I go into the twins' room and shake the easier of the two awake. "Hey Ellie, the sun's up", I murmur. She blinks wearily up at me and gives me sleepy smile. First one up, one more to go.
I shift over to Jacob's bed and nudge him awake. "We gotta get going". I turn the lights on in the room before returning to the kitchen. Mom already left for work so breakfast was left for me to make, again. It has been an almost daily occurrence of making eggs and bacon for my little brother and sister.
I've made it so much that the smell doesn't really appeal to me anymore. My mom says that's the curse of being a cook in your own kitchen.
I noticed there were some papers on the breakfast table that mom was probably looking at earlier when I set down the plates for the twins. Upon further inspection, they are utility bills and rent and ect.
We don't have enough money for everything. Well, crap.
I grab a banana and sit to double check everything. The floorboards creak under the twins' running footsteps toward me. Jacob reaches to the chair across from me and nearly dives over it in his haste to get on it. "HA!", he exclaims with bright cheerful eyes and sings, "I got here fir~rst!" while pointing at his fraternal twin. Ellie takes a chair next to me with a pout, and sticks her tongue out at him.
"Hurry and eat your breakfast", I say absently after looking up at the clock on the wall. Shoot, I won't have enough time to do much about the bills. We might have to give up our phone payments and electricity. I'll have to ask my boss for more shifts too.
I was 10 when our dad fell in the line of duty, right before the twins were born. He was in the Air Force and I thought he was the most selfless, badass dad ever. I remember how cheerful and silly he was in the few times he was with us at home. After the funeral I used to cry in the shower when I missed him too much, so my mom wouldn't worry about me.
She was recovering from becoming a widow and giving birth, and as young as I was, I understood it was bad.
She works as a nurse full-time and a part-time job here and there but it's not enough still. I tried to help but I wasn't really able to chip in that much until I turned 15. I could pass off as 16 and actually earn pay. Since then, our little apartment has been warmer and our breakfast table has had food for every meal.
The twins rinsed and put their dishes in the dishwasher, and I throw my banana peel away.
We head out of the house, hand in hand, and backs heavy with our school supplies. Given how much energy they have, it's not a surprise that they start swinging our hands.
"Hey hey, Aliaaaa. Can we play pokemon after school?", Jacob begs. "Pleeease?" I bought a used pokemon game from someone at school and gave it to the twins for their birthday 3 days ago. They're obsessed with it now.
Crap, Ellie's looking at me with those puppy eyes too. She knows it's so hard to say no to that, the little demon. "I don't know", I sigh, "I have to work after school but maybe after we can. We'll have to see."
I can feel their disappointment set in. They don't say anything though, and it makes my heart both soar and hurt. The rest of the way to the bus stop is a profound silence, a different silence than on all the other mornings we walked this path.
Are there no birds chirping? It's morning though. They should be.
We make a turn onto the street where the bus stop is. A gaggle of elementary kids are already waiting there for their bus. The twins start their way to the stop, but…
"Wait!" I blurt out. They both look back to me curiously and I walk up to them. This morning feels weird. I kneel down and adjust Jacob's beanie hat, then Ellie's coat. A look over them and nothing is out of place. Well then.
I straighten up. "Have fun", I say and try to smile.
Ellie hugs my legs and puts her face into my hip. She says something but it's muffled, silly thing. Jacob hugs my other side like he's trying to knock me over.
I swear, the little guy is such an ADHD monster. It's probably puberty starting it's early work or something. I hope it's just puberty, he would drive us up the wall otherwise.
"O.K. Alia!" he agrees.
I pat the top of their heads and they let go and walk away. Oh my gosh I almost forgot my own bus. I start running back and towards my bus stop. I probably looked like a maniac, breathless and wide-eyed, but I barely made it to the bus.
Thank the heavens and whoever was listening.
I step in the bus and say good morning to Ms Rita, a middle-aged asian woman who was our driver. She loved to talk about her sons, one of which just entered college. The bus ride was tuned out as I finished the rest of my genetics homework.
My first period was my favorite class of the school year. Math has always been a really fun and challenging subject for me, so I worked my way up to AP calculus. Let me just say that I'm not a geek. Honestly! I just like number stuff, ok? And all the other stuff math has.
The teacher for it, Mr. Williams, asked me if I could be his TA. I really really wanted to but I don't have the time for it. In between work, homework, and the twins, it wasn't a good idea.
The strange thing is, after that talk, my calculus homework load had lessened significantly. I went to ask him about it but he just said something among the lines of "I don't know what you're talking about", with an innocent face that could rival Ellie's.
I've concluded Mr. Williams is the most awesomest teacher ninja there is.
I still couldn't be his TA though. Anyway, today we just worked a bit more on our differential calculus. I held apprehension for my next period, Language Arts. I absolutely abhor writing. I'm sorry Mr. Sharp but I have 0 creativity in my brain. I can't help it.
He hates me and I hate him.
The only thing we agree on is that phones have no place in a school of learning, but of course, today my phone rings during class. The whole classroom is on edge and all the attention is on the ringing. I shut off my phone and slowly raise my eyes up to Mr. Sharp.
His furrowed eyebrows would strike fear into any creature of the earth.
He walks to my desk and holds a hand out. I drop my phone into it.
"Detention 2:38 sharp".
Of course. I sigh. "Yes, sir".
I'll have to check who the caller was later.
The lunch bell could not have come sooner enough. I rushed out and followed the sea of students to the cafeteria. I buy lunch and walk to go outside. I honestly could not be around so many people right now. I'll find some peace and quiet outside hopefully.
I turn around and James from my calculus class is there. We help each other out pretty much all the time in calculus. "What's up?" I ask him. Maybe he wanted to work on it more right now. I could understand that. Some days the math in my brain just doesn't shut off.
"D'ya wanna sit with us?", he asks while waving over to a table with some more people I recognized from calculus, and some from other classes. "We're playing a really violent game of cards haha we could use another player".
"Ahh, I'm gonna eat outside. I kinda need some fresh air right now". I suck at any game of cards but I'm not gonna tell him that.
"Outside?", he looks inquisitively at the doors leading out. "It looks like it's gonna rain ya'know?"
I look out too. The skies look heavy and dark. "Wow, the weather changed very fast from how it was this morning. It's alright though, it doesn't look like it's raining right now".
Ellie and Jacob's clothes should be protective enough if it was raining by the time school was out, I think. "Right, well seeya later today in genetics", I say to him.
I smile and give him a nod, then walk through the doors. It's sprinkling a little but not so bad so as to scare me away. I walk a bit further from the school campus and through a little foresty area that I've been in often. It's raining hard now.
Droplets of rain from the leaves up above fall constantly along with the rain. I'm wet, my food is wet, the trees are wet, the sky is wet, the whole world is flipping wet.
I'll have to give my lunch up to a trash bin but for now at least I'll stay out here a little longer. It doesn't really matter if I go back in now or later, I'd still be soaked to the bone but at least have a little time to myself.
I settle down on a comfy boulder and lose my eyes. The day really wasn't going so well for me.
The pit patter of the rain was calming somehow. The sound of it surrounding the area, and the gentleness of the rain falling on me, telling me I'm here in the now.
I jump and startle my eyes open when a thunder claps loudly. It sounded really close. Maybe I should head back inside the school. Lightning is not a favorable way to die.
I jump again and turn around to look for what made that sound.
That sounded like.. A white feathered owl? Wearing a graduation hat, librarian glasses, and a little wrap thing around is neck that looked like it was from the medieval times.
The owl was perched up on a branch of a tree in front of me. I had to look up to see it, and it looked like the owl was looking back at me like he was searching for something. Somehow, his gaze felt human. Like there was an intellectual, wise, an cheery spirit capable of comprehension behind those eyes.
"Whoooo is it, but youuu?" it says.
"WHAT?!" I shout. My eyes feel wide open, but I still can't understand what I'm seeing. "I'm sorry, but did you say something?" I ask it with a trembling voice.
The owl suddenly looks to the right and glares like it sees something in the distance. Another lightning bolt strikes the ground nearby again, though it feels even closer than before. His head swivels back towards me. "There is no time tooo waste. We must moooove!"
The owl suddenly swoops down from the branch and looks like he aims to collide with my face.
I raise an arm up in front of me and close my eyes, bracing myself for the impact.
The rain has stopped.
Hey there. :) I'm a very green writer so I would greatly appreciate if you point out any errors or mistakes you see in this story.
Have a good one!