Daddy says Dean doesn't have to go to school, but Dean just shrugs and Daddy pulls his old sweatshirt from the top shelf of the closet and hands it to him. Dean always makes him walk in front when they go to school, but when Sammy lags behind to fix the Velcro on his sneaker, he can see that from the back Dean looks like he's wearing a dress cause Daddy's sweatshirt is so big on him. But when he catches up with him Dean still looks sad, so Sammy doesn't say anything about it.
He tells Miss Lucy he doesn't want to make any more construction-paper pumpkins because he has a better idea. But she won't give him red and blue construction paper or magic markers unless he tells her his idea, and he knows he's never ever supposed to talk about Hunting, even if that's why Dean looks like he needs a Happy Fun Day card. So he makes three more pumpkins and practices his writing with Miss Catherine and waits for school to be over.
Dean doesn't look any better after school, so when he's putting on his jacket and Dean's doing up the snaps, he says, "You can pick the milkshake today, Dean." Dean just shakes his head and they go home instead of to the diner. Daddy's left a note and some money on the kitchen counter and Dean tightens his lips like he does when Daddy's stitching him up. "Dean?" he asks when Dean dumps his backpack and heads to the front door again, and Dean turns toward him and opens the door.
There's a sign that says "CLOSED" on the door of the diner, and Dean looks at it for a long time, long enough for Sammy to think about all the words he could make from those letters. Then Dean steps back and looks up, so he looks up too and he sees that the sky is close to getting dark and pink and there are clouds that look like gauze bandages floating around up there. Dean says they're full of water, so water in the sky must not be heavy and blue. It's light and white and soft. But that doesn't explain rain. Dean is kicking at the small rocks near the curb now, so he misses it when the girl comes to the door and looks out. But Dean must sense her like a good hunter, because he looks up and she looks back at him, and then she's opening the door, slowly like she's not sure.
Dean makes him go in first, so he ends up standing between them. No one else is around and he's never been inside the diner when it's dark before. The red benches look like blood when the lights are off and he tugs at Dean's sweatshirt to tell him but Dean clears his throat like he has Something Important to say. The girl's not looking at them anymore, just kind of rocking on her feet and holding her arms tightly around herself. When she finally looks back at Dean, Dean says, "I'm sorry about your brother."
She makes this sound that startles him so bad he flinches, and Dean looks at him and holds out his arm. He stands behind Dean, peeking out at her, one fist wrapped tight in Dean's sweatshirt. Maybe if he's very still she'll forget all about him.
She's shaking now, and he can see tears and snot running down her face but she doesn't seem to care. She's looking at Dean instead of wiping it away. Dean's back is stiff when Sammy presses his face against it. "I saw him," Dean says, "looking out for you."
"Mama and Papa said he had to," she whispers, and Dean nods, staring back at her just as hard. Sammy can see her take a deep breath and the shaking stops. She fishes a tissue out of her pocket and cleans her face. "He pulls my hair all the time," she says. "And this one time he showed me how to do a rain dance." She looks around and gets a napkin and blows her nose. "He says he can get the ketchup to pour faster than anyone else."
"He can make the roundest scoops of ice cream," Dean says.
"He always lets me put the cherries on top," she says, and she sounds normal again, so he edges out from behind Dean and stands at his side.
Dean looks surprised to see him. "We have to go," Dean says after a minute, but she's looking at him instead of Dean and he feels squirmy inside again.
"Go," she says to him. "Big brothers are always right. You have to go." Her voice has gone all stretchy and high again. He turns to the door and sees the sign says "OPEN" on this side. He wants to be on the CLOSED side again and he leads Dean out the door, running for home.