RIGHT after the audition...
"Ethan! That was great!" Center yelled while clapping his hands. Ethan got invited to join the band and he said he was going to think about it. The members of the band even got confused because of the good guy's response. Because normally, if you got invited then you should accept it immediately since you even joined the audition. But the four of them knew that that was not the case.
"Will you join the band?" Center asked curiously. He too wasn't sure if he wanted his best friend to join the band. Ethan joining the band is equivalent to being farther away from Center. That made the spoiled brat worried and scared.
"I don't know" Ethan said and shrugged his shoulders. Center wanted to say the words, 'I can hire many people to join us, let's make our own band together!' or 'No you can't! I'm right here! You can't just abandon me'
But who is he to say those words to Ethan?
"Oh right! I invited Rei and Khein to have dinner at home, can you come too?" Ethan asked with his normal smiling face. Center's heart throbbed. He wasn't sure why. He thought that Ethan inviting him at his house was quite awkward. It used to be him forcing himself to go to Ethan's house. It felt refreshing yet he felt different at the same time. He felt something strange and new, he knew something is changing.
"Yeah sure!" was all he could ever replied.
REI and Khein went to Ethan's house right after class.
"Suit yourself! There's soda in the fridge!" Ethan yelled. He went directly to his room to change some decent clothes.
"You can borrow clothes if you want to! I don't mind. Since the weather is hot." Ethan said from upstairs.
"Great help." Khein murmured. The rebel guy just felt sweaty on that thick school uniform he was wearing. He went upstairs to borrow some clothes from Ethan. They might play basketball later, who knows.
Rei went to grab something from the fridge. Scanning from top to the bottom of the foods and drinks, he started drooling. He grabbed every junk food he remembered that Khein likes. He knew he would receive a praise when he hands 'them' to him.
"Are you lost? It looks like you're buying a grocery!" the spoiled brat appeared on the kitchen like a cop. Rei looked like a thief caught in the act. He didn't feel ashamed, frankly.
"I'm going to pay for them." Rei said proudly. Center sneered and left the taller guy to do what he wants.
"Where's Eeth?" Center asked Rei. They could casually talk with each other now. It was not like they were really rivals. It was just that Center gets grumpy every time he sees Rei's face because of that vomiting scene he could never forget.
"Changing clothes" Rei answered. He walked through Center and sat on the sofa. He placed the snacks on the table as he turned the TV on. Rei looked at the altar where the picture framed of Ethan's late mother was displayed. Beside that picture was the ashes of Ethan's father being sealed inside a ceramic jar.
"Excuse us for the intrusion." Rei said politely towards the altar and bowed his head as a sign of his respect. Ethan came out together with Khein.
"What do you want to eat for dinner? I'll cook!" Ethan suggested. He saw Center just came inside his house but he wasn't really bothered at all.
"Seafood!" Center yelled. His energy never worns out everytime he's in front of Ethan.
"Junk foods" Khein mumbled silently as he stared at the loaded table in front of Rei. Ethan chuckled and sighed as the rebel guy slowly made his way beside Rei. Khein couldn't even hide his drooling face as he fidgeted beside Rei.
"You can have them all. I'll pay them for you." Rei said while changing the channel from News to Anime. He knew how to spoil his puppy.
"Anyway, let's have a 'Boodle fight' for dinner!?" Ethan suggested. Khein's reaction was flattered while the two taller guys had no idea at all.
"Seriously?" Khein asked while having a wide grin on his face. Ethan nodded, he copied Khein's reaction as if there were only two of them talking.
"What is 'that'?" Rei and Center asked in unison. That was the first time that the two of them agreed they had a thing in common. They were both born rich anyway. A Boodle Fight is where a group of people usually eat foods that are prepared on top of a one whole leaf of a banana. The foods are properly set but widely scattered on the whole surface on the banana leaf. The rice are scattered like a dough on the table. The viands are placed on top of the rice. The group of people that would eat should only use their bare hands to enjoy the festive meal.
"Is it not dirty or something like gross--*flick!*"
Rei didn't get to finish his question when Khein flicked his mouth.
"Dumbass, don't ask such lame questions. My friends and I usually do this 'kind' of thing." Khein said as if he suddenly became excited. Rei looked worried and Khein noticed it so the rebel guy made a deep sigh.
"Trust me, it's fun" Khein said with a slight smile which made Rei nodded obediently.
"And where are we going to get the leaves?" Center asked. The spoiled brat didn't also like the idea but when he saw how happy Ethan was, he just ignored the fact that he was being uncomfortable and worried.
'What if the leaf is dirty? What if it looks gross or unpleasant? Will I be able to eat using my bare hands?' both Center and Rei had the same endless thoughts as they both sighed secretly.
"You ask for Auntie Lira next door. She has a banana tree on her backyard. Just tell her I told you and we're going to use it for a 'Boodle Fight' " Ethan said. Center nodded like a puppy, ready to go anytime as soon as Ethan tells him to go so.
"You should bring Khein with you, I'll let Rei help me in the kitchen." Ethan suggested which made the rebel guy frowned.
"Why should I go with this dork?" Khein hissed while frowning.
"More than you! I could do it alone." Center offensively replied.
"See? He can do it alone!" Khein said and leaned on the sofa. Rei made a disappointed chuckle as he tried to look away from Khein. He felt guilty towards Ethan for bringing such a troublesome, lazy yet cute puppy with him.
'Did he just make a pouting face?!' Khein thought. He didn't looked panicked as he felt.
"Then you just stay there and wait for us to finish cooking. You can't cook either." Rei said trying not to sound disappointed. He wanted to spoil Khein as much as he could but he wouldn't want to tolerate him in front of Ethan. That would just make the rebel guy's image bad. But he couldn't do anything about it. It was not as if Khein would listen to him anyway.
"Yeah, you can watch some movies too. I have a lot of action movies in my DVD rack. Rei told me you like action movies a lot" Ethan added. He motioned Rei to follow him in the kitchen so they could start cooking.
"You can go now, Center" Ethan said. Center left in an instant like a servant and happily went towards the neighborhood. He wanted to make Ethan proud of him for being useful and NOT LIKE being spoiled as the rebel guy with Rei.
'What the hell? Why do I feel so useless out of the sudden?!!' Khein shouted in his mind. He no longer enjoys the anime he was watching and Rei didn't even bother to peek on him from the kitchen.
"You sure spoil him that much. He won't even listen to your words." Ethan said while washing the shrimp. Rei was preparing the ingredients on the other side. The taller guy replied with a sigh, "Yeah"
Ethan chuckled as he noticed how Rei's voice changed from lively to guilty.
"Maybe he'll feel guilty. Try to make him prepare the table for us. We'll be eating outside the house." Ethan suggested with a smile. Rei nodded and put down the onion he was slicing to tell his puppy to set the table. He headed to the living room and saw no one there.
"Huh? Where did that puppy go?" Rei mumbled cluelessly.
On the other side at Aunt Lira's backyard...
"What the hell are you doing here?!" Center asked in disbelief as Khein's frowning face suddenly appeared in front of him out of nowhere. Center was carrying a large banana leaf on his shoulder, like a proud errand boy.
"Sh-Shut up! I'm trying to be useful!" Khein said while frowning, his hands were tucked on his (Ethan's) short. The spoiled brat chuckled as he saw how guilty the rebel guy looked.
"I'm not that useless!" Khein shouted and carried the leaf that Center was holding. The rebel guy just couldn't get Rei's pouting face off his head so he decided to leave and help.
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