“Okay,” Angie cracked her knuckles. “I got this. I’ve done this every year, and I’ll do it this time as well.” Her nimble fingers were poised over the keyboard, ready to strike as soon as an idea presented itself.
Indira walked over to the workstation. She was a bit older than Angie, but they both seemed to be the same age; not just in appearance, but, as Angie liked to say, in their heart and soul as well. She thought ‘heart and soul’ sounded cool. Indira huffed. Anything was cool when Angie said it.
It wasn’t that they hated each other— far from it. They were practically siblings. It was either ‘hey I’ll help you bury the body’ or ‘yours is the body I’ll be burying.’ There was no in-between.
The second was what Indira was feeling today. Since the past few years it’d always been Angie, Angie, Angie. At best, she was riding shotgun. At worst, she was forgotten in a corner of the house. It wasn’t fair at all— she was a grown woman, she had been the first one here, she was the one who opened every single door and window. She loved Angie, true, but not at her own cost. Today presented a perfect opportunity for confrontation.
“Can’t think of anything?” she slurped her fennel-cardamom chai loudly.
“I- I don’t know, it’s just—“
“Sabe que tu corazon conmigo tu hace bom bom, sabe que sa bebe esta—” Espina was skipping around the house singing— no, shouting —the rap part of Despacito for the third time. In an hour.
“Maybe I could if someone would stop screaming lyrics they don’t even know the meaning of!” The walls felt Angie’s frustration, but the little girl, barely three, didn’t seem to take a hint. She continued rapping at the top of her babyish voice.
“Tsk-tsk. She’s just a child, Ang dear, who you enabled.” Indira sat down on the empty chair, crossing her legs. “You seem tired. Maybe you should let me take the lead today?” she tried not to let her desperation show.
“No, I—” Angie put her fingers through the handle of her coffee mug. “I’ve gotta do this. It’s my job. I can’t let Her down. Not today.”
“Oh, please. You’re overworked as is. Besides, you do this all the time, and today’s a special day. If you do it, it won’t be anything… different. It’ll be just as usual. Take a break. Let me help you, Angie.” Indira seriously hoped she wasn’t sounding like one of those thinly-veiled Bollywood femme fatales.
“No, no, no. You don’t get it, Indu. You haven’t done this in, like, forever. You’ve done this, what, a couple of times in the last six, seven years? I do this at least every couple of months or so. I’m meant to do this. Besides, even if you do it, we both know what’ll happen. She will get tired, She will think it seems too…” Angie paused. She didn’t want to trigger the woman sitting in front of her. “…unlike Her. You’re best at the more sociable part. Why don’t you do that?” She smiled, hoping that’d clear any hints of an insult. Nobody wanted a pissed-off Indira.
The smile did not help.