TYLER’S MOTHER HAD finally managed to get her daughter into the car, after an hour of desperately trying to get her ready for her birthday party at the Henderson’s. It was almost like a nightmare trying to get Tyler into her puffy pink dress, seeing as Tyler had been complaining and crying about the colour, throwing her hands about childishly in protest to wearing it. Luckily her mother thought of a way to get Tyler to wear the dress, her mother just really wanted to see her baby girl look so cute and girly for once. Tyler was very much a tomboy and took pride in wearing boys’ graphic t-shirts and shorts. Her mother blames her childhood best friend’s son for corrupting her daughter.
Tyler’s mother smiled as she held a hand behind her back, holding her peace offering between her fingers. Tyler’s light brown eyes flashed with intrigue, her pink lips parting and forming a toothy smile. “Is that my reward?!” she exclaimed happily.
Her mother smiled, big brown eyes glistening as she nodded her head, causing her long soft curly hair to bounce from the movement. She chuckled as she replied, “Yes it is, but you can only have it once you promise me that you’ll stay away from any mud or hyper activities, such as football. Do you understand Tyler?”
Her mother narrowed her eyes at her daughter, a stern look now evident on her mother’s face. Tyler than crossed her small arms over her chest, pouting and looking away from her mother’s dark brown eyes and toward her ugly pink sparkly flats on her feet, glaring the hideous things.
“What if Meeka wants me to play with him?” Her voice was meek and miserable. Tears began to slowly form in her eyes as she thought about refusing Meeka’s offer as he goes off and plays with his friends from school — which were also her friends.
“That’s not my problem Tyler, this beautiful dress—” her mum reaches into the car and plays with the bottom of the pink dress delicately— “costed me more than paying for half the birthday cake.” Her mother’s tone was slightly annoyed and bewildered, probably wondering to herself how a small, cute little dress could cost so much, but Tyler didn’t understand how money worked so it wasn’t really her problem.
Tyler flicked her eyes back onto her mother, and squinted her light brown eyes at her mother’s curious dark brown ones, as she thought of her response carefully, weighing out her options. She could either deal with wearing a dress that didn’t suit her in any way possible, or get something better out of it. “Mhm. . . Can I have a puppy then?”
Just by the aura around them, Tyler could tell this was very important to her mother and if Tyler was smart enough, she could only assume her mother was going to get her to do a long, tortuous photo shoot in her disgusting, extremely uncomfortable pink dress. However, the look that flashed on her mother’s face made Tyler’s smug and buoyant expression, drop into one of disappointment and sadness. When her mother saw her daughter’s expression, she moved her hand from fiddling with the bottom of the pink dress and placed it on Tyler’s cheek.
“If you’re father says you can,” her mother said softly, which made Tyler fake a sniffle and smile lightly up at her mother. “Okay.”
“Okay? As in you’ll wear the dress and not get it dirty?” her mother questioned with hopefulness clear in her soft tone, a small smile resting on her plump lips. Her dark eyes sparkling as she waited for her daughter to answer, raising her brow.
Tyler thought for a few seconds as she thought about what she would say next. Smiling at her mother: “Yes.”
In an instant her mother pouted at her daughter in awe, mumbling an abundance of thank you’s into her daughter’s ear when reaching into the car and hugging her. She was a little startled but soon hugged her mother back, chuckling at her mother’s actions and excitement to seeing her only child wearing something girly for once. Her mother pulls back and places a sloppy kiss to Tyler’s light brown cheeks that were now burning a deep blush colour, embarrassed by her mother’s actions.
After what felt like forever for Tyler, her mother let’s go, placing a gentle kiss to the crown of her head before moving back. Her mother then admired her daughter’s appearance: her beautiful brown hair looking silky and smooth, her lips filled with colour. Soaking it up before the end of the birthday party and Tyler screaming to change immediately.
“Shall we go?” her mother asks softly, a content look on her facial expression. Tyler stared into her mother’s big, dark brown eyes.
Tyler’s heart swarmed with warmth at the thought of seeing Meeka again. Even if they were just at primary school yesterday. “Yeah!” Tyler exclaimed excitedly, excitement showing in her eyes.
“Okay then,” her mother smiles at her daughter as she hands Tyler the big lollipop that she had been hiding behind her back. “Here’s your reward for wearing the dress.”
Tyler smiles widely as she takes the lollipop, whispering her gratitude
Getting to the Henderson’s place, Tyler’s mum parks the car next to her mother’s childhood best friend’s one before turning the ignition off, and hopping out. Her mother opens the back seat door as Tyler unbuckles herself and scoots out of the car, stepping onto the red and orange pebbled driveway with her worn out Chuck Taylors. She had sneakily swapped her sparkly pink flats for her preferred shoes, that she had thankfully left in the car the other day. Hopefully her mother didn’t notice the last minute shoe change, but when her mum reached out for her hand to walk to the door, she looked down at Tyler in question, but never said anything when chuckling to herself and began walking.
When they had gotten to the door, Tyler’s mum let her knock on the door. The other guests hadn’t arrived yet so it was very quiet waiting outside for someone to answer the door.
A few seconds passed and the big door opened revealing Meeka’s father. He smiles when seeing the two Robinson girls at his door before looking down at Tyler licking on her lollipop with a hearty smile on his big lips. His piercing blue eyes complete contrast to his dark skin.
“Meeka’s in the lounge, if you wanna go see him?” Mr. Henderson said, his voice deep and raspy.
Tyler smiles as she lets go of her mother’s hand and skips into the giant house, skipping her way into the large lounge room. When she was near the couches she stops and looks around for Meeka, frowning her brows in confusion. Where’s Meeka? she questioned herself.
Spinning around on the balls of her feet, Tyler gets tackled to the ground by someone laughing his head off in amusement. Tyler just groans, squeezing her light brown eyes shut as she sits up when the doofus gets off her. She rubs the back of her head because she hit it one the way down.
“Happy birthday Princess,” Meeka’s soft, high pitched voice enters her ears. A small smile makes its way onto her lips as she opens her eyes to see Meeka in a tuxedo, reaching up to his neck and pulling the bow tie away from his neck, his face in obvious discomfort. Tyler laughs, assuming his mother forced him into that, she ignores him and looks around for her lollipop, having dropped it when Meeka jumped on her.
She pouts when seeing the lollipop on the ground. “My lollipop!” she exclaims, sadness clear in her tone.
A sudden hand touches her shoulder, making her turn around to see Meeka with a sad look on his face. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to.”
Tyler smiles weakly so he doesn’t feel bad. “It’s okay, I wanted the cake more.”
A large smile spreads onto his face at her words, his blue eyes — the same as his father’s — glistening with excitement and curiosity. “I wonder what our parents’ gotten us?!”
“Oops, I forgot — happy birthday Meeka!” Tyler shouts happily as she jumps over into her best friend’s arms, tackling him. He laughs into her ear, making butterflies swarm in her stomach.
When their mother’s had gotten pregnant they never would have expected for them to be in labour on the same day. Resulting in Tyler and Meeka to be sort of twins by two different set of parents. It was kind of cool for them to have the same birthday as their mothers always threw birthday parties together, either a way to achieve a long life best friend’s dream goal or to save money. Either way, Tyler nor Meeka minded, they loved having their birthday parties together, it was more fun and exciting than having a party on their own.
Tyler then gets off him, and sits on her knees with a content smile resting on her lips as she watched Meeka sit up laughing to himself, before going quiet for a several seconds.
“I got you a, erm—” Meeka started saying, making Tyler look him in his pretty blue eyes that weren’t looking back into hers. He was looking down at the floor while scratching the back of his neck, looking extremely nervous as he looked a bit pale in colour, biting his bottom corner lip as he thought deeply.
“You got me what, Meeka?” Tyler softly asked, moving closer toward him with an amused smile on her lips.
He looked up at her and almost looked as though he chocked on his own saliva, having coughed with his lips tightly pressed together, shoulders jerking upward for a second. His gorgeous blue eyes now staring into her light brown ones.
“I got you a present,” he finally said in a soft, airily tone of voice, almost like a whisper. He forced a smile looking extremely nervous right now, a deep crimson colour tinting the apples of his cheeks.
A sudden feeling of guilt washed over Tyler as she didn’t get him anything, but they had made a promise to each other on their fifth birthday, two years ago, to not get each other presents.
“I got you something too,” Tyler lied, keeping her stare on him and smiling an extra big smile at her best friend, pretending to be super excited about giving him his nonexistent present.
“What is it?” he asked, curiosity in his eyes as they begin to sparkle.
Tyler giggled, her teeth showing as Meeka watched, admiring her looking so happy, her laugh making him feel calm. “It’s a surprise, stupid, I can’t tell you yet.”
Meeka’s once excited smile dropped to one of sadness, making Tyler pout at him looking like that. “But what did you get me?” Tyler asked, trying to change the subject so he didn’t stay looking so glum and in the dumps.
“It’s a surprise, stupid, I cant tell you yet,” he repeated her words, smiling at her before sticking his pink tongue out at her, laughing from his stomach. He fell backward, laying on his back as he continued laughing while holding his stomach with his arms, rolling side to side. Tyler rolled her eyes at him before getting up and walking toward him, kicking him lightly in the side before dashing off, away from him before he could catch up to her and tackle her again. She was on a mission to find her mother in this big house, using her as her shield from Meeka’s antics.
“Ow! Tyler!” Meeka’s distressed voice could be heard behind her as she kept running, her Chuck Taylors squeaking against the tiled floor. Adrenaline flushed into Tyler’s veins, beginning to panic when the thought of Meeka catching up to her entered her mind. She knew he could easily catch up, he was bigger than her, and a few inches taller, so it wasn’t hard to believe considering Tyler was smaller than most people her age.
In a funk, Tyler shouted out to her mother, her scared voice reverberating off the many walls in Meeka’s fancy and gigantic house. When hearing her mother’s concerned voice shout back, Tyler ran through the huge kitchen, through the tv area and got to the sliding glass doors that were thankfully open, dashing out into the backyard. She stopped for a second to scan the yard, looking over at the pool area with colourful streamers on the pool gates. Soon seeing her mother was on the other side of the porch, walking toward her from the porch steps. Tyler ran over to her, hugging her mother’s waist just as heavy breathing was heard behind her.
“Hi Mrs Robinson!” Meeka greeted, breathless. Tyler looked behind her shoulder at her best friend to see he waved at her mum with a charming and innocent smile on his lips. She rolled her eyes at him, always trying to stay out of trouble with her parents.
“Happy birthday, Meeka. Excited?” Mrs Robinson questioned the young boy walking toward them. Tyler pulled away from hugging her mother, and standing to the side of her mum. Still close enough so Meeka couldn’t do anything to her.
When Tyler looked at Meeka’s blue eyes, contrast to his light skinned complexion. A shiver ran up her spine when she noticed he never looked away from her for a second, a look of revenge and playfulness shinning in his beautiful eyes. She got lost in a trance the longer she stared into them. It felt like time had slowed down right in front of her as she watched a soft breeze blow pass, making his curly brown mop on his head move. Her heart began to pound in her chest, her hands becoming clammy. She looked away from his charming appearance, especially in a tux that made him look extremely handsome. She brushed one of her soft waves of hair behind her ear, biting the inside of her cheek.
“Very excited, Mrs Robinson,” Meeka replied in a very mature tone.
Tyler could feel an intense stare on her as she shifted on her feet, making her look at Meeka staring heavily at her, in a admiring type of way. Butterflies found their way into her stomach.
When all the guests had arrived, Meeka’s and Tyler’s parents decided to let the birthday kids open their presents first, probably an attempt to avoid them begging and whining later and telling them repeatedly: ′Later you’re opening your presents. Not now. Go play first.′
Meeka was the first to open his presents, saying he wanted Tyler to go second because he wanted to give her his present last. When he had said it he had smiled at Tyler with excitement toward giving her his gift, and honestly, Tyler was extremely excited to open it. Her thoughts racing with possibilities of what Meeka’s present could be: a small letter with him signing the bottom Yours truly, Meeka; or a new soccer ball because he had kicked her ball over someone’s tall at the park near her house. The possibilities were endless.
He was on his fifth present, sitting on the couch next to Tyler as she watched with fascination as he smiled softly, peeling the wrapping carefully from the tapped sides. Their friends watched as they sat around on the other couch adjacent from them, some even on chairs Mrs Henderson grabbed from the dinner table, and a few were just sitting on the ground with excitement in their eyes.
Tyler took a second to look away from Meeka unwrapping his gift, and looked over at were her mother and Meeka’s parents were standing. Mr Henderson holding Meeka’s five month old baby sister, Ruby. Ruby was a very gorgeous baby with a head full of black wavy curls. Her eyes were big and around from what Tyler could remember, but they weren’t like Meeka’s or Mr Henderson’s, Ruby’s eyes were like Mrs Henderson’s, brown and full of wonder. And Tyler felt like a big sister to her, and she will always be there for Ruby, no matter the situation she would get in when she’s older.
Looking away from Meeka’s father and his baby sister, Tyler looked at Mrs Henderson having a professional camera in her hands as she recorded this moment, or took photos. Tyler’s mother looking over her childhood best friend’s shoulder with a big smile on her face, probably noticing Tyler was looking at her through the camera screen when she looked up and away from the camera. Her mum gives her a toothy smile and waves at her, making Tyler smiles grow bigger as she waves back quickly before looking back toward Meeka. He had finished opening his present, red wrapping paper on the floor as he looked at the box and observed what was on it. It was a blue lego racing car.
After forty-five minutes of Meeka finishing with opening his presents and Tyler opening hers. She had received a few Barbie dolls that she faked her gratitude for, and some other pink, specifically-targeted-for-girls toys and trinkets, such as a colourful bracelet making set that she knew she wasn’t even going to open. She just didn’t think it matched her tomboy personality — what Meeka had received was more interesting and fun to her.
Nevertheless, she was still very grateful for what she had been given.
Her last gift, however, was Meeka’s present. She watched him with curious and excited eyes as he ran over to the present table and grabbed the late present sitting there, a small gift bag, before walking back over to the couch with a big goofy look on his face that made her heart pound, sitting back down next to her again. He turned to look at her, a deep blush on his light skinned complexion from his nervousness. He sucked in his bottom lip, looking like he was chewing on it to calm his nerves.
“And this is my gift.” Meeka handed her the small gift bag as she took it with shaking hands, feeling very intense emotions flood over her. She was very nervous to see what the gift was, yet extremely excited and overwhelmed. She sets it on her lap and then looks back up at Meeka.
“I don’t want to open it,” she pouted, looking like she was about to cry from all her intense emotions.
“It’s okay, open it,” he whispers back with a reassuring smile on his lips, some of his curly hair falling over his forehead and eyes. His whisper was so soft that Tyler was positive no one else could hear what he had even said.
Taking a deep breath, Tyler looks down at the white gift bag and opens it, finding a small white box inside. She reached in and took it out, setting the gift bag to her side as her eyes stayed lock to the small box in her hand. Slowly, she then opened the box to reveal a rose gold chain necklace with a circle of five small bluish-purple tinted gems to one side, the rest of the circle consisting of little petal shaped gems. She wasn’t sure if they were real diamonds and she was certain Meeka wasn’t going to tell her whether it was true or not.
Taking it out gently, Tyler admired its beauty in the natural light provided from outside the big windows behind her, as she held it between her fingers and noticing an extra gem further up the chain. “It’s so pretty,” she whispered, her voice shaking as she continued to admire her gift.
She looked away from the necklace and looked at him smiling stupidly next to her, relief evident on his face as he watched her carefully. “Thank you.”
“May I put it on?”
Tyler nodded as she gave him the necklace so he could put it on her.
After they had played a little bit with the presents, their friends included and playing outside, which Tyler’s made sure she didn’t get her dress dirty. The adults in the room decided it was time for the cake. Tyler and Meeka were excited all week for the birthday cake, not knowing what flavour it was or what it looked like as their parents liked to do a big reveal on their birthday. Last year they had an ocean themed cake with pirates and mermaids and all sorts of sea creatures, it was so yummy from what Tyler could remember, the taste of vanilla and buttercream made her mouth water at the thought.
They all sat at the large dinner table as the birthday boy and girl sat on one end while their friends sat down the length of the table. The table was covered with a birthday themed table cloth and paper plates, cups and plastic cutlery set at each spot. Mr Henderson at the other end of the table, feeding a very hungry Baby Ruby with a baby spoon and what looked like baby food from a small jar. Ruby had orange purée around her mouth as her father feed her.
Suddenly Mrs Robinson and Mrs Henderson came into the dining room singing happy birthday, holding the cake on either side when Tyler darted her light brown eyes to them. The cake had a seven candle lit on top, it was a white two layer cake with with splotches of various tones of solid blues and teal greens — her favourite colour — starting from one side of the cake and going down to the bottom corner on the other side. From what Tyler could see from the top of the cake was piped whipped cream going around the cake. It looked so pretty and gorgeous the closer their mothers came.
Everyone was singing happy birthday to Tyler and Meeka now, off tune and off beat, which made Tyler blush in embarrassment as she tried laughing it off, tears in her eyes. She quickly wiped her tears away with the back of her hand as she watched the cake be placed in front of Meeka and her.
“Happy birthday baby,” her mother whispered to her, giving Tyler a massive hug, squeezing her tightly in her arms before pulling away and grabbing Mrs Henderson’s camera off the table to take more pictures. Probably just of the puffy pink dress, honestly. Tyler smiles to the camera and Meeka then — unexpectedly — rests his chin on her shoulder, probably smiling for the camera as well.
“Okay. Okay, make a wish and blow the candles out now!” Mrs Henderson squeals in excitement, a big grin on her thin lips, hands together over her heart. Tyler heard Meeka chuckle next to her at his mother before she looked at her best friend. Everyone had finished singing Happy Birthday by now, so it was quiet enough that all she could hear was Ruby’s soft whimpers at the end of the table.
“You can blow them out,” Tyler told him, a soft smile resting on her pink lips. He squinted his blue eyes a bit, furrowing his brows at her words, disagreeing with her words as he shook his head, his brown curls shaking over his forehead, candle light casting a shadow of his nose over his right cheek.
“No. We can both do it,” he chided. “I don’t want to blow out the candles by myself.”
“Okay,” she said softly to him. Meeka smiled happily, looking pleased with her answer, before they both turned to the cake with Happy B-Day Meeka & Tyler written on the top, with a marble cream of blue and teal for their names and a simple gold for the Happy B-Day.
“On the count of three,” Meeka said beside her. “One. . .”
She looked at her mother smiling at her, looking so happy right now. Her mother’s dark brown eyes glistening with euphoria, brown hair now pulled up into a messy bun. It was nice seeing her mother like this, savouring this moment.
“Two. . .”
She looked at everyone that came to their birthday, smiling at them looking excited to eat the cake. And possibly only the cake since coming here. Tyler felt the same way.
“Three. . .”
She closed her eyes and made a wish as she blew the candles out with her best friend right beside her. Hoping they stayed close forever. Everyone clapped and yelled Yea when the candles were all blown out.
Tyler opened her eyes and looked at her mum ugly crying now, which made her chuckle as her mother said: “Why do they have to grow up so fast!”
Meeka’s mum agreed trying to hold back her tears so bad it showed on her white skin. Tyler looked away from them and looked at Meeka beside her, who was already looking at her with a certain look in his eyes but she couldn’t tell what it was. She brushed one of her waves behind her ear, a little flustered.
“What did you wish for?” she asked him in a whisper so he could only hear her words. He then looked at her with a frown, yet his lips were turned upward in a smirk.
“Well I can’t tell you that, Tyler.” His words were so serious with a hint of sneakiness to them.
“Please?” she questioned, a pout on her lips as she gave him her puppy eyes, batting her eyelashes at him pleadingly. Most definitely begging him to tell her as everything around her started to fade, leaving only Meeka and her at the table with a big cake in front of them.
He rolled his eyes as he shook his head at her, chuckling to himself. His laugh was so adorable. “Okay—” he began leaning in to whisper in her ear so no one could hear him, especially their mothers with what he said next— “to marry you, Tyler. I love you.”
Tyler lost her breath at his words and butterflies swam in her stomach. Especially when he placed a gentle kiss to her cheek making her cheeks burn.