“So, are you going to tell me more about this Barry heart emoji?” Owen asks his little sister. Even though they haven’t talked as much as they used to, Owen hopes that their close relationship would gain him access to more information about Barry heart emoji than his brothers.
“What more is there to tell? You’ll meet him tomorrow anyways,” Kristen says while she looks through her phone. They were both chilling in Kristen’s room, which is very different from her middle school era. The walls that used to be covered with Shawn Mendes and other male pop stars that he didn’t care about, are replaced with different polaroid of her friends that she had gathered over the years. She has white Christmas lights hanging around the edges of her ceiling, so her room is always bright even without the light on.
Owen doesn’t let her indifferent remark let him down. “Come on Krissey,” he says. Now, Owen, unlike his other brothers, doesn’t mind that his baby sister has a boyfriend. God forbid she would be a spinster with fifty cats living under his basement. He shudders at the thought.
“He just moved into town this past year, and he’s just amazing. I really like him,” Kristen emphasizes. “So you guys better not mess this up, or I swear I’m going to make sure that you guys will ever regret coming back home,” Kristen threatens.
“Chill, sister,” Owen puts up his hands in surrender. “What’s the worst that we can do?”
“Brandon will scare the living bejeezus out of him. Holden will fill his head with evil thoughts. And, you will just sit there laughing, enjoying the ride,” Kristen wags her finger just like their mother does while lecturing the triplets.
“What? We are just going to play a friendly game of football with him,” Owen says, but he doesn’t even believe it. It would be a miracle if Kristen’s new boyfriend survives the holiday without any injuries.
Just as Kristen tries to say a witty comment, Owen’s phone rings.
“OWEN!” his best friend from high school, Stephanie yells through the phone. Owen smiles at hearing the familiar voice. The two of them were totally inseparable ever since middle school. If you asked Owen how the two of them became best friends, he would never be able to pinpoint a specific incident or event. All he knows is that the two of them would study together and they would do clubs together. He graduated as valedictorian, and she graduated as salutatorian. They even went to prom together but platonically of course.
“Steph!” Owen yells with the same enthusiasm.
“Is that Steph? Tell her I say hi,” Kristen says enthusiastically.
“What are you doing right now?” Steph asks him.
“I’m with Kristen right now,” Owen answers. “she also says hi.”
“Hi Kristen!” Stephanie shouts through the phone causing Owen to recoil. Owen’s best friend always had a loud voice, which makes you know when she is in the room. And, it never helps that she usually speaks before she thinks, leading her into very uncomfortable situations.
Owen relays the message to his little sister.
“So, you and me coffee now,” Stephanie gets straight to the point.
Owen laughs at her forwardness. He did miss how concise she was with words.
“What if I were busy?” Owen asks her.
“Are you guys meeting up?” Kristen perks up to listen to the rest of their conversation.
“We both know you’re not busy right now,” Stephanie says.
“That’s so cute that you guys still meet up, you two cutie pies,” Kristen says with a sly smile.
“Shut up,” Owen says to his sister and says on the phone, “I don’t even have the car to get to Starbucks.”
“I don’t know why you two just don’t go out together. She’s smart. You’re smart. She’s pretty. You’re… passable,” Kristen goes on.
“You don’t even need it. I’m right here,” Stephanie pronounces.
“What?” Owen says in surprise.
“I don’t think that it’s really shocking that you two would be a cute couple,” Kristen says.
“You’re seriously annoying,” Owen glares at his sister.
“Who? Me?” Stephanie asks in confusion.
“No. Not you. I’ll be down in a minute,” Owen says exasperatedly and hangs up the phone. “You,” he points to his little sister. “I was going to be on my best behavior tomorrow, but I think I’m going to tell him all of your most embarrassing stories.”
“You wouldn’t,” Kristen gasps.
“Get ready to hear the macaroni story,” Owen threatens as he walks out of the room to find his coat.
“I’m so sorry oh dear sweet brother of mine,” Kristen asks for forgiveness. “Please take mercy upon you poor, innocent, and favorite sister.”
“Get off,” Owen brushes his little sister off, but he already forgave her. After all, who could resist her puppy eyes?
“Have fun on your date,” Kristen waves.
“It’s not a date,” Owen says as he gets his shoes on.
“Sure,” Kristen says and pops a seat on the sofa.
“It’s not a date,” Owen glares at her.
“Mhm,” Kristen waves her hand, already over the conversation.
“Bye,” he tells his sister and yells to the rest of the house, “I’ll be out, be back later!”
As the door slams, Kristen says to herself, “Have fun on your non-date.”