Friendships are amazing, established bonds mean knowing what tickles them, perfect for the Humour and Hijinks contest. Ziva preferred to taste the food, all the flavours of the city tantalised her palate with each visit. At previous festivals she avoided telling jokes, instead handing over the microphone, a lack of confidence in her ability to make people laugh. This evening shocked, she seized the microphone, quips of years spent trying to impress people when she should be embracing the humiliation in the name of the Jokesters. Cats’ antics were her main focus, Patches trapped in the fridge eating chicken, miffed at being in the dark rather than the cold, she cried until Ziva open the door, allowing Patches to resume eating. Asher, the mischievous would fare better with the Pranksters, he found himself in several calamities, misjudging distance, worktop to worktop, his butt dragging him to the floor. Hiding under sofa, beds or tables, a swiping paw surprising unsuspecting passer-by, then reappearing, innocent, and some distance from the attack.
Supriya waited in the bar, her suspicions launched into paranoia, her husband Jerome enjoyed lunches with best friend Ziva and at home, he remained cagey, their discussion a secret. The smiling, bubbly greeting Ziva offered fell flat as Supriya twisted uncomfortably, her posture tense, thoughts forced, desperate to know if Jerome and her best friend were having an affair. Ziva choked on white wine, coughing and spluttering hiding her amusement, while Jerome was a sweet man, her intentions were work-related only.
The expression Supriya portrayed seemed unconvinced, Jerome had refused to share, suggesting they had something to hide. Data leakage, Supriya looked confused, approached by the government, Ziva secured the contract reviewing breaches in security systems, alongside Jerome they were developing software to detect unauthorized users accessing information. Jerome’s experience, an additional level of security, attaching ID-based alterations which tracked the information when shared, locating, and plugging leaks, preventing damage. Supriya looked lost, computer talk, a series of zeros and ones meant nothing, she could turn the computer on, play her favourite Sims game, after shutting the machine down. Her face pinched red, hoping Ziva forgave her accusation and, she had intended to gift Ziva another furry companion, perhaps this could act as an apology. Ziva grinned intrigued by the gift Supriya spoke of, eager for the weekend to arrive and the surprise revealed.
Building a home, life, a project, developing family ties and friends, all pieces of a puzzle coming together to form the final picture of what makes a person. Ziva had her brother, his wife and their two children, the cats, and a selection of friends whittled and changed through the years to focus on the ones who finally mattered. Things were calm, the debacle that had been her young adult life paved the way for her positive outlook. She knew this perspective deserved, as with everything in her life, a mark or celebration, so when happiness and apologies bring gifts, a dachshund puppy called Fiona made her family complete.