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Shake it off

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Daphne threw herself on the couch, Rose was deep in her iconic bad-day-jar-of-nutella, Constance was quietly staring at a magazine and Debbie was watching tv. Nine ball, as usual, was smoking on her armchair, next to her Amita was busy knitting on the floor, and Tammy absentmindedly watched her.

The sound of a motorbike announced Lou’s arrival. 

“You guys, I could feel the vibe was fucked up from the street.” Everybody tiringly brought their head up to see the blonde Aussie entering the door in her patchy coat. “If I knew I would have bought ice cream.”.

Lou stood in the middle of the living room, hands in her pockets, smugly smiling, as she announced “Come on, let’s do something.”

Constance lifted her eyes from the phone “Like what?”

The blonde girl turned towards her “Like playing a game.”

Daphne, face on the couch, added “Can we order pizza?”

“Gotcha, pizza is it. Who wants to have a Just Dance competition?”

Tammy jumped on her feet “Me!!!”

Nine Ball rolled her eyes and laughed “Jesus Christ, is this first grade?”.


Lou took a few steps towards Debbie, who hadn’t spoken yet, her eyes glued on the old episode of Masterchef Australia on the screen. 

She gently tapped her shoulder as she murmured in her ear, in a half flirtatious half mocking tone  “I know you love playing just dance, honey.”

Debbie looked at her with her mouth open.

The taller girl laughed “You know, some nights I come early from the club to enjoy your performances from my secret spot”

Debbie fulminated her with her eyes.

“Just kidding, but I may or may not have noticed that thing - she pointed at the white Wii console under the big television - was turned on when I came home. And, you know, one thing led to another.”

The brunette looked in her eyes as she asked “How much do you know?”

“You have five stars on “What makes you beautiful” and -“

“Enough! Enough” Debbie interrupted her, before anyone else could hear them.

“So, will you play?” Lou asked

Debbie sighed, but she nodded. 

The blonde girl ruffled her air and whispered in her ear “Good girl” as she made her way back to the others, leaving behind a trail of Debbie’s brand new Jo Malone perfume.


“Nine Ball, you can be the judge, does it work?”

Nine nodded. 


Daphne coughed from the other side of the room. “Hey, what about my pizza?”

“Right, Tam Tam could you order it from the place right at the end of the street while I set up this?”

Tammy happily nodded, as she asked everyone what they wanted from the menu.


Two and a half hours and a few beers later they were happily jamming to the music and eating pizza, the game long forgotten after Debbie surprisingly to everyone but to Lou had beaten everyone for almost five consecutive rounds and was put in charge of the music for the evening. 

“UHHHH i know this one!!!” Daphne screamed as she gave the slice of pizza she was about to bite to Rose.

She stood up and grabbed an empty bottle of beer and screamed inside it “I STAY UP TOO LATE, GOT NOTHING IN MY HANDS.”

Lou giggled, and looked at Debbie who was smiling too. 

Amita, who had been low key quiet for the whole evening, corrected her “I’m pretty sure it’s brain, darling.”

But Daphne was already on the other side of the room, holding her beer-microphone and dramatically leaning on the kitchen counter as she continued “ I GO ON TOO MANY DATES, BUT I CAN’T MAKE THEM STAY, AT LEAST THAT’S WHAT PEOPLE SAY”

She started jumping up and down, cheering and waving at the small crowd of seven people at the other side of the room, and as the chorus was approaching she clumsily yet quite effortlessly climbed on the top of the counter and held the empty beer bottle towards the girls, expecting them to continue the song.

When no one joined her, she mumbled to herself - but loud enough for everyone to hear - “Difficult crowd tonight! But storms build the sailors!”

Lou leaned over and whispered to Debbie’s ear “Next time, no beers.”, causing the brunette to burst out laughing and almost spitting the water she was drinking all over Tammy.

As it usually happens when Lou and Debbie are next to each other, they didn't acknowledge her presence so when Tammy gave them a questioning look Debbie elbowed her with a grin on the face, causing Tammy to roll her eyes and stand up, joining the second part of the chorus.

Daphne cheered, but hurriedly jumped off the counter as she exclaimed “No wait, you don’t have a microphone!!!” 

Tammy turned back towards the others, as Constance mumbled something like “Here here” and handled her another empty bottle of beer.


A few minutes laters it’s Tammy who makes her move and holds her hand out to Nine Ball, who surprisingly takes it and starts vibing to the tune too.

Constance stands up too and takes one beer-microphone for herself and another one for Rose, who was already dancing with Daphne, not knowing any word and mumbling lyrics of her own.

On the other side of the room someone was shouting all the lyrics by heart in her empty bottle and everyone seemed to notice it was Amita all at the same moment, turning towards her as she screamed “BABY I’M JUST GONNA SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE.”. No-one remembered the moment she stood up, but nothing would erase from their memories her attempt to twerk on the table as she screamed the words.


Debbie smiled to Lou, while stroking the palm of her hand with her thumb and softly whispered  “You are good with people”

Lou’s cheeks turned slightly pink, as she kept chewing her gum, so Debbie continued “You made them - you made us all - giggling and dancing and … and happy, Lou”

“I only turned on the Wii.”

“You are a beautiful person”

Lou didn’t know what to answer to that, it all came natural to her, the moment she saw her friends were sad, to try and think of something that could cheer them up.  She turned towards Debbie and asked “May I have this dance, Miss Ocean?”

Now it was Debbie’s turn to blush, as she nodded and grabbed the blonde’s hand, walking through the room to and join the rest of the squad just in time for the last chorus, and surprisingly to Debbie, Lou knew all the words.

When the song ended she grabbed her by the arm and said “I didn’t know you were into Taylor Swift.”

“I’m not”


“But I may or may not have learned some songs that I know you like.”

Debbie smiled “Which ones?”

“Well, pretty much all of them.