“Tommy, call him!”
Snatching a glance near the window, Liza saw him at nearly the same time he used to arrive, peeking silently beside the tree in front of the house. How she wished to come out to him and dragged him inside for a real talk.
Her younger brother would not leave Erika’s side since their arrival. His usual practice of hanging out to ward off any possible suitors coming was forgotten; he was quite enamored with her new friend. Each had a piece of the earphones listening to a slow beat.
“Didn’t you hear what I said?” Liza asked, asserting her authority, being older.
“Why don’t you call him?” he shot back, but a bit politely lest he could turn off Erika.
“Are you crazy? I am a girl.” Even though she wanted to, modesty won.
“Will you invite him inside or not? I can send Erika home now.”
“Right away, sis!” He excused himself from his music partner. “Aye! Your wish is my command!”
After he left, Liza joined Erika, who seemed to enjoy Tommy’s company.
“He’s overprotective. At least now, he could experience caring for another other than me.”
Erika smiled back. She needed not ask for explanations: Liza found her as distraction for Tommy.
“It’s okay. I know boys. I mean, I have a brother so I have a fairly good idea on how to deal with them.”
“Perhaps, you can help me with this guy?” she pointed to Eric entering the door with Tommy behind, back to his suspicious nature.
“That’s Leyla’s brother,” Erika whispered to Liza, “The girl I told you I want for my brother.”
“How could that be? You said she serenaded your brother. Why is her brother too shy?”
“I do not have the faintest idea,” Erika said, shaking her head.
After the preliminary introductions, which thankfully Eric survived with Tommy’s sour presence, he bravely uttered his rehearsed lines.
“I could have brought Leyla along to meet Tommy but she is currently indisposed.”
Liza glanced at Erika who did not exhibit any reaction. It was Tommy’s turn to interrupt.
“Why bring her along?”
“I’m under the impression you like her. I saw you two together once.”
“Tell you the truth. I’m afraid of your sister. She could beat me up just for the sake of it.”
“She is a nice girl. She won’t harm you if you do not initiate anything wrong.”
“She hates my guts. I just mentioned to her to wear a dress. She went ballistic all of a sudden.”
“Some girls have their own way of expressing themselves,” Erika said. “Eric knows her more.”
Liza touched her arm, the sign of her approval, glad too that her comment cooled down Tommy in the process. Eric, on the other hand, smiled at her, thanking her with a nod.
“Oh, I almost forgot!” Liza exclaimed. “I was about to ask you earlier if I can borrow Tommy for a walk.”
“I don’t think that’s possible,” Liza replied. “He has to guard me, remember?”
Tommy clapped his hands and laughed out loud. It seemed the girls planned the whole thing all along. But that’s okay; he would have Erika alone. She made him feel good.
“You two are really great! I bet Eric is grateful, too.”
“Absolutely,” he replied, finally getting the quality moment with Liza. “Thank you, Tommy.”
Before Erika could get Tommy away, a recurring idea involuntarily came out from her mouth.
“Tell Leyla, my brother likes her, too.”
“What’s that?” Eric asked, though he understood what the message was all about.
“Ooops!” Erika covered her mouth as Liza pinched her side for her indiscretion.
(to be continued)