Chapter 3- Returning the trash bin
“What’s going on here? Why are you useless brats taking so long?” A familiar voice reached Nydia’s ears.
Heading in their direction was her older sister, Ralia. She was frowning and her heels made clicking sounds as she walked. The crowd opened a pathway for her as if afraid to be burned by her aura of anger if they get too close. But to Nydia, she was like a knight that came to her rescue.
“Ralia! This brat actually look at my phone’s screen!” said by Ayna. She wasn’t shouting anymore but her whole body was trembling in anger.
“Ralia-neesan, it was an accident! I swear!” Nydia quickly defended herself.
The people in their surrounding showed a confused expression. They were curious why this girl who looked like a college student went wild and had started shouting and kicking the trash bin. To find out it was just because the girl looked at her companion’s phone made them feel disappointed. They thought it was something minor and didn’t warrant the extreme reaction. Some of them already walked away, no longer interested in what was going to happen next.
But contrary to expectation Ralia clicked her tongue.
“You’re the worst!” She looked at Nydia with an expression close to disgust. Her knight was actually the ally of the witch!
“Eh?” Nydia and the crowd had the same reaction. They didn’t understand why Ralia was looking at her like that. It was not as if she did something much worse than peeking at someone’s phone.
“That’s considered an invasion of privacy. Whether it is glancing at someone changing their clothes or using their phone, it’s the same thing!”
“No it’s not the same!” All the surrounding people who eavesdropped thought, but nobody wanted to be involved so they all just kept quiet.
“Besides, you already know how a pain Ayna can be when it comes to her rules. Just follow them, it’s not that hard. So what happened here is your entire fault!” Ralia finished with a finger pointing in Nydia’s direction.
Nydia was shocked. She wanted to fall on her knees and bang the floor while shouting: “So unfair! So unfair! I want my lawyer!” But, instead, she just closed her mouth and nodded her head. It was better to just accept the verdict if not she might get accused of contempt of court. The punishment will not be light.
“And you!” Ralia stared at Ayna who was back to her usual expressionless face. “Don’t kick the trash bin, you useless brat! Don’t bring trouble to the people here! What if you break it and they will make us pay for it?”
At that moment Nydia felt slightly better now that she was not the only one being scolded. Of course she didn’t show it to her face. She didn’t want to attract her older sisters’ attention. Ayna turned her head to the side, ignoring Ralia’s sermon.
“You useless brat! Don’t ignore me!” Ralia screamed.
Maybe because they were closer in age, Ralia and Ayna got along better than they did with Nydia who had a larger age gap. Ayna didn’t call her older sister, Ralia, with any honorifics. Ralia ignored Ayna’s temper tantrums. She actually called them “cute” (Nydia will never understand adults or was it just her sister?).
The combination of Ralia/Ayna when it regards to mischief was something that gave Nydia nightmares until now. She couldn’t remember how many times she was played around by her older sisters while they cackled in delight. They still had the videos.
Was this bullying? It’s bullying right? But curiously, she didn’t hate both of them. On the contrary, she will never exchange them for anyone in the world, even if they were someone nicer, kinder, gentler or more sympathetic (eh? They all mean the same thing? No, I am not in denial. I’m serious! No, this isn’t an unconscious plea for help.)
“Pick up that trash bin and place it back where you found it!” Ralia said with her arms crossed on her chest. Ayna clicked her tongue then walked over to where the trash bin and placed it near the wall. She then pushed the empty cans near the trash bin with her foot and left it beside the bin. A janitor will come later to fix it hopefully. At least now the trash wasn’t scattered in the middle of the floor.
She looked at Ralia her with a look which seemed to say: ‘There! I did it! Are you happy now?’
Ralia nodded her head in satisfaction. She nonchalantly took the strawberry smoothie from Nydia’s hand and turned as she went to where there luggage were. She acted as if they didn’t just cause a commotion. Nydia suddenly realized something.
“Ralia-neesan was it okay for you to meet up with us?” She said as she walked beside her. “Weren’t you afraid someone will steal them if we leave them unattended?”
Ralia continued to drink her smoothie, her face showing pure bliss.
“Don’t worry! Relax. I tied the straps of the bag together and to the handles of the luggage so that if somebody tries to steal them they have to bring all of them. Nobody will try to steal the whole set while they’re all connected. It would be too suspicious.” She said happily.
“I wished my sister was always drinking strawberry smoothie so that she will always be in a good mood.” Nydia thought while at the same praying it will continue until they reach the hotel.
When they arrived at the bench, all of their luggages were still there.
“Nydia start unknotting them!” Ralia pointed at the straps and the knots that connected them.
“Me? By myself?”
“I’m busy!” Ralia said as she continued slurping her smoothie. “And you know what a useless brat your older sister Ayna is except when it’s regarded to gadgets and the internet.”
Ayna just shrugged her shoulders as she sat in the bench, her attention on her cellphone. She also started drinking her milk tea.
Really! Whether she’s in a good mood or in a bad mood, I always get the short end of the stick. I want to drink my chocolate drink in peace too you know!
Nydia began unknotting the knots ignoring the cry of her heart. They had 3 large suitcases, 2 backpacks and one duffel bag. They were arranged so that it looked like a pyramid with the suitcases at the bottom then the two backpacks and lastly the duffel bag. Her sister, Ralia, must have been really bored waiting for them.
“Ralia I want to… meet some of my friends… here.”
Nydia unknotted the straps of the duffel bag and place it on the bench.
“You have friends here? Your schoolmates or are they your online friends?”
Nydia had a bit of difficulty with one of the knots since it was tied tightly. She began to drink her chocolate drink, replenishing her energy.
“My… friends online… They wanted to… meet up when I told them I arrive…here.”
“Yes!” Nydia exclaimed as another knot was loosened.
“Didn’t you keep your identity a secret? You seem to be meeting a lot of people these past few days.”
“They’re my… friends before I… became well-known.”
Nydia lifted the last bag, glad that she finished the task. It was then she noticed something inside the circle of luggage. As the suit cases were large they were able to hide something small. Like a girl that look like seven years old.
“I see. Just be sure to you come back at the hotel after.”
“Ralia-neesan…” Nydia called as the she and the kid began to have a staring contest.
“I know… we still need to make the… video for proof… that we came here… right?”
“Yeah, I’m still thinking on where to shoot the video though.”
“What?” Ralia snapped her head to look at Nydia. Annoyance can be clearly heard from her voice.
Nydia pointed at the inside the circle of luggage.
With a frown Ralia checked what Nydia was pointing at. Even Ayna looked at what was inside the suit case encirclement.
“Get out!” Ralia said in annoyed voice. “Playing hide and seek in someone else’s personal belongings is cheating.”