(a flash fiction piece)
My brother (Brice) left university, 6 months ago, like millions of other students, to shelter from COVID. After years away Mr. Annoying was back in MY world, bickeringly close and way too frequently in my business - like some half-assed adult (he just turned 22).
As school planning recently started though, I awoke one night, unnerved at the thought that he might be leaving. It was a shocking awakening to how much I need him, draw strength from him and shelter in his lee. The heart-wrenching realization of how much I would miss him was breathtaking, like that Disney ride where they suddenly drop you seven stories. I bit off half my fingernails before I finally fell asleep. =/
In the clear light of morning, it's obvious that he’ll leave again at some point and I'm dreading it now that it's flagged my awareness - and I face him with a whole new, creepy appreciation.
Brice is on the sectional, with a bowl of pretzels, watching some BORING documentary.
I sneak up behind him and take his drink off the side table.
I plop down next to him - very close, I squeeze next to him, hard, like there’s no other room on the huge sectional. He gives me the side eye.
After a few minutes he reaches for his drink to find it missing - he looks around, then at me.
Me: With a mouth full of pretzels, “What??”
He gets up to find his drink (which I put in the kitchen) and that takes about 20 seconds.
While he’s gone, I change the channel to “Miraculous Ladybug”, my favorite cartoon.
When he comes back we wrestle for the remote - it takes him a couple of minutes but he’s too strong and as he begins winning, I yell, “MOM!!, Brice is hurting me!” (which was cruelly ignored).
He finally gets the remote and back to his show - I straighten my hair, out of breath, and wonder how long it will take him to realize the pretzels are missing.
brothers - annoying but loveable