When you hear that friends are the family that you choose, I bet it is true, in my case though, my family had chosen my best friend for me, in a way. How? Simple, my best friend and I have been tangled up with each other even before we were born. The biggest shock for our parents in fact would have been if we ended up hating each other, but this didn’t happen. On the contrary, we grew up attached to each other as if we were an extension of each other’s bodies.
My mum and Ari’s mum - Ari is my boy best friend - have been best friends since kindergarten and went through high school and college together. They got engaged and married in the same year and decided to live a few houses away from each other, forcing our dads to become just as friends as them.
Our mums, living at the same pace, got pregnant at the same time twice. Felicity, however, the first time delivered a healthy, handsome boy, named Kai while my mum lost her little one. After 6 years they both got pregnant again, and try to guess what? Ari and I decided to pop out on the same day, at the same time in the same room: my living room.
From that day, Wed 07 July 1999, Ari and I have become one, as if our lives depended on each other. Thanks to that, I spend a lot of time with Kai too, Ari’s big brother and I have been lucky enough to see him getting handsome and sexier, year by year until he left, 3 years ago to finish his Marin biology master in Australia. My crush on him had never abandoned me, and Ari definitely didn’t help me through it, on the opposite in fact he only made things quite difficult as his resemblance to his brother become just... too much.
Now, after 21 years, we still do everything together. Since we went to the same college, and we both graduate in Sports science & coaching we managed to open our small sports club, where we teach children how to swim. During summer, we move on the coast and teach them how to swim in the open sea and sometimes how to surf. We are very lucky, no doubt about that.
The only thing that would make me happier? Of course, we all know the answer, Sexy Kai, who I haven't seen in 3 long years.
A loud knock on Ari’s bedroom door made both of us jump out of our dreams in the worst way possible: knocking our head together with a loud and painful thud. “ what the hell..” Are the first words that leave my mouth as I roll away from my best friend embrace to try to figure out what time it is, where I am and what’s going on. Scratching my eyes with the back of my hand I try to open them but the light coming through the balcony left it open overnight is just too much. “ Ouuggg”
“ Ari Sunnet and Maia Rays you better be downstairs in 10 minutes or I will come in and personally drug you both out of bed.” Felicity’s voice rumbles through the door like thunder, and my headache instantly resented it.
“Ari! wake up before your mum gets in” I growl as I pull myself away from his arms that like tentacles try to keep me in bed, squashed against his warm body. “ Ari...come on, let me go “ I mutter, escaping his embrace only when he slowly rolls on his back, smashing his pillow on his face.
“ Why does my mum do that every year?” he mumbles pulling himself up enough to look over me. His messy blonde hair and his curled up and puffy face makes him look so cute that I am almost sorry for dragging him out of bed, but hey, better safe than sorry.
“ Because every year we decide to do something stupid the day before our birthday.” Kissing his cheek I roll out of bed and put on a pair of his sweatpants, as I fall asleep with only his shirt on, I walk to his side of the bed.
“ You have a drawer full of clothes, and yet you always use mine” he complains, getting out of bed, and throwing on a shirt as he falls asleep only with a pair of shorts on, he hugs me so tightly that his morning erection brushes against my stomach. If there is one thing that I love about our friendship, it is how comfortable we are around each other. There are no boundaries that we haven’t crossed and no secret that we haven’t shared, we are two halves of the same apple.
“ You may want to take care of that before we go down,” I say as he pulls away from me, the sly smile on his face only makes me smile more.
“ do you want to help me with it?”
“ We are not sixteen anymore, besides, your mum will come and drag us down if you don’t move” I kiss his cheek before stepping outside the room, after a couple of minutes he is out too, with a different pair of shorts. “ Smart move”
“ Nice of you to finally show up, “ Felicity says, standing up from the chair where she was sitting, the smile on her face is so big and genuine that it makes me smile too. Wrapping her fit arms around my neck, she kisses my cheek as my mum does exactly the same to Ari. Then they swap places and once they are done, it is our dad’s turn to kiss and cherish us.
Every year since I can remember it has been the same routine on our birthdays, the only difference is that since 3 years ago, there is no one throwing the cake at us. In fact, since Kai ( Ari’s big brother) moved away to finish his master, no one has done it.
“ Happy Birthday,” They all say in unison as we sit down at our usual spot. Our families are all around the table and we are on each other’s side in front of our mums.
“ Pancakes and custard for Ari,” My mum says handing him over his “cake”
“ And a giant chocolate muffin for Maia,” Felicity says, handing me my cake. Both cakes have only one candle on and as usual, since we were kids, my dad is filming as we make our wishes, hands in hands.
“ Can you believe it? We are 21 today...and look at us, still treated like kids” Ari whispers to me, making me laugh as I shake my head. I do like family tradition even If I’ve tried to break them all.
“One, two...threeee Happy Birthday!” They all scream as we blow off our candle, there is only one thing I want more than anything else, and that, unfortunately, it’s unlucky to happen.
“ Did you wish again to be in my brother’s bed?” Ari whispers in my ear before biting my cheek, I hate how well he knows me.
“ I don’t know what you are talking about” I simply answer by punching his legs from under the table, the fact that he knows is not a good excuse to make our families aware of it too.
“ So, we know you two have your things to do as every year, but make sure you are at the Ocean’s heart at 7 pm. And Maia, dress like a girl for once” my mum says while walking over to me.
“ It’s your 21st birthday, it’s a special day” she sweetly says kissing the top of my head.
“ Yes Mum, I will” I smile at her before looking over to my Dad, who is almost about to cry.
“ Nothing...I just can’t believe you are so grown up…”
“ Come on Alex, she isn’t going anywhere “
A genuine smile covers his face as he stands up too to reach my mum, the way they love each other always made me want to feel the same one day. Of course, only once I am ready to settle down and once I’ve had what I’ve been craving since my drunk 18th birthday, Kai Sunnet.