Marilee rushed home from school, eager to get ready for her party. She didn’t even bother to do her homework, she was that excited. As soon as everyone arrived, she blew out her candles to cheers, noisemakers and showers of confetti.
Striking a pose, Marilee smiled at her family and friends, convinced this was going to be the best birthday ever.
Afterward, she mingled with her guests and endured birthday hugs from her parents, though she really wanted a huge slice of cake to satisfy her hunger.
“Hey, Marilee! Did you recognize me and Santi? I bet we fooled you, huh?”
“You sure did you little trickster.” Marilee smiled, not really minding the prank.
“What do you think of the gift I brought you? It’s all the way from Sn’odizoo! Teko brought it. Does it make you feel stronger?”
Marilee smiled. “I love it. I do, i feel like I could do anything! Thanks!”
Marilee ignored the leaking faucet for the moment and listened closely to Santi’s music, as always impressed by her skill and knowing she’d probably never match it. Suddenly that didn’t seem to matter, because she had confidence in her own abilities and was happy just being herself.
“That was great, Santi! Thank you. Do you think you could teach me the notes so I can play when I need to remember to be confident?”
“I don’t know what the notes are, Mari. I just play. I can teach you to feel the song, though!”
“I’d love that! We’ll have to figure out a time to get together.” After the party, the group headed for the Brindleton Bay Theater, some of the teens rushing ahead in their eagerness to get inside in time for the movie.
“Oh! This is a great movie,” Octy said. “It’s got space heroes! Like me and Taimi are gonna be!”
“Real space heroes sound even more fun than fake ones. Just don’t forget your normal, boring friends while you’re out there being heroic,” Marilee teased.
“Oh, I can’t forget you, Marilee! You will be on the ship with me, right?”
“Sure if you want me. I could patch you and Taimi up when you get hurt so you can go back to being heroes,” she offered.
“I think they should use bubblegum!” Octy said. “That always gets the monster by surprise.”
“I’m having so much fun, Mari!” said Santi. “Thanks for inviting us!”
“You’re welcome, Santi! I’m glad you could come.”
“I don’t think that would really happen. Like you can’t just breathe normally if there’s no atmosphere and you don’t wear your suit. But I think we’re supposed to pretend it could happen, right, Mari? So we can enjoy the movie?” Santi asked.
“Yep! I guess the movie would be over pretty fast if it was more realistic,” Marilee answered.
“Please join our super-hero-rebel-special fighter unit!” Octy asked —. “We really need somebody like you. Someone tall!”
“Sure, that sounds exciting!”
When the movie finished, Marilee had a brilliant idea she wanted to share with Octy. “I was thinking what if the food machines form the movie were real? If we figured out how to build them, no one would ever have to go hungry.”
“That’s the best idea ever, Marilee! I always told my pops that if someone can think it, someone can do it! Let’s do it! Or find someone who can. Popcorn for everybody!”
“I could eat popcorn all day every day!” Marilee said.
“I had so much fun, Marilee!” Octy said. “I need to go early, because I promised Mop I’d take her for a walk, and I promised Lemon I’d play fetch. This was the best time ever. Thank you!”
“I don’t have to go,” Santi said. “I already did my homework, so I can stay and watch movies all day!”
“You’re welcome!” Marilee yawned. “Well I’m going to go, even though this has been fun. I’m tired. See you at school, guys.”
She left with Octy and Olivia after a final round of goodbyes from Ritvik, Pierce and Eve who were also staying. She wondered where Tom had gone off to, having seen him leave the studio earlier, to her disappointment. Oh well she could catch up with him the next day.
Author’s Note: Written in collaboration with CathyTea
Credit for the movie theater goes to chocoscar55