I squinted as the hazy lights from a car slipped between the blinds and scanned across the wall. I was able to see my brother, Skylar, across from me. He sat with his back against the wall, head slightly tilted, as he wondered what I would say next. I glanced back at the bed behind me, where my brother Derek was, curled up on his side with his stuffed panda squashed into his bony chest. His eyes were shut but I knew he was listening.
When the lights went off downstairs and nothing could be heard except for the hum of the refrigerator, I scuffed my way into my brothers’ room hugging a pillow, my sleeping bag trailed behind my feet. We were excited, we wanted to share our thoughts. We sat up, legs jumbled in blankets, and talked about where the Easter eggs would be hidden by the morning, what kind of toys and candy would be burrowed in our Easter grass that overflowed from our pastel, straw baskets, and whether the Easter bunny was real or not. I had mentioned that I knew that he wasn’t real after Skylar said he wanted to see him in our living room. He didn’t know whether to believe me or not. Derek had no say in the conversation. He just flipped his pillow to the cold side, buried his cheek in it, and told us that we should sleep.
I adjusted myself in my sleeping bag on the floor in between their beds and turned around.
“I think I have double A batteries in my Furby that we can use,” I said.
Skylar sat crossed legged beneath his comforter as he fumbled with the back of his battery-less Star Wars stormtrooper toy. It was equipped with a motion sensor on its white belt. Its plastic legs were stiff and its flexible arms hung down; one hand clutched a black gun. When something moved in front of it, the tip of its gun would flicker red and the sound of a laser would electrify the room. It was the perfect way for me to prove to Skylar, the youngest of the three of us, that the Easter bunny really was Mom and Dad. We just needed batteries. Read More
My bangs were stuck to my forehead, the taste of freedom lingered in the summer air. I had two more days of riding the bus before eighth grade would become history, before it would mesh together with the few years before it, before it didn’t matter to me anymore.
I didn’t know it then, but the end of my eighth grade year would become impossible to forget.
My head bounced against the window stained with fingerprints, my hair was frizzy. I rested my sticky palms on my knees as I zoned out. My vibrating cell phone brought me back to reality as it buzzed in my pocket. I took it out, and when my eyes set on his name, I smiled.
“Is it him?” asked Hannah, who sat next to me, as she took the ear bud for her iPod out of her ear.
I nodded my head as I read my text message.
Hannah laughed as she eyed my face, her blue braces shined. A crinkled piece of purple gum was tucked in her cheek.
“What did he say?”
“He wants to hang out today.” My feet shuffled.
Hannah squealed as she leaned over to see the text message Damien sent me. “That is so awesome, Meg! You better hang out with him, you need yourself a dude!” Read More
Jacob held his green-gloved hand above his squinted eyes. He stood on the last step of the porch and studied how the colorful Christmas lights reflected against the icicles that hung from the roof. When his mom finished buttoning up little Susannah, she opened the door and Christmas music escaped into the crisp air. Jacob laughed at his sister in her puffy white coat and called her a snowman, waved to his grandparents who stood behind the wreath on the screen door, then ran in front of his mother and sister to the car.
The ride home seemed longer than usual. Jacob and Susannah tried to occupy themselves by looking at the decorated houses that Mom seemed overly excited about. They weren’t too interested. They hoped Santa had gotten to their house early. Mom told them the man on the news said Santa would be making his rounds early because of the storm that was on the way.
“Daddy’s home!” Susannah said when she saw Dad’s work van in the driveway.
Jacob leaned over the empty middle seat to get a look at the driveway as their car pulled up behind Dad’s van. “I wonder if he saw Santa!” He threw off his seat belt.
Jacob and Susannah raced to the stoop. Jacob got there first and flung his arms into the air, proudly claiming victory. Susannah ran passed him and touched the door. She argued that he had to touch the door to win. When the spotlight above the door went on, the kids forgot about their argument and jumped up and down at the sight of their father, who wore a Santa hat. He opened the door and knelt down to hug both of his children with pink noses and snow in their brown hair. Susannah gave her father a sloppy kiss on the cheek, then followed Jacob to the Christmas tree. There was nothing there other than the smell of pine.