The first thing Uma hears when she wakes up is the sound of her boyfriend’s sleep-ridden groggy voice and the smell of pancakes in the air.
“Wake up, birthday girl.” Harry mumbles, kissing Uma’s temple which make her let out tired little giggles.
Uma opens her eyes and is welcomed with the sight of Harry, hair disheveled and a sleepy grin on his face. His blue eyes met her brown ones and Uma fell in love all over again.
“Okay, okay I’m up.” Uma says, still giggling.
Harry takes her hand, and leads her down the staircase, which he covered in rose petals (and Uma’s heart melted). Before Uma stands a plate of pancakes, a mountain of whipped cream and sprinkles on top of them and a singular candle in the midst of it.
Uma couldn’t help but grin ear to ear at how lovely the gesture was, and how absolutely adorable Harry is.
“Harryyyy,” Uma says, cheeks growing warm. “You didn’t have to do this.”
“I wanted to, love.” Harry responds, placing a kiss to her nose. “Cos it’s your birthday and I love you.”
She places a kiss to his lips before he wraps his muscular arms around her small frame.
“Make a wish.” He says. Uma closes her eyes for a few seconds, then opens them before blowing out the candle.
Uma really couldn’t believe it was her 21st birthday. She feels like time has gone really fast but nevertheless she’s grateful for everyone that’s come into her life. Harry especially.
“So where’s my gift?” Uma asks teasingly, after finishing her pancakes.
“You’ll find out soon.” Harry responds, trying not to give away any hints. “But pack a bathing suit.”
Harry swears he falls in love with the way Uma’s eyes light up at the very mention of swimming and the ocean. Uma loved swimming ever since she was little and she was surprised she hasn’t turned into a mermaid yet.
“Are we going swimming in the ocean?” asks Uma excitedly.
Harry smiles at her cuteness. “Something like that.”
“Uma’s gonna love her gifts so much!” Audrey happily squeaks as she enters her house, closing the door and locking it with the key.
“That’s…...quite a few shopping bags you got there.” Mal comments, chuckling.
“Have you and Evie finished the decorations yet?” Audrey asks, setting the bags down on the couch.
“Uhhh….sort of.” Mal says, slightly nervous.
Audrey looks at the girl with uncertainty. “Mal, what happened when I was gone?”
Audrey and the gang decided on having a chill cookout to celebrate Uma’s birthday, since she really didn’t favor big extravagant parties. She had invited them all over that morning and they’ve been putting up for a few hours.
Mal then nervously explains how they were putting up one of the teal streamers up, but it was too long so the end of it got caught on the grill which set it on fire, so they had to throw it away. But hey, they still had the other streamers to put up.
Audrey sighs, because she’s already use to her friends’ shenanigans. “You know what? Just make it look pretty. Harry’s a bit of a nervous wreck when it comes to things like this.”
“On it.” Mal agrees before exiting the living room and out of the back door.
Ben and Gil had to step out to get wood for the campfire they were going to do that night, Carlos had picked up some of his music equipment from his house, which left Jay, Evie, Chad, Audrey and Mal to do the rest of the decorating.
Audrey was right, Harry does get antsy and nervous when it comes to doing things for Uma because he loves her so much and he wants it to be perfect without any flaws in sight. Because that’s how Harry saw Uma, perfect.
Someone must’ve texted Harry about the streamer incident because Audrey receives a call from him, and one, he’s angry, two his Scottish accent has seemingly intensified, and three he sounds nervous as all hell.
“Okay but can you repeat that one more time in English?” Audrey replies. Harry just huffs and asks to put Evie on the phone, since she was sort of the peacemaker of the group.
Audrey and Mal observe Evie with slight fascination as she calms a nervous Harry down, who was yelling something in Scottish over the phone. For some unknown reason, her and Uma were the only ones that could really understand his accent apart from his actual family.
“Harry, are you good?” Uma says as she leaves the bathroom door.
Harry runs a hand through his brown hair. “Not really. Audrey’s throwin’ a party fer ye at her place an’ ah jus’ want everythin’ tae be perfect, ye ken?”
Uma’s facial expression softens. She notices that Harry really only gets nervous when he’s doing something for her and she finds it super admirable, but then she’s concerned for him because she doesn’t want him to lose his head over it.
She walks over to the couch, takes his phone to set it on the coffee table and grabs both of his hands.
“Harry,” she starts. “I am absolutely sure that whatever you have planned for me is going to be perfect. It’s from your heart, which is all that matters. I love you, okay? Don’t hurt yourself over this.”
She gives them a light squeeze, and Harry calms down slightly (not entirely, though). But he does find comfort in Uma’s sincerity and warmth, and also the smell of the cinnamon flavored body wash she’s radiating, because that’s his favorite scent on her.
“I’ll try not to, babe.” Harry says. “
A few hours went by, and the sun was starting to set. Soon enough, the decorations were just about ready, and things seemed to be going right. Until Audrey’s homemade ice cream cake was beginning to melt and she had no time to make it again.
“Shit!” she cursed to trying to put the now liquifying ice cream cake back in the fridge.
“No use, Auds.” Chad says. “It’s not gonna taste as good now.”
Audrey groans. “But Uma loves when I make her ice cream! It’s vegan!”
“Jay!” Carlos calls to his boyfriend across the room. “I’m almost finished with Uma’s hot wings, do you have the sauce?”
Jay is silent for a moment. “The sauce?”
“The one I told you to pick up yesterday?” Carlos sounded frustrated at his lack of instruction. “The sauce that Uma likes? Are you kidding me right now?”
“Doesn’t ring a bell, man.” Jay answers and Carlos huffs.
“Whatever.” Carlos sasses, rolling his eyes.
Carlos turns to Gil and nicely asks him if he could keep an eye on the food as its cooking so he could go to work on the music and Gil happily agrees. Carlos leaves the kitchen and Gil stands by the stove as he was told. Until, after about five minutes, he gets distracted by a notification on his phone, and leaves where he was standing to go sit on the couch.
Harry and Uma arrive at Audrey’s house, and Harry’s ball of nerves, but Uma’s there to reassure him because she holds his hand gives a squeeze every few minutes (or seconds, depending on how he’s feeling).
Uma and Audrey squeal as the pull each other into a hug, and Harry apologizes to her for yelling at her over the phone and Audrey laughs and explains to him that it wasn’t a big deal, really.
The rest of the group say their hellos to Harry and their happy birthdays to Uma. Evie pulls the two in a hug, Harry especially, because she knows how he’s feeling.
“You okay?” Evie asks Harry.
“Sort ay. I’m just kin' ay up in mah nerves reit now. Ah just pure hope everythin' is gonnae reit. Everythin' is in check, reit?”
Evie isn’t really sure how to respond, she just bats her eyes and flashes a smile. “How about a cupcake?”
“Evie!” Harry says, falling back into his panicked state.
She grabs Uma’s wrist and pulled her toward the cupcakes, hopefully trying to make a big enough distraction from what’s already going on. “Try one! They’re absolutely delicious!”
Uma lets out a small, child-like gasp when she sees the decorated teal frosting cupcakes have little coconut flakes on top of them. “These have coconut?”
“Yep! Your favorite!” Evie happily answers when Mal bursts into the room. “Audrey and I made them.”
“Uhh, guys? I smell something burning.” Mal announces which strikes a bit of concern in everyone, and a slightly panicked Carlos comes running back into the kitchen.
“Gil!” Carlos exclaims, and the blonde boy looks up from his phone. “The wings are burning!”
Gil’s eyes widen as he makes a beeline for the stove, grabbing an oven mit. He pulls the stove door open when a huge gust of black smoke escapes the stove, revealing the singed wings. Everyone gasps and curses under their breath.
“Fucking hell!” Harry exclaims as he frantically tries to get something to extinguish the fire, and Carlos looks like he’s about to black out at any minute now.
“I’ll go get a fire extinguisher!” Jay says before grabbing Mal’s hand. “Mal, come with me.”
“Just come on!” he says as he drags Mal to wherever Audrey’s fire extinguishers are.
Harry paces around the kitchen, nervous and frustrated and angry and panting. He is briefly stopped by Evie who is trying to calm him down.
“Okay, Harry.” She says. “Breathe, please. It’s not the end of the world, okay? We can always come up with something lat--” Evie is distracted by what sounds like the tune of “On the Beautiful Blue Danube ” playing, no, blasting through the air.
Carlos’ eyes widen, and he holds his breath. “I forgot to replace all my CDs in the box queue. That’s my fucking ballet playlist.”
He had actually made Uma a special mix for her birthday, and he was up until about two in the morning making it, so he carelessly left the CD out on his desk, instead of putting it in the queue. So now everyone knows what Carlos is dancing to for his next ballet performance.
“We got the fire extinguisher!” Jay announces as him and Mal make their way to the kitchen.
Jay was quite surprised when the extinguisher didn’t shoot out foam, but more fire. Everyone yelps as the stove ignites in flames, and Audrey has to usher Carlos to the couch and get him some water because the poor boy looks exasperated.
At this point, Jay has to break about 3 more glass cases to get an actual fire extinguisher before Chad makes the decision to call his housekeeping team that works for his mother’s cleaning company.
Just when things couldn’t get worse, Evie sees Ben isolate himself by stepping outside, so she follows him.
“Ben?” she calls behind him, “Is everything okay?”
She could only see the silhouettes of his features due to the sky being a deep blue and the lights around the pool being lit.
“Uh yeah….I’m good. It’s just, I’m getting a little nervous with everything going on.” He stammers as he feels his heart racing and his stomach feeling uneasy.
Evie places her hands on his shoulders. “Everything’s going to be fine.Just chill out here and come in when you’re better,” she says, before her eyes catch something floating in the pool that wasn’t supposed to be there. Her eyes widen when she sees it crawl out of the pool and Ben flinches.
“What is that?” Ben alarmedly asks, and he clutches his tummy. “Oh goodness, Evie, I feel sick.”
“No, no, don’t panic. I need you to stay calm, please.” Evie shushes him before calling Audrey’s name about three times before the latter girl comes rushing out the door to Evie’s attention.
“Do you have any, uh, other pets you didn’t tell us about?” Evie stutters, trying to back away from whatever type of animal that was crawling out of the pool.
“No? Why would--” Audrey furrows her brows, confused. Evie stares her dead in the eyes, and subtly points towards where the animal is for her to get the hint.
She sees the animal and screams, and Ben completely vomits in the pool and the animal, seeming to be a skunk, sprays a rather pungent odor and runs as fast as it could out of Audrey’s backyard.
Evie comes back into the kitchen to inform everyone of Ben vomiting in the pool when she sees Jay and Mal still trying to fix the burning stove problem, Chad on the phone with his mom’s cleaning company, and Audrey, Gil, and Uma comforting Carlos and Harry on the couch who looked like they were crying. And yes, Carlos’ ballet playlist was still blasting as all of this was happening.
Soon enough the music was turned off, and the fire was put out, and the group just sat there in complete silence, trying to process everything that happened and why it happened so quickly.
Basically, Uma’s party turned into a complete disaster.
But Uma didn’t want to speak too soon, because after her boyfriend calms down, she suggests that hey, she knows that they wanted to make this party extra special for her, but how about they just go to the beach?
“What about the food?” Evie asks.
“Um..we can order pizza!” Uma chirps, trying to lighten the mood.
“I mean... I still have some firewood that we bought but didn’t use.” Gil adds. “Maybe we can start a bonfire when we get there. I’ve got my van.”
After Audrey grabs some cups and a bottle of Rose, the group heads out of Audrey’s house and piles into Gil’s van, and they’re headed to the beach. Minus the stop to get pizza, it’s a pretty short drive. Uma immediately feels at peace when she steps foot on the sand, because the beach was her second home (or any place with a body of water, really.)
Gil and Jay set up the bonfire and Carlos gets out his guitar from the back of his trunk. They spend the next hour talking, laughing, singing and enjoying pizza. Eventually it had turned into some sort of roast session where they reminisce on Uma’s best (and worst) moments. Luckily, nothing bad happened to Uma’s gifts or cupcakes, so they brought them along and she loved it. Surprisingly, it was all turning out good for everyone, and Uma was over the moon about that. She was surrounded by everyone she loved and they were just as content as she was.
Uma lays her head on Harry’s shoulder. “Finished crying?” she jokes, and Harry playfully rolls his eyes which makes her laugh.
“I’m good.” Harry answers and he sounds soft and relaxed, which is how Uma likes to see him.
“I’ll have to admit, this was one of, if not the best birthdays ever.” She says, heart full with love and gratitude.
“You think so?”
Uma nods as she further cuddles into him. “I know so. This is perfect.”
“I’m just really glad you’re happy, love.” Harry says, smiling down at her before kisses her forehead again.
Audrey announces that she wants to do a toast to Uma, so once their cups are filled, they sing Happy Birthday to her, and Uma feels a lump in her throat and tears welling up in her eyes in the midst of giggling because she loves them so much, and they love her too.
Audrey yells a ‘to Uma!’ which Uma found hilarious, and the rest repeat after her, clicking their cups together with each other.
Uma didn’t really see her 21st birthday as a complete disaster, but more like a beautiful accident. One that’ll make a hilarious story that she tell later and laugh about in the future.