Briar was waiting at his locker when Thomas got out of his last class on Thursday. He approached cautiously, trying to gauge if this visit was friendly or not. She had her arms crossed, but dropped them when she saw him approaching, so maybe she wasn’t entirely hostile.
“Hey.” He greeted her with a hesitant smile. “You know, it doesn’t count as not staying away when you wait for me.”
She narrowed her eyes. “But what does count is you hanging out with Logan at the library.”
Thomas flinched. He had meant what he said as a joke. He thought they had more or less patched things up when he apologized at lunch on Monday. For that matter, why was Briar only now getting on his case for going to the library with Logan?
Briar sighed and shook her head. “I didn’t come here to fight. What I said was an overreaction. I wanted to apologize for threatening you.”
“So…” Thomas spoke slowly. “Does that mean we’re good? Whole thing forgotten?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know about forgotten. Do I have a place on your tree?”
“For fu--” He stopped himself. He didn’t like swearing in front of Briar, even though he had heard her swear on many occasions. “It’s just a stupid school assignment, but of course you’ve got a place on it.”
He had tried to do a rough draft of the tree without the complicated part of his family, but it hadn’t looked right. It looked like a lie, and had physically hurt him to look at. That simple tree growing straight up wasn’t his tree.
“You’re my sister, and I’ve never been ashamed of that.” He suddenly had the urge to hug her. “I never want to hide this.”
Briar wiped at her face, and Thomas realized that she had started tearing up. “Good.” She playfully punched his arm. “We’re good.”
“Whole thing forgotten?”
“Whole thing forgotten.”
Thomas felt relieved. He gave her a sideways, one armed hug while simultaneously opening his locker. He started gathering his things.
Briar waited, and they walked out of the building together. “Movie night?” She asked as they reached the sidewalk.
Thomas grinned. As a kid, movie night had been something his parents set up, a reason for Thomas to spend time with his father. In reality, it had just been him and Briar watching movies while their father did whatever in another room. His parents had stopped setting up movie nights long ago, but he and Briar still sometimes organized them.
“Tonight?” Movie nights had traditionally been on Friday nights, but that wasn’t important. Briar nodded and Thomas gave her a thumbs-up. “What movie?”
She shrugged. “Whatever’s new on Netflix.” She laughed and rolled her neck. “Man, it’s so much easier to not have to go to the rental store anymore.”
“Especially since that place closed down.”
They had a moment of silence for the store. Thomas could still remember all the times the two of them had studied DVD boxes critically, trying to narrow down their choices to just two. At the time, that had been the hardest choice in the world for Thomas.
Briar broke the silence after a minute. “Would you mind if I invited Logan? I know movie night was supposed to be for you and dad, but--”
He broke her off with a laugh. “His only involvement was driving us to get the movies. Movie night is about sibling bonding. It would be wrong not to invite Logan.”
“Awesome.” Briar was already pulling out her phone. “Be at my place by six.”