Episode 67

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Cole and I worked a party today

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Cole and I worked a party today. The family who organized it was very well off, but they were humble, warm, and kind. They were also generous in how much they paid us. I hoped we would get to work their next party, too.

We were tired and happy when we got home. We were going to sleep well tonight.

I jumped when we got into the house. Alastair's brother was sitting on the couch playing with his... fidget toy... I think I'd heard Alastair call it.

"What are you still doing up?" Cole asked. "It's one in the morning. Don't you usually go to bed by now?"

"Alastair fell asleep a few hours ago. I usually go to bed around eleven or twelve."

"Is it—?" I went to ask.

Del smiled. "It isn't like that." He got up. "I wanted to talk to you while he was sleeping."

We exchanged glances.

"About what?" Cole asked.

Ran took a long breath. "Alastair's birthday is on the twenty-third. I wanna do something for him, but I wouldn't be able to do it on my own." He was shaking. "I want your help."

We turned to each other and smiled. "Of course, we'll take care of it. Don't worry about it."

"Thanks..." His cheeks were bright red even in the dim moonlight.

"What kind of cake would he want?" I asked. "Do you know or has it been too long?"

Ran took a deep breath. "Remember that cake you made for my birthday?"

I raised an eyebrow.

"You two just got home from a party. It's not hard to put two and two together."

"Point taken." I shook my head. "Yeah, I remember. It was easy."

Cole turned his head. "If you don't mind me asking, why do you two like that cake in particular?"

"Don't worry about it. I know lots of people wonder it, too." Ran was messing with his fidget toy. "I really only eat frosting on cupcakes. Alastair doesn't eat frosting at all."

Huh... I didn't know that. I wondered if there was a reason, but I wasn't sure I wanted to ask since I didn't want to pry too much. They didn't need to tell us everything.

"Are there any themes or colors he likes?" Cole asked.

"This is probably going to sound so cliché, but he loves gold and silver. Not really sure if he has any themes. That could've changed between when I left and now."

That was true... Lots of little girls wanted princess parties. A lot of them grew out of that as they got older.

I laughed. "Maybe it is, but hey. Cyan is one of my favorite colors."

"Really?" Ran asked.

"Yep. I have a few things that are that color, but I've never really liked parading them around."

Cole laughed. "That could be a pain."

"What do you think he will want to eat?" I asked.

Ran went red again. "I think you should ask Hannah about it. I don't really know how to explain it. I don't think it has a recipe to it."

"I'll do that tomorrow," I said.

"Want us to just put together a dinner?" Cole asked. "Or do you wanna try to take him out this time?"

Ran furrowed his brows. "I'd like to, but I think it's better not to."

"Why?" I asked.

"Like I've told you before, I just want to give him whatever fleeting moments of happiness I can. He is my little brother, and I love him. I'm going to do whatever I can for him."

We both patted him on the back. "You really are the best big brother ever."

He went red again. "Aw, shucks... It really wasn't anything special."

Ran really was an incredible big brother. It was clear to see why Alastair loved him the way he did.


***


Cole was blowing up balloons. We needed them for the party tonight. I was glad that wasn't my job. It looked hard.

Ran came out of their room.

"What are you doing?" I asked. "What about your brother?"

"Relax. He's glued to my DVD player." Ran went into the fridge.

"What are you doing?" Cole looked up from his balloons.

Ran pulled out a plastic container. "I want a sandwich. I made this last night." He headed for the door. "I'm gonna go back to distracting my brother now."

Cole went back to the balloons.

"I don't know why... I'm surprised he had that sandwich ready to go like that."

Cole came up to laugh. "They have to eat, too, Cy. We do leave them alone sometimes."

How did I forget that? Cole was right, of course.

"Alastair really is a lucky kid to have Ran for an older brother."

"Cy..." Cole came and kissed the top of my head. "I'm pretty sure he's nineteen now."

My jaw dropped. "Really?"

"I remember asking him about it a while back. Don't remember why. At the time, he told me he would be turning eighteen soon."

"He really does look young for his age..."

Cole nodded. "You think we should do anything besides the balloons and the food? I thought about party poppers, but he might not like that..."

"Yeah... No... Let's not do that..." I took a breath. "He seems to be startled by sudden loud noises. The party poppers would probably send him into a meltdown."

"I feel like I need to do something else, but that might be cuz I'm itching to paint something."

I smiled up at him. "Go paint then. I can take care of this. We still have a few hours before the party."

"Sorry..."

Cole was cute when he blushed.

I pecked my boyfriend on the cheek. "Don't worry about it. Muse is fickle. Take advantage of the opportunities she presents you whenever you can."

"You're the best, Cy! Message me if you need anything!"

"Go paint!" I shouted.

Cole practically ran out of the kitchen. He was clearly inspired. I'd be cruel of me to take that away from him. Plus, I was sure we would have a great party. I felt it in my bones.


***


Thoughts on Del here? The prep Cy and Cole did? The pair's dynamics? Theories? Predictions?

~Shino out!

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