Tonight I watched The Muppets, and felt an overwhelming urge to write this. I'm not entirely sure if the two events are related. We'll see.

The Complications Of Being Needed

Greg's 'Journal'

July 9th

I've realized that Cookie is actually really smart. Sometimes she says does that just sounds weird and jumbled, but when you think about it, some of it actually makes a lot of sense, and she's much more sane than she pretends she is. She one of the most sane and smart I know right now. She likes to think about things, like I do, and I really like that about her. Rodrick is the exact opposite, so I don't understand them at all. He's obviously not very smart - even Cookie says so. So he can't appreciate her amazing brain...

Maybe she isn't as sane as I thought. I mean, wouldn't she go find someone just as smart as she is? And if she is so smart, why does she always act likes she so crazy all the time? It's like she wants people to think she's weird, and why someone wouldn't want to do that, I don't know. Or maybe...

"...she doesn't want people to like her. But that makes sense. She's smart, so maybe she knows something I don't. You know, she probably does. Maybe she rejects conformity, because that puts her out of control, and she likes to be in control of the situation because that's what keeps her so sane. Yeah, I definitely think you're on to something here, wimpy one. You're smarter than you are tall!"

Cookie was sitting at the end of my bed, in a pair of pajama pants and a t-shirt, holding a book in her hands. Her hair was really messy, like she'd just woken up, and she looked really tired too. But she was smiling. Not a mean smile, but a nice one. It looked like she was just about to laugh, and her eyes twinkled, but she still seemed kind of sad. I didn't think I wanted to know why.

I guess this happened more often than I liked; getting woken up by someone ready my dia- Er, journal. At least this would probably be better than when Rodrick got a hold of it, considering she wasn't even laughing, and I was sleeping in more clothes, and we were in my bedroom, in my house. At night. Wait a second... "You should probably stop sneaking into my room at night. While I'm sleeping. It's a little bit creepy..."

"And you, my dear Gregory," Cookie said, "should probably close and lock your window. I've said it before and will say it a thousand times more if I have to. It's completely irresponsible. You're just invite creeps to crawl in through your window while you're sleeping! Could you imagine if it were someone other than me? Now that would be creepy."

"I have to leave it open, because it's summer."

"Right, heat, got it. I just have a fan. But this," she held up my journal, "is really good stuff. Like, top-notch book material. And you're actually quite the artist, you should give me some lessons some time. Have you ever, like, thought about maybe sending this to a publisher, trying to get it published? I'm sure it'd do well. Very real and relatable."

"No way," I said. "Now way am I going let people read that stuff. It's... personal."

"It's awesome!" She smiled and threw the book at me. "Besides, you're always talking about being famous one day, but what for? You're not a musician, or an actor, and you've too big a conscience to be a politician and, whether you believe it or not; you're a terrible liar. Your not artist material - you're good, but not million-dollar-paintings good. But you can write really well and, mixed with your art-"

"But it's my life. I can't just write about my life!"

"You can. You're really funny, Gregory, and you get into some pretty interesting situations. It's just the kind of stuff people like; funny and zany but relatable in an interesting way. Just, like... think about it, okay?"

"Yeah, sure."


"Umm, why are you here?"

"Other than to give you career advice?" I nodded. "Oh, you know, some crazy stuff went down with Violet tonight, and I just had to get out of there. I didn't really know where else to go. Sorry."

"You get into trouble with her a lot," I said. It wasn't a question, but she nodded. "Why don't you just talk to your brother about it? He can't ignore it. You don't like her, and she doesn't like you. It's pretty easy to see."

"Why don't you just talk to Rodrick about how he makes you feel, eh? It's just never that simple. Older brothers are... annoying."

"You're telling me?"

"Touché. Can I sleep on your floor?"

Well, no, first of all, when it's this hot, I sleep in my underwear, so this whole time I'd been holding my blanket to try and cover up because she's a girl, which is my second point. And third, my parents wouldn't like that very much. "Why did you come to me and not Rodrick?"

"Do you eat dinner for breakfast?"



"That doesn't make any sense," I pointed out.

"Give it some thought, and it will come to you. In the meantime, I'ma catch up on some sleep." I guess I could have put up more of a fight, but it was late, and I really tired, so I just watched her curl up on the floor, then laid back down and thought about what she'd said.

Does it mean she just likes me more? Is dinner better than breakfast? Breakfast has bacon and pancakes, right? Dinner has desert... Who's what, though? Am I breakfast, or dinner? Does it make me one of them at all? No, that doesn't really make any sense. What are they really? They're meals, I guess. And they... have specific jobs, right? "So, each one is for a certain job?"

"Precisely, my dear Gregory. And so?"

"You mean that you need him, you need me?"


"Why? That doesn't make sense."

"Because, Gregory, I just want some company and some space to sleep, and with Rodrick it'd be-"

"I get it," I interrupted, and shuddered. "I guess that makes sense. If you don't have any friends of your own."

"I would very proudly like to inform you I have some very good friends who would be willing to let me crash on their floor. They just... live in, you know, Canada. You're the closest thing I have here. And I like you Gregory. You're... refreshing."

"Um... thanks."

"You should come hangout in the afternoon, watch a movie or something. Violet should be going out, and I could use some friendly company. Bring that kid with the bowl cut if you want."


"Yeah, that one."

Maybe things might be less weird if Rowley went with me. If I wanted to leave, I could use him as an excuse. And that way I wouldn't have to watch a movie alone with Rodrick's girlfriend. It's not that I didn't like her, because I did. I didn't know what it was that just made me... worried when I around her, like she might bite off my arm or something. Because I think that if I'm not too careful, she just might actually do that. "Sure."

"Greg, I want to go home."

"We can't leave yet, Rowley! The movie isn't even over, and we're going to play video games afterward. And she doesn't even own any girly games! Plus, you can't leave me alone. What would Rodrick do?"

We were in the kitchen, Cookie was downstairs, waiting for us to come back. I was just supposed to show Rowley where the bathroom was. She would be getting suspicious soon. "That movie is way too scary. She's way too scary, Greg! He pyjama's have bunny rabbits on them. Her shirt says 'kill everybody'. Is she nice, or mean?!"

"She's nice. Very nice. Just, calm down, Rowley. I know, she's hard to understand, but... I really like her. You just have to get to know her.

"You can stay, but I want to go home before she cooks us and eats us."

"She's not a witch! And what about Rodrick? What if he found out?"

"I don't think he really cares, Greg."

"Yeah, I don't think he does either." I didn't say that, and Rowley didn't either. Rowley was looking over my shoulder, looking terrified. "Because what could possibly happen between the two of you? Nothing, that's what, because you're nothing more than an annoying little twerp who just get downstairs instead of leaving the lovely lady waiting!"

"W-w-who are you?" Rowley asked.

"Ari's little brother," Kaelbus said. He was about our age, and just as tall, but something about him made him seem... scary. "Tell me, Greg, what were you expecting to happen when you got her alone?"

"I... don't know. Last night, she said she... needed me."

"She probably did. But we all need our vegetables. It doesn't mean we like them."

That sounded sort of familiar. "I... guess not. Do you all do that? Say stuff like that, I mean?"

"What? Make clever comparisons? Yeah, we do. We're kind of a smart family."

Then I realized why he seemed so scary, just like Rodrick. "If you're so smart, why are wearing makeup?"

"I-it's just eyeliner." He curled in on himself suddenly, like he was... nervous or something. Rowley was still shaking like he was going to fall down. "Rodrick showed me how to put it on. Why? I-is it t-too much?"

"I think any is too much."

"B-but Rodrick wears it!"

"Rodrick is crazy," I said.

"Rodrick is awesome."

"Wait. You actually like him?" I asked. I couldn't believe it.

"Yes! You are so lucky to have him as an older brother. Instead, I have Ennis. He's really strict, but he lets Violet control us all she wants, like we're just her dolls or something. Plus, he HATES Rodrick. Ennis is just not even cool."

"He hates Rodrick? Maybe we should switch brothers?"

"Y-yes! Please!"

"Excuse me, boys," Cookie said, appearing in the doorway. She tapped her fingers on the door frame. "Can we move the slumber party into the basement so that we can finish our movie?"

"S-sorry, Cookie, but I have to go home," Rowley said, freezing up again. "I have an appointment."

"The movie was too scary afterall, Kael. I told you." Kaelbus laughed. "We don't have to finish it, Rowley, if you don't want to. We could just play some Twisted Wizard, have a tournament. Does that sound alright?"

"Yeah!" Rowley relaxed a bit.

"Sure," I said.

"You in, Kael?"

"Alright. But you two should know I'm a Twisted Wizard pro."

We all went back downstairs and played for a few hours. It was actually a lot of fun. And even if Cookie's little brother was slowly turning into Rodrick, he was pretty cool. I don't think he'd make a good Rodrick. He's a little too nice. And he and Cookie got along really well, even though she complains about him a lot whenever I see her. Not as much as she complains about Ennis, but still a lot.

I guess things with older and younger brothers and sisters are a lot more complicated than you think. Even if they're really annoying, and you complain about them a lot and you say you hate each other and pretend that they don't even exist, sometimes, you can get along. It seems like most of the time, you're fighting, but when you really need them, you can work it out, I guess. Sometimes Rodrick helps me out, even when Cookie's not around. So maybe Cookie should just talk to Ennis about Violet. Even Kaelbus hates her.