“Can’t you stay?” He pleaded, standing at the bedroom door that was only half way open.
She looked at him, smiled and then continued to pack her things.
“You don’t have to go. You can stay!” he repeated, this time in a more ‘begging’ tone as he gently pushed on the door to open it wider.
She stopped stuffing her clothes into an already full suitcase. Then, she walked over and gave him a big hug.
“You gonna be okay!…Believe me!” She said in an reassuring tone.
He did not say anything, he did not know what else to say.
She returned to her suitcase, started to re-arranged the jeans, trying to make some room for more stuff.
“It is pretty late; aren’t you sleepy?” She said, knowing that he is still there, standing at the door.
He did not reply. he stood there for a few more seconds and then walked off.
He woke-up early next morning, earlier than his normal daily routine. He lay there, in the bed, stretching. The bright light filtered through the customer-made roman shade on the window.
Normally, he would lay there, for ten-fifteen minutes, let his body ‘wake-up’ before getting out of the bed, but not today. He dragged himself out of the bed right away.
He was still tired; he did not sleep well last night.
Rubbing his eyes, he slowly walked over to her room. The door was locked with lights on; he could tell by looking at the gap underneath the door. Obviously, she was awake. He stood there for a few seconds and then decided to walk away. He did not want to bother her again this early.
He brushed his teeth, washed up, and started to get dressed. He put on the blue jeans and the red t-shirt – the clothes she had helped him choose at the Gap store last week.
Lethargically, as if no energy in his ever-active legs, he came downstairs. He slumped in the sofa in the living room and turned on the TV, his usual morning routine. But this morning, he was not paying any attention to the TV; he did not even bother to change the news channel.
Her door opened and she started to bring her luggage downstairs, putting everything by the front door. The big suitcase, the laptop bag, a plastic bag full of shoes, another plastic bag, her favorite pillow, the books… looks like she had packed up the whole room.
He walked over, towards the front door and sat down on the bottom of the staircase, without saying anything.
“come on, lets have some breakfast!” She tried to cheer him up.
Half-heartedly, he followed her to the kitchen. She grabbed two bowls from the overhead cabinet and poured equal amount of Honey Nut Cheerios and milk in each bowl.
“You don’t have to go, you know!” He reiterated his wish as they sat eating in the dining room.
“No, I have to,” she spoke in a convincing tone, like a teacher would talk to a student.
“No, you don’t!”
“You gonna be okay! I will call you; and, you can call me any time! You know my number, right?”
He did not say anything, as if giving up his fight to make her stay.
“Give me a big hug!” She hugged him as they walked outside the front door.
She hugged her mom while her dad putt her luggage in the white SUV in the driveway.
He stood in the driveway, waving goodbye to his sister as she left for the dormitory, for her first year in the college.
“She is a meanie!” He complained to his mom as the SUV turned the corner at the far-end of the street.
“Don’t worry, she will be back next week-end. The university is only one hour away.”
He did not say anything.
“Let us get the stuff ready for your school!”
Without saying a word, he followed his mom back into the house.
“So, how do you like your 3rd grade class?” She tried to engage him in a trivial conversation, to get his mind off his sister moving to the college dorm.
Again, he did not reply. He was lost in his own world, the world which had suddenly shrunk significantly for an eight year old kid.
Other Short Stories
- Weight-loss Intervention
- A boyfriend, a husband and the God
- A father’s Pride
- The night before Babbu’s wedding
- The Life Abroad – I
- The fading hue
- Just a job
- The Tea Time
- 911 – The Emergency Call