It took a ping-pong ball brushing against her cheek and almost getting knocked over by Isabelle for Nesrin to decide Jason was right and she should watch from the doorway rather than the couch in the middle of the room. Isabelle and Jason were playing against their cousin Charlotte and her boyfriend Alex, but with four balls in play, and nobody apparently able to keep one on the table, the game had extended to the entire room.
The ball that had hit Nesrin bounced up from the floor and was paddled into the wall by Charlotte, were it ricocheted to ceiling and then the bookcase. Isabelle used her paddle to scoop the ball out of the door case and send it flying to the other side of the room, then had to turn around to swing at another ball that had come Alex, who had jumped over the couch to catch it.
Alex then flung his paddle toward the countertop leading to the kitchen. He’d been trying to distract Jason from hitting a ball, but Jason had been concentrating on a ball Alex hadn’t seen. Alex got up to retrieve his paddle, but Jason blocked him from getting to it. They had to break from each other as Charlotte and Isabelle both winged balls in their direction. Those two balls bounced off each other and fell to the floor, where they bounced straight up and down for a bit.
Just as they started to lose momentum Jason kicked them both towards the ping-pong table. They went under it and bounced back out off the wall. Charlotte got her paddle under one of them and knocked it back into the air for Isabelle to hit.
It happened that all four balls went towards one side of the room, leading to all four players converging at the countertop to hit them at once. All four balls were now sailing towards Nesrin. Without thinking she made a pointing motion with her right hand, changing their trajectory to the flatscreen tv mounted above the window on the third wall of the room. They hit dead center.
The players froze, letting the balls fall where they may. They didn’t move until the sound of bouncing plastic stopped.
Jason was the first to step closer to the tv. “The glass is still smooth. Nothin’ looks wrong.”
Charlotte looked around for the room for the remote. “Someone turn it on and check the color.”
Isabelle went to the cabinet under the window and did so. She also turned on the DVD player.
The random movie trailers on the disc played without any glitches in the picture.
They all allowed themselves to breath and struck various poses of relief.
Alex said, “I think we better play normal for awhile.”
A chorus of “Yeah” filled the room.
Alex picked up a single ball and the two teams took their places on either side of the table.
Nesrin watched them paddle a ball back and forth without a miss for about five serves until she found her voice. “You mean you can all actually play?”
They all replied, “Well yeah,” without stopping the game.
Jason said, “We’ve been playin’ every Sunday since we were ten. We’ve had plenty of practice.”
“But after that long you’d get bored playin’ normal too.”
Nesrin shrugged. “I suppose I would. Well, in that case…” Her eyes glowed gold and twenty ping-pong balls appeared above the table. She stepped away quietly as they fell, smirking at the gasps and the sounds of plastic spheres flying at random.