I got out and checked the engine on my truck. Yup, it was busted.

May knocked on the windshield. "What's wrong?" she signed.

"The engine's dead," I signed back. "We'll either have to walk home, or get a cab."

"I can walk if you can."

I ducked down behind the hood so she wouldn't see me smile. When she does, she gets all excited and jumpy, and usually breaks something.

We were trying to get back home to see to it that Ma made dinner. I could've myself, but her cooking is much, much better than mine.

And I think May would very much appreciate it if her mother cooked instead of her brother. All I can make is grilled fish and cereal. Yup, that sounds like a great dinner to me, too.

And if you didn't pick up on it, I was being sarcastic.

I slammed the hood down and glanced over at my sister. Her brown eyes were fixed on me, expectant.

"I can't fix it," I signed to her. "I don't have the right tools or the time to."

She looked slightly disappointed, but didn't do much about it. She hopped out of the truck and stood next to me. "Are we going to start walking anytime soon?"

I took the essentials out of the truck: keys, wallet, cell phone, and stuffed them in my pockets. I made a mental note to get Raymond to drive me over later so I could bring the truck back home.

"Do you miss Melody?" May signed after a few minutes of walking.

I felt tears prick in my eyes for a moment, but I pushed them back down quickly. "Yes," I answered.

"Me, too." She put her small hand in mine and swung out arms back and forth.

I kept my eyes on the horizon, thinking about my lost-and-found cousin that ran off to California, following her dreams of finding her mother. I didn't believe she could do it, but she went anyway.

May stopped walking and pulled on my hand. I stopped and looked at her, a scared expression on my face.

My sister pointed off into a meadow off the side of the road. I saw a trail of long grass move, a trail of gray fur making it.

"Wolves," she signed.

"I'll protect you." I gave her a quick hug and started walking again.

It was nice to have some bonding time with my sister. But, when you can only talk with your hands, and she was holding one of mine, communicating was difficult.

I had almost been brought to tears a few years ago when I started talking to her, forgetting that she was deaf. She had pulled on my sleeve, her eyebrows pressed together in a confusing state.

Remembering it, I felt a single tear slide down my cheek, but I quickly wiped it away.

We made it home soon, and I got a lot of rap from my father about not having the truck and even for a tiny bit of dirt that was on May's dress. But, of course, I nearly get beaten again because my shirt was covered in smoke and oil, and because I didn't call to tell him that I would be late.

I was just rolling my eyes at all of it, when he wasn't looking, obviously. If he caught me giving him attitude… let's just say that I wouldn't be here right now.

I changed for dinner, extremely tired, and I could barely keep my eyes open.

"Jesus said to him, 'Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost,'" my father read before dinner. I hated the whole 'read from the Bible before you eat' concept.

I think he chose that passage on purpose. He thought I would get lost on the way back home because I didn't have the truck. I just wanted to slap him so hard sometimes.

After dinner, I helped May with her homework and listened to Ma and Pa talk for a while about politics and recent news. I debated joining the conversation, but decided against it.

Instead, I crawled up into my attic and stayed there for a while, working on a model of the U.S.S. Maine.

I moved the couch away from the wall after about an hour and peered through the hole into Melody's old room. I didn't know where she was now, and if I did, I would already be there, with her.

I would go anywhere and do just about anything for us to be together. She was the only girl that I had ever loved romantically. And she was the only girl that really felt the same way about me.

We needed each other. Without her, I was just a boy, lost in a sea of mass confusion.

Without her, I was nothing.

I always wanted to be with her, forever and always. She was all that I needed to be able to make it through the night without going and committing suicide on some cliff out there.

Okay, I know that last thought was a little drastic, but I really had considered it once after Laura died.

Melody's room looked so empty without her there, brightening it up with her smile and laughter.

It looked so… so… so plain.

"Car-ry," I heard May's broken voice call up to me.

I poked my head out of the opening in the ceiling.

She gestured for me to come down.

"What's wrong?" I signed once I was down the ladder.

She hugged me around my waist. "Good night, Cary," she signed once her hands were free.

"Good night, May."

She kissed my cheek and then raced off to her room, shutting the door behind her.

This was what really mattered. Family.

It was a good thing that Melody was family. I couldn't live without her.