"Blow out the candles!"
"Blow out the candles!" Victoria squealed.
I smiled and blew out the 17 candles Annaliese had put on my birthday cake.
"Hooray!" Everybody clapped and cheered, while some others did the "cha cha cha haya!" thing.
"Happy birthday, Jenny!" Wally exclaimed.
I laughed. "Thanks for coming, everybody, I really appreciate it." I winked at Chris, who lectured me about manners just two days ago.
"Open your presents!" Anna pulled me off my chair and led me to the livingroom, where everybody put their presents.
I sat on the kitanda with Roy while Vicky pulled a present from the pile.
"Open this one!" she set it on my lap.
I squinted through the wrapper, seeing nothing. "Lead-wrapped?"
Chris laughed. "We wanted wewe to open them the traditional way."
I rolled my eyes and tore off the wrapping. "THOR: GOD OF THUNDER?!! I wanted this game all my life!" I looked at the card. "Oh my gosh, Conner, thank you!"
Conner blushed. "It wasn't much."
It took a while for me to get used to calling him Conner instead of Superboy, but I managed to work it out.
Anna handed a blue gift to me. "This is from Vicky and me."
I ripped off the wrapping. "A mwaka Without Rain? How did wewe know I liked Selena Gomez?"
"Well, wewe sing her songs ALL the time," Victoria alisema in an obvious tone. For a fifteen mwaka old, she sure knew how to be bratty.
Chris threw a box into my lap. I opened it and screamed.
"Two tickets to see BEYONCE?!! Thanks, Chris!"
The evening went kwa like that: A person would give me a present, and I would look happy.
The sun was touching the horizon, giving everybody the signal to leave. I stood kwa the door, saying my good-byes.
When everybody left, Roy came up inayofuata to me. "I hope wewe think I didn't forget." He pulled out a small case, and handed it to me.
I shook it. "What is it?"
"Open it," he urged.
I took off the top, nearly blinded kwa the shimmering crystals on the ring.
"God, Roy, is this--?"
"It's a promise ring," he alisema quickly, before I could say the M-word. "Now I'm promised to you, forever."
"Awww..." I hugged him tightly. The past two years of my life were the best.
Roy's watch beeped from behind my neck. "I gotta go. Duty calls."
I let go. "Right. We're superheroes."
He smiled and kissed me softly. "See wewe tomorrow?"
"You could count on it."
I watched him disappear into the trees, leaving me alone with my siblings.
When I got back inside, Annaliese was taking down the "Happy Birthday" banners.
"Anna, let me help you--"
"Nope," she held out her index finger. "It is against the law for the birthday girl to help clean up after her party."
I scoffed. "Who made that up?"
She raised her chin. "I did, of course. Even though you're 17, I'm 18, and still older than you. When did wewe get so polite?"
I shrugged. "Guess it came with the birthday." I left her to clean, and went out into the yard, where Christopher was sitting in a lawnchair.
"What are wewe doing?" I asked as I climbed into one.
He sighed. "Jenny, about wewe and Roy..."
"Ugh, this isn't one of the puberty speeches, is it?" I groaned.
He laughed. "No, as your older brother, I just wanna make sure that wewe two have boundaries..."
"Chris, I'm not stupid enough to get into one of those teen mom shows. wewe can count on me. Even ask Roy."
"Maybe I will."
"Chris!" I whined.
He raised his arms in alarm. "I'm kidding, jeez!" His gaze looked off into the setting sun. "Wow, it feels like it was only yesterday I was helping wewe tie your shoes."
I put an arm around him. "How old are wewe now, 40?"
He frowned. "Not funny."
I laughed. "21. That's still young."
I sighed. "No matter how old I get, I'll always be your little sister."
"Yep." His lips popped on the P. "Annoying, little Jenny."
I was about to slug him when my communicator beeped in my pocket. I put it to my ear. "Hello?"
"Jeannette, ripoti to headquarters immediately," Batman urged. "It's important."
"I'll be there," I said, ignoring the fact that hadn't wished me happy birthday yet, and hung up. "Gotta go."
"Be careful!" I heard him yell as I flew away.
I sighed. Some people just need to learn that I've gotten older.
"Wow, it feels like it was only yesterday I was helping you tie your shoes."