Status: In Time

To Caress My Day

Chapter 267: We're Bringing Dinner!

Later that day after her parents had phoned to update her on her mother’s approaching surgery, Twigs was warming up the sparse leftover takeout she brought home when she met with Jesse, an animator, earlier that morning. It was late enough to have something to eat and not wake up hungering in the middle of the night. With the decline of money coming in, Twigs had to ration out her food in and out of her apartment as much as she could. Having one's sleep disrupted because of hunger wasn’t another scrabble she needed to be added to her list of struggles. She’ll get a full night’s rest if she plays her cards right.

As Twigs stood in front of the microwave observing her scant meal rotate through the dim glass door, her phone went off behind her on her kitchen table. Startled by it, she jumped in place before turning to glare at the device that nearly frightened her to death. With a sigh, she snatched the phone up and checked the caller ID. It was Shereen! Even after Twigs had spent the rest of her day mastering the dance routine to a fellow dancer’s small project for YouTube, she still had enough energy to be excited to hear from one of her dearest friends.

Answering the call, Twigs spoke up first. “Hey, girl! How are you?”

“Perfect.” Shereen answered quickly like she couldn’t be bothered to put more effort into prolonging her answer. Instantly she leapt to her own question which in her mind was far more significant than how she was managing. “Are you home right now?”

“I am.” Twigs replied, her brows furrowing in inquisitiveness as she tilted her head to the side a little. “Why do you ask?”

“Cause your favorite band is coming over!” Shereen hollered down the phone, throwing her other free hand into the air with a cheer. Her thrill was soon shared by the rest of Neon Jungle walking alongside her to Twigs’s apartment in hopes of dropping by to check on their good friend.

“Really?!” Twigs squealed with excitement before she remembered her tight schedule as of late. It instantly put a damper on her mood and she frowned at herself. “Oh shit, this isn’t gonna be a sleepover, is it? I kinda have somewhere to be early tomorrow morning.”

Frowning on her end as well, Shereen held up a hand to hush Neon Jungle’s celebration down while she questioned Twigs. “Where are you going? Another video gig?”

“No, actually it’s a small project for a friend of mine’s YouTube channel.” Twigs let her know. Her attention was diverted for a second when her microwave went off, signaling her light dinner was done. As she gravitated towards it, she continued on. “I have only two days to get the routine down correctly. Today is my last day.”

“Girl, don’t worry about it. You got this on lock, you always do.” Shereen guaranteed Twigs, pretty confident in her dancing capability to nail any choreography down to the utmost precision. “And that’s exactly why we’re coming on over anyway. And you can’t give us any excuses that we’ll fuck everything up because it’s impossible to fuck you up and you know it! Plus, we got news to share of our own and wanna tell you in person.”

It was true. Neon Jungles had slept over numerous times when Twigs needed to rehearse her dance routines and they’ve never gotten in the way of sharpening her skills. In fact, they’d support her from the sidelines or even join in for fun, never mind how clumsy they were. With a smile, Twigs accepted. “Alright. You guys can come on over.”

Nudging Shereen with her elbow to get her attention, Amira reminded her as she lifted one of the many plastic bags of takeout dinner. “Don’t forget to tell her we’re bringing some grub too.”

“Oh right!” Shereen gasped, having forgotten. Returning her attention to her phone, she reported to Twigs. “Also, we’re bringing dinner!”

Rolling her eyes because she knew Amira was behind this, Twigs replied back. “Okay.”

“Sweet, see you soon, honey! Love you, bye!” Shereen speedily bid her farewell before hanging up the phone. They were already in Twig’s neighborhood so they didn’t need to keep the chat going.

With a sigh, Twigs glanced over at her heated puny dinner. On that morning, Jesse had wanted to honor their collaboration over a meal but had a hankering for Chinese instead of regular eggs and toast. Twigs didn’t mind but had opted to ‘skip’ her meal only Jesse wouldn’t have it. The next thing she knew, she had a plate of Stir Fried Rice in front of her. It was a complimentary meal that couldn’t be taken back, and as much as Twigs wanted to gobble it down, she couldn’t. She had to preserve it so she could ration it when she got home. Now, there was only a quarter left to get her through the night. Setting the food aside for now, she went off to have a brief shower to wash off the sweat before her girls showed up. By the time she finished and had made her way into the living room, Neon Jungle was knocking on her front door.

Now how could Twigs have known it was her friend and not someone else at her door?

Well, Neon Jungle tended to all knock at once, four fists rapping on her door unsynchronized.

Opening the door with an open-mouth grin, Twigs immediately stepped aside and swept her arm towards her apartment to welcome a squealing Neon Jungle inside. “Hello, my favorite band of all time! Would you like to come in?”

“Don’t mind if we do!” Amira merrily told her as she walked in first with a white plastic bag of food.

The smile on Twig's face began to wither at the many bags of food entering her home in the hands of her dearest friends. It was too many for one dinner alone if you asked her. Suspicious, she looked to the girls after she had closed and locked the door safely behind them. “What is all that for?”

Because it was her idea and she wasn’t afraid to face the outrage of Twigs, Amira spoke up with a delighted smile as she set her bags on the counter. “We went grocery shopping for you.”

“And we got fast food too!” Jess proclaimed soon after too, motioning to the bags she and Asami and Shereen had been carrying that appeared to be no different from the grocery bags. “We didn't want you thinking that we brought all this food for you to cook us up some dinner. We thought of you too.”

Powerless, Twigs watched her four friends begin to unpack the plastic bags of groceries to put into her barren cupboards. It didn’t feel right to her. Her friends weren’t meant to feed her like she was destitute, they were supposed to come over and hang out and have a good time! She wasn’t their responsibility! Fiddling with her fingers, Twigs continued to stand by until it became too much to permit it to go on. Stepping forward into the kitchen, she grabbed a hold of the back of one of the dining chairs to steady herself as she ensured them. “You guys know you don’t have to do this, right? I mean, come on, you came over to chill out!”

Amira’s brown eyes snapped to Twigs, narrowing on the slender woman and muting her instantly with a hard look. Standing before the bare cupboard she just opened up, she motions to their devoid state. That was all that was needed to be done. No broadcasting words were needed. She made her point loud and clear.

Understanding Amira’s threat that if she kept running her mouth, she’d get called out, Twig's lips were that quickly sealed. Once again, she was helpless to her friend’s uninvited aid. Every item purchased by them was put into the proper place, becoming a part of Twig’s stock to further nourish herself. Yes, Twigs was thankful for the help, but more than anything she didn’t want to be a burden to anyone, least of all her friends. Since there was nothing else to do, she stood there and watched until everything was put away and Neon Jungle was gathering all the fast food into the living room.

Following close behind them, Twigs silently sat down and was the first to get her bag of dinner from Asami. “Me first?”

“Hell yeah, you’re the host after all. You deserve first dibs.” Asami motivated Twigs with a stunning smile.

Taking her bag, Twigs already knew what was inside before she even opened up the bag. Within was a hot delicious hamburger, fresh steamy fries, and a sweet cold milkshake. Her stomach audibly cried in rejoicing, making Twigs moan at the picture of such a majestic meal. “Oh god, it smells so good!”

“It tastes even better than it looks if you can believe that.” Amira promised around a mouth full of food. She gestured with a nod to Twig's hamburger for her to take that bite and find out for herself.

Digging in, Twigs took two wolf bites of her hamburger, devoured dozens of her fries, and inhaled several gulps of her milkshake into her now joyful belly before letting out a sigh of pure satisfaction. She couldn’t remember the last time she had a full meal consisting of a burger, fries, and a milkshake. All this food rationing and now having this fantastic meal literally brought a tear to Twig’s eyes. Never had food made her so emotional, and yet this one made her wanna openly weep with an appreciation for her friends.