Zeke was alone in his bedroom, sitting on the edge of his bed with his hands folded. So much had happened in one day that he was trying to sort it all out in his head. Virgil and Charlie had left quite a while ago, and it had been about an hour since Jeanette left.
It was such a weird feeling. He knew that Virgil and Charlie were his friends, of course. But he had never felt so much acceptance as he had that day. A couple people had been 'friends' with him before, but it had almost always been a conditional thing, like they would be friends with him as long as it was 'cool.' No one had really stood up for him before. In fact, a lot of people had let him down. Starting from when he was born, no one had been there for him.
But that day at lunch, Virgil, Charlie, and Jeanette had stood by him. They defended him while everyone else laughed. Even Stephanie had stood up, silently standing against the other students. Then, that afternoon, he had felt more accepted than ever before. He knew that Virgil and Charlie were his real friends, more so than anyone had been in his life. Even Jeanette was more of a friend to him than others.
He smiled a little bit. For once in his life things were finally going good. He wasn't even in as much of a hurry to move out on his own as he was before. Maybe staying with the Carpenters for a little longer wouldn't be too bad. He looked over at his dresser. There, next to his grappling hook, was a picture of him, Virgil, and Charlie posing in their snow suits. He took it down and smiled at it.
There was a soft knock on his door. "Yes?"
Slowly the door opened a little bit to reveal two blue eyes under a curly blonde head.
"Come on in, Ellie," Zeke said with a smile. At three years old, Ellie was the youngest Carpenter girl. She smiled and walked into Zeke's room. He picked her up and set her on his bed next to him. She looked down at the picture he was holding.
"Are we your family, Zeke?" she asked softly. He looked down at her.
"I think you are, Ellie."
"Are they your family too?" She pointed to the picture.
"Yeah, Ellie. Yeah, they are."