The sweet gesture from Ryan was text book perfect in the boyfriend manual. I looked across at Melina who was smiling but her eyes were far away. I wondered how Jupiter treated her. Ryan dropped our sister to her feet keeping one arm around her shoulders, his holdall bag was by his feet and his eyes roamed around our shop.
“Wow this place is great. You didn’t tell me how awesome your families shop was,” Ryan comment the excitement filled his features.
Madelyn cringed hearing the dredged ‘awesome’ word but it didn’t stop her smile that beamed across her face.
“Nice to see you again Ryan,” I greeted drawing Ryan attention me.
“You too Marcella and you to Melina sorry about before I was trying to be”-
“Romantic,” Melina brought herself back into the room, “it was beautiful.”
“Why don’t you come upstairs Ryan, I’m sure our parents will want to met you,” I say.
“I’ll keep an eye on the shop,” Melina offered quickly.
I sighed inwardly, ‘how long are you going to avoid them?’
‘I need to check my appointments,’ Melina replies.
“You sure?” Madelyn asks.
“Let me just change my dress first,” Melina says out loud then as she walks away answering me. ‘Besides, Madelyn doesn’t need my tension to spoil her moment introducing Ryan to our parents.’
“Ryan, do you mind if I quickly talk with Madelyn for moment?” I ask then I see the slight panic in her eyes. “It’s just about the window display I saw something that we could use.”
“It’s fine, I’ll have a look around the shop,” Ryan said I looked down and saw that his hands were starting to shake. Bless be, he was nervous about meeting our parents yet he tried not to show it in front of Madelyn.
Madelyn looked to be walking on air as she followed me to the back room where our stock was kept. “What did you find?”
‘I found out that its Melina sixteenth birthday coming up,’ I whisper to her telepathy. “This velvet material, what do you think?”
“I love the colour,” Madelyn touches the silvery material. ‘Of course the 23rd August.’
“There’s some more colours in this box,” I bring down the box from the top shelve and sneeze from the dust. ‘We have got to plan something and it’s a big birthday.’
‘I wonder if Jupiter will do his own thing…or Jupiter could come and plan with us. Does he know about her birthday?’
‘I should think so, he’s her…fiancée,’ I struggled on the last word even if it was in my head it was still hard for me to say. “Right let’s get back to Ryan before he knocks something over and I pull my hair out.”
“He’s not like that Marcella,” Madelyn smile brightly. ‘I will have a think about her birthday plans later, after all we planned yours.’
‘Okay let’s get our heads brewing for ideas,’ I say secretively. “I’m taking no chances.”
Ryan was looking through the book section when we returned with the box of materials, Melina with her laptop and a two glasses of lemonade. “Dad already waiting upstairs and I’ve just heard mum coming in from the back door.”
“No time like the present then,” Ryan took Madelyn hand and placed his holdall over his shoulder. “Lead the way.”
I took a glass of lemonade savouring its sweet freshens and my thoughts drifted to my sweet sixteenth.
~ ~ ~
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” I awoke to my younger sisters coming into my bedroom and climbing onto my bed. I pulled the covers up protecting my ears from their loud excitable voices.
“Wake-up birthday girl,” Madelyn pulled on my covers making me groan.
“She sounds awake but I’m not certain, maybe we should tickle her?” Melina suggested.
“I’m awake don’t you even think about it!” I protest reluctantly dragged the warm covers away from my sleepy face. It was barely light out and as I rubbed sleep from my eyes I noticed that they were both dressed…this was very unlike them. “What are you two doing awake this early?”
“Trying to get you out of bed, come on breakfast and presents pronto,” Melina ordered and pulled my hand making me stagger to my feet.
“Come on come on,” Madelyn was full of joy I couldn’t help my smile grow.
They led me into the kitchen where mum was just serving up pancakes with fruit, dad was just finishing laying the table and I saw a bundle of presents in the middle of the table.
“Happy birthday Marcella,” my mother came over and held me in a tight hug.
“Thank you,” I say and hug my dad.
“My little flower is growing up too fast,” he whispers to me.
“Presents, open ours first Cella,” Madelyn was holding a rectangle box into my hands. I sat down taking a sip of juice and undid the purple swirly patterned paper. It was a sports box and when I opened the lid I saw the running shoes that I was saving for.
“You didn’t…how did you two even know?” I was shocked because these were not cheap pair of normal trainers, but a high class expensive design running trainer.
Melina giggled, “a few weeks ago when we went to the mall and I noticed you lingering in a shop window staring at the trainers. Madelyn and I were saving our pocket money and well it seemed like the ideal item to buy you.”
“Thank you both so much.”
“You were complaining about your normal trainers hurting you after a run and you need something comfortable to help you win in the school track team.” Madelyn added and gave me a smaller box.
“Madelyn this is too much,” I say and look at my parents who give me a secret wink and I know then that they had helped them.
A few more presents later and dad hands me an envelope, “this is what we are all doing today to celebrate.”
I open it to find theatre tickets, with backstage passes and a menu for my favourite restaurant ‘Flame’.
~ ~ ~
“Hey Cella,” I rub my eyes and then see mascara on my skin.
“Sorry Melina, I was flying away with my memories, everything okay?”
Melina cocks her eyebrow up no doubt wondering what was wrong with her older sister. “Well time getting on and you haven’t even removed the dragon ornaments yet.”
I finish my lemonade and narrow my eyebrows on her, “I’ll get right to it shell I?”
Melina smiles, “showing your younger sisters a bad example.”
“Oh really?” I say and with a flick of my wrist one of the valet materials lands over Melina.
We share a laugh together and I go about my task of clearing the dragon ornaments from the window. I clean the wooden display before choosing the lilac material, stretching myself to make the material reach all of the corners and jump hearing the sound of a motorcycle zoom past.
“Ravenclaws,” I growl under my breath and watch as the black blur turns down onto the main road.