A birthday party. Great…
The only time Tracy’s invited is for a stupid birthday party. Well at least it’s not hers.
It was Lola’s birthday party, and she wanted to invite Tracy for the sake of ‘their blooming friendship’ or whatever, Tracy doesn’t remember if they even started being friends, Lola only talk to her to be a diversion for Angelo. Still she was invited and even if it was by mistake, Tracy wants to come to the party.
The remarks flow as Tracy is making her way to the corner of the room, Monica even takes Lola aside to ask her ‘why is Tracy here?’ Lola shrugged and never answered.
“What are you doing here?”
Tracy doesn’t need to turn around to know who said that, she’d recognized that stupid voice anywhere. Without acknowledging Angelo’s presence, she answers, “I’m here because I was invited.”
Angelo joins her against the wall she leaned on with a sigh, “Did you at least bring a gift for Lola?”
Tracy frowned, “Why would I bring a gift?” She doesn’t do gifts, everyone knows that.
Except, Angelo scoffed at her answer. “Tracy, if someone invited you to a birthday party you have to bring a gift! That’s like, common sense!”
Since when bringing gift to someone you don’t like was common sense? And why did Angelo cares? Tracy just wanted to annoy a few people, not becoming the attraction of the party.
“It doesn’t matter, it’s too late I don’t have anything for Lola,” she says, “Besides, I don’t even know what she likes.”
And Angelo had the nerve to make that little smirk, the one that says ‘I have a terrible idea and I’m gonna do it anyway’. He leans closer the her side and whispers like he’s sharing a secret, it just makes him look stupid in Tracy’s opinion.
“Lucky for you, I’m her best friend, and you and I are gonna find her a gift.”
As if. There’s no way in hell, Tracy is going to let Angelo ‘help’ her. Plus she’ll have to spend time with him, which is totally unacceptable.
Less than ten minutes later Angelo is dragging Tracy outside Lola’s house and to the mall. Tracy wants to protest, but his hand never leaves her wrist as he drags her from street to street.
“Alright we have to be quick or else Lola might find out.” He pants, breathless at the time they finally arrive at the mall.
Tracy just stands here because she doesn’t know what to do and she makes sure that Angelo knows that. The boy only continues to explore the shop a bit longer, and Tracy is almost sure he just wants to annoy her.
She grabs Angelo by the arm when he walks past her, dragging him close to her to whisper in his face, “Alright stop moving around and tell me what could be a good gift.”
Angelo stands still, eyes wide open as their noses almost brush against one another. Tracy’s grip on his arm tighten and she shoves him away from her face. Angelo mumbles under his breath and motions for her to follow him across the shop to the clothes section. They go all the way to the band shirts before Tracy stops walking because Angelo hasn’t answered her question and it’s extremely annoying.
“You better talk to me right now or I swear I’m going to hit you,” she says. Angelo turns to face her and she puts her hands on her hips. “Don’t think you can drag me around without saying anything, because if you’re mocking me right now—”
“Okay! Okay. I’ll talk to you,” Angelo exclaims, “Geez stop the paranoia for two minutes.” He motions to the shirts in front of them, taking one of them in his hands. “Lola’s a fan of Slobber, so at least someone else in the party brought her this shirt. But she’s also a fan of Annie Alvina, although she keeps this to herself. Buy her this shirt and you’ll have the perfect gift for Lola.”
Of course, the shirt costs 30€ and Tracy really doesn’t want to spend that much on a gift for Lola. But Angelo doesn’t listen to her protests and take the shirt with him at the register. Instead of waiting for Tracy to join him, he hands the cashier a ticket and leaves with the shirt folded neatly in a paper bag. That’s when Tracy realizes that Angelo bought the shirt for her, and is planning to keep this a secret so that she can seem like a good friend to Lola. She doesn’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
She decides it’s a good thing for once, and thank Angelo for buying the shirt, but just a little ‘thank you’ she’s not crazy.
“I knew wan could do it in time! Now we just have to be back at the party before Lola starts opening gifts.” Angelo smiles and hands the bag over to Tracy, and then he takes a look at the clock above her head and starts to panic because it’s been 20 minutes since they left and Lola is probably searching for them. “We have to go, now.”
He grabs Tracy by the hand and runs out of the store in direction of Cathy’s bakery. behind one of the bushes near the wall, he finds a bike and a helmet. “Those are my emergency gear, don’t make me regret showing them to you.” He tells Tracy, before giving her the helmet.
Tracy takes it and climbs on the bike behind Angelo, if they arrive on time, she might consider forgetting about Angelo’s ‘emergency gear’, only if they arrive on time though. “Just shut up and pedal,” she says; For once Angelo listens and in instants they’re already across the street.
“Angelo ! Where were you? I’ve been searching all around the house for you,” Lola says when they enter her house. She’s fuming, eyebrows furrowed and arms crossed in front of her. “If you forgot to buy me a gift again, i’ll stop inviting you.”
Lola doesn’t seem to care about Tracy’s arriving at the same time as Angelo, she uses this to her advantage and sets the paper bag on top of the, still unopened, gift pile. Behind her, Angelo is searching for an answer to Lola’s question, and after all he did to help her, Tracy decide to help him a little.
“He was with me,” Tracy tells Lola, “My dog ran away and I forced him to search with me.” Tracy almost laughs, because seriously, a dog? She’s not an animal person, let alone a dog. Behind Lola, Angelo is rolling his eyes at her, he too, knows a dog is the last thing Tracy would care for.
“You, have a dog?” Lola isn’t buying it, it’s just ridiculous for Tracy to have a dog. “I don’t believe you.”
“It’s the seventh time he runs away in three months, I’m going to give him to my grandmother, I don’t have time to take care of him.” Tracy sniffs and tears menace to roll down her cheeks. “I knew I couldn't take care of an animal, now Barnaby must hates me…”
“Oh Tracy don’t cry… I’m sure Barnaby will understand, he’ll be better with your grandmother. Also, I’m sorry Angelo for not trusting you.”
Lola opened her gifts, and she loved the Annie Alvina shirt. Tracy got thanked profusely and she’s pretty sure she made a friend. Or maybe two actually, she enjoyed spending time with Angelo without ‘being rivals’, it was pretty relaxing.
The party ended, and Tracy was leaving when Angelo caught her at the door.
“A dog? Really?” He’s smirking at her, of course he is.
“I ran out of ideas…” Tracy said with a sigh. “Thank you, by the way, I had fun today.”
“Yeah I had fun too. And I liked the crying, it really helped make the lie plausible.”
Of course her crying was on point, Tracy worked really hard for it to work every time. “I always add a little tears if I really need to make up a big lie,” she tells Angelo, “You should do it too sometimes.”