“It’s a disaster!”
I sighed and prepared myself for an evening of cleaning. “What’s a disaster, Lee?”
“The whole evening! The cake hasn’t come yet and the flowers look like they’ve already died and gone to wherever dead flowers go not to mention that the house is a mess…” I tuned Lee out and decided to wait til the rant was over, instead musing on how he could talk so long without a breath. ”...And not to mention-”
“Lee, how about I help? I’ll be on cake duty.” A hopeful look spread across his face and he opened his mouth to ask if I could possibly do whatever else he had said earlier. I quickly cut him off to save my evening, “It might take a while, though. I’ll be busy all evening.” I turned to run while his mouth was shut but stopped short.
“I didn’t want more help. Trust me, doing the cake alone is help enough. You got a package, though. From your family.” His words pierced me and I couldn’t help but think, ‘My family?’
“My family?” I managed to get out. I was, well, beyond surprised. What could they have gotten me? How did they find out where I was living? Oh, yeah: Tristan.
“Yeah. It’s in the living room. It’s pretty small, though,” he frowned as though he had forgotten it was a miracle I had gotten anything. I turned towards the living room in a daze but stopped at a cough from Lee. “Excuse me, Kyra, but it’s not present time yet.”
‘What does he mean-’ Realzation hit me and my knees grew weak. “You’re throwing me a birthday party?”
“Now really, Kyra, what did you think this was all about?” He gently took my shoulders and propelled me to the kitchen. “I hate making you work on your birthday but you’re the best cook I know and I want the best for your first birthday here. I’ll be on the phone straightening everything out so you just wait in here after you’re done.” He left the room and I collapsed in a chair. I never even expected him to have remembered it was today. This was why I had left in the first place-
I gasped and my hand flew to my mouth. He couldn’t see what was in that package.
No one could.
I finished the cake without really knowing what I was doing. I was a fabulous cook so I didn’t worry too much. All I could think was that Lee was in the same room as that package.
“That smells delicious.” I didn’t bother to jump anymore; I had gotten used to his sudden appearances ever since I moved here from home. I used to think it was slightly creepy but I managed. “I can’t wait til everyone comes and can taste it.” I managed not to visibly flinch at the thought of everyone being in the same room as me when I opened the package.
“Uncle Lee?” I intoned a sweet edge to my voice and tried to look as though I didn’t have an ulterior motive. Very hard since I had no acting possibilities whatsoever. “Do you think I could open a present before everyone came? Please?”
“Well,” I could see that there was a “no” possibility and I batted my eye lashes. I almost stuck my bottom lip out in an innocent pout but figured that might be taking it overboard just a bit. ‘Push-over,’ I thought when I saw him melt at my act. Good thing he was completely naive. “Of course, darling. It is your birthday, after all.”
Not even bothering with thanks I ran into the living room and snatched the present up. I flew up the stairs and threw it on my bed, ‘Now what?’