A few weeks after the whole incident with Jack, everything seemed to go back to normal. Evelyn worked three days out of the week, I had a half-ass job, Jerry was a know-it-all, Angel was sleeping with some Spanish tramp we had never met- only heard of, and Jack was still the little princess of the family. On one of Ma's days off, she decided to have some sort of 'family bonding time' after dinner. It was a Friday, so we didn't have much of a curfew or bed time. In fact, Friday was one of the very few days that Evelyn let us do pretty much anything we wanted. Within reasonable circumstances, of course. Anyway, after dinner at five, Ma brought out a few dozen board games. The four of us stared at the pile of warn-out games, wondering if she actually expected us to play any of them.
"Since Jack's the youngest, he gets to choose first", mom stated a little too cheerfully for my liking. But then again, that's just the way she had always been when it came to her family being together.
"I thought the oldest went first for everything?" I scrutinized.
"Well, I do it differently, Bobby", she was still smiling, but I could tell Ma was a little dissapointed by my trying to bring down the 'happy' mood. I felt a little bad about it, but let Jack pick first. It looked for a second like he was about to complain, but closed his mouth and ended up picking out Candyland.
"Oh, are you serious?" I questioned, slumping back in my chair.
"What?" Jack almost sounded offended.
"I freaking hate Candyland", I admitted. Mom looked over at me.
"Bobby, sit up and respect your brother", I reluctantly did as she told and sat up, wishing I were somewhere else getting hammered or something. As much as I loved my family, I almost loathed spending too much time with them. It just wasn't me.
Ten minutes later, I was really starting to get frusterated with Candyland.
"You're such a cheater!" I yelled, aiming my anger towards Jack.
"How am I a cheater? This is the easiest game in the world. You just happen to suck at it", Jack defended himself.
"Are you kidding me? You only picked this game 'cause you're good at it. You little fag..." I whispered the last part, but it was still heard. There was a loud gasp.
"Bobby!" Evelyn yelled, actually making me jump, "Go upstairs, now!" I ran up the stairs as fast as I could. I wasn't the kind of guy to get scared, but Evelyn could be scary when she wanted. And she was scary that night...
I actually felt pretty bad for calling Jack that, but I was annoyed. And everyone knows I have anger issues. I'm also aware that he's not actually gay, but it's still offensive and Evelyn obviously didn't like it. Later that night at around eight o'clock, I went to Jack's room to apologize. I wasn't sure if I was aloud to or not yet, but I went anyway. After all, he is my little brother and I didn't want him to hate me or anything like that, so I knocked quietly on his door.
"It's open", he stated quietly. I don't know if it was that he sounded sad, but he definately didn't sound happy. I opened the door, trying hard not to make any unecessary noise.
"Hey, Cracker Jack", he looked up from his guitar for about a second, then looked down again. He looked upset, "Hey, man. You know I didn't mean it", no response, "Come on, man. You're my brother, you know I'd never do anything to hurt you. And you definately know I have anger issues", I laughed, but still got no response.
"Come on, Jackie. You can't just ignore me forever. I mean, why are you so upset anyway? We both know you're not actually gay. Unless... you know... you are..." he finally looked up at me, "I mean, 'cause if you are, it doesn't matter. I love you, man. You're my brother", he looked down again. I was about to leave when he finally spoke up.
"I'm not gay, and I'm not mad. I just- don't understand why you always have to pick on me. I mean, why not Jerry? Or Angel? They're your brothers, too..." he trailed off. I sighed, while also trying hard not to laugh.
"Jack, listen. I only pick on you because you're my little brother. I'm the oldest, so it's really only a right of passage that I get to make fun of you. It's not that I don't care; because trust me, I do. It's because I care that I make fun of you. Not because I'm trying to make you feel bad. That was never my intention", I admitted. He actually smiled; even laughed a little.
"Well, what about Angel and Jerry? They're younger than you, too"
"Yeah, but they had their turns", I paused to laugh, "Besides, they aren't the youngest. You're the baby of the family, Jack. And nothings gonna change that. So either learn to love it, or deal with it for the rest of your life", I joked, finally getting him to really smile and laugh. I laughed too, ruffling his hair with my hand.
"You feel better now, ya little fairy?" I asked, letting him know I wasn't gonna let up on him just because we had a little heart-to-heart.
"Yeah, much better", he admitted, laughing to himself.
"Alright, see ya later, kid", I said, ruffling his hair one more time before leaving. I had a hockey game to watch.