“Find some other way to distract Dad! Don’t be late!” My eldest sister was on the other line of the phone, and she was running late, as usual. Johnny, Lucy, and I were waiting for our Mom’s homemade cake to be done in the oven. Ever since she passed, we would try to make it for Dad’s birthday just like Mom did. She didn’t tell us that it was THIS much work though, as she had an acquired taste of recipes.
“Alright, I’m almost there!” She quickly hung up on her end; she loved to have the last word. Dissatisfied, I turned over to my younger brother, Johnny, and the youngest of us, Lucy, who just turned 18 a few months ago.
Lucy has blue eyes, jet black hair, and a slender figured. She doesn’t talk much, prefers to be away from people when she cools off, always has her head in a book, and more intelligent than most. When Mom died, she talked less–only when it was absolutely necessary or if she was having problems. She has a small group of friends and us. Otherwise, she’s closed off.
Johnny was only 22, but his cockiness was there long before then. He has a large, sturdy build, with wide shoulders and big muscles. He has red hair and freckles, which is why he hated being called “cute” unless it was by a girl that liked him. And although he acts like the bully of the family, he does still love us. After all, the last person to pick on Lucy got a black eye, a dislocated arm, and other various minor bruises.
Meanwhile, Stacy was 24, but had this snappiness that nobody even knew could exist. She is in your face if you even think of being rude to her. She is rather curvier than Lucy, has brown hair, and loves it when guys drool over her. Her favorite quote is: “Insult me once, shame on you. Insult twice, shame on you times two. Insult my family and I’ll kill you to get my job back.”
And I was the oldest. I was 27. I’m moderately built, try to stay cool, calm, and collective, but it’s a little hard to do that when Johnny and Stacy’s personalities clash. Lucy and I have a special bond, however, which has been impenetrable by everything. We never fight, or argue, so that’s the bright side to that. Back when Mom died, Dad was really struggling. I was the support for my siblings while Dad picked up the pieces of his heart.
I still miss Mom to this day…
I snap back from my thoughts as Lucy and Johnny pulled the cake from the oven. Johnny was the first to speak. “You know, rather than decorate, we could just eat the cake.” I gave him a look, and then grabbed the cake from his hands. As I reached over to put the frosting on, Lucy was fidgeting with her fingers; she only does that when something is wrong. I poked Johnny, then showed him, and he took the cake to the other side of the counter.
“Why does it still hurt?” Her piercing blue eyes were penetrating me for an answer. At first, I didn’t have one. I searched my thoughts, to when Mom was in the hospital.
“Take care of your siblings and your Dad, Jackson.” Those were the last words I heard from her before I got the news the next day about her passing. The thought that she’s gone does still ache to this day, but I did somehow feel better.
“I promise you’re going to get better, and hey, this cake is proof of that!” I went from serious to comedic. “That is, if Johnny doesn’t stop eating the left over frosting.” He quickly put his spoon down, accidentally dropping it.
“Spoon? What spoon?” In a flash, he went to the door. “I think Stacy just drove up the drive way! Let’s go see!” He ran outside, Lucy and I reluctantly following him. As we left the house, Stacy’s car was a bright pink Ferrari, parked next to my Camaro and Johnny’s Charger. “Okay, so I called Dad, and he will be here in half an hour!” Everyone immediately rushed inside to wrap the remaining presents and finish the cake. As we rushed, Johnny accident tripped into Stacy.
“Hey, you better watch it!”
“HEY, YOU WERE IN MY WAY!” Johnny was one to jump into a fight as fast as he could, and he wasn’t going to slack today. As they fought, Lucy looked to me. I had to do something, especially as I was the eldest.
“Enough. It’s Dad’s birthday, we have to finish up here! Besides, this isn’t going to get any presents wrapped faster, or that cake decorated any sooner. So, how about we do something useful for once and make Dad happy?”
They were surprised by my tone, considering most of the time I let them deal if out. They both looked wearily at each other, soon deciding to get back to work.
Dad pulled up, the lights were out. Johnny and Stacy shushed each other as Lucy and I waited quietly by the door. I gave Dad a spare key, so he could have access to my place. How else was he going to get in without ruining the surprise? He unlocked the door, and turned on the light, confused. We quickly jumped out with a “SURPRISE!”
“What’s all this?” he questioned. I showed him the cake; blue frosting edges, the little blue heart with the inscription “We Love You Forever”, just like Mom once made. She actually put “I Love You Forever” which was originally “I’ll Love You Forever” but she had made a typo, and kept it that way ever since. It was the little details like that I paid attention to, and I’m glad I did, because my Dad teared up at the site of it.
“Thank you all so much. You don’t know how much this means to me.” Before we could celebrate, Johnny jumped in front of Dad.
“It was my idea!”
“No, it was mine!”
And just like that, Stacy and Johnny were fighting again. Dad and Lucy just laughed, and soon I found myself laughing too.
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