Rory’s up first. I know this because he yawns like a fucking hippo. And I always know when he’s awake because he does it.
We have a cardinal rule to not fuck with each other before we’ve woken up. Not after the Water Balloons. Our parents split the bill redoing our room’s flooring and the ceiling below, and we’ve accepted that we can’t do anything big in our shared room.
Rory goes to shower, and I sit up in bed and sigh, Grandma’s blanket between my fingers.
Now I remember why I hate summers. He makes them so exhausting. Weirdly, it takes a lot of energy to not want to try to drown him in the lake. Like, for one summer, I want to wake up and not think about how he’s going to get me. Though it wouldn’t really feel like summer if I didn’t think that. It’s gone on for too long.
I look around our room. Our beds’re separated by a small end table, and the only window has closets on either side. There’s a small armchair in the corner, two shelves on that wall, and then another closet, leading to the attic space above the dining room. There’s one overhead light that doesn’t work, and one lamp on the end table. No curtains, no rugs, no pictures. Just the bare bones of a room.
I like it. It kinda forced us to get out and go do things.
But now the WiFi router’s in the attic space, so this is the best room in the house to stay connected.
So I go scrolling on Facebook because I don’t know what else to do. Julia’s up at her grandparent’s house already; she hasn’t texted me back, so I text her asking how everything is in Rhode Island. Taylor’s freaking out about the upcoming World Cup. It’s just a lot of nothingness, but it keeps me occupied.
Rory comes back, dressed and hair combed. “Mornin’, Princess.” He smirks. “Aw, look at you with your baby blanket.”
The door’s closed, so I feel like I should. “Just stay away from me, Harwood.” I don’t look at him.
“Where’s the fun in that?” he asks, snatching my phone from my hands. I’d already locked it. I know too well what he can do. “Aw, you’re no fun.”
“And I’m pretty sure you’re some kind of…like, masochist, so it works out pretty good, I think.”
His nose wrinkles. Rory tosses my phone back to me. “A masochist?”
“Just stay away from me, Harwood.”
“And what if I don’t?” he asks, leaning forward on the bed. “What’ll you do if I don’t listen, Princess?”
“I’ll break your fucking nose again.” I’m close to doing it now anyway.
Rory sniffs and stands back up. Shaking his head, he goes to his closet and takes out his running gear. “Oh, if we’re asking each other stupid things, grow a better backbone. Your threats aren’t good no more.” Snatching his phone from the floor, he’s out the door with a good slam.
And I’m left wondering why Rory decided to be nice this morning.