I was lying in my bed in the room that I shared with Landon.
It was around midnight and Landon had been snoring for at least an hour now. I, on the other hand, had been looking up at the ceiling in the dim grey light, dreading what was to come tomorrow.
Another day at work with my Dad.
I guessed that other kids didn’t think there was much wrong with that, but they didn’t have a father like I did. I was brought out of my thoughts when Eli rushed into the room, turning on the light.
“Eli,” I sat up and scowled at my brother in anger, wincing at the sudden brightness. “What are you doing?”
Eli’s green eyes were wide with fear and I reduced the intensity of my scowl.
“It’s Walter,” he said, looking pale. “He’s having an asthma attack and we can’t find his inhaler.”
Without a word, I swiftly threw my covers off and ran to the bedroom Eli shared with Eunice and Walter. Eunice, my seven year old sister and Eli’s twin, was hovering over Walter who was in his bed wheezing and coughing, gripping his sheets.
“Hey,” I climbed onto the bed and knelt with my knees on either side of Walter’s body. “Breathe Walter, slowly.”
My eight year old brother’s eyes were wide and he was panicking as he struggled for air. I gripped his face and held mine close.
“Slow,” I took deep breaths with him. “You’re doing good. Breathe deep and slow.”
Walter started to calm down and I didn’t stop breathing along with him until he had stopped wheezing. He sat up and leaned against the wall, sighing heavily.
“Are you okay?” Eunice touched Walter’s arm.
He nodded, swallowing before he looked at me.
“Thank you,” he said.
“Just find your inhaler before it happens again,” I told him, getting off his bed.
“Go to sleep,” I looked at Eli and Eunice who were still standing by Walter’s bed.
Eli looked away from me and Eunice grinned.
“Thanks for saving him,” she gave me a hug.
I hesitantly put my arms around her smaller frame. I didn’t like hugs and they all knew it. It never stopped Eunice from going right ahead though. She knew I was less likely to shove her away like I would to the boys.
“It’s late,” I pried her arms away when she didn’t let go. “You should sleep.”
“Goodnight,” she beamed at me with a flash of her dimples before turning to get into her bed on the other side of the room, near Eli’s.
“Night,” I replied and turned off their light.
The next morning I was down outside my father’s study at eight sharp. It was the weekend and the others were still asleep. I stood with my back against the wall, facing the opposite one. Our house was large, but not too big. It wasn’t an accurate representation of how rich my parents really were. On the outside, all people saw was the home of a successful business man but on the inside, things were a lot more illicit. The door was swung open and I curled up my toes in my shoes, keeping my gaze straight ahead. My father walked out in a casual black shirt and dark trousers. The fact that he was wearing dark clothes was not a good sign.
“Good morning, Dad,” I said, trying not to sound as tense as I felt.
“Morning Phoenix,” he clapped a hand down on my shoulder, making me jump.
He laughed, “What’s making you so jumpy, son?”
I swallowed, “Nothing.”
“Are you sure?” he looked down at me.
I held my breath and met his dark eyed gaze, “I’m fine, Dad.”
“You better be,” he said and began to walk.
I followed him through the house and out into the garage.
“Have you eaten?” he asked me before he got into one of his cars.
“I had toast,” I replied. “Why?”
He smirked and I felt my stomach tighten.
“I was going to say that it would have been better if you had an empty stomach for what I’m going to show you today,” my father replied before he got into the driver’s seat.
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