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celebrating birthday alone?

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It’s Team’s birthday today!

The boy who was curled up on Win’s bed slowly opened his eyes with the bubble of excitement overflowing within him. Noticing that the space that was previously occupied by his Hia empty, he just thought that the other already went to his daily run. Still optimistic, he energetically got up, fixed the bed and went straight to the bathroom to prepare for his morning classes while humming some tunes.

When he’s done with his morning routine, his Hia is still nowhere to be found. Walking straight to the table they usually share during meals, he noticed that there’s already breakfast prepared for him and a small sticky note that says, “Team, I had an emergency to take care for today. I have to go home. Sorry if I didn’t wake you up. If I’m still not back by 9 PM, don’t wait for me and just sleep ahead okay?” a small doodle heart is also cutely drawn on the note.

“Oh” he sounded a bit disappointed but still shrugged the matter of his system.

“Well, if it’s an emergency at home of course Hia should fix it first. We can just celebrate my birthday tomorrow or the next day” Team chanted inside his head. “Anyway, I still have Manaow and Pharm to celebrate with me today” he still managed to be enthusiastic about it, although it sounded like he’s consoling himself with the absence of Win.

While eating his breakfast, he was also scrolling on his phone replying thanks for the birthday wishes he had received from his friends, classmates and family.

He was about to type a message on their group when Pharm beat him into it.

“Team, I am so sorry. I won’t be able to cook you your lunch today. My head feels so heavy that it feels like I am carrying the whole world with me. I am so sorry okay? I’ll just make up for it when I get better”

Just after he had finished reading Pharm’s text message, a ping once again sounded on his phone signaling that a new text message was sent to him, it was from Manaow.

“I can’t come to school either. I went home last night and I didn’t expect that I won’t be back immediately. I’m so sorry Team, I guess you have to go alone today”

Sadness slowly creeps inside him as he realized that he would be celebrating his birthday alone. But knowing Team, the cheeky boy that he is decided to just let the matter go.

“I guess this is how adulating works huh? Celebrating birthdays alone… hmm not bad” he mutters to himself and proceeded to get ready for classes today.

The day went by normally— just the usual routine Team always do except that today is his birthday and he’s all alone. He missed the loud laughs of Manaow as well as Pharm’s never endinf recipe for him. He sighs and continued walking. It’s already 6 o’clock in the evening. A number of students are also walking around the university, either going home to take a rest after an exhausting day of attending the never ending lectures or looking for some places where they could sit and study or do things they have to do.

For Team, he’s heading straight to the university’s pool. Even though it’s his birthday, it does not give him the privilege to slack off his training.

There’s a deafening silence when he already got inside. Confused, he searched for his phone in his pockets to check whether today’s practice session was cancelled but his phone is also silent. Notifications, none.

His Hia Win hasn’t sent him a message the whole day which made him think that the emergency at home is a serious matter so he didn’t bother to disturb the older man either.

Shaking his head, he went towards where their lockers where located.

If today’s practice is also cancelled, I’ll just practice alone. I don’t have things to do anyway.

Just like the silence he experienced when he went inside the building, their lockers were also quiet that he slightly shivered at the eerie air. It was also dark inside that he thought that today’s practice was really cancelled and he was not notified, maybe because of some mishaps.

As he remembered those days where he and some members of the swimming team chatters about ghost stories inside this building, he felt the goosebumps slowly creeping inside his body.

Just when he is about to search for the switch, a small light slowly emerged from the left-corner of the room. Followed by the sudden brightness that assaulted his eyes, he was then forced to close his eyes for a moment. But the loud screams that greets him a happy birthday along with the pops of confetti is very evident. After being accustomed to the bright light, he opened his eyes. And the view that he first saw invokes the emotions that he had tried so hard to keep since this morning.

Emergency my ass!

His Hia Win is grinning widely at him, holding a cake on his one hand and a bouquet of flowers on the other. Seeing him getting emotional, Win snickers, trying so hard to stop himself from laughing while looking at the younger shed tears— of joy of course.

He then eyed Pharm, who is by the way so well and healthy and at Manaow who is grinning at him as well. He eyed the individuals inside the small room. Aside from Pharm and Manaow, P’Pruk and P’Dean was also present.

The audacity to conspire at me like this.

“Come here now Team, the candle’s going to melt towards the cake” hearing Hia Win’s voice, he walked towards where the other is standing. He’s annoyed at the smirk that was plastered on the other’s face and as much as he wanted to smack that face so badly, he can’t— he just can’t. Not when his Hia Win prepared a surprise celebration for him.

“I’ll let this slide because it’s my birthday today” Team said as he eyed the man like he’s warning him.

“Alright alright just go ahead and make a wish now. My wrist hurts” Win said smiling.

He closed his eyes and brought his hands together clasping his fingers tightly as he chanted his birthday wishes in his head. A couple of seconds passed, he solely opened his eyes and blew the candle which earned the cheers of the people that’s with them.

Win handed him the bouquet of flowers to him in which he received, muttering his thank you for his Hia. Win then snaked his arms towards Team’s waist and planted a kiss on his forehead that earned a loud reactions from the people in the room.

Seeing how happy Team is, Win is also satisfied with the successful surprise birthday they had prepared for Team, despite the short notice he had given to Dean, Pruk, Manaow and Pharm.

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Later that night, both Team and Win is already cuddled to the warmth of Win’s sheets.

“Thank you hia” Team muttered as he hugs Win closer to him, as if they were not close enough yet.

“Only for you Team” Win replied and snuggled Team closer to him, planting a kiss on the younger’s forehead once again.

Team’s birthday ended with him having the thoughts that he is so lucky for having his friends to celebrate his birthday today and of course his Hia Win.

I wish to celebrate more birthdays with these people.