"Oi, rabbit, can you take Isobel to the store with you? We need groceries and the house is a mess from when my brothers came over yesterday." Running into the room as she pulled her sneakers on, she grabbed onto the counter and bounced a few times as she made sure she was wearing the footwear properly. She knew that her uncles coming over last night was all a piece of the plan her momma had gotten help with figuring out last month. So was her going to the stores with her daddy, she was supposed to keep him away from the house until she heard the secret word.
"Sure, I don't mind. You ready to go little 'Bel?" Nodding with her smile on her face, she felt herself being picked up, feeling a kiss to her forehead after a moment, another following as her momma came over to the two of them. She covered her eyes with her little hands as her parents kissed, how gross.
"I'll call if there's anything I forgot to put on the list, but call me when you're about to come back." Waving to her momma while she was being buckled into her seat, she bounced a little in it as the vehicle started and began its trip down the road. The drive to the store didn't take too long and she was soon running and skipping a few feet in front of her daddy, grabbing boxes and cans off shelves that she could reach for him before climbing onto the end of the cart and hanging on. She loved going to the stores with her daddy, he always let her help.
"'Bel stay close to the cart, we don't need you getting lost in the store and going missing. Your momma would be so upset." Going back to the cart as she watched her daddy grab something else off a high shelf. After getting the groceries and taking most of the bags to the car herself, she climbed into the backseat herself as she listened to her dad calling her momma.
"You said to call when we finished at the store to make sure you didn't forget to put anything on the list." Hearing silence for a few moments, she bounced a little in her place between the two front seats, waiting to hear the secret word.
"Sorry, I'm thinking." She heard her daddy start laughing, covering her mouth with her hands to keep herself quiet.
"I can smell the smoke from here, Yu." She didn't get to hear the response because the phone was taken off it's speaker before her momma could start his yelling. She could guess that there were words that he said that she wasn't supposed to know, but that didn't stop her from knowing some already. Her momma and uncles say some really bad things sometimes when they think she isn't there. Watching as the phone was put back on speaker, she couldn't help but smile as she saw her daddy's grin. Oh! This trick!
"What does that mean, momma? What do those words mean?" Climbing over the box that was in between the two seats, she fell into the passenger seat with a soft sound, her hair bouncing in it's pigtails. She pulled at the edge of her dress so it would stop puffing up under her and showing her shorts. The phone was silent for a minute or two before she heard her momma's voice again, and he sounded absolutely embarrassed.
"Please don't repeat any of those words I just said Isobel, those were really not nice words."
"Then why did you say them to daddy?" She stuck her tongue out at the device, knowing that her momma couldn't see her.
"You'll learn when you're older, Iso. Can you two pick up some books from the library for me?" She could hear the confirmation on the question as she giggled, feeling as she was picked up from the seat and taken back to hers. She tried to brush her daddy's hands away so she could buckle in, but no matter how hard she tried she couldn't get both straps locked in, huffing a little under her breath. After being helped with her seat, she could watch the trees go by as they started towards the library. She knew that the two of them could spend a long time there, and her momma must've been counting on that.
Unbuckling from her carseat, she hopped down from the car as the car door was opened for her, her sneakers barely missing the puddle that was under her door. She reached up to grab the bag for their books, able to see the keychain that had their library cards hooked onto it in her daddy's hand. Feeling her hand being taken, she bounced on her feet a few times before getting helped with jumping over the puddle. She wiped her feet on the rugs before she practically skipped to the shelves where the held books were kept. She was lucky that they kept the letter K close to the ground or she wouldn't have been able to reach the books that her momma had requested. Putting the books into the bag so she could carry them easier, she tried her best to keep from running as she moved to catch up with her daddy. He took the bag from her as she caught up, letting her hook the chain onto the belt of her dress as she followed him around. She remembers hearing her uncle Alma call her a little duckling once or twice when she does this.
"Oh darn!" Turning around after jumping a little at hearing something fall and hit the floor behind them, she bent over to grab the heavy book, doing her best to hand it back to the order man who had dropped it.
"Here you go mister!" She was sure to keep her voice down with where they were, but she managed to relax more when the book was taken from her. Oh did it ever make her arms ache.
"Thank you sweetheart, how very nice of you." Nodding her head, she felt a hand on top of it after another moment, glancing up and behind her to see her daddy smiling back at her.
"Let's go check these books out little 'Bel, your momma just sent me a text to come back home when we were done. He also said to tell you that he found your crayons behind the telly." Bouncing on her feet again, she started getting excited. There was the secret word! That meant that everything was ready back at home for them. She handed the keychain up to her daddy as he put all the books on the counter, taking the bag to hold open for all the books to be put inside. She didn't get to carry the books out to the car herself though, instead being carried herself by her dad and put into the carseat. She almost couldn't hold her excitement for what was going to happen when they got home.
"If I didn't know any better I'd think the two of you are up to something. What's got you so hyper back there, Iso?" Covering her mouth with both of her hands, she tried to hide her giggles as she watched them come up to the driveway. It took them only one trip to bring all the bags into the kitchen, watching the confusion flit over her daddy's face in confusion. Her momma would usually come and help them with the groceries if he was home by the time they got back, but this time was different, and she knew why.
"Yu? We're home." She handed her bags up so they could be put on the counter as she heard the voice by the back door.
"I'm by the back door, I'll put the groceries away in a bit. Isobel, can you grab the box that's on the counter by the sink for me please?" She was quick to grab the box of candles, following quickly to the back door where she knew her uncles and cousins were outside.
This was their elaborate plan.
A birthday party.
"Did you two plan something? I'm not going to have a heart attack if I walk outside am I?" Handing the candles off to her momma, she reached as far as she could to help him push her daddy out the back door.
"Don't be dumb, bunny, just go outside. You didn't forget what today was did you." The moments passed slowly as he tried to remember the date.
"August….ninth? Is that what today is?" She stepped outside with her momma so the door could be closed, it was really warm outside.
"You're a day off. I can't believe I'm engaged to someone who forgot his own twenty-fourth birthday."
"Happy Birthday daddy!" She could finally watch as everyone came out from where they had hidden, obviously startling the red-head.
"I didn't even know. So was this what you and Isobel plotted all day?" Glancing from where Isobel had run off to with her cousins, he looked over to the other.
"Not quite, we've had this in the works since mid-July. Iso was more than happy to help distract you while Alma and the sprout helped me clean up and get things set." He didn't miss the shocked expression that was quickly shifted into a smile, able to feel his face flush a little. He couldn't even blame it on the heat and sun with them being on the porch under cover. "I know that you like parties, and I appreciate you respecting how I don't enjoy them. It's nothing big, but it's still something." He could feel as his left hand was grabbed, feeling warm fingers lace between his.
"Thank you, Yu. It's much more than I would have expected." Blinking a little bit, he glanced to the side, caught off guard by lips being pressed against his. He couldn't help how the color in his face went brighter at hearing teasing whistles from across the yard, able to quickly send a glare to his brother before turning his attention back to his fiance.
"Happy Birthday Lavi."