A/N: Thank you to all who reviewed, you guys are really awesome! This is going to be the last chapter, and it's skipping ahead three years once again :)
Three years later...
He was leaving.
Sara thought she would be thrilled that her brother was leaving today.
But for some reason she felt...
Why? Why would she feel that way? Her brother had made his little sister's life a living hell- not that it wasn't already one already. And now her brother was leaving, she figured she would be jumping up and down, screaming for joy when this day came. But she wasn't.
Instead, she found herself standing outside her brother's bedroom door, fingers curled into a fist and hand held in mid-air as she contemplated knocking or not. What was she doing, anyways? What was she going to say, and what was she expecting him to say to her? He was thrilled that he was finally leaving, right on his birthday this was his wish as an adult- to get away from his family and leave this life behind him as he started anew.
Sara just sighed, looking down at the floor, her eyes latching onto her red sneakers.
She wanted to apologize.
That was what she was here for.
Looking up at the door, a new bold determination in her eyes, she knocked on the door with her new-found confidence and immediately backed away when the door opened. Her brother opened the door and stared at her, a blank expression on his face. Sara was a bit surprised he didn't look absolutely furious that she had knocked on his door.
"...What do you want?" he asked. Yeah, he still had that same hostility.
"...Can I come in?" Sara asked. She was 12 now, a pre-teen, and she felt a bit more confident about trying to penetrate the boundaries her brother had set up when she was younger.
Reluctantly, her brother moved away from the door and let her inside. She walked in and he shut the door, just barely missing her fingers as he slammed it and moved back to his bed. The comforter was now missing, as were the pillows and pillow cases. His desk was cleaned off and his posters and pictures on his walls were all packed up. His room looked...empty. And Sara couldn't help but feel saddened by the sight of her brother's empty room.
"So what did you want?" Daniel asked, going through some piles of papers on his bed that were in a folder.
"...I...uh..." Why was she there again? Sara couldn't remember.
"Spit it out, my plane's leaving in less than an hour."
"...Danny.." Sara said, walking over to him. "...What's happened to us?"
That seemed to get his attention and he stopped what he was doing, looking over at her. "...What do you mean?"
"...What's happened to us over the years? We used to be...so close, y'know? Now...I have to recoil in fear of being hit whenever I talk to you, I...have to look over my shoulder on my walks to school because I know one of your friends is following close behind with a football aimed at my head. I...have to have this conversation with you!" she explained. "Things aren't like they used to be. I understand that...we're different now. We've both grown into different people, but...where's my big brother from before?"
Daniel just stared at her, at a loss for words.
"...Remember the good times we used to have together? Eating those cookies before dinner, or...getting up late at night and watching cartoons? You used to read to me, or...told me a funny story if I had a nightmare. You were my guardian, Danny. You're my big brother, and...despite all that's happened...I...want you to know that...you're always going to be my big brother. Even if you don't think the same thing about me."
Daniel looked away, spotting a spider web in the corner of the room to stare at. He honestly didn't know what to say. Time had gone by so fast, now he didn't really even see the point of him being so terrible to his little sister. In truth, it wasn't her fault that he had been grounded all those years ago for the marijuana under his bed, it was his fault and he knew that. She was just a little girl, she didn't know what it was...
Looking over into Daniel's box holding his things on his bed, she walked over to it and peeked inside. Smiling, she removed a photograph in a frame, blowing dust off of it and squinting to look at it. With a laugh, she handed it to her brother. "Do you remember this day?" she asked.
Daniel took the picture from her, studying it for a long moment. Yes, he did remember that day. The picture was of a family reunion from over 8 years ago. Sara was sitting at the table where the desserts were. She was covered head-to-toe in chocolate pudding with a big smile on her face. Daniel was sitting next to her and she was throwing pudding at him, which he remembered nailed him right in the face.
Daniel laughed a little bit, staring at the picture. He could actually feel himself tearing up.
Sara noticed this and smiled, face brightening. "That's my big brother."
Daniel looked up at her and quickly set the picture back into the box, closing it and sealing it. Getting his wallet, he put it in the back-pocket of his black jeans and lifted the box up, leaning it against his side and holding onto it with his right arm. He was so tempted to take his little sister into a gentle embrace with his free hand, but instead he looked up at the clock in the hallway. "My plane's leaving in fourty-five minutes, I don't want to be late."
Sara nodded slowly, swallowing hard and fighting back tears. "...Have a good life, Danny."
Daniel nodded slowly, walking out of his room. Sara ran to his window and watched as he loaded his things into a taxi cab that was waiting outside for him before he crawled into the passenger's seat. Poking her head through the venetian blinds on his bedroom window, she watched as the taxi driver started the car up. But she caught a glance at her from her big brother.
And his eyes were tear-stained.
Daniel choked back a sob as he looked at Sara through the taxi cab window.
"Where to, Sir?" the driver asked.
Daniel blinked away his tears, looking over at the drvier. "Airport." The driver nodded and they drove off. "...I'm sorry, Sis," he whispered, a lone tear falling down his face.
As soon as Daniel made it on the plane, he grabbed a notepad and paper and started writing.
So...I've been an ass through the years, that's for sure. Well...thanks for wishing my luck in my new life. I'm wishing you luck, too. I know you're going to do great, and by the way- you're not a nerd, you're a little genius, you brainiac. Maybe I'll call you some day and ask you for help in my college exams?
I'm so sorry I've been so terrible throughout the years. My friends brought me into a lot of crap...and...I know it's my fault for listening to them. Don't make the same mistakes I did, alright? And one other thing-- keep Mom and Dad out of trouble for me, will ya?