‘Psst, Leo. Did you hear? Mona is coming back for good,’ Nosy little Betty sidled up to Leonardo, carefully sidestepping the little balls and broken pieces of toys strewn all over the floor. He didn’t respond immediately, instead, he looked over towards Don who was whittling away on another piece of wood.
‘Should be nice. She didn’t stay for long the last time,’ Leo turned towards Betty. ‘How do you know that she is gonna be back for good?’
Betty smirked, ‘I have my sources, silly. Don’t tell me that you still have a crush on her. I know once upon a time she proclaimed that she wouldn’t marry anyone except you. But, dude, grow up. She is a teenager now.’
Leo turned red, which in itself was a marvel, and mumbled what sounded like a nasty swear word. Don just chuckled and continued his whittling. Betty smiled triumphantly and skipped on to her next unsuspecting victim.
Fat Father Ted sat comfortably on his usual rocking chair, with a book propped on his lap. Soft snoring sounds emanated from his ample tummy. Betty tiptoed behind him and with a firm grip on his chair, gave it a vigorous tug towards her while shouting “YIPPEE” as loud as she could. As expected, Ted let out a shrill shriek, totally unbefitting his physique and stature, and fell off the chair.
Betty rolled around with mirth. Ted pulled her up by her ear, ‘Young lady, I would strongly advise you to stop pulling this prank again.’ He wagged a stout finger at her face, ‘Now, scoot. I, erm, have this nice book to finish.’
‘Teddy, Teddy, Teddy. That’s a phonebook. Now there’s no need to pretend you were reading when all you were doing was dozing.’
Barbara, who was passing by, snorted. ‘Yeah, Teddy. We all know that you sleep under the pretext of reading. In fact, I could hear you snoring even at my place.’
Betty never liked Barbara. She thought that Barbara was too haughty. The latter was the prettiest in their village and she made sure everybody knew it. Betty also did not like the fact that Barabara hated her nickname. Fat Father Ted, on the other hand, was a sweetheart. He was this good ol’ fella with warm, round eyes. He was always available for a hug. In fact, Mona has hugged him more than she hugged her own mother.
‘No one asked your opinion, Barbie.’ she replied acidly. Barbara just swayed her long tresses haughtily and went on her way. ‘I’m sorry Teddy,’ Betty ventured meekly. ‘I didn’t notice that the ice queen was around.’
Fat Ted just gave her a chuckle, ‘Little one, she can’t bother me – for I’ve seen her as a kid, just as I have seen you as one. Now do tell me the reason you had to wake me up from my reading.’
‘Mona is coming, Teddy. She is coming back for good,’ Betty declared triumphantly. ‘Thought you might wanna know.’
‘Ah! She is a delightful girl. But, Betty, do keep in mind that Mona would have grown up a lot since you last met her. You too have, but don’t expect things to be the same as before.’ Fat Father Ted picked up his book, waved a good-natured cheerio and walked back into his house.
‘I’m sure Mona wouldn’t have changed. After all, we have grown up as well. But we do still love her dearly,’ Betty tried to reassure herself.
Mona was a special young girl. She was full of life and touched the soul of everyone in their quaint little village. Even prissy missy Barbara, who was quite proud to proclaim that she was Mona’s friend. Their whole village felt sad when Mona had to move to the big city for higher studies. But now she was gonna be back. Betty looked forward to her friend’s arrival.
Her reverie was broken by Leo, who was now accompanied by Mike. ‘Oi Betty, by any chance, do you know when exactly is Mona getting back. The boys were thinking of throwing a little surprise welcome.’ He was shuffling his feet, which Betty thought was very endearing.
‘She is arriving on the 21st, Leo. Now go and get a move on the song or poem you were composing for her. Say, why don’t we hide in her room and shout ‘Surprise’?’
April 21, 2018
Gordon pulled Mona close to him and kissed her. ‘It’s awesome that your folks are not around now, baby. Why don’t we move over to your room?’ He smiled his patented smile guaranteed to melt girls’ hearts. They moved together like a four-legged animal only pausing for her to open her room, unused in years.
‘Ugh! What’s all this crap, babe? Are those from the 80’s?’ Gordon kicked the fat Teddy bear with the warm, round eyes to a corner. ‘This room is a dump.’
‘Sorry babe,’ Mona cooed. ‘These are some old crap from my childhood. I think my mother might have thought her sweet ten-year-old is coming back to play with her dollies. Let me find a box.’
Betty Spaghetty lay covered by cobwebs, next to the collectors’ edition Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles set.