“Shush!” Lydia whispered to Ella after her friend tried her best to stifle a sneeze. “He’ll hear you!”
“But it’s dusty back here!” Ella replied, trying to keep her voice low.
“Sh! Don’t you know how to be quiet?”
Ella turned to face Lydia, but it was dark and she couldn’t see. She ended up accidentally bumping the couch. The couch was heavy and made a scraping noise as it moved across the hardwood floor.
“Sh!” came Michael’s hissing remonstration from behind a chair on the other side of the room. “He’s coming! I hear footsteps!”
A couple of light gasps and shuffling feet from different areas of the room reached the ears of Lydia and Ella. Lydia could sense the tension and expectation that had built up during their wait. But in a moment, it would all be over.
Beside her, Ella started to softly giggle, and Lydia reached out in the dark to slap her on the arm. “Shush, already!”
“Sorry,” Ella whispered back.
Lydia rolled her eyes then tensed up as she heard footsteps stop outside the door, followed by the sound of a key turning in the lock.
The door opened and the light turned on.
As Jason stepped into his living room, Lydia, Ella, Michael, and two other men and two other women popped out from where they’d hidden behind furniture and doors.
“Surprise!” they called out as Jason let out a startled gasp and took an involuntary step back. “Happy birthday!”
Ella pulled on a string and a balloon tied to the ceiling popped, sending confetti raining down over Jason.
Jason gave his head a small shake but grinned. “Sheesh. You guys. I should have known you’d do this!”
Ella, Lydia, and the others came out and greeted Jason with hugs and handshakes and led him into the room so they could get the party started.
This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “sh”: