shit. I can't tell him no now, he's like an excitable puppy.' Both of us turned back to look at the 16-year-old who was muttering to himself about how to make the fireworks explode into a dragon.
'I promise on the night I'll watch over him and make sure nothing bad happens.' She grimaced.
Why did that not reassure me?
After that I just relied on Taliah to sort out the fireworks. I no longer wanted to know the details. Ignorance is bliss as the saying goes.
Plus I had other things I needed to sort out. Luckily, they were a little easier to sort out. I asked to borrow the dress again that Zara had let me wear on New Years and also the jenga game. Xavier's older brother bought some alcohol for me and last but not least were the decorations for the back garden.
Now all I had to do was get through Friday nights football game in one piece. Although that was a little easier said than done.
We were so close to the champion title but we still had a few games left to win and we knew they wouldn't be easy. The guys had prepared me that Stanmer were a tough team to beat but at the time I was cocky, thinking no matter how good they were we were better.
I quickly found out a few minutes into the game that Stanmer were brutal and I mean brutal. Very quickly my cockiness melted into the ground. They wanted to win and they didn't care if they injured us all in the process. Being on home turf with all our family and friends supporting helped but still we were only just keeping up. Our biggest mistake was letting them take charge and now we were defending like our lives depended on it meaning we spent more time doing that than trying to score.
It also didn't help that it was pouring with rain either. We were all cold, caked in mud and miserable. I wanted to win so badly but even I just wished the game was over so I could have a warm shower.
I forced myself out of my daydream imagining I was sitting on a sun lounger in the Caribbean to focus on the centre forward coming my way with his eyes on the goal. Before I could tackle him, he passed the ball to his team mate who booted the ball towards to goal. It would've gone in if Joseph's face hadn't blocked the goal.
A collective ohhh rang out from the stands. I should probably mention I was 100% sure the only reason people were still here was because they were shielded from the rain.
Before I was sure the ref was going to blow the whistle, I kicked the ball up the pitch and jogged over to Joseph who was sat on the floor cradling his face.
I crouched down next to him and placed a hand on his shoulder.
'Are you ok?'
Gently he pried his hands away from his face and grimaced.
'How do I look? Nothing's missing is it?'
I took his chin in my hand and inspected his face. He didn't look great and I had to stop myself wincing at the blood now starting to pour out of his nose but at least he still had it from the force that ball connected to it.
'Nope everything still there.'
'Am I still good looking?'
My sympathetic expression turned hard making him grin.
'No, you look like Shrek.'
Thankfully apart from a bloody nose and some bruises the boy was ok but was told he couldn't play the rest of the game.
The ref called half time as we carted Joseph off the pitch so after a quick drink, we all came together to come up with a game plan.
'Well shit! No offence Cal but Joseph is a hard goalie to follow.' Tom said rubbing a hand over his face.
We were in a half-hearted huddle trying to figure out how we were going to survive the rest of the game. To be honest I was surprised to see so many of us left standing. The Stanmer guys really had been attacking and I was surprised that the ref was letting them get away with some of the things they were doing.
'Yeah thanks. I'm really filled with confidence now.' Callum grumbled looking like he wanted to bolt than protect the goal.
We really were kind of screwed. They'd now knew our goalie was our weakness and a team as calculated as Stanmer would use that to their advantage. I had a feeling being in defence, like I was, would be a blood bath for the next 45 minutes.
'Evie, Mark, you're going to have to work your asses off.'
No pressure then.
I glanced over at the other team who looked like they didn't have a care in the world.
I looked around at our beaten and bruised group and filled with determination.
'Do you know what. Fuck them. Look at them they think they've already won this but we're still 1-1. They may think they're better than us but really, we're matching them so this game can still be ours.
Ok so the game wasn't ours. Thankfully we made it through with no more injuries and managed to hold our own but we ended the game with a draw which meant we'd have to have a re-match at some point. That didn't exactly fill any of us with joy but at least we knew what we were up against for next time.
As I wiped the sweat and rain off my body a boy took me in his arms.
'You know you've got a bit of dirt on you face.' I said weaving one hand through his hair and using the other to wipe some dirt off his forehead. To be honest he had dirt everywhere but doing this was fun.
'So have you.' He growled. 'How about we help each other get it off? I like it when we share a shower.' He leant his forehead onto mine and I couldn't help but get lost into his forest green eyes.
'So do I.' I sighed. I wished it was Saturday already but quickly enough I remembered my plans for tonight.
'As tempting as that sounds, I can't. I'm going for dinner with Lindsay and Simon before they go out of town tomorrow.'
'I'm sad I can't see you tonight but that does remind me that we've got the house to ourselves tomorrow night.' He purred.
'It does indeed. Plenty of time to share showers.'
'You two do realise there are people around that can hear you?' Tom interrupted breaking our spell. To be honest I was so focused on Harrison that I didn't even care that people were around to hear what we were talking about.
'Is anyone up for Hal's?' He said changing the subject.
Harrison pulled away from me slightly but didn't move his hands away from my waist.
Joseph pulled away from Sophie who'd been in a similar position as Harrison and I to answer.
'Not tonight guys, I need to be taken care of by my nurse tonight.' He said making Sophie giggle.
Tom pretended to gag.
'Surrounded by all you couples make my ears want to bleed. Mark you in?'
Mark sat on one of the benches staring into thin air.
'I think I just need to lay in a dark room somewhere.'
He did look a little traumatised.
Apart from Mark, Joseph and I everyone else agreed to go to Hal's.
'I'll see you tomorrow then London.' Harrison whispered into my ear.
'You will indeed. Dress up a little bit.'
He tilted his head to the side.
'I thought you said we're staying in?'
'We are but I need still need you to dress up a bit.'
Harrison searched my face and pouted.
'Hmm I'm not sure I like being on the other side of surprises.'
'Well you better get used to it. Don't worry though you'll like this one. Especially what I'll be wearing...or should I say lack of.'
With that I walked off to find my American family but not before I heard Harrison mutter fuck to himself.