I sprawled out on the couch, playing with a ball of swirling water on my fingertips. Quickly, I made the small water ball into a fairly large one, and my spirit otter floated up to it, then twisted around in it. I laughed. My best friend, Meg was currently shape-shifted into a tiger, play-wrestling with her spirit tiger. I laughed at both Dej (my otter) and Meg with Vanotyisa (her tiger, also called Vano or Tyisa).
“Megan! Will you and Tyisa please take a break? I’ll let Dej out of the water and they can play while the two of us talk. Okay? I’m begging you, Meg. Besides, I think you’ve beaten Tyisa enough,” I said. Meg, still in tiger form, looked at me with excitement in her eyes. She roared joyfully, then began spinning around at a rapid rate. I watched her out of the corner of my eye as I lowered Dej to the floor and took my water back, letting him run to Vanotyisa. After a minute, Meg was in her human form again, her dark-blond-with-dark-cyan-tips hair flowing down her back.
“Who do you think is going to get here first?” Meg asked. She collapsed onto the recliner, out of breath from wrestling.
“I don’t know. Probably Maya. She’s always the first one to anywhere.” I glanced over at our animals, who were circling each other.
“Yeah, but I think that Jeke will get here first. They’re pretty early most times. Except for that one time that they were late to my birthday party, then late to your birthday party a few months later. But, other than that, they’re on time,” Meg rambled. I shook my head, a smile playing on my lips. (Oh! And before I forget to tell you, Reeder, “Jeke” is my close two close friends’ [Luke and Jennie] couple name.)
My bestie and I chatted for a while, laughing at our animals every once in a while. We only stopped when the front door swung open, and Luke, Jennie, Cinta (Jennie’s spirit dove), and Pintar (Luke’s spirit fox) walked in. The couple held hands, and Meg and I rolled our eyes simultaneously. Luke and Jennie were inseparable, and it got annoying.
“Hi, guys!” Luke grinned. Meg and I exchanged glances; I knew just what to do. Lightning fast, I created a jet of water and sent it right in between my best friends’ hands, separating them. Before the water could fall to the floor and create a puddle, I pulled it back to my fingertips and made it disappear.
“Brooke! How rude!” Jennie cried. She narrowed her eyes at me, shaking her head, as Meg and I laughed so hard our stomachs hurt.
“I’m sorry, but you two get all mushy and it’s gross.”
“No offense, but I’m with Brooke on this one,” Meg said. Luke and Jennie rolled their eyes and shook their heads, but Jennie sat down on the couch next to me, and Luke sat in the rocking chair.
“Para roh, pergilah ke ruangan lain. Anda akan lebih nyaman, dan bisa bermain dengan satu sama lain,” I told the spirit animals. They obeyed and headed into the other room to play with each other.
“How’s the book going, Craycray?” Luke asked. That was his nickname for me—Craycray.
“It’s going good. I’m on chapter nine. What about yours? I thought you started one.”
“I did. Jen’s been helping me. I’m on chapter three,” Luke replied. I nodded and created a ball of water, throwing it in the air, then letting it fall back down to my fingertips before flinging it towards one of my friends. Jennie and Meg shapeshifted into different animals, showing it off. I chuckled at them when Luke lifted them into the air using his telekinesis. After that little show, we were all out of breath from laughing, and my cheeks hurt from smiling so much.
“We’re heeeeeere!” Maya floated in, along with Amaya and Aerin. And they floated. Maya was keeping all three of them aloft by using her power to manipulate gravity.
“Hi! I’m happy you could make it!” I beamed. Maya flipped her golden-brown hair over her shoulder as she lowered herself and our two friends to the ground. I sat up on the couch to empty a seat. Amaya shuffled over to me and gave me a half-hug before sitting down on the free spot.
“I’ve missed all of you so much. Thanks for doing this so we can see each other,” Maya said as she passed by me to sit by the fireplace.
“The pleasure’s all mine.” I smiled at everyone and leaned back, watching Aerin lead Pelangi (her spirit unicorn), Serit (Amaya’s spirit tiger), and Licin (Maya’s spirit lemur) into the room where all of the others were.
“Alright, Brooke. Who’s that guy I saw you with on Instagram?” Aerin pried.
“Yeah; I saw that too! Spill, girl, spill!” Amaya added. She nudged me with her shoulder, and I rolled my eyes.
“It’s nothing,” I replied.
“Yeah, right. And the sky’s purple,” Meg teased.
“Fine! Fine! His name is Jordan-” I was cut off by Luke.
“I think I’m gonna go hang with the animals. I don’t want to hear all of the girly details.” He got up from his chair and speed-walked into the other room. Us six girls all chuckled before I began again.
“Well, his name is Jordan. He’s from Mississippi--he’s got that southern accent that I like. He’s a big family guy, but he has a good-paying job at Dow Chemical. That’s why he moved up here. And-” I was cut off again by the door swinging open. Two tigers and Celeste entered the cabin. The big cats roared at the same time, and I immediately knew who it was.
“B! Celeste! Amany!” Amaya cried. She rushed up to them as B and Amany transformed back into their human selves. The three new arrivals were squished together in a hug from Amaya. Finally, she released them and they could breathe again.
“It’s so good to see you! Here, B. You can take my spot.” I slid off of the couch and scooched to the side to let B sit where I was. She took my offer, or I thought she did…
“Ahhh! I’m B! What the heck?!” I cried. And I was B! I was sitting on the couch, just like B was. My body wasn’t mine--it was B’s!
“Hehe. Gotcha, Brooke.” The voice was mine, but I wasn’t talking. Finally, a wave of realization washed over me. B had used her powers to switch bodies with me!
“I want my body back, B,” I teased. With a disappointed sigh, B snapped her fingers, and I was back to my old self. “Never do that again.”
“You gotta admit, that was pretty funny. Ahahahahahahaha!” Celeste shouted. Luke burst into the room, concern dancing across his eyes. His tense shoulders relaxed as he acknowledged that Celeste had made the noise.
“Celeste! Could you not be so loud? You scared the heck out of me!” Luke cried. We all laughed, even Amany who was sitting at the table, watching politely.
“Oh, leave me alone. You should’ve known it was me.” Celeste punched Luke lightly on the arm. He feigned severe injury before lifting Celeste so her back was pressed up against the ceiling.
“Let her down, Luke. She was just messing with you,” Amany said. Her polite and respectful attitude didn’t falter, although she was upset. (She wasn’t good at hiding her emotions.)
“Okay, okay. I’m putting her down now.” Luke lowered Celeste until she was six inches off of the floor. Instead of setting Celeste down, he let her drop from there. There was a smack! noise when her cheek hit the hardwood floor.
“Luke, stop torturing our friend,” Jennie ordered. She shook her head and rolled her eyes at her boyfriend. The ten of us erupted into talking and laughter. We were all engulfed in our conversations when the door slammed open. A blur of something slammed the door back closed, then came over to me, sitting down. The blur was Winter!
“Oh, hi, Winter!” Amaya greeted. She patted Winter on the shoulder.
“Hi, guys!” Winter grinned. “I hope you didn’t mind me bursting in here like that. I was going fast on my way here, and I didn’t have time to slow down before I came in.”
“Oh, it was no problem!” Aerin said. “And, now that everyone’s here, Brooke and I want to make something for you. Let’s do it!” Aerin and I got up from our spots, creating some ice. We walked to the center of the room and began our masterpiece. Ice and water sprayed out of our hands, making eleven sculptures of people. And not just any people, but the eleven people in the room. Eleven besties, linking arms.
“Awwww, that’s so sweet! Thanks, guys!” Winter cried. The rest of my friends said the same in their ways, and Aerin and I bowed for them all.
Best friends are the best kind.