For the next few days I avoided my brother. Stone didn’t even notice though, he was too busy playing with the inventing bench to care about his younger siblings. The longer he stayed locked up in there, the angrier I got. It wasn’t fair that he could stay in there for hours and make cool stuff while Skye and I didn’t even get a turn.
Books were my pastime until I figured out how to convince Stone to let me use the bench. I read books about mad scientists and robots taking over the world. It satisfied my need to use the bench for a while, but eventually I’d want to go back there and build myself a robot.
“Lake, stop obsessing.” Skye scolded, even though I hadn’t even said anything. I looked over my book and towards her, and noticed she wasn’t even looking at me.
“How did you know I was obsessing?”
“You tense up, I can feel it from here.” She explained and continued playing with her stuffed bear.
“You’re weird.” I chuckled softly while she glared at me.
“Yea, you too.” She stuck her tongue out at me and snuggled her teddy.
I watched her snuggle her teddy for a while. My book was kinda boring, I’d read all the cool books we owned about a million times, this book was one of Stone’s that I borrowed from our room. She was the only entertaining thing in the room, until I looked behind her. A sly grin spread across my face. Since Stone wouldn’t let us use the bench, we’d have an even better adventure than we did with him.
“Hey Skye, I have an idea.”
“I don’t like that tone.” She looked at me, as nervous as she usually is.
“Dad isn’t home, Stone is in the garage, we can do whatever we want.” I smiled, Dad bought a bar in town and now he spent most of his time bartending over there.
“W-what is it?” I slammed my book shut and jumped down from the arm chair.
“No one’s gonna notice if we go in the attic.” I walked over the the edge of the forbidden staircase.
“No way. Dad would kill us if he found out.”
“Well, then he won’t find out.” I shrugged. No matter what, I was going up there. With or without her.
Before she could say anything else, I was already heading up the stairs.
“C’mon Lake, don’t be stupid.” Skye sounded frantic. I knew I shouldn’t be making her panic like this, but I had to know why we weren’t allowed up there.
Skye sighed from behind me, and sure enough I heard the light squeak of her boots on the stairs.
“I really don’t think we should be doing this.”
“Oh come on, if you really thought that you wouldn’t be doing it.” I rolled my eyes and finally emerged into the attic.
“What the heck?” I said aloud as I stood at the edge of the stairs.
“What?” Skye asked as she came up, almost bumping into me.
“It’s just a bar, and a bunch of junk!” I practically yelled. After all this time, imagining all the possible things my dad could be hiding up here, and it was just an old bar and some trash.
“Maybe this is just a decoy, maybe the real secret is in the bedroom!” She exclaimed half-heartedly. She could tell I was disappointed, I knew she was only saying that to cheer me up.
“Yea, maybe.” I trudged my feet across the dusty floor and opened the first door I approached.
Lucky for me, it was the door to the bedroom. I stepped in slowly, part of me still hoping there would be something worth hiding in here.
But once again I was let down. There was just a bunch of crap and a bed. The only things that were slightly interesting from my point of view were the pictures. There was one of my mother making a silly face, I’d never seen it before. Also on the wall was a baby picture of Stone. He looked tiny, he was probably new born when it was taken. It was weird to think that my older brother used to be that small.
Skye pushed past me and hurried into the room. “Be careful Skye, don’t touch anything. He can’t know we were here.”
She ran up to his beside table. The only thing on it was a small sheep toy.
“Why do you think Daddy has a toy in his room?” Skye wondered out loud.
“Dunno.” I mumbled as I walked towards the center of the room. Something to my left caught my eye, and I abruptly turned around.
“Skye look!” I said, excited once again.
“What is that?” She asked. A box of large metal parts sat in front of the window.
“They look like robot parts!” I got excited at the idea of my Dad secretly building robots. Maybe he lied, maybe he doesn’t own a bar at all. Maybe, my dad actually builds robots in secret! How cool would that be?
Before I could express my theories to Skye, I heard the familiar sound of tires on gravel. “Oh crap,” I cursed, “Dad’s home!”
I flew away as fast as I could and dove off of the hallway railing. It was a bit unnecessary, but I panicked. If Dad did catch us up here, who knows what he’d do. He’d been moody almost my whole life, one minute he’d be happily sipping his blood bags and the next he’d be throwing it across the room and storming out, even though no one said anything. It was scary.
Skye and I rushed into her room and immediately started to play with the block table. Luckily, there was already a tower on it, so if Dad came in our cover wouldn’t be blown. But as usual, Dad just went straight up to the attic without even saying hello to us.
A few weeks later, Stone offered to take Skye and I to the public pool. I was still mad at him for hogging the work bench, but I really liked the pool so I accepted.
I still sat in the back and didn’t speak to him though.
“Just jump right in, it’s not that scary Skye.” I assured her once we got to the pool and stood at the edge.
“But what if I drown?” She asked anxiously.
“You won’t drown, Stone’s right there and I’ll stay by you the whole time.” I explained while gesturing to our brother, who was already lounging on a raft. “And besides, you know how to swim.”
“Can we go at the same time?” I gave her a small smile and a nod.
“Count of three?”
“One, two, three!” We counted together before jumping into the pool.
“See, it’s not that scary.” I tugged on my wet hat strings to adjust it.
“Yea, I guess it’s pretty fun.” She smiles innocently before splashing a huge wave of water in my face.
“Hey!” I held up my hands to protect myself, but it was too late. Another wave came crashing at my face, almost knocking me underwater.
“Oops, sorry.” Skye faked a smiled before splashing me a third time.
“This means war, Skye.” We both laughed as we sent wave after wave at the others face.
It was that day I realized my little sister wasn’t just the kid I had to protect, she was also the best friend I could’ve ever asked for.