Authors: C. Elizabeth
The engine roared to life, Todd put it in reverse and backed out slowly, neither of us saying a word.
~ * ~
The parking lot was full at Sloppy’s as usual, but Todd got lucky and was able to snag a stall just as someone pulled out. It being Friday, that’s where everyone met to make their plans for the weekend.
The big white brick building had windows that wrapped all the way around. At one time it had been one of those old car hop diners, but had since been renovated, though they did keep the old style booths and the round counter at the front. It was a pretty cool place. When we got closer, I could see my girls sitting at the big booth, their mouths flapping a thousand miles a minute, all trying to talk at once.
Todd opened the door. “Shall we?” he said gallantly, while bowing.
“Saydi!” Norma waved frantically in the air.
Smiling, I waved back and pushed through the crowd. Todd held onto the loop of my jeans so he didn’t get left behind.
“Hi!” I rang out, sliding across the bench seat as Todd moved in right beside me. I scanned the place. “Why does it seem super busier than usual?”
Angie leaned over the table. “Word got out that the new kids are here.”
Everyone followed her lead and closed in.
“Did you guys meet them yet?” I asked, feeling the rush of excitement.
They shook their heads. “No, but they’re sitting over in the corner booth.” Becky said, pointing. “That one.”
Todd grabbed her fingers and pulled them quickly down. “Don’t point!”
“You said kids...how many?” I asked.
Angie had a wicked grin on her face. “Triplets, boys.” She rubbed her hands together.
The rumors were right for once, and for the next big question: “How old?”
Norma glanced over in their direction, not that you could see them through the people. “We don’t know yet, but I overheard someone say they were nineteen.” Then she squeaked from the thrill, putting her hand up to her mouth.
Todd shoved against the back of his seat. “So what? A bunch of new guys,” he grunted, sounding utterly disgusted.
What a baby
. “Wouldn’t it be nice to have some new friends?” I asked of him specifically.
Crossing his arms, he chucked out, “No!”
We all knew what his problem was and Becky simply confirmed it out loud. “Are you already jealous, Todd?”
Angie reached over and touched his arm, then winked. “Todd, don’t be jealous, they might have horns or maybe warts on their noses. Worse yet, maybe they’re short.”
We all laughed, except Todd.
“Why couldn’t it be girls?” he rumbled under his breath.
I patted the top of his head and talked with a pucker. “It’s all wight, littow poo poo, the new boys won’t hurt you.”
He swatted my hand away hard and crossed his arms again.
Angie ignored him. “It’s weird! When we got here it was pretty much like this,” she explained, gliding her hand through the crowded air. “And even when we went to the bathroom someone was blocking our view.”
Just the thought of being the new face in town had me feeling sympathetic. “Wow! Can you imagine how they feel? Everyone gawking...how unsettling.” I shivered elaborately to make my point.
Becky pulled in closer yet and darted her eyes around at us. “I don’t think they’re feeling very uneasy...look.” She nodded once off to the side.
Our heads veered in that direction, and it seemed the throngs of people moved at that precise moment to give us a clear sight path right to the triplets, reminding me of the Red Sea story in the Bible. I chuckled under my breath at my silliness, then...froze.
They were gorgeous!
Segra, Jocelyn and Mattie were drooling all over them, each literally hanging off one of the new boys. But honestly, I would have been doing the same thing if it were me sitting there. I couldn’t take my eyes off them.
They all looked exactly alike, though I was sure it was impossible to have identical triplets. You could tell they were tall because they towered over
, even when sitting. Their hair was black and thick, with gentle curls waving through it. Perfect olive skin gave no indication they ever had trouble with pimples. Their eyelashes matched the thickness and color of their hair, framing each round eye perfectly. And their lips...their lips looked like they had been cut right out of a picture, the perfect shape and color.
One of the boys threw his head back and laughed, then playfully touched Segra’s nose. I watched all the other kids, including boys, clamor to reach out to the triplets and introduce themselves. All three graciously shook hands and acknowledged each and every one with a few words, then easily continued on with their private conversation. They were at ease. Nothing in their demeanor indicated they were one bit nervous.
Angie and Becky startled me when they stood up.
“Okay, I’m moving on in,” Becky proclaimed confidently.
“Me too,” Angie piped up, gazing nervously around the table.
Todd, Norma and I laughed. “Go for it!” I said.
Angie flopped back down on the seat, defeated. “I’m such a chicken.”
Becky tugged on her hand. “Angie, come on! What’s the worse they could do? Say no?”
Angie slowly stood and drew her shoulders back to show her strength, even if it was fake...but she was going to do it and off they went.
For some reason, the closer they got to the new boys, the harder it was for me to breathe. My nails dug into Todd’s leg.
“Ouch!” he yelped, yanking my hand away. “That hurt!” He rubbed where my nails surely left a mark.
Without looking his way, I apologized. My attention stayed with Becky and Angie as they made their way through the crowd.
It seemed to take them forever to get to the table, and when they did, all three boys looked up and smiled. Segra, Jocelyn and Mattie sneered. Then Segra said something that had Mattie and Jocelyn laughing and giving her high fives.
The triplets didn’t seem to like the little exchange and flashed a quick look of disapproval at each other. All at the same time they sat straight up, distancing themselves from Segra’s little group—well, at least as a far as you can distance yourself when you’re sitting right beside someone in a cramped booth.
Something Angie said to them caused all three to take stock of our table. My first reaction was to cast my eyes down, that is until the one sitting against the wall took hold of them...
~ * ~
A sea of dark ocean took me through caverns and caves. Being under water didn’t bother me, and my chest rose and sank as if I were on land. Something shimmered on the ocean floor, looking completely out of place. When I reached for it and cradled it in my hand, the crystal felt smooth and comfortable—soothing.
~ * ~
“Earth to Saydi!”
Someone shoved me.
“Saydi! Are you already daydreaming about them?” Todd snarled hotly.
It was easy to ignore Todd when the triplet’s face came back into full view, considering my imagination was playing tricks on me...his features twisted in such a way it made my skin crawl, then it was gone, leaving behind a beautiful smile as he nodded once at me in a greeting.
“Saydi, are you all right?” Becky asked.
“Um, yeah, good.” I let out a nervous giggle.
They all stared with shocked looks.
I eased back in the seat. “What?”
The fact that all their eyes looked down at the table, then back up to me, enticed me to look too. The napkin in front of me had a drawing on it—a tear drop, with sun rays billowing out and ghosts floating away from it.
“What a cool drawing. Who drew it?” Clearly, I had five heads, at least that’s how they were making me feel by the way they were sizing me up.
“You did,” Todd said, raising a curious eyebrow.
Impossible! My only artistic side went as far as reading. I preferred sports. “I can’t draw.”
Becky plucked the pen from my hand. “Apparently, you can.”
“What was that?” Norma whispered through her teeth, inspecting my eyes.
“What was what? You guys are acting all weird.”
Todd snorted. “You go off into some far off land and start drawing a spooky picture, and you say we’re acting weird?”
“I wasn’t daydrea…”
“Have a good night, Saydi,” said a dreamy, deep voice.
I whipped my head in its direction. One of the triplets, the one with green/blue eyes, knocked twice on our table and smiled directly at me as they passed.
My tongue tied up in a knot, giving me no ability to spit, never mind talk. The only thing I could do was gape while all three brothers smiled and waved when they walked out the door...and to add to my already moronic reaction, I was certain drool played a part. I flopped my forehead on the table and moaned, “What is wrong with me?”
“That was Nathanael!” Angie gushed.
“Saydi, you can stop drooling,” Todd barked.
No! I didn’t!
Testing, just to make sure, I licked my lips then threw a look at him. “Todd!”
“What? You were.” Then he shoved the napkin with the picture in my face. “Here, why don’t you run after him? Maybe he’ll ask you out!”
The way he was acting was starting to piss me off, and to let him know, I formed each word perfectly as I said them. “Todd, what is wrong with you?”
“I’m just saying.” Crossing his arms, he refused to look at me.
Shaking my head, I turned back to Becky and Angie wanting information. “So?”
Angie blushed, nearly bursting at the seams. “Did you not see them?”
I bobbed my head, smiling, the drawing and Todd’s outburst forgotten.
Angie angled in close. “Well, the one against the wall... His name is Joshua, and you already know Nathanael.” She giggled. “And the one on the end was Job.” Then she arched in closer yet, as if to tell me a huge secret. “Weren’t they gorgeous?”
“Oh please!” Todd huffed.
“Oh shush!” Norma fanned her hands at him.
“Angie, you can’t have all of them,” Becky informed. The way she said it led me to believe it wasn’t said all in fun. I picked up on the little bit of bitterness that had snuck into her tone.
Angie either ignored it or didn’t catch it. “Darn right I can!” she insisted.
All us girls laughed—Becky used her fake one.
“So, what did they say?” Norma asked.
Becky and Angie looked to each other and nodded. Becky shuffled in her seat. “Well, after Segra made fun of us, it was like the boys hated them. They actually told them to leave their table.” She darted her eyes back and forth among us all. “Who does that?”
They were obviously guys who had a lot of confidence, especially if they didn’t care if people liked them or not. “Evidently them,” I informed.
Angie practically sailed against the back of her seat, smiling and playing with the tip of her hair. “It was awesome watching their faces when the guys asked them to leave.”
“You weren’t over there very long,” I noted.
Becky giggled. “They were paying their bill, so we thought we’d be polite and not make it any more awkward.”
“How did he know my name?” I asked.
Angie and Becky both rolled their eyes. Becky answered, “They asked who was sitting at our table.” A grin was plastered on her face. “Wouldn’t it be great if they were interested?”
Angie elbowed her. “Of course they’re interested.” She waved her hand in car model style down the side of her face. “Look at this, who wouldn’t want it?”
“Oh brother!” Todd blew out.
The crowd at Sloppy’s thinned fairly quickly once the new faces left, giving us a chance to settle into some simple conversation, getting busy eating fries and gravy and drinking way too many pops.
Todd was so temperamental we all somehow knew to stay away from any more talk of “the triplets,” though those green/blue eyes were never too far from the front of my mind. Something about that one particular brother made me smile. We parted ways after the food was gone. Angie and I zipped back to her car and I was ready to get home to sort out my thoughts.
“Hey, where are we going?” I asked Angie, watching my turn go by.
“I want to go past their house again.”
“I don’t know...now that we talked to them, maybe they’ll be outside.”
That was much more a Becky comment than an Angie comment, so I knew she was more deeply caught up in the triplet drama than I first thought.
“Do you think they’ll just be hanging out in the front yard?”
Angie’s face went red and she shrugged. “You never know.”
“Oh Angie, you’ve got it bad. Which one?”