My cousin Isaiah’s car rumbled up the driveway. My parents had asked him, my aunt, and uncle to stay with us while we got through the accident. They would help pay bills while my parents worked out the insurance agreement. As the headlights cut the darkness of the summer evening, I couldn’t help but be scared. My dad must have sensed this, he put a gentle hand on my shoulder.
“Don’t worry” he reassured, “Aunt Dawn and Uncle Aaron are here to help and Isaiah doesn’t know the whole story.”
I sighed. Maybe we will get through this.
Our happy family reunion began. Everyone looked at me with a gross pity, but Isaiah waltzed up to me.
“How’s it going, Meg? How’s track? Any new college offers?” I grimaced. Well, at least he’s the same old blabbermouth.
Isaiah was a skinny kid of 17 years, just a year younger than me. He was raggedy, but carried himself with pride. We shared the same brown hair, brown eyes, and competitive spirit, the only difference was his general dislike of the outdoors. He and his parents drove all the way from Wisconsin to Arizona for this, but Isaiah wore the same jeans, jacket, and black t-shirt. God, he was going to sweat himself to death.
The party moves inside and we spend time catching up. Lots of ‘good ol’ days’ and ‘I remember when you were little’ talk. It was kind of fun. But my mood was killed almost instantly by Aunt Dawn.
“How about we start a campfire and roast some marshmallows?”
“No!” I yelled too quickly. Everyone turned to me in confusion. I cleared my throat. “It's late a-and I bet you guys are tired from your trip.” Oh god they’re all staring at me. “We could, get breakfast tomorrow, but let’s all rest for now.”
My mom smiled at me. “That sounds nice. I’ll go clean up the guest room, set up the pull out bed for Isaiah.” The room cleared out, leaving just Isaiah and me. He turned to look at me suspiciously.
“Alright, what's wrong?” He said, taking a seat next to me on the couch. I started to deny it, but he interrupted me. “I’ve known you forever, you haven’t even made fun of me once since I got here.”
“I’m just tired, that’s all, Izzy.” I added the old nickname at the end, hoping to make it more believable. He bought it.
“That’s cause you’re some kind of athletic masochist. Were you born on a running track? You know what, that's why you’re so weird. You banged your head on a track as a baby.” He joked. I chuckled sincerely.
“And you’re an alien that’s never had a girlfriend.” He threw a pillow at me in mock offense.
I felt better having Isaiah around; he got me out of my own head. Right now, I just needed someone a little more positive. Our neighbors hadn’t been saying the nicest things about my family and I, but nothing violent (yet). Last week, I shambled downstairs for breakfast, only to find a window cracked. Not shattered, but definitely broken. This week has been pretty silent, maybe the neighborhood is starting to forget.
As I threw some matches and water bottles into a bag, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of guilt. My family had just arrived to console me, and here I was, sneaking out of my own house. I just need to relax, that was all. It’s no harm if everyone’s asleep, right? I opened the window and took one last look at my dark room. I don’t know why, but I spoke aloud to myself.
“It’s going to be okay.”
With that, I crawled out, gently closing the window behind me.
Comments (0)See all