Typically, I would spend Easter at my Grandparents’ house in Colorado and typically, if my plans were thwarted in any way, I would be on the fast track to a spiral, but since the almighty COVID came to town… or more accurately, came to the world, we’ve all been forced to slow down. I’ve found myself being so intentional with how I spend my time, and things that would normally induce a racing heart and sweaty palms have dissipated. I guess you could say I’m like a snake and I’m shedding my old skin. No, that’s not quite right – that would mean I had dry, flakey skin, and in Florida, I don’t think that’s possible. Sure, anyone can get used to their living environment, but I don’t love always sweating through my clothes. I genuinely feel bad for women with large boobs… I can only imagine the moisture that builds up between those babies.
Anyway, we’ve been in quarantine for about 21 days now, and things have changed since we last checked in… back when we were all a little tipsy while playing truth or dare… or more accurately, dare. As suspected, I didn’t sleep on the couch that night; Todd’s AmeriSleep mattress has been a welcomed addition to my routine for the last 13 days. I think of our situation kind of like Love Island – every day here is like a week out in the real world, so in a few days, we’ll have been dating for four months. Given that logic, I guess it’s time for the producers to bring in our families.
In other romance news, as you could’ve guessed, Jared came out of the closet; him and Alec are now in a throuple relationship with Geoff… kidding, this isn’t Tiger King. Jared and Ashley have been flirting pretty heavily since her and Curtis broke up, but they were together for three years, so she’s trying to stay respectful, despite her clear desire to jump on top of him every time they’re around each other. Seriously, she laughs at things I don’t even realize are jokes… it’s actually pretty cute… and Curtis was such a wet blanket. Side note – if you ever play Blank Slate, be sure to use ‘blanket’ if you get ‘wet’ as the word.
Sierra has been going on Zoom dates which has been entertaining for the rest of the crew – we pretend she’s in a restaurant and serve her a delicious BareFoot red wine, then bring her an appetizer (some Ritz crackers), followed by a hearty meal (typically mac & cheese or whatever we ordered from GrubHub), and we’ll conclude with a lovely, decadent sweet treat – either a ball of cookie dough or a cup of sprinkles. I think she’ll likely hire us to participate in all of her dates once we’re out of here.
We’ve been able to fuck with Alec less during his FaceTime calls with Geoff because he has his own room, but we’ve snuck in a few pranks where we could. Actually, on Saturday, he was outside in his teal short shorts getting sun and we managed to chuck a bucket of ice water over his head. Don’t worry… we know his phone is waterproof, and we got it on video, which is the most important feat.
“Jaye, you wanna pass me the orange juice? I’ll make us all mimosas while you girls do the deviled eggs,” Jared offered. Although Easter Sunday looked a lot different this year, I wouldn’t allow this tradition to slip through the cracks. It was 9:45, which might seem early for deviled eggs, but let’s get real – it’s always the right time.
“Yes, of course! That’s so sweet of you. Hey, do you know where Todd and Alec are? I need you all in front of me – I have something for you guys,” I was practically beaming. Although ‘receiving gifts’ isn’t my love language, it might be my love-send language… if that’s a thing…
“I’m sure Alec is trying on his seventh outfit and will ultimately come out wearing a fitted beige button down, and I think Todd’s in the pool playing basketball. I’ll go grab them.”
I was de-shelling the hard boiled eggs while Sierra cut them in half and placed them on a circular plate. There was no hope for a tray specifically designed for this type of thing, or even a properly sized platter that would hold our food, so a white plate would have to do. At least it was clean. Ashley was gathering the ingredients needed for the whippy yellow middle goodness. Today felt uplifting already. The air seemed more crisp and the vibe in the house was filled with hope and love. Maybe it was all in my head – maybe this day was no different than the other 20 days, but that just shows the power of the mind, and I had been taking the free Science of Well Being course Yale offered, so it’s very likely. Either way, I felt at ease.
“Hey, babe. What’s up? Jared said you needed all of us. Is everything okay?” Todd asked as he toweled off his beautiful wheat colored hair. The boys joined in the kitchen moments letter and to no one’s surprise, a beige button down sat atop Alec’s muscular torso.
“Yes, babe, everything is okay. Better, actually. Okay, so, growing up, my parents would always hide an Easter basket for us to find and it would be full of cute things that we could play with throughout the day. In high school, the contents changed from yoyos and candy to makeup and clothes. It was always the perfect start to our Sunday morning and I don’t want that tradition to end. Sooo, I’m sure you can all follow where I’m going with this. There’s an Easter basket hidden for each of you somewhere in the house. It says your name on it, so if you find someone elses, just move along.”
I watched everyone turn into a little kid in front of my eyes; I told them to start hunting while I continued to peel the hard shell, throwing the cracks into a water-spotted Tupperware container. They dispersed like ants being sprayed with poison and I felt my eyes well up with joy. I allowed myself to picture my life in seven years, with two beautiful children – an older boy helping his younger sister find her woven peach basket full of whatever popular toys were on the market at the time, plus a puzzle… always a puzzle.
“FOUND MINE!” Sierra yelled from upstairs. I hid hers on the top shelf of the linen closet. She came down holding the yellow basket I’d filled with bath bombs, lip gloss, a coloring book, crayons, and three things of beef jerky – her favorite.
“My parents never did Easter baskets! This is fucking awesome,” she’d already ripped into a piece of jerky while she flipped through the Lion King coloring book. She was disappointed in the live action Lion King, but that’s just because the original was her favorite Disney movie. “Seriously, Jaye, this is so nice. I’m posting it on Instagram right now.” Our universal love language – post to social media so the world can share in our pleasures.
“You’re my best friend, babe. I know this whole thing is unconventional for all of us, so I figured everyone should have something just for themselves – you all deserve to feel special. Now come help me – we still have ten more eggs to get through,” I winked and let the sink water rinse shell pieces off my fingers before I cracked the next one.
Alec came down next, holding his orange basket. He had shaving cream, deodorant, a Rubiks cube, protein bars, and an annoying bright blue short sleeve with flowers on it. He was always so demure with his looks, I thought it would be funny to force him into something so obnoxious.
“You know me… you really know me,” he smiled and gave me a hug so tight I thought one of my ribs might crack.
Ashley and Jared came down together. I “hid” both of theirs under the pool table since Jared started putting the moves on her there.
I won’t go through the contents of their baskets, but I will say one had a bottle of strawberry flavored lube and the other held some lacy black underwear.
I figured Todd would find his last. I hid his at the bottom of his laundry basket… I wrapped it in cellophane – I’m not an animal! He came down and before grabbing the scissors to slice open the covering, he wrapped his arms around me and pressed his lips against mine. I’m not sure I’d ever get used to his kisses. I looked up at him and smiled and he kissed me again. “You’re an angel. You know that? I can’t believe you did all of this.”
“It’s the least I could do, babe. Now open!” I handed him the orange fabric scissors they kept in the junk drawer.
He had a package of no-show Adidas socks, a black light so he could hunt scorpions (don’t ask), water balloons, the new Fifa game, and three cans of Pringles because it was “the best chip out there.”
“Damn, girl. Do I have to wife you up already?”
My stomach fluttered at the thought but I didn’t overthink it like I probably would have in another life. While we finished up the appetizers, Jared finally poured our drinks. It was gonna be a bottomless mimosas kind of Sunday.
“Let’s raise our glasses, or wait… our red solo cups… I want to do a toast,” Sierra started as we all touched our mimosas together above the Scrabble board sitting on the dining room table. “You guys have quickly become my family and there’s no one else I’d rather be with today. Seriously, I wouldn’t have gotten an Easter basket anywhere else, so thanks, Jaye. I love you all. Let’s keep the good times rolling!”
There was a collective ‘cheers’ before Jared announced he bought those plastic eggs so we could do an Easter egg hunt. We would all be responsible to hide one person’s eggs – we could put them anywhere on the property – inside or out and we’d all have to sit in the living room while one person hid. I had to find the purple eggs, Ashley was assigned pink, Sierra had peach, Todd had blue, Jared had green, and Alec had yellow.
Ashley was the last to hide, so once she got back, we were on the move. We each had to find twelve eggs which was WAY more difficult than you would think. This wasn’t a cutesy seven year old egg hunt, where you could basically see them all in one area with a quick scan. They were HIDDEN. One was in the toilet tank, one was taped underneath a table, two were on the roof, one was inside a pillow case, and one was inside a cereal box. Jared and Todd found all of theirs – the rest of us still had one to find, which we probably wouldn’t be able to track down for days.
Our lunch consisted of honey roasted ham, a slew of vegetables, a cheese board, and of course, another mimosa. We followed it up with a water balloon fight which was interrupted by a phone call from my mom.
“Hey, mom! You’d be so proud of me. I put together Easter baskets for everyone just like the ones you did when we were growing up. Except for Jared and Ash…” I was interrupted.
“Jaye, stop, listen to me. I’m sorry to have to call you with this, but it’s your sister…” I heard her voice crack and my heart sunk.
“What? What happened?!” I started crying before she continued, just knowing the pain I was about to endure.
To Be Continued
Committed To Curiosity