Now… only because you all asked so nicely.
I was anxious for the entire walk home. Even the normally calming flurry of snow that was floating around didn't quell my uneasiness. This was ridiculous. I shouldn't have to worry about so much! When our house came into view I felt my heart jump.
'Please be okay, please be better… please.' I repeated in my head. The door creaked open and…
Everything was quiet; nothing looked like it had been touched.
"Bobby?" I asked tentatively. When no reply came I started upstairs. The door was slightly open, but other than that everything was the way he left it. Walking in I looked to the bed and could only assume that the lumpy mess under the blanket was Bobby. With careful movements I approached the bed and pulled the blanket down revealing my little brother who was visibly shaking.
"Hey, Bobby," I whispered shaking him lightly and taking that moment to feel his forehead. He wasn't getting any better.
"Hmm," Bobby moaned and turned onto his back.
"I'm going to get you some Tylenol. Try to stay awake." The gentleness in my voice even surprised me.
"Kay," He answered. His voice sounded scratchy.
Pulling the blankets around him again, I went to the kitchen to get some water and pills. Maybe it was just the flu.
Pain. Every single inch of my body was screaming and I couldn't do anything to stop it. I tried once to get some water but I didn't make it… I couldn't make it. When Jack finally got home I couldn't begin to show my relief. But just as quickly as he came, he left again. Something about Tylenol.
I tried to sleep, tried to relax, but my whole body was rigid and shaky.
"Here," a voice broke through the haze of my mind and I looked up to find Jack. He had a glass of water clutched in one hand and two little white pills in the other. "Just take these and get some more rest." He said quietly and helped me sit up.
The first pill went down fine, but the second one caused some difficulty. I choked and ended up spilling the water. Jack went to get a towel while I sat unable to do anything. I hated being so helpless.
"I'm sorry," I said shakily when he came back in.
"It's fine, don't sweat it." Jack reassured. He tried to dry the bed as best as he could, but it wasn't working too well. I felt so bad. "Come here," he finally said, taking my hand and helping me over to his bed. As soon as I was comfortable I pulled the blankets over myself and shut my eyes tight. I just wanted to sleep.
After a few minutes I felt the bed dip. Glancing up I saw Jack. He was sitting up against the headboard, a binder in hand. He was doing homework. He wasn't going to leave me. I smiled, unable to hold it back.
"Something funny?" Jack asked, looking down at me curiously. I continued to smile. He eventually just shook his head and returned to working. Before long I felt myself drifting off, the medicine taking effect.
I jolted upwards to the sound of the doorbell. My books were scattered on the floor, somehow they had fallen off of me. I stole a glance at Bobby. He was curled up, one hand gripping my shirt, the other loose.
The doorbell sounded again and I sighed. Who could that be? After prying Bobby's hand off my shirt, I walked tiredly downstairs. The doorbell sounded again… and again… and again. Whoever this was was going to get a slap on the face if they kept doing that.
"I'm coming, I'm coming – Gd!" I opened the door furiously and took a step back.
"Finally!" Missy said, pushing through me and into the house. "I've been out there for like, five minutes!"
"What're you doing here?" I asked, my voice thick from sleep.
"I want you to apologize," She said, taking off her coat.
"You want… me…" I stopped, all of my anger toward her resurfacing. "Missy, I don't have time for this." I growled out, not afraid to show her my frustration.
"Oh please, you look like you were just sleeping. You've got plenty of time." She replied, sitting on the couch with a huff. I couldn't believe she was doing this.
"I'm not sorry," I said finally. It was the only thing I could think to say. It was true – I certainly was not sorry. "I've got nothing to be sorry for." I added.
"Well you should be! You're just a hypocrite!" She yelled, standing up just as quickly as she had sat down.
"Hey, keep it down. My brother is sleeping." I could've kicked myself. That was like an invitation.
"Oh yeah?" She said, at first very quiet. I knew what was going to happen. "Oh yeah?" This time louder.
"Missy, stop. Do-"
"OH YEAH, JACK? Well you know what? Right now I don't care about your stupid little brother! Right now I want you to apologize to me or we're going to break up!" She screamed it all – every last word – at the top of her lungs. By this point I could feel myself literally shaking with rage.
"Get out," My voice was gentle, but as I looked into her eyes I could tell she could see how angry I was. She left… quickly. I was actually surprised she left so quickly. I sighed, trying to calm myself. Once I was sure things were under control I got a quick drink and went back upstairs. Bobby was sure to be awake.
Opening the door, it wasn't at all shocking to see Bobby sitting up. He looked half asleep.
"My face hurts," He said and brought a pale hand up to rub his eyes.
"Yeah, well, you look like you got mauled by a tiger, so I'd imagine that it hurts really badly." When Bobby just looked at me, I decided to change the subject. "You want some water?" He nodded and I went and got some. I made him drink it slowly, making sure that not one drop was spilled. I could tell he was being a lot more careful this time.
"Did she break up with you?" Bobby asked, setting the glass down on the side table and sliding beneath the covers.
"No," I said, sitting on the bed next to him. He looked up at me, surprise easily recognizable in his eyes. "I broke up with her." A quiet descended upon the room. I knew Bobby didn't like Missy very much – I couldn't blame him. She was hard to tolerate.
With a heavy sigh I looked to the clock. Almost 7:00.
"You hungry?" I asked. He immediately shook his head. "Can you at least try to eat something? You won't get better unless you do." Again he shook his head. I was about to press further but Bobby cut me off.
"Later. Just… not right now… later." He said, sounded infinitely weary.
"Okay," I caved in. "But I'm going to make to eat later, whether you want to or not." Bobby didn't answer, he just pulled the blankets tighter around himself and shut his eyes. I watched him for a while, noting his flushed cheeks and scratched skin. He was in bad shape. This day was a disaster. Defeated, I let my exhaustion take hold. Pulling the blankets over myself, I slid down next to Bobby and slept.
Makes me miss Jack and Bobby. 3 brothers.