I woke up a few Saturdays later with a body laying on top of me and another jumping on the bed, yelling.
"ITS YOUR BIRTHDAY!!! WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME IT WAS YOUR BIRTHDAY?!?!" The yelling voice asks and I push the body laying on top of me off before blinking and rubbing my eyes.
"Because you are both assholes who wake me up at" I look over at the clock. "7:43 in the morning on a Saturday."
"But I had to find out yesterday from Ant and Jazz because they asked if they could come over for breakfast. I had so little time to find you a good present." Daveed pouts and looks at me with those stupid puppy dog eyes.
"Fine, I forgive you, just give me coffee and whatever smells so delicious." I push the covers off my bed and Noah bounds over to me.
"Happy birthday squishy." I wrinkle my nose at the old nickname and give him a slight push.
"Its been years since you called me that." I exit my room with Daveed leading the way to the kitchen and Noah on my heels.
"Well its not everyday my sister turns 28. So sue me for being excited." He rolls his eyes and moves to tickle me. I jump in front of Daveed and hide myself using his body.
"Whoa, what is going on?" He asks, laughing.
"Noah is trying to tickle me." I whisper, dodging Noah. Daveed's eyes twinkled and my own widened as I realized my mistake. "Oh no," I breathed and tried to make a break for the living room but Daveed caught me around my waist and pulled me back to him, his fingers dancing along my sides. "STOP. PLEASE. I'M BEGGING YOU!" I laugh and he refuses to give up until I tap out.
Anthony and Jazzy were watching all of this happen over the counter, casually eating donuts and fruit. "Hi there." Anthony says, smiling at me. "Happy birthday."
"Thank you?" I squeak out from my position on the floor. Daveed helps me up and as soon as I am on my feet, his arms encircle my waist and he presses a kiss to my mouth, muttering a "happy birthday doll" into it.
My cheeks are red as we pull away and I turn only to be crushed into a hug. "Daveed and Lin need to quit hogging you. I feel like I haven't seen you in forever." Jasmine whispers into my hair.
"It's literally been less than twelve hours. I was at the theater last night." I laugh, pulling away and making grabby hands at the food. I was handed a plate and immediately began eating, forgoing convention for the sake of my grumbling stomach.
We all ate, Noah cracking jokes the whole time. "Get dressed. We are going out." Daveed announces, smirking at me.
"Do I get to know where?" I ask, getting up to take the dishes over.
"No, and quit that. Its your birthday. I've got the dishes. Go get dressed, doll." Daveed takes the plates from me and pushes me in the direction of my room with his hip.
"Ok. Outside or inside."
"Both. Now go! We have details to discuss!" I laughed and shut the door to my room, and stared at my closet. I grabbed a pair of jean shorts and my black New York City shirt that Jazzy and I had gotten each other as a joke one year. I added sandals and jewelry to the pile.
When I realized I should just get dressed, I pulled on the clothes with my bracelets and a long, layered necklace. Daveed knocked on my door just as I was putting the finishing touches on my makeup. I saw his hair before I saw his face.
"Hey, you almost ready?" I nod and grab my little grey purse and slip on my shoes before meeting him at the door. "You look wonderful, my love."
"Awe, thank you. It is my birthday so I thought I'd put a little extra effort in." He laughed.
"Well let's go then," he smiles at me and laces his fingers with mine. We collect Noah, Jasmine and Anthony from the living room and lock up the apartment. Jasmine had called us an Uber and we all climbed in, buzzing with excitement.
"Can someone PLEASE tell me where we are going? You know I hate surprises." They all mimed zipping their lips and I groaned, sitting back in my seat.
"Don't worry squishy, its gonna be great!" Noah leans over and squeezes my knee. I glare at him.
"Don't call me that." I fold my arms over my chest and everyone laughs.
"Why does he call you squishy?" Anthony laughs, holding his sides.
"I was a large baby. My dad called me that and it stuck. The whole family called me that. Or at least they used to." Daveed wrapped his arm around my shoulders and squeezed me.
"There will be no sadness on this day of joy. Perk up, buttercup. We are having fun adventures." The car pulled up and I looked up and immediately started bouncing in my seat.
"Coney Island! I haven't been here in ages!" I smile and look at the faces around me. "C'mon losers! We are losing time here!" I pull them all out of the car and toward the entrance, my excitement rubbing off on them.
"Slow down," Daveed chuckled. I bounced on my toes and looked at him.
"Are you kidding? I haven't been here since I moved here which was right after college. Excuse me for being excited." I reply, sarcasm heavy.
The air was just starting to warm up as we entered the park and I drug them to all my favorite rides.
"Andrea?" Daveed hands me my hot dog and I put the mustard on it.
"Yeah?" I ask, focusing on the condiments.
"I'm not renewing my contract." The food stops halfway to my face.
"What?" I gulp.
"clipping. is going on tour. I told Lin and Tommy yesterday."
"How long will you be gone?" I set the hot dog back in the tray.
"Tour is two months. I also got a part on a TV show. They want me out in LA after tour."
"How long Daveed." I look down at the boardwalk, my feet in my sandals. Anything to avoid his face.
"Six months to a year. I'll get breaks of course, but I'll be out there a lot." I breathe in deeply.
"How soon." I ask, trying to control my breathing.
"My last performance is July 16th. I fly out the next day." Daveed tries to rub my back in assurance but I just shrug him off.
"So I have less than a month with you." I look at him and he nods. My head falls into my hands. "You didn't tell me."
"I just found out." Daveed answers and he fiddles with his hands. "But there is something else I need to tell you."
"Oh, what now? Are you going to live on the moon after?" I ask sarcastically.
"No," He takes a deep breath. "Andrea, since our first date, I knew you were someone special. I couldn't put my finger on it yet but I finally did. You are someone I just can't lose. And since I asked Noah and he was cool with it, and I asked Lin and his words were 'hell yes', I figure the tradition bases were covered."
"Daveed, what is this?" I asked, my breathing speeding up. I was vaguely aware of the people around us.
"Its a promise. A promise that I'll always be there. You need me? I'll be there as soon as humanly possible. A promise that there isn't a person I want to be around more, except maybe my mom." I giggle. Daveed absolutely adores his mom. "Its a promise that my mom is absolutely nagging me to bring you home for the holidays. To never hurt you and be there for you." He pulled a little velvet box from his pocket and opened it. "Now, its not an engagement ring, but its my promise to you." I nod and he slips my aunts ring off my right hand and puts the new one on.
"I love you. But you gotta come home to me." I lace my hand with his.
"Didn't I just promise that I would?" He asks, a playful smile on his face.
"You're a dork."
"And you love me for it. Also, will you be my date to the Tony's?" He asks and pushes my hair behind my ear.
"Mmmmm. Yes I will."
He kisses me and I can honestly say its in the top two kisses of my life.