“Did you guys watch last night’s Henry Danger’s show about the opposite universe?” I asked.
We’ve all got this love for this Nickelodeon show ‘Henry Danger’, which was about a boy who got employed by an indestructible superhero as his sidekick. The show is very interesting and hilarious. Since we all loved it, we made sure we never missed an episode of it and whenever we’re less busy, we talked and laughed about it.
Now, we were at ‘Snacks Palace’, a cafe which sold wonderful snacks. We’d just finished shopping for the retirement gifts and had gone over there for cups of smoothies.
“I sure did,” Amy replied.
“Same here. It was very interesting and funny,” Nora put in.
“Exactly. Especially the scene where in the parallel universe, Piper was all goody-too-shoes. I just couldn’t stop laughing,” Nicole said.
“Yeah. That scene sure was hilarious. Especially when Captain Man and Kid Danger were fighting and she was telling them violence wasn’t good.”
We all burst into laughter as we remembered the scene.
“The way evil Charlotte was dressed was also funny and weird.” Amy added as she stopped laughing.
“Yeah. Including Schow. That one strand of hair on his head brought laughter to my lips,” I put in.
“That was one funny episode of Henry Danger,” Nora said.
“Yeah,” we affirmed.
I noticed that Michelle was silent throughout the conversation. I wondered what was wrong as whenever we are talking about the show, Michelle’s voice is usually the loudest.
“Michelle, what do you think about the episode. Wasn’t it hilarious?” I asked.
“Umm … it was,” she said flatly.
“It was?” I asked in surprise “What’s wrong Michelle? You’ve been quiet throughout the conversation which is unlike you,” I said with concern.
“Yeah, now you mention it, I just realized that she didn’t say anything throughout,” Nora put in.
“What’s wrong Michelle?” Amy asked.
We all looked at her expectantly.
“What’s wrong Michelle?” Amy asked me. They were all looking at me expectantly.
What’s wrong is that my parents have gone bankrupt and we’ve moved into a shack, where we don’t even have a television talk more of a satellite dish. As we had to sell our former TV and satellite in order to put food on the table.
Those were the very words I should say, but I couldn’t.
How can I tell them such a horrible thing happened to my family? How can I tell them that the almighty Michelle’s family is now poor? How can I tell them that the almighty Michelle O’Connor is now as poor as a church rat? How can I tell them that I might now be poorer than the SG?
That last question shocked me to the marrow as I realized that it might be true. It filled me with shock as I realized that the very person I always hated and called names might be richer than I am.
There’s no way, absolutely no way I can tell them that. I’ll make sure they never, I mean, never get to find out. The secret follows me to my grave. They’ll NEVER find out.
“Nothing’s wrong. It’s just that I was too busy to watch it yesterday.”
“Too busy?” Nicole asked in surprise.
“But no matter how busy you are in the past, you always found time to watch it,” Amy stated.
“Yeah, that’s true but yesterday, I was just too busy that much to my chagrin, I couldn’t watch it,” I said sadly.
“Alright. You really missed a lot though. The episode was very interesting,” Nicola said.
“Too bad I missed it.”
I watched as Nicole’s face brightened up as if she’d just gotten an idea.
“Nicola,” she said as she turned towards her sister. “Didn’t we record the episode yesterday?” she asked.
Nicola hesitated for a second. “Yes we did.” She couldn’t seem to understand why her sister was asking.
“Perfect!” Nicole exclaimed. “Michelle?” She turned to me once more. “I’ve got an idea. Why don’t you come over during your leisure time and we’ll play the recorded episode for you. That way, you’ll get to watch it.”
“Awww. I’ll be glad to. Thanks a bunch.”
“Don’t mention. What are you friends for?” she said with a smile.
That cliche again ‘What are friends for?‘ Why do they keep saying it and making me have this kinda guilty feeling of betraying them.
I waved the feeling aside. The protection of my secret is more important than any other thing. Not even friends.
Nora glanced at her watch. “Oh it’s getting late and I’ve got to help my mom with something,” she said.
“Alright. Let’s finish up and head home,” Nicola said.
We all finished our smoothies, paid, bid the cafe owner, Mrs Freda—a short and slightly plumb but beautiful woman—goodbye and then walked out of the cafe.
We stood in front of the cafe, as we waited for Nora’s driver to come pick us up.
We’d told him to go back immediately he’d dropped us off at the mall because we knew we would take a while to shop. After five minutes of waiting, he showed up and we got in.
The vehicle was a six-seater limousine which Nora’s family used for going into town while they used their respective cars for going to work.
As the car glided out of the cafe’s parking lot, I remembered something.
“Michelle, while we were waiting for you at Nora’s, Amy mentioned something about you moving to another place.” I said, looking at her.
I glanced at Amy before speaking. “Yes. That’s true. Dad wants to renovate the house so he moved us over there,” I repeated my lie.
“That’s cool. I bet the new place is as cool as the other place,” Nora said.
“It is,” I replied.
I just hope they don’t ask me to take them there. That would so not be good.
“I wonder how it looks like,” Nicole said thoughtfully.
“Me too,” the other three said in unison.
Uh-uh this is getting bad.
It’s not gonna happen. They’re going to ask me to take them there which I can’t. I’d better find a way to discourage them.
“Oh it’s not so cool. It’s not even as cool as Norma’s,” I said with a wave of my hand.
“Really?” Nicola asked with raised eyebrows. “There’s no way I’m believing that”
“Really. It’s not so cool,” I tried once more.
I sighed inwardly. Problem solved.
“Prove it to us by showing us then, we’ll know if it’s not so cool,” Nicola said.
Oh no. I take that latter thought back. The problem has just started.
There’s no way I’ll do that, I thought. But then as I looked at their faces, I could see shock written there. Turns out I’d said it aloud, and not just aloud but I’d shouted it.
This is so not good. This would give them more reason to insist I showed them. I have to correct my mistake.
“Sorry. I mean I can’t take you there because it’s still in disarray and my parents insisted on my not bringing friends over until it’s well arranged,” I lied once more.
Amy had bought the lie. I hope they buy it too.
“When did you move in there?” Nora asked.
“Last week ” I replied without thinking.
Then I realized the consequence of my answer. Who leaves their house unarranged for a week? Nobody.
“Last week? And the house is still unarranged?” Nicole asked with unbelief in her face.
“Umm … Uh…” I couldn’t find anything to say.
“Then, it’s settled. We’re going over to your new house. Direct Mr. Sam to the place,” Nicola said authoritatively.
“No!” I shouted and four pairs of eyes turned to me.
“No?” Amy asked quizzically.
“I’m not taking you guys there and that’s final,” I said with a note of finality.
Something seems fishy. Michelle the show off doesn’t want to show off her house? Something is really fishy and I must find out whatever it is.
Being an observant person, I’ve noticed that lately, Michelle has been acting weird. Starting from the rumor I’d heard about her treking home, to what she’d said at the mall, to her missing an episode of Henry Danger and now her refusal to show us her home.
Something is fishy and I must get to the root of it.
“And why’s that?” I asked with my left eyebrow raised. “Why don’t you want to show us your new home?”
“Because it’s none of your business,” Micelle fired back.
“None of our business? Aren’t you our friend? Anything that concerns our friend, is our business,” I fired back.
“Yeah,” the others supported.
“What’s the big deal in showing us your house. Or is there something you’re hiding? Is there a skeleton in your cupboard?” I asked with my gaze locked in hers.
I’d seen that move in movies where the detective looks straight into the suspect’s eyes in order to make him or her uncomfortable and start spilling his or her guts. I could see it was working as Michelle was beginning to squirm under my gaze.
Oh, I’m so good at this detective stuff.
Perhaps I’ll take on being a detective as a career, I thought.
Nicola’s locked gaze with mine was making me uncomfortable and I started squirming under her gaze.
There’s no way I’ll be able to get her off my neck, so I’d better thought of a solution. Perhaps I’ll just direct them to a random house, point at it and tell them that’s it. Nah! That won’t work. They’ll insist on going in.
What should I do? What should I do? I thought frantically.
Then… An idea struck. After checking it out, I decided to try it. There’s an 85% chance it’ll work.
“Alright. Fine. I’ll take you there,” I agreed.
Nicola patted my back. “Good. Good,” she said.
I just felt like strangling her and throwing her body out of the limo.
In the meantime, I just hope this plan works.