Chapter 26:

She only does important things

The Sequence of Kai

“Hey Kai.”Bookmark here

Trish greets me without tearing her gaze from the TV. I stay standing because there’s nowhere for me to sit. She’s lying down across the couch, Aaron is reading a book in the old armchair and I don’t like any of the other seats in this room.Bookmark here

We were taking a sabbatical!Bookmark here

She’s watching one of those old shitty sitcoms she’s so fond of. She has it up loud enough that Aaron clearly can’t concentrate on his book. He’s about halfway through it right now and I’m sure he was halfway done when he sat down.Bookmark here

“What are you watching?”Bookmark here

The Friends.Bookmark here

What’s it about?”Bookmark here

“It’s about a group of friends living in New Jersey. They all really like coffee.”Bookmark here

“Sounds great….”Bookmark here

“Oh, don’t be like that, it’s funny, look.”Bookmark here

She points towards the screen. The characters are all sitting, outdoors, at a café. Bookmark here

One of the friends leans over and tries to taste the blonde friend’s drink using a ‘comically’ large straw. Noticing this, the blonde friend swipes her cup off the table, spilling the drink over all of the friends.Bookmark here

“What the heck, I just wanted a taste!” says the visibly depressed friend.Bookmark here

“Zoey doesn’t share drinks!” says the blonde friend.Bookmark here

Trish laughs and then looks over to me to see my reaction but frowns upon seeing my expression. She turns back towards the TV in a sulk.Bookmark here

“Fine then, don’t laugh.”Bookmark here

“What? I just don’t think it’s funny.”Bookmark here

“It’s not just that, you’re making me feel bad for laughing.”Bookmark here

“Because you should feel bad for laughing.”Bookmark here

“Do you think you could maybe stop judging me for like five minutes?”Bookmark here

“Maybe I could, but I don’t have the self-restraint.”Bookmark here

Aaron, for some reason, decides now is a good time to open his mouth.Bookmark here

“I think she was asking you in a roundabout way to not vocalize your judgments.”Bookmark here

“Shut the fuck up Aaron. Did anyone ask for your opinion?”Bookmark here

“I-I was just-”Bookmark here

“Kai, don’t talk to him like that!”Bookmark here

“Thanks Tri-“Bookmark here

Aaron’s smug expression is wiped off his face when he sees Trish isn’t pleased with him either.Bookmark here

“And you.”Bookmark here

She points directly at his face.Bookmark here

“I have a mouth you know, I can say what I mean if I want to. Don’t need anyone to speak for me.”Bookmark here

I sense a chance to get a dig in here, I’m going to take it.Bookmark here

“Especially not from a boy named Aaron.Bookmark here

“Kai, I just told you not to talk to him like that.”Bookmark here

What’s wrong with Aaron anyway? I think it’s a good name.”Bookmark here

He looks over at Trish who stalls as she thinks of something nice to say about the name Aaron. Another chance.Bookmark here

“You’ve single-handedly ruined an otherwise decent name.”Bookmark here

Aaron doesn’t even respond, he just opens his arms wide in an exasperated expression and turns to Trish.Bookmark here

“Yeah Kai, stop being such a bitch.”Bookmark here

“Exactly, Aaron is a great name!”Bookmark here

Trish shifts her eyes left and right. I’ve heard her talk enough about the aesthetics of boys’ names to know what she wants to say.Bookmark here

Well… I wouldn’t call it ‘great’.”Bookmark here

“What does that mean?”Bookmark here

“It means it’s not, like, Alejandro or Fernando. It’s not exciting, y’know?”Bookmark here

She’s tried to put it diplomatically but it’s ended up coming out of her mouth even worse.Bookmark here

Aaron has decided he’s had enough. He stands up defiantly and slams his book shut. He looks me in the eye, despite the fact that it was Trish who spoke last.Bookmark here

“I’m going to go read somewhere else, somewhere quiet.”Bookmark here

“Cool.”Bookmark here

As he strides out, I jump onto the chair he was just sitting on. His back clenches up a bit, it clearly annoyed him, but he’s too committed to making a show of leaving to stop now.Bookmark here

Trish has slyly changed the channel to the news while I wasn’t looking. I’m quite happy to not say anything about what she watches but if my facial expressions are going to bother her then there’s nothing I can do.Bookmark here

“What you over for anyway?”Bookmark here

There’s a hint of anger in her voice. I know she doesn’t like when me and Aaron argue but that’s not something I can help.Bookmark here

“I thought I’d check if we have anything to do, no one has called in three days.”Bookmark here

“Like what?”Bookmark here

“I don’t know, disturbances to investigate, new players to find, anything like that.”Bookmark here

“Nothing like that, no.”Bookmark here

“You sure?”Bookmark here

She turns around and looks at me over the back of the couch. I can see the frown receding from her face in real-time. She loves to forgive and forget.Bookmark here

“You can just come to hang out if you want you know?”Bookmark here

“I can’t do that, I’m busy.”Bookmark here

“Oh yeah?”Bookmark here

“Yeah.”Bookmark here

“Then are you gonna go home?”Bookmark here

“No.”Bookmark here

“You’re busy though right?”Bookmark here

“I’m sure something more important will come up if I stick around.”Bookmark here

“Mhmm?”Bookmark here

She looks at me with a smile she thinks is knowing before upping the TV’s volume. We’re late enough into the midday news now that they’re at the filler stories, the ones they have to fill the back end of the evening news if nothing more interesting happens during the day.Bookmark here

“… this Friday is the summer equinox and that means Scorpios probably shouldn’t be in the passenger’s seat this week…”Bookmark here

Trish’s shoulders perk up.Bookmark here

“Hey Kai, something more important just came up.”Bookmark here

“What could that possibly have reminded you of?”Bookmark here

“It’s my birthday on Friday, help me plan a party.”Bookmark here

“Planning your birthday party hardly counts as important.”Bookmark here

She gives me a real death stare, the one I’ve only seen her use when Aaron says something really insensitive. I gotta backtrack.Bookmark here

“I… uh…”Bookmark here

“Yeah?”Bookmark here

“Sorry.”Bookmark here

“So, you’ll help me plan my party?”Bookmark here

“Yeah sure….”Bookmark here

“Yay! I’ll go get some paper and snacks.”Bookmark here

Back to her bubbly stuff, Trish jumps up from the couch and rushes out the door to get her ‘supplies’.Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

An hour or two later and the living room is a mess of empty bowls, crushed beer cans and sheets of A4 paper with plans on them. Bookmark here

I didn’t really do anything planning wise, it became clear early on that my role was going to be shooting down some of Trish’s more outlandish ideas. Bookmark here

The criteria that we (Trish) came up with were, that it must be fun for girls and guys because Trish wants to invite plenty of both from college. There must be plenty of good (and cheap) food. Wherever it is everyone needs to be able to dress sexy (Trish’s birthday is not to pass without ample flirting). And finally, plenty of Alcohol should be involved, this point has been underlined and circled.Bookmark here

“It sounds like what you want is a beach party. Barbecue, swimsuits and beer, beach hits everything.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, but have you actually been to Brighton beach in the summer? Last year it was nothing but old pervy men and the worst kind too, English.”Bookmark here

“Then you need a private pool party. Know anyone with one of those?”Bookmark here

“No…..”Bookmark here

Trish’s eyes slowly light up as an idea forms in her head. Bookmark here

“… but we don’t need to know one!”Bookmark here

She rushes out to the hallway and a few moments later I can hear protests from Aaron. A few moments later, he’s been dragged by his wrist back to the living room.Bookmark here

“Trish, tell me what you want, please!”Bookmark here

“You’re officially part of the pool party planning posse!”Bookmark here

Trish waves her hands around the room at all of our ‘work’.Bookmark here

“Oh, you’re planning your birthday party? I’ve had a couple ide-”Bookmark here

“Plan has already been made, that part is done.”Bookmark here

“There are architects.”Bookmark here

She points at me and her.Bookmark here

“And there are builders.”Bookmark here

She points at Aaron. His face twitches as he realizes, at the same time as me, that Trish’s plan involves the utilization of his powers.Bookmark here

“I don’t like the sound of this plan.”Bookmark here

“That’s why you’re not an architect.”Bookmark here

He glances over at me with a suspicious eye. He doesn’t like talking about his power with me around, pretends that it’s something other than what it actually is. Or at the very least, he’s hiding its extent from me.Bookmark here

“Trish, I told you I can only use my power in serious situations.”Bookmark here

“You saying my Birthday isn’t serious?”Bookmark here

“What? No, uh- I-…”Bookmark here

Aaron just walked into the same trap I did. I’d nearly feel sorry for him, if it wasn’t him.Bookmark here

“So then you can be my builder right?~”Bookmark here

“Uh yeah, sure……”Bookmark here

Pushover.Bookmark here

“Great! Here’s what we need.”Bookmark here

The next 10 minutes are a fascinating time. Trish explains to Aaron everything she wants him to make for her party but due to the sheer number of things she’s thought of between hatching her mutated version of the plan and roping Aaron into making them, she’s explaining it to me also. She’d make for a shitty architect I think, but I’ll keep that to myself.Bookmark here

She’s spoiled. She wants an open bar that can serve any drink in any amount. A barbeque that can instantly cook anything. A self-installing pool that can be stored away (in case she wants to use it again). The pool needs to be self-cleaning too, she insists. She wants him to make the house secure, so no one could stumble upon any of their stuff or disturb Paul. She wants a speaker that can play any song without being connected to the internet (the connection is notoriously spotty out back), she wants everything. Bookmark here

She probably included a few of those to make some of the others sound comparatively reasonable but I still don’t know how she came up with so much, so quickly.Bookmark here

“We can’t have half of those things, unless you want me to create a drug that’ll wipe everyone’s memories after the night.”Bookmark here

He can make something like that? He flinches when he realizes what he’s said with me around.Bookmark here

“Forget I said that… anyway we can just buy most of those things and we already own a barbecue.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, but it’s shit…”Bookmark here

“Look, I’ll do the pool and the house since I don’t see how else we get it done in time… or afford it for that matter… but nothing else, that’s the limit.”Bookmark here

“Yay! Thanks, Aaron, you always come through when I need you.”Bookmark here

She kisses him on the cheek and his entire face goes red. Embarrassing, sickening, immoral.Bookmark here

“Don’t want to rain on your parade but is Paul going to be OK with any of this?”Bookmark here

“I’m OK with it as long as you leave me out of it.”Bookmark here

Well, there’s our answer, I guess. I’m surprised he heard us from the other room.Bookmark here

“See, I told you he’d be OK with it.”Bookmark here

You didn’t tell me anything, I bet you didn’t even consider asking him.Bookmark here

Aaron is scratching his hairless chin while considering what to do.Bookmark here

“I’m going to need time to consider how to make everything work… I’ll try getting started on things tomorrow…”Bookmark here

“Yeah, yeah! I’m gonna start making an invite list. Do a good enough job with the pool and you might sneak on it.”Bookmark here

“But I already live here.”Bookmark here

“Only because I let you.”Bookmark here

“It’s not even your-”Bookmark here

“Go! Go get thinking, you’re wasting precious builder time.”Bookmark here

She playfully flicks him on the forehead and Aaron, reluctantly, shuffles off up to his room, to consider things.Bookmark here

“I should probably go, I really am busy.”Bookmark here

“You can just stay Kai, why don’t we watch a movie?”Bookmark here

“No… I really need to go home.”Bookmark here

“Ok then…”Bookmark here

She sounds disappointed but brightens up quickly.Bookmark here

“I’ll see you tomorrow Kai!”Bookmark here

I decided not to tell her that I’m not coming tomorrow, I don’t want to ruin that smile.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.