People surrounded me in my own house. People I didn't recognize, acknowledge, or know. I searched the crowd for Lindsay and/or Jen, ready to get incredibly pissed.
Finally I spotted them in the living room, lounging on the couch with three people I DID recognize, all of them with drinks in their hands. I narrowed my eyes and made my way to where they sat.
"What in the HELL is going on?" I payed particular attention to Lindsay and Jen though I wasn't letting the brothers go anywhere as there was no way that Lindsay and Jen could have come up with this on their own.
Lindsay hiccuped before looking up at me innocently. "It's your birthday, Tashie...Don't you like it?"
"I'm not even going to dignify that question with an answer."
"But YOU weren't going to do anything for your birthday, so someone had to." Jen was at least moderately sober. Leastaways, she had yet to slur, hiccup, or lose control of her statements and reasonability.
"Wrong. I wasnt doing anything for my birthday so someone needed to take the hint and leave it alone. If I wanted it celebrated, don't you think I would have done it?"
"But Tash, I think you did want someone to. Deep down, you really are unhappy. You can tell it when you don't wnt to be hugged, the things you say, the way you sa-"
"That is ENOUGH, philosipher Ike. Just leave it the hell alone, ok? This party has GOT to end. Either it leaves, or I leave. And while I can count on some of these people coming back, I wouldn't be too sure about myself."
"You'd leave because someone through you a party you didn't want? That sure is spoiled..." Zac mused, leaning back against the couch cushion.
"No, I'm mad because I've had an incredibly rough day at work! When i wanted to come home and talk about it, I came home to fifty people!! AND none of you are sober enough to carry on a decent conversation with anyhow. Jen's art is ruined as some of the partiers here got carried away, if I find anyone in my bed, I'll make them incapable of any sexual endeavors so long as they live, and that kid over there is peeling at our Sailor Goon wallpaper."
"Sailor Moon..." Lindsay corrected slurridly.
"Same difference." I dismissed, before turning and walking over to the kid.
"Hey, leave that on the wall. This isn't your house. Do you do this at home?"
He feebly shook his head no.
"Then dont' do it here." I reprimanded, looking up to see his assumed mother glaring at me.
"What are you saying to my son?" She demanded, crossing her arms.
"That he needs to leave my wallpaper the hell alone. Why are you asking?"
"Ugh. We are leaving. Come on George." She grabbed the man beside her by the hand and started for the door.
"Please do! Take all of these people with you!" I hollered back, before turning and walking back to where Jen, Lindsay, Ike, Taylor, and Zac were sitting. Lindsay was asleep on Zac's shoulder, knocked out fromt he alcohol I would suppose. Jen looked like she had only had a wine cooler so she wasn't much altered and I couldn't tell with the brothers. None of them had done anything noteworthy enough to decide.
"Guys..." I finally decided anger wasn't the way to get my way about it. "Please make these people leave. I'd really like a bit of time to myself and I'm not going to get that with all these people here.."
"I'll come with you to go somewhere else." Zac spoke up, standing straight and throwing a red plstic cup in the sink.
Lindsay moved to rest her head on Taylor and the rest of them nodded, though Ike looked a bit surprised.
"What was in that cup?" I asked as we headed towards his black jetta.
"Seriously? Not like a Long Island Iced Tea or anything? Just tea?"
"Well, hot tea. Hot lemon and honey flavored lipton tea. Why?"
"I don't know. You didn't seem drunk or anything so I was just trying to figure out how well you could take your liquor."
"Not at all. After two beers, I'm usually going on a pretty good buzz. I don't dare mess with the hard liquors..."
"Ohh....Are you just saying that coz you're scared I'll run an article on you and your drunken habits in the paper?"
"Maybe.." He grinned at me as he started up the car.
"So what went so wrong at work today that you wanted to talk about?" He finally asked.
"Huh? Oh, you were listening back in there? Wow..."
He nodded and I continued.
"I had to fire 3 people off my staff. Three of my hardest workers."
"Then why did you fire them?"
"They were stealing. When it was their turns to distribute papers, they would keep the money the people gave them instead of turning it in to the paper."
"Oh...then I can see how you'd need to fire them." He looked away from the road for just a moment and looked over at me before looking back to the road.
"So you're 21 now? 22?"
"You've been 19 all this time?"
"Why not?" I looked at him quizically, not quite sure exactly why it was he was making an elaborate deal out of it.
"You run a newspaper, you own a house, you've caught Ike's atten-"
"Whoa. I get the drift. I'll choose to ignore the last statement."
"Why? Didn't you know?"
"Yeah, I know..I just... I don't want anything to come of it. It wouldn't work right."
"He's got his career and I've got mine. It's not that I don't have the patience while y'all are away, but I would take offense when he missed special occasions. Like Christmas and stuff. So it just wouldn't work."
"Ah-ha. But you have put thought to it..." He wiggled his eyebrows at me and then laughed, looking back at the road.
"As much as I would like to answer that question with a no, yes, I have put thought to it. Wouldn't you?"
"Over Ike? Nope, sorry. i'd have to decline on that."
"Okay, over any girl. Perchance, the girl that the ring on your finger stands for?" I hinted at, smiling to myself when he blushed.
"This girl is special to me. She's unlike anyone I've ever met. She's nice, she's kind, she's hyper and canbe the most sensative person you've ever met and then turn around and be downright cruel if you offend her."
"Does she know how special you think she is?"
"Wait, the mechanics of that don't work. How could you be wearing a ring for her if she doesn't know. I mean..." I looked over at him and watched his cheeks turn a fiery red while he kept his gaze on the road.
"I don't think she feels the same way. It's not like a wedding band or anything. I just wear it to remind me of her and to keep other girls away..."
"Like us? Like Me, Jen, and Lindsay?"
"You're confusing me." I laughed.
"I'm confusing myself." He conceded, grinning.
"Okay then. You ready to go back?" I asked, gazing out the window.
"Considering that everything I own is there and I don't want to leave Jen and your brothers feeling like idiots, plus Lindsay is a bit tipsy and a lot of strange people are in my house, I would prefer it."
"Okay then. A simple yes or no would have sufficed." He teased, stopping and turning the car in the direction of the house.
"Probably, but then you wouldnt' understand why."
"Oh. Probably not." He eased the car into a parkedposition in the driveway and I looked out, surprised to see a lot of the cars that had been crowding the street gone.
"I still better not find anyone in my bed should they want to be active in the future."
"For their sake, I hope not."
We walked in and I shook my head in disbelief at what was happening beforeme. There was a HUGE mess spread out across the house and yet everyone that had stayed behind was helping to clean up.
Withnothing better to do, I kissed Zac on the cheek. "My day is getting better after all!" I walked into the kitchen for a trash bag, leaving Zac to stand in the doorway like an idiot.